Galland, Caroline Rosenberg Kline (1841-1907)

  • By Lee Micklin
  • Posted 12/16/1998
  • Essay 544

Caroline Rosenberg Kline Galland, an early and important Seattle philanthropist, devoted her life to serving the community. Her will bequeathed funds for a home for the Jewish aged and for other charities, including a tuberculosis hospital. The Caroline Kline Galland Center has served the Jewish aged for more than 80 Years.

Caroline Rosenberg was born in Bavaria in 1841. Her first marriage was to Louis (or Lazarus) Kline, a partner in a successful Seattle clothing firm. Her second marriage was to Bonham Galland, a retired merchant from San Francisco.

A Life of Philanthropy

She had no children, and devoted her time, money, and energy to helping the poor. Many benefited from her generosity and it was said that she never turned down a request for help.

Caroline Kline Galland’s will bequeathed funds for a home for the Jewish aged and for other charities. On February 16, 1907, public disclosure of the will made headlines in The Seattle Times: “A million and a Half for Charity.”

Most of the estate went to establish a home for the Jewish aged, “that it may bring to the lives of the aged men and women ... the greatest degree of contentment and happiness in their declining years.”

In 1909, the Washington State Supreme Court affirmed a decision by the King County Court dismissing a lawsuit by an heir of Galland's first husband, Lazarus Kline, who had moved to Seattle from Oregon in 1887. The suit was over a building owned by Kline and located at 2nd Avenue and University Street in downtown Seattle. Kline had bequeathed the building to three brothers in Germany, one in Seattle, and a brother-in-law. Caroline had secured an order in probate court that her husband's building was community property. She was awarded her half and the other half was assigned to the beneficiaries. She purchased the interest of the beneficiaries from them but after the death of one, another brought suit. The suit was dismissed on the grounds that it was brought too late.

The Caroline Kline Galland Center has served the Jewish aged for more than 80 Years.


David Stern, The Kline Galland Center: She Started It. Now it’s Up to Us to Keep It Going (Seattle: Academy Press, n.d.); Eighty Years of Caring: Timeline and Annual Meeting Agenda (Seattle: The Kline Galland Center, 1994); "Kline Heirs Lose Suit for Riches," Seattle Post-Intelligencer, June 13, 1909, p. 8.
Note: This essay was updated on February 21, 2005, corrected on April 23, 2008, and explanded slightly on June 26, 2008.

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