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Barbara Klink, LaSalle County

Barbara Klink most likely came to Ottawa, Illinois in 1879 (the reference to the date 1870 here is a typographical error). She was born in 1872 in New York. In 1888 Barbara wrote a letter to the Asylum reporting on her progression in school and her physical well being. She was studying English but said that she preferred elocution. Perhaps Barbara liked having the attention of the crowd. She was grateful for the opportunities given to her by her guardians and said that she did not work in the house but devoted all her time to her studies. She was sixteen and very proud that she weighed 142 pounds. She complained that her brother did not answer letters sent to him: "I have written him kind and loving letters, but he won't answer." No other child with the name Klink was listed in "Names of Children in the Records of the New York Juvenile Asylum," so he may have been a half brother or was never an inmate of the Asylum.

This letter was written in 1890 by a visiting agent who was sent to check on Barbara's well being. She lived with O M Butterfield and his wife for many years after the letter was written and was still living with them at age 38 in 1910. She did continue her education, because in 1910 she was working as a school teacher in Ottawa. She was using the name Butterfield and was even married with the name Butterfield. She married Henry H. Campbell sometime after 1910 and continued to live in LaSalle County. The couple did not appear in the census together until 1940, when Mr. Campbell was disabled from working.

Barbara must have taught school for a number of years -- the children she taught are long departed, but I hope they had pleasant memories of this teacher. It is not probable that she ever had children of her own because she married so late in life.


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