Highland News Leader

Children of Highland couple who died of flu in 1920 were all adopted

The John and Anna Bader Donnelly Farm Home on Giger road at Lower Marine Road: This farm originally belonged to John and Anna Gilgen Bader Sr. It was next owned by John and Matilda Branger Bader Jr., then by their daughter, Mrs. Anna Bader (John M.) Donnelly. In the photo, from left, are Harry Donnelly (with bicycle), Thomas Donnelly, Florence Tischauser (foster child of John and Anna Bader Jr.), John M. Donnelly (seated in chair), Irma (Mrs. Thomas) Donnelly (standing), Irene Biggs (foster child of John and Anna Bader Jr.), Anna Bader (Mrs. John) Donnelly (seated); then at the far right is John Bader Jr. and Vera Biggs (foster child) and Henrietta, (second wife of John Bader Jr.).
The John and Anna Bader Donnelly Farm Home on Giger road at Lower Marine Road: This farm originally belonged to John and Anna Gilgen Bader Sr. It was next owned by John and Matilda Branger Bader Jr., then by their daughter, Mrs. Anna Bader (John M.) Donnelly. In the photo, from left, are Harry Donnelly (with bicycle), Thomas Donnelly, Florence Tischauser (foster child of John and Anna Bader Jr.), John M. Donnelly (seated in chair), Irma (Mrs. Thomas) Donnelly (standing), Irene Biggs (foster child of John and Anna Bader Jr.), Anna Bader (Mrs. John) Donnelly (seated); then at the far right is John Bader Jr. and Vera Biggs (foster child) and Henrietta, (second wife of John Bader Jr.).

“By mid-1918, German soldiers were in retreat, followed by retreat after retreat. These continual withdrawals, coupled with the news of upheavals at home in Germany, caused many soldiers to lose the will to fight. By the late summer of 1918, the Allies launched a series of offensives on the Western Front that forced the German military and its political leadership to seek an end to hostilities.

“While these first talks where going on in Switzerland, the fighting continued, although some German soldiers offered only token resistance, while others fought back to stave off total defeat.” (Book 2 of History of World War I by Marshall Cavendish, available at Louis Latzer Memorial Public Library.)

U.S. and Allied troops continued having casualties, as more and more of our troops were rushed to the fronts. I will be using the book, Pass in Review by Allan C. Huber for the listing of additional local veterans who fought the final battles or were assigned to other duties in the war zone. I will be starting with Pvt. Martin Bader.

Bader saw action with a French unit at Aisne-Marne, July 18 to Aug. 6, 1918. He was then with the U.S. Army at St. Mihiel, Sept. 13-16; the Meuse-Argonne Offensive, Sept. 26 to Nov. 11; he then served in the Army of Occupation until discharged Aug. 13, 1919.

I knew Martin Bader. He died in 1968, and his wife, Matilda Bade Bader, passed away in 1972. I had the privilege of serving them at Harris Funeral Home.

While researching Martin Bader information, I found that his older sister, Anna, had married John Miles Donnelly.

His sister Irma had married Thomas William Donnelly. Irma and Thomas’ youngest son, Harry Donnelly, was Martin Bader’s nephew. Harry Donnelly and his wife, Florence LeDuc, both of Deck’s Prairie, were married in 1912 and had four children.

Harry and Florence both died of the flu in 1920, and their four children were adopted.

Earl was 9 and was adopted by Henry and Anna Wildhaber, farm neighbors. Earl Donnelly married Anda Hediger, and they had two daughters, Marlene Donnelly (Neal) Scholl and Shirley Donnelly (Allen) Flath.

Lavern (Jack) Donnelly was 5 and was raised by Fred and Louise Grimm, also farm neighbors. Jack Donnelly married Pearl Dubach, and they built a house on the Grimm farm on Lower Marine Road and had four children, Donald, Janette Donnelly (Don) Kayser, Jacqueline Donnelly (Charles) Knox and Debra Donnelly (Kent) Herzog.

Esther Donnelly was only 3 when here parents passed away. She was adopted by Dr. Earl S. Meloy and his wife, Winifred. Dr. Meloy had served in World War I, and he had started his medical practice in Highland with Dr. Nicholas Baumann. The Meloys purchased the old Bernhard Suppiger home on Mill Hill, now Old Trenton Road. Esther Donnelly’s name was changed to Linette Donnelly Meloy. Linette married Robert B. Maucher of Alton, and they had three children, Earl, Nancy and Sally.

Mildred Donnelly was less than 1 year old at the time of her parents’ passing, and she was adopted by Arthur F. and Muriel Howell Talbert. Mildred was married in 1939 to Hubert Kelso, and they had three children, Linda, Christopher and Lisa.

  Comments