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THEATER MS - The Orphan Train: Home

Who Started the Orphan Trains?

The Orphan Train movement lasted over seventy-five years and took over 100,000 children to adoptive parents in forty-seven states and Canada. Find out who started the orphan train and how the movement sought to solve problems in overcrowded New York by sending parentless children to farm families in the country.

Orphan Train Rider Stories

Charles Frederick – Illinois – 1888

Irma Craig – Missouri – 1901

John J. Callahan – West Virginia – 1903

Ellen Broderick – North Dakota – 1908

Ann Harrison – Colorado – 1911

Marguerite Thompson – Nebraska – 1911

Mary Jane Baade – Nebraska – 1912

Clifton and Myrtle Jennings – Arkansas – 1912

Edith Peterson (Sister Justina Bieganek) – Minnesota – 1913

Jean Sexton – Missouri – 1914

Anna Miller Bassett – Texas – 1918

Mike Francese – Texas – 1919

Elizabeth Wilde Daniel – Missouri – 1919

Bill Oser – Michigan – 1922

Fred Engert Swedenburg – Nebraska – 1925

Lee Nailing – Texas – 1926

Alice Bullis Ayler – Kansas 1930

What Were the Orphan Trains?

Selected Books