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Matilda Kimmel, Orphan Train Rider

Matilda Kimmel (1879 - 1967) was sent to Illinois in 1896 where she lived with the J. F. Meyer family in Cabery, IL. She married John H. Brunner in 1897 in Livingston County and at that time identified her parents as Abram Kimmel and Jennie Schausta. In the census, she identified them as Russian immigrants.

Matilda and John had ten children: Evelina, Lillie, Charles, Mary, Harry, James, Fred, Henry, John & Dorothy. John was a farmer and owned his own farm.

Another orphan rider sent to Illinois in 1896 was Rachel Kimmel who lived in Pontiac, Livingston County with the Houder family. In her letter to the asylum Rachel recounts the comfortable lifestyle she had in Pontiac. She had had her very first birthday party and enjoyed ice cream, cake and fruits at her birthday. She rode to church in a carriage every Sunday. No trace of Rachel could be found.

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