Who is Tillie?

Bertille “Tillie” (aka “Bert”) Anne Brand Klein was born on November 5th, 1914 in Prairie du Long Township, Illinois, the youngest of three children.  She spent the greater part of her developing years in Hecker, Monroe County, Illinois.  After graduating from 8th grade, she stopped going to school since she was needed more at home.  She started these journals or “news books” as she called them, as way to continue her education on her own.  She recorded daily events from January 1, 1930 until December 31, 1939.  In 1940, she married William Klein and went on to have one daughter, Janice.  She passed away in 1997 and is dearly missed.  This is a small part of her legacy.

Unless explicitly stated,  everything recorded in the daily entries are her exact words as she wrote them.

She would find it incredibly funny and silly that her books are on the computer for others to read.


  1. Carol says

    What a cool idea!

  2. Betty Schreder says

    My father, Clem Parker, is mentioned in Tillie’s Tales. He knew Bertille personally and I remember family speaking of her.

  3. Willis L. Brand says

    Tillie was my father’s sister, pappa was my grand father

  4. Maurene Guker says

    This is very interesting diary. I am finding stories about my grandparents, Mr. & Mrs. Ralph Ettling and my aunt and uncle Marcella and Karl Boll. Thank you.

  5. Willa Mae Wiegand Prange says

    I grew up in the “brick house” you refer to. Was born in 1940. I am the daughter of Fred Wiegand. Enjoy following your daily posts.

  6. Our parents, Henry & Katherine Spalt, lived a mile or two north of Hecker. Dad was 7 ears old when Tillie was born. My sister, Erna, and three brothers, Don, Allen & Dale, attended both the public school in Hecker and Brick School a few miles north of Hecker. A few times Brick School played recreational softball games with Klein School at the head of the Broad Hollow Grange road. Is the Klein School name related to Tillie in some way? We eagerly look forward to more posting of Tillie’s diaries and also to the comments made by other readers.
    Our paternal grandparents, Adolph & Pauline Spalt, and our great aunt, Adolph’s sister, Mary Spalt lived in Hecker. Our maternal grandparents were Fred & Anna Stallman who lived on the Broad Hollow Grange road.
    Most of the names that we read in Tillie’s diaries are familiar to us. Klein, Parker, Wiegand, Reverand Husto (and his brothers, ministers all), Wittenaur, Braun, Gregson, Birkner, and many others. We look forward to more interesting reading of both the diaries and the blog comments.

  7. Cheryl (Keim) Kinert says

    I start everyday with Tilly and have done so for several years. I enjoy stepping back in time with her.

  8. Joe says

    Thank you for posting this! I got to learn a bit about my great grandparents hatchery, Eureka Hatchery. Also, I grew up outside of Hecker, it’s pretty cool to read about the history of the area.

  9. Nancy says

    I haven’t read all of Tillie’s journal entries but the ones I have read are really interesting. How amazingly fun that you have them!

  10. Hannah says

    My grandfather is Floyd, here very young and oftentimes injured. I’m so appreciative to have the story of my family to enjoy, thank you!

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