My Present Past
A genealogical experience
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Wyanet, Illinois
Background:
1890 view of Kasbeer Street in Wyanet, Illinois
Paul Bansen was born in 1841 in Germany. He immigrated to the United States sometime before 1870. Using
his watchmaking skills he learned in Germany he found plenty of work because of the use of watches in the
railroad industry. He met Matilda H. Engel, the daughter of
John and Jacobine (Hauter) Engel, of Wyanet and
they were married July 06, 1880 in Wyanet, Illinois. Their marriage produced two children, Ernest Max born
July 21, 1881 in Wyanet and Charles H., born November 05, 1894 in Nashville, Davidson County, Tennessee.

Matilda (Engel) Bansen died July 06, 1895 in Nashville, Tennessee and is buried in
Forest Hill Cemetery.
After the death of Tillie,
Charles and Ernest lived with their grandmother, Jacobine Engel, in Wyanet.
In 1910
Paul Bansen was living in Nashville, Tennessee.
William F. Bennett was a ticket agent for the Chicago Burlington & Quincy Railroad in Wyanet, Illinois.
He married
Pauline A. Schneider on June 28, 1887 in Wyanet. Pauline was the daughter of Paul and Adele
(Gingrich) Schneider.
Paul Schneider arrived in Bureau County around 1857 and was a saloon and billiard hall
operator in Wyanet.  Paul Schneider died
September 22, 1915 in Chicago, Cook County, Illinois and
Adele (Gingrich) Schneider died in
1889 in Wyanet. Both are buried in Forest Hill Cemetery in Wyanet.

Sometime after 1895, William moved to Chicago to follow work with the Chicago Burlington & Quincy Railroad.
Pauline remained at Wyanet and before 1910, she joined him in Chicago, Cook County, Illinois.
Pauline A (Schneider) Bennett died October 28, 1915 in Chicago, Cook County, Illinois and is buried
in
Forest Hill Cemetery in Wyanet.
William Barry Blaine was born January 02, 1861 in Wyanet, Bureau County, Illinois. He was the son of John and
Anna Malvina (Barry) Blaine. Anna was the sister of Hulda Gertrude Barry, the wife of David T. Nichols
John Blaine arrived in the United States from Belfast, Ireland in 1840, making his home in Erie, Pennsylvania,
until 1849, when he immigrated to Bureau County. John accompanied David T. Nichols and party to Sacramento,
California in 1850, seeking their fortune in gold. The party returned in 1851 after one year in the Great Empire
of the West, satisfying their need for fame and adventure.
Willie grew up in Wyanet attending school until around 1879 where he was employed working on farms and other
heavy labor jobs. In 1881 he started working at the Chicago Burlington & Quincy depot in Wyanet. Learning the
railroad trade from his uncle, D. T. Nichols, he quickly began to advance in the industry.
When Edward Engel was appointed operator at the Atchison Topeka & Santa Fe Railroad passenger depot in
Argentine, Kansas in 1883, he seized the opportunity and moved to
Argentine, living with Edward, Sadie and his
cousin Henry Lee Crawford. There he met
Clara A. Griswold, a teacher, who was living with David and Mary Bliss
in
1885. They were married at the home of Edward and Sadie Engel in 1886. A son John Edward was born on
October 02, 1888 in Argentine,
Thomas Penman, born August 08, 1898 and William Barry Jr, born September
03, 1902, both born in Temple , Bell County, Texas. William remained a railroad agent until around 1910,
changing his profession to being a general practice lawyer.
William Barry Blaine died
May 19, 1923 in Temple, Bell County, Texas and is buried at Hillcrest Cemetery.
Clarissa A. (Griswold) Blaine died
August 02, 1950 and is also buried at Hillcrest Cemetery in Temple, Texas.
To Cousin Sadie,

Ah well! for us all some sweet hope lies,
Deeply buried from human eyes;
For in the hereafter, angels may
Roll the stone from its grave away!
The guestbook entry above from W. B. Blaine is a
quote from a poem, Maude Muller by
John Greenleaf Whittier, published in 1856
Paul Bansen                                                                                                                     Wyanet, Illinois
August 04, 1880
William F. Bennett                                                                                                         Wyanet, Illinois
January 12, 1883
William B. Blaine                                                                                                            Wyanet, Illinois
July 28, 1881