When people are only able to remember part of the story it can be difficult to locate additional information. That’s how it was with Grandma’s memory of the people “who took her mother in.”
All Grandma could tell me was that her mother, Ida (Sargent) Trautvetter Miller (1874-1939) was “raised by the Mulches.” There was never much detail given about why Ida’s parents could not raise her or take care of her and Grandma’s memory of the Mulches only consisted of “they were strangers and were meaner than the people who raised her sister.” I took the “strangers” portion of Grandma’s description to mean that they were not related to her.
Never did I expect Ida to appear in the social columns of the Warsaw [Illinois] Bulletin, but there she was in 1891. Apparently listed with her foster father W. C. F. Mulch, she is referenced as spending a Sunday afternoon in August of 1891 with Theo. and Annie Trautvetter.
Theo. Trautvetter had no connection to the Mulch family. It is not known if his wife did or not. It’s always possible the connection was purely social and not based on biology or marriage.
The time period is part of why locating the foster parents was so difficult. There are no guardianship or adoption records for Ida. No guardianship records because her father was not dead and there was not really money to worry about. No adoption records are available because she was not formally adopted by the Mulches and, even if she had been, many adoptions during this time period were informal.
And the lack of an 1890 census compounds the problem. In 1880 Ida is with her parents. In 1900 she is with her husband.
But at least now, thanks to the newspaper, I have lead on who raised her.