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Ludwig, Henry & George Knoess, Orphan Train Riders

Ludwig (1880 - 1967) first came to Armington, Tazewell County, Illinois on the orphan train in 1889 and was living with the McLellan family. Mr. McLellan noted that Ludwig did not want to be called by his "old" name, but was known as Louis McLellan. By 1910 Louis was working for another family and using the name Louis Knoess again. Although Mr. McLellan felt that Louis had an aptitude for studies, Louis continued to work in farming. When he registered for the draft (WWI) he was farming for John Stroud & Co. in Livingston County and gave the name of George Knoess in Barnum, Iowa as the person who would always know his whereabouts. He was self employed as a carpenter for many years and died in December 1967. He was a member of the Knights Templar in Pontiac. One advantage of being a member of a fraternal organization at that time was that your organization would organize and attend your funeral.

Mr. McLellan's letter referred to Louis' brother "Henry" being a farmer, but both times Louis registered for the draft he gave his brother George Knoess' name as his relative. George Knoess married at the age of 44 in Barnum, Iowa. Where he was placed after arriving in Illinois is unknown. He married Elizabeth Pierce and gave his parents names as Henry and Mary Knoess. In 1920 and 1930 he was the manager of a lumber yard. He died September 10, 1957. George and Elizabeth had two children, Phillip and Rachel.

The 1880 census in New York does record the family of Henry and Elizabeth Knoess as being two sons, Henry (b. 1875) and George. Ludwig was born in 1880 or 1881. Henry could not be located in the Illinois census, but his letter from Nora, Jo Daviess, Illinois was published in 1895. Henry was separated from his brother Louis by 300 miles of Illinois prairie.

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