Looking through the census records for McLean County, from years 1880 forward to 1910, I found the names of Fred Klawitter, married to Rosa, with children Bertha, Freda, Lena, Martha and William.Also found were the names of John Klawitter, married to Henrietta, sons Edward and John F., daughters Bertha G. and Louise.A third, Carl Klawitter, married to Rose, had two children, Anna and Gus.A fourth, and much more shadowed person, was Roman (or Romann), at one time married to Theresa Krausse, and known to have had at least four, and possibly more, children, Mathilda (my maternal grandmother), Otto J., Helen and young Roman.The elder Roman shows up as a house painter living in Bloomington in 1900, Otto shows up as farm labor in Buchanan county, Iowa, Theresa Klawitter is living in El Paso, Illinois with her daughter Helen and working as a housekeeper, and the younger Roman shows up in New York State as an inmate of Auburn prison, Cayuga county.Mathilda does not show up in the 1900 census, but apparently she was married at the time to a railroad man named "Kelly" (who had the bad judgment to get himself killed in a switch-yard accident between two rail cars) and had two young children, Selma, then three, and Robert, then about a year old.About three years later she was married to my maternal grandfather.
Fred, Carl and John, so far as I could determine, were brothers from the same general area near Posen, Prussia, and it was always supposed that Roman was either a brother or cousin.Apparently they all entered the country sometime around 1870.Theresa Krausse, also from the Posen area, was supposed to have fled to get away from the attentions of Roman, but he pursued her to Bloomington and their marriage is on record in the McLean county records.Presumedly in later years they had separated for good, though it is not clear whether they ever divorced.
My mother spoke of seeing her "Grossmutter" on a fairly regular basis (she was living in El Paso, Illinois at the time), then in later years (sometime after 1920), "Grossmutter" went out to Seattle, Washington, where her son Otto J. was a relatively successful contractor (at least until he lost his arm in an accident).Still later(1930), he was a movie theater operator in a small town near Seattle.
Otto was married to Sophia in 1920, with a daughter Evelyn M. and a son Paul.In 1930, Otto was married to Eva, and has a young son Sidney.By then Evelyn was married to Jack A. Houston, a locomotive engineer living in Anacortes, WA, and her younger brother Paul was living with them.Paul would have graduated from Anacortes high school about 1930 or 1931, and may have served in the Second World War.
Is anyone able to help in tracing any of these persons either backward or forward?