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The McElhineys

              George McElhiney married Sophronia (1815 – 1903), Seth Baker’s second daughter. George was a carpenter and also served as Bloomington postmaster. They had five children, but Sophronia died at the Elgin Hospital for the Insane in 1903 at the age of 88.  J.B. Orendorff recorded the sad story of her illness. She gradually became insane, choosing small fights with the other housewives around her. She pulled up all the “garden stuff” of her neighbor, Mrs. Simon. Mr. McElhiney visited her regularly at the insane asylum and told Mr. Orendorff of her condition: “He kept me posted as to her condition. At one time after he had been to see her he said all though she seemed all most dethroned of all reason, she never forgot the love she had for him – a grip of his hand always caused her to weep bitterly – in talking of her to me he was deeply affected. “


               George and Sophronia’s son Arthur Mcelhiney (1842 – 1903) was the manager of the Western Union Telegraph office from at least 1868 and into the 1890s in Bloomington. He married Alcesta Sill and had four children, only one of whom stayed in McLean County. Edna McElhiney (1877 – 1963) married Ira Spafford and with him lived at the Illinois Soldiers and Sailors Children’s School which they managed from 1921 to 1933. During their time at the School the cottages were built and new ideas about orphan care were tried out. 


            Adolphus McElhiney, a son of Sophronia, was a member of Company B of the 145th Ill. Inf. Later in life he was a railroad man and moved away from McLean County. 

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