Born in Windsor Township in Pennsylvania, Mahlon Kline was educated at a local school in Upper Bern. He qualified as a teacher and briefly taught at a school at Hyde Park. He then went to the Eastman Business College at Poughkeepsie.
In 1865 he joined Smith & Shoemaker: Mr Shoemaker resigned in 1869 and in 1875 the business became Smith Kline & Co. Under Mahlon Kline's leadership it became the third largest pharmaceutical business in the United States.
He was active in local business affairs and, in 1900, became a Director of the local Bourse. He was also active in State politics and in 1905 he became Treasurer of the State Committee of the Lincoln Party.
He died in 1909.
In 1874 he married Isadore E. Unger and together they went on to have three daughters.
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