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Adolph Schaublin, Rock Island County

One of the purposes of sending children to the West was so that they might fit themselves to be farmers and live the good clean life of the country. The idea in New York was that land in the West could still be purchased for a relatively small investment and that a careful and hard working person could still make a success of farming by sheer determination and grit. The children were supposed to be placed with people who could direct them and teach them. But even as the children were being raised they could see that there were plenty of grown men in Illinois who were doing the same job they were doing. They were farming, but doing it on someone else's land for a pittance.

Adolph Schaublin was placed with a tenant farmer, S.D. Edwards of Watertown, Illinois, in 1883 at the age of thirteen. Adolph lived with him for four years, working the same farms that Edwards worked. Mr. Edwards had not determined what Adolph would do during the school year, which could only be determined when Edwards knew if he was going to "get a farm." If he did not get a farm, Adolph would have the opportunity to go to school because they would be idle during the harvest season. We do not know the age of Mr. Edwards, but Illinois was filled with tenant farmers who could not put together the cash necessary to own their own farms and selling this dream to children who had no family support was something of a pipe dream.

Adolph continued to live with Edwards, because in 1889 Edwards wrote another letter to the asylum when Adolph was nineteen. "Adolph is well and doing well, and is a young man of good principles morally, but somewhat inclined to be critical and skeptical religiously." Like everyone around him, Mr. Edwards did not think that it was enough for Adolph to be a good, moral person, but that he should conform to dogma and religious conventions. So many of the children remarked, "I think I am a Christian" or "I hope I am a Christian." Having an independent thought or self confidence was nearly a crime in the eyes of society.

Adolph had the idea that business school would be a good avenue for himself, but no definite information about his later life could be found.

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