The picture below shows my husband's Michael A. Cardinale uncles, twins born approximately on Jan 24, 1909 and living in South Bend, Indiana when they became orphans. They became orphans in 1913 at the age of 4 1/2. At that time, they disappeared from any and all records.
Their family surname is misspelled on the 1910 census as
Connors. Their actual names are Charles and Walter Connars. The father's name
is John C. Connars, and the mother is Emma Clifford. I have not been able to
find a birth certificate for either one.
This is what I know about the twins:
1. They were born in Kankakee, Illinois around 1-24-1909.
2. They were living in South Bend Indiana in 1913. They were
four 1/2 years old when their mother Emma Clifford died around the age of 30 of
a heart attack. According to a news article, she was found dead in a rocking
chair by one of her four kids.
3. Very few people stepped up to adopt the twins, because
they were hyperactive
4. They were taken to Mishawaka orphanage located in South
Bend Indiana by Rev. Arthur G. Schafer, pastor of Lowell Heights Methodist
church. According to this library website, the church no longer exists and
there are no records from that time period.
The orphanage is described here and this is where they disappear from any
5. The last known home that they had before they were taken
to the orphanage was located at: 511 N. Frances St. South Bend, In 46617. You
can see the home here:
The following article is about them. Sadly, their last name
is misspelled again as Connor. They are probably both dead now since they would
be 112 years old. But I would love to find possible offspring that they may
have had. Does anyone have any ideas where else I can look? Already found many
articles about their dad, their mom and their two sisters. Just cannot find
anything else about them.
Published in the South Bend News-Times, November 20, 1913,
This is the transcription:
Wanted: A Home For Two Bright Boys—-Only trouble is They’re
Where is the couple who will volunteer to be father and
mother to two lively, healthy and enterprising twin boys. Just four and
one-half years old?
Rev. Arthur G. Schafer, pastor of Lowell Heights Methodist
church, is trying to find the answer.
The volunteer parents will need to have a full supply of a
real parents' patience, maybe a little more. For the twins are lively, everyone
who knows them agrees to that. Things will be "doing" in their
household from early morning until night.
A good many people have considered the twins and then
reconsidered. They might undertake to bring up one boy, they said, but a pair
of them— Well, you know, what one won't think of the other will.
Still, the boys need a home. They are nice little fellows,
pretty, and bright as two dollars, and lively. They look alike, but are
different enough that you would never mistake them for one individual. There
must be somebody somewhere who would want them both, reasoned Mr. Schafer.
As a solution, he thought of publishing a want ad. It
appeared in the South Bend News-Times Tuesday evening, Wednesday edition. Mr.
and Mrs. Arthur Marville, living nine miles from South Bend, across the
Michigan line, volunteered to take the twins for a short time on probation.
The twins in question are Charles and Walter Connor, the
sons of John C. Connor, living in the vicinity of Lowell Heights church. Their
mother died two weeks ago and since that time the boys have been looking for a
home. Mr. Schafer Is doing his best to help them.
Their two sisters have been more fortunate in their quest; a
baby of nine months old and a little girl of 12 years are both provided for in
families in the neighborhood. Their father Is a laborer and has no one to look
after his home while he works, so It had to be broken up.
The little boys didn’t give up their old home without a
protest. The day their mother died they were taken to the home of a neighbor.
They accepted the situation willingly enough until night and then they wanted
to go back. They said so very emphatically, but their hosts thought it just a
whim. The boys kept on saying it until 11:30 o'clock, when they got their way.
It was their last night there. Since that time there has
been no home to go to. Some of the neighbors have had them for two or three
days each, but in the end they all agreed that two boys are a good too many.
Finally Mr. Schafer took them to the orphanage at Mishawaka.
They are now waiting to begin their probation with Mr. and Mrs. Arthur
Marville. The twins' father is employed at the Notre Dame University farm. The
family came here from the South a year ago after stops of various lengths along
the way. They were never very prosperous and the present unhappy circumstances
has left them almost destitute.
The mother was one of the quiet, uncomplaining sort, who
carried her burden patiently while she could and then lay down and died. Since
her last baby came she could not rally the strength to go on.
Sometimes Went Hungry.
And while their mother failed, the twins took care of
themselves. So long as they didn't worry her too much she let them alone.
Sometimes they were fed and sometimes they were hungry, but they always kept
Now they show a little evidence of the neglect that couldn't
be helped. They need a little brushing up and a little toning down. They need
someone to take care of them instead of having to take care of themselves. But
they are twins, of course, and they would like to go on being twins. They are
used to team work and would probably make quite a fuss if they were to be
separated. And two boys are a great many.
If you have any information or suggestions please contact Nelly
Cardinale at ncardinal@gmail