E. J. Eilers married Sophia Gerboth on 27 Jan 1858. He was the one of nine children who accompanied their parents, Johann Eilers and Talke Maria Heinrichs Eilers from Leer, Ostfriesland, Germany, to Illinois in 1846. Three children of E.J. & Sophia grew to maturity, one of them being John Henry Eilers who was born northwest of Chapin in 1866.

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