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Orphan Train Riders to Iowa  Orphan Train Riders

~ Jackson County ~


14 November 1919

Large Attendance Friday Afternoon and Many People Fail to Secure the Child Selected.

Are the people of Maquoketa and this entire community interested in the welfare of the little unfortunate ones who have no homes? This question was answered Friday afternoon when the congregational church was comfortably filled by the many who came to see the twelve boys and girls who were brought here by Miss Comstock and Miss Hill, from the New York orphanage.

The matter took up all the afternoon and then many of those in attendance went away disappointed for there were more applicants than there were children of the ages mentioned in the applications. It was absolutely impossible for the committee to give a little one to more than one family, and some of the orphans had half a dozen people who wanted to adopt them. Others were not so fortunate on account of their ages. There were no so many applicants for the older ones, but since the meeting of that day, there have been those who have signified their intention of taking one or two before they are taken back.

Every child was the picture of health, cleanliness and showed that those in charge of them have given nothing but the best treatment in every way. The little ten months old baby, Dorothy Ritchie, attracted the attention of many and finally Mr. and Mrs. James Pier of Route Five, were awarded this little cherub. The best baby you ever saw: not even a whimper out of her and this at the end of a hard train trip all the way from New York.

What, we would term the best boy of the bunch, the little two year old Welington Zanzinger who was as pretty as a picture, light haired and always with the smile that insisted on staying where it belonged---well, he couldn't be divided up among the many good people who clamored for him. Mr. and Mrs. J. F. Donielson of route five were the fortunate ones to take this prize home with them, a prize that has already made them the happiest people in the
Mr. and Mrs. A. J. Drumm were chosen among the many applicants to father and mother the most "regular boy" you ever put your eyes on. Frank Hunt, age three, is as full of go as a Tin Lizzie. Pretty as a picture and always has the steam up is continually on the move. Just the boy to chase the chickens, dogs cats and everything else around the place that happens to be chasable, and they will always know there is a boy in the house.

Mr. and Mrs. Edward McDuff of Clinton came over the day before especially to be here at this meeting. They are middle aged people, had lost a three year old daughter three years ago, and had their hearts set on getting a little one to bless their home. As soon as their eyes rested on eight year old Helen Martin their minds were made up. She is of that quiet nature and seems to always want that parental love and attention that go so far toward reaching the hear. These good people came with the very best recommendations and the committee decided in their favor.

The fifth and last child to be placed at that time was the tender hearted eight year old William Nelson who was given a good home with Mr. and Mrs. Wm. McCutcheon of Fulton route one. He seemed to realize the situation perhaps more than any of the children who were brought into the committee rooms: broke down and when cheered up by those present showed that he will be one of the best boys of the entire bunch. Because of this disposition the hearts of the whole bunch of men went out to him, and when their hearts went out to him, along with them went a nice little purse from their pockets, Nothing will come up to worry these good people over the actions of this boy, judging from the disposition shown at this time.

It was five o'clock before they got this far with the matter, and others who had applied were turned over to the ladies in charge who say they will take charge of the future arrangements. They expect to be in the city at the Decker house for a few days and anybody wanting child from eight to thirteen years old should see them at once and make their wants known.

These women expect some time this week to visit the homes of those who have secured the children and if anybody is not satisfied or the conditions do not seem to justify their leaving these children with those who have already been awarded them then they will be brought back, but there is no danger of this happening with any of the ones so far sent out. At the end of the first year if those who have them decide that there is something that is in the way of their wanting to keep them—that the child is not what it should be or that there is not that love between the adopted parents and the child, a change can be made.

This orphanage is in good shape financially and is not compelled to place thesechildren anywhere at this time for they can be taken back to where they came from if necessary. Miss Comstock states that she is well pleased with the first day's work in placing the little ones and that it is better than is usually done the first day. She is a splendid character and represents a splendid cause.. the committee of men was complimented very highly as being the best committee she had ever had—that each member took more interest in the work than is usually the case, and all of these things go toward finding good homes for those who so much need the love and attention of good people.



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