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Fred Heine, Orphan Train Rider

Fred Heine (1868 - 1939) wrote to the asylum in 1895, at the age of twenty seven. He had come to Illinois in 1878 along with an unnamed brother. (Eleven young men by the name of Heine were once residents of the Asylum.) He was appreciative of his opportunities in Illinois and remained in Pontiac the rest of his life, even though he had a sister in New York. He took the opportunity of visiting his mother in New York, and shortly afterward, she died. He and his siblings were all born in Germany, the children of Conrad Heine.

Fred married Martha Handley in 1902 in Pontiac, where he worked for the State Reformatory. In 1895 he wrote that he was in charge of the farm for the state reformatory. In that time prisons, orphanages and poor farms produced much of what the inmates would consume and the job of managing the farm was a very responsible one. Mismanagement of state assets could have dire consequences. In 1910 the census reported that he was a prison guard and in 1930 he was an office clerk at the prison. Fred died in 1939 and left no family.

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