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William Henry Quattlander, Montgomery County

The first record of William Henry Quattlander (1885 - 1959) is one of the few lists of orphans published in a newspaper (Montgomery County News). William came to Montgomery County on May 8, 1895 with a group of just three other children. The newspaper reported that Ebenezer Wright had brought only four children because of the prevalence of diphtheria in the asylum. It is amazing that any of these children were taken into the Montgomery County homes after such an announcement.

According to the newspaper report, William was assigned to either Jacob Henckel (Donelson, IL) or George Bryer (Irving, IL), but by 1900, when the census was taken, William was living with John and Catrina Westphal of Rountree. Also living in the Westphal household was Anna Suda, another child who came to Montgomery County on May 8, 1895. Just as William had, Anna left the first home she was placed in and found another home in the same locale.

William continued working as a farm laborer until he was at least 24 years old (1920 census -- employers John and Henrietta Wattjes) and after that he was married to Henrietta Janssen/Jackson. There was some confusion over the name of William's wife when his children completed social security forms, but Henrietta's gravestone in St. Pauls cemetery states that her name was "Henrietta Wattjes Quattlander." William was just 25 years old when his employer died, leaving a widow with two small children. No record of their wedding date is given, but at some point William and Henrietta married.

They made their home in Nokomis and farmed their own farm (probably that of the deceased John Wattjes). William and Henrietta had three children: Viola, Esther and Ivan. Sadly, Henrietta died in 1923 and William was left with three children under the age of six to raise as well as Henrietta's children by her previous marriage, who were 18 and 13.

After that single announcement in the Montgomery County News, no mention of William Henry Quattlander could be found. He died in 1956, the same year as the birth of one of his grandsons.

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