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Mildred Emelia Pfendler, Orphan Train Rider

Mildred Emelia Pfendler (1882 - 1967) was born in New York in 1882, the daughter of Charles and Elizabeth Pfendler. Whe was sent to Illinois in 1891 and lived with the Turner family in Kenney, IL. Mr. Turner died in 1893, but Mrs. Turner was probably living with one or more of their seven children, as she did in 1900. In the turner household Emelia may have become a polished young lady, who enjoyed gardening and playing the organ. Mrs. Turner's daughter was married to a hardware merchant, but her son was a brick layer, so their family demographic encompassed both mercantilism and physical labor. In 1899 Emelia married Isaac Newton Tomlinson. With him she had just one son, William Lloyd Tomlinson.

The Tomlinson's relocated to Decatur in 1903, where Isaac was a telegraph operator for the railroad (1920 census). (Being a telegraph operator was a common way of entering into railroad management.) He later became a claims manager for the Field & Shorb plumbing and heating company (1930 census) and then the president of that company (1940). He died in 1945 at the age of 66, leaving an $8,500 estate to his wife, Mildred. Mildred would have enjoyed a comfortable style of living with Isaac, something she would have appreciated after years in the asylum and then years of indenture. Mildred lived until 1967, when she died at the age of 95. She is buried in the Fairlawn Cemetery in Decatur, Illinois. She had a sister, Louise, who was living in Long Island, NY with her husband, Frank Gilchrest. Mildred had four great grandchildren living in Oklahoma. Her son worked in Decatur for a casket manufacturer in the 1930s.

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