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Louis Blume, Madison County

Louis Blume (1873 - ?) came to Illinois on the train on May 24, 1886 to Alton, IL. He was placed with Henry W. Luker, who seemed to have been a very helpful guardian. He was just 33 years old when Louis came to live with him but he thought carefully about what occupation would suit Louis and placed him in a store rather than training him as a farmer. He made regular reports to the Asylum and submitted statements from Louis's teacher. When Louis was 17 he felt that he did not need further schooling, but Mr. Luker that he continue with his schooling.

Poor Louis wrote to the Asylum when he was 17 and sent a photo of himself. He said that he did not "seem to be an orphan boy anymore." The children would have felt marked by their experiences, especially after reading articles in the newspaper such as the one in the Alton Telegraph on Jun4, 1886, just after Louis arrived in Illinois.

Such were the prejudices facing the New York orphans.

In 1895 Mr. Luker died, leaving his wife with three young children. Louis was living in New York at the time, running his own business, but it was his intention to go back to Illinois to live with his foster mother. In 1900 Mary Luker was living with her parents and her three children and Louis Blume was nowhere in sight, so he may have abandoned that plan when Mrs. Luker decided to shelter with her parents. Where Louis ended up is unknown, but he recognized the advantages given to him by the Lukers and was probably going to be successful given a fair chance!


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