Karl Charles Kropp was born in Germany. He immigrated with his family to the U.S. in the early 1850s, settling initially in Chicago. While there, he purchased property in Centreville Twp., Leelanau Co., MI., and took up farming. He married Amalia Lietzau, and they had nine children. Karl drowned in Lake Michigan while aboard the steamer Vernon, headed for Wisconsin. The ship was overloaded, and foundered in a storm.