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In Grandmother's Attic ...

Harold Olson of Sycamore, IL (pictured) was cleaning the attic of his grandmother’s home and discovered five rolled-up auction posters for a C. M. Kugler. Mr. Olson knew that the Kugler surname wasn’t part of his family’s genealogy. He came to the Joiner History Room to see what we could tell him about Kugler and to see if we could date the auction poster.

Using our obituary collection we found Charles Kugler was the son of Christian and Eva Haag Kugler and was born September 15, 1861, at Oswego, Kendall County, Illinois. When he was nine, Christian moved the family to a farm in Cortland Township. Charles married Margaret Walker on December 27, 1892. They had two children. He served in World War I. Charles died in California on December 24, 1930, and is buried in Ohio Grove cemetery near Cortland.

When he retired from farming the family land in 1908, he and Margaret moved to Sycamore into a house that later would become Harold Olson’s grandmother’s. That is how the auction poster was put in her attic.

If he retired from farming in 1908, we were certain that would be the year of the auction, but could we find the exact date of the sale? Research volunteer Sheri Baker found a notice in the Sycamore True Republican dated January 29, 1908 announcing the auction was to be held on February 20. Mr. Olson now knew the information he sought. (These newspapers are online and searchable.)

Mr. Olson was able to unroll the brittle posters by slowly exposing them to moisture. He stopped by the Joiner Room to show us the final result.