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Samuel Ross Tomlinson and Matilda Reutlinger, Orphan Train Riders, Jo Daviess County

Samuel Ross Tomlinson (1882 - ?)

Ross was placed in Derinda Center, IL in 1894. The 1900 census places him with the Randecker family, which came from Germany. As Ross indicated in his letter, he had to learn German while living in the house. Randeckers also had an adopted daughter of German descent who was born in New Jersey. Ross filed for Social Security in 1937 and listed his parents as: Edgar M. Tomlinson and Jennie Collins. When he registered for the draft in WWI Ross had returned to Queens, New York and made his home there.

Matilda Reutlinger (1886 - 1944), who lived nearby made a rather spiteful comment about Ross: "Ross Tomlinson, the Asylum boy you saw near here last spring, did well for a few months and then got so saucy and mean that Mr. Randecker could not keep him. He has been hired three places since." Matilda was the girl of German descent who was living with the Randeckers in 1900 and named as their adopted daughter. Matilda later married Erwin Lucas Harry, a switchman with the railroad. They moved several times, living in Jo Davies, Rock Island and Carroll County. They had three sons and a daughter. One son and their daughter died when less than one year old. Only Edgar and Paul Harry survived childhood. Matilda's parents were Henry and Bertha Reutlinger, two immigrants from Switzerland. They died in 1893 and 1894.

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