|Date of Birth||November 19, 1894|
|Place of Birth||Crete Township, Will County, Illinois|
|Trade / Calling||Dentist|
|Address at Enlistment||Crete Township, Illlinois|
|Date of Enlistment||January 5, 1918|
|Age at Enlistment||23|
|Prisoner of War||No|
|Date of Death||October 28 or 29, 1968|
|Age at Death||73|
|Buried At||Lawnridge Cemetery, Rochelle, Illinois|
|Plot||SC, B60, L1, G2|
Chauncey “Chan” Edwin Motlong was born on 19 November 1894 in Crete Township, Will County, Illinois. His parents, Edwin Motlong and Esther Miller, were both born in Illinois and they were married in Cook County in 1893. Chan was the eldest child and he was followed by Mary (1896), Belle (1898), Mildred (1900) and Kenneth (1905). Mary and Mildred both became school teachers. Chan attended a dental school and the University of Illinois, graduating in 1918 as a Doctor of Dental Surgery.
The U.S. had entered the war in April 1917 and Chan enlisted in the U.S. Army on 5 January 1918. He served in the Dental Section and attained the rank of 1st Lieutenant. He was discharged from the army on 5 March 1919, after 14 months of service. When the next U.S. census was taken, in January 1920, he was living at home in Crete Township and operating his own dental practice. Chan was married in Wagner, South Dakota on 4 April 1923. His wife, Pearl Hansen, was born in 1897 in Missouri, the daughter of Hans and May Hansen/Hanson. Both Chan and Pearl were living in Wagner when they were married and their first son, Robert Edwin, was born there in 1926.
By 1930 Chan and his family had moved to Rochelle, Illinois, where they would live for many years. Chan set up a dental practice in Rochelle and he and his wife had another son, Richard Chauncey, who was born in 1934. During the Second World War Robert served in the Air Corps then he attended Dartmouth College and John Marshall Law School. Richard graduated from the University of Arizona and spent four years in the armed forces. After serving in the First World War Chan became involved with the Officers Reserve Corps and he retired with the rank of Captain in 1954.
Chan and his family enjoyed summer vacations in wilderness areas like northern Michigan. In the late 1930s he spent some time in northwestern Ontario and he liked it so much that he built a summer home for his family in the community of Sioux Narrows on Lake of the Woods. A few years later he went into business with a partner and they operated a small resort next to Chan’s summer home. He later sold his dental practice, bought out his partner and went into the resort business full time. His family’s lodge, called The Rod and Reel, grew to include a gift shop and restaurant as well as living quarters for the Motlongs. Chan also built and operated camps in two other locations in northwestern Ontario.
The lodge continued to expand over the years and as Chan’s health declined his son Richard took over more of the operations. Pearl continued to work and supervise some of the areas like the kitchen/dining rooms and laundry facilities. Robert was living in Denver, Colorado by then and he and his wife and children spent summers at the camp. Richard became engaged in 1967 and the wedding was planned for November 1968. Sadly, Chan passed away in late October, while he and his wife were in Rochelle preparing for their son’s wedding. Chan’s funeral was held on 2 November and he’s buried in Lawnridge Cemetery in Rochelle.
Richard and his wife Alice took over the family business. Pearl spent her summers in Sioux Narrows and the winters in the U.S. She passed away in August 1989 and she’s buried next to Chan in Lawnridge Cemetery. Richard died in 2003 and he’s interred in Pineridge Cemetery in Sioux Narrows. Robert passed away in 2007 in Arizona.
By Becky Johnson
Photo and some information are from the local history book: Beyond the Bridge: Sioux Narrows (Sioux Narrows Historical Committee, 1985).