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Annie, Charles & Lena Wander, Boone County and McHenry County

Annie Wander wrote in 1893 that she was called Annie Lobdell, and that the asylum should address mail to her that way. One year later, she had legally taken the name Lobdell, for she had married Jesse Lobdell in February 1894 at the age of 16. She had her first child July 1894, indicating conception had come before marriage vows. Jesse may have been Annie's employer, because Jesse's father, Floyd, had died in 1881. Jesse was the head of the extended household in 1900 with his mother and younger brother both living in the home. Annie and Jesse had four children and lived the rest of their lives in Spring, Boone County, Illinois. Their children were Floyd, Gladys, Lubeca and Nelva. Jesse died suddenly in 1924, while driving home with the family from Elgin. Annie died in 1951 of pneumonia.

Annie and Lena had appeared in the 1880 census with their parents, Adam and Mary Wander, two German immigrants in New York City. Adam was a baker and his children were Charles, Annie and Lena. In her letter Annie refers to her sister Lena, who was living near by and her brother Charles, who was already of age and had returned to New York. In 1900 Lena was still single and living with the Farr family in Seneca, McHenry County, Illinois. Later in 1900 however, she married Charles Ellithorpe in the same county. Charles became a sewing machine salesman and the couple moved to Elgin, Illinois. They had two children, Celia and Raymond. Charles died in Elgin in 1960 and Lena died in Green Bay, Wisconsin in 1967. (Her son was living in Wisconsin.)

In 1889 Lena's guardian, Mrs. S. M. Farr, wrote a report to the asylum. Lena adored going to school and if she ever needed punishment, which seemed to be very seldom, keeping her home from school was enough to discipline her. Mrs. Farr was also aware that Lena was greatly affected by her separation from her younger sister.

Annie must have been severely undernourished when she left New York, if as an eleven year old she weighed just 65 pounds! The two sisters were separated by just under 100 miles during their indentures when Annie wrote this letter in 1893. But once Lena moved to Elgin with her husband, they were less than 35 miles apart. The sisters would not be separated again, but could visit each other often in their automobiles!

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