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Orphan Train Riders to Iowa  Orphan Train Riders

~ Wayne County ~

A big "thank you" goes to Dorothy Clayton Pohl, daughter of Orphan Train Rider Alzina Clayton, for sending the following article.

Times Republican (?)

Corydon, Iowa

18 June  1908

When Orphans Came to Corydon

In February 1902, and event occurred in Corydon that was to change the lives of a lot of children. That was the day a train car-load of children from orphanages in New York City was brought here in the hopes of finding homes for them. There were 20-25 of them, not babies, but children ranging in ages from six to twelve years.

A big advertisement in the paper stated the date and the place—The Methodist Church in Corydon, when the children would be shown and described. People were urged to come and pick out a child to take into their home for adoption. In these days of very strict adoption rules, the least that can be said for this early method is that it was very unorthodox, but it worked and very few children were sent back. We were not at the meeting, but a little later we did take a boy and a girl into our home and later adopted the.

In after years our little girl was describing what took place that day. She said the children all lined up on the platform and as people came along a description was given as to their age and nationality. One time, after she had read about the old slave days described in Uncle Tom's Cabin, she said it reminded her of that day.

But many people that day took a child home, some of them to stay, but others, after the novelty had worn off, were taken in other homes. Most of the names have slipped away from me today, but the two we took, Conrad, who was 7 ½ at the time, is now a successful wheat farmer in Saskatchewan, Canada, while Agnes, who was 10 ½ at the time, is today surrounded by her own children and grandchildren. They both bless the day we took them into out home and our love, and continue to visit us whenever possible and write very frequently.

Most of these children were taken on farms, and, for children who had never been out of a big city, it took a lot of adjustment to learn farm life. Just one instance, when they were coming on their long journey, they stopped in the depot of Humeston, waiting for a train to Corydon, when the heard a rooster crow and when someone in the depot asked them if they knew what that was, they said it must be some wild animal. We who have always lived on a farm, or in a farming community, can hardly realize how little they knew about everything connected farm life or life in the country.

A big "thank you" goes to Dorothy Clayton Pohl, daughter of Orphan Train Rider Alzina Clayton, for sending the following article.
Corydon, Iowa, Times Republican (?) June 18, 1908