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Orphan Train Riders to Iowa  Orphan Train Riders

~ Wright County ~

Eagle Grove Centennial Book, 1881-1981

Orphan Train

31 March 1891

In the years between 1854 and 1929, approximately 100,000 homeless children were sent from New York City to the West and Middle West in a program run by the Children's Aid Society, formed by social worker, Charles Brace.

In those years New York overflowed with immigrants. Many died of disease, overwork and hunger. With relatives far away in the countries from which they had come, tens of thousands of penniless orphans took to the streets. Even thought there were orphanages, Mr. Brace felt that the only decent life for the children lay in the mid-west where farm families would provide these waifs with wholesome food, a Christian upbringing and an education.

The Orphan Trains did stop in Eagle Grove in the early 1900's, and three of four orphans were taken and adopted by Eagle Grove citizens. They all grew up to be respected and influential citizens of this City.

The following is the list of the children and the name of those who took them:

Name of Child Age Who Took Them City
Alice Anderson 5 C.C. Jacobson  
Natie Murtha 5 Benjamin Hill Renwick
Frank Calvert 5 Chas Dersheid  
Eddie Caffery 6 H.H. Fatland Slater
Joseph Wall 5 Wm. Cattels  
James Mulligan 5 Benjamin Hill Renwick
Emil Strauss 11 Mathius Gunderson  
Henry Ostrnader 9 G.C. McVicker  
Robert Ostrander 6 G.C. McVicker
Lulu Beaton 7 Wm. Orcutt  
George Beaton 5 Wm. Orcutt  
Max Kuhn Lee 16 John Wasem  
Louis Ghler 17 Anthony Schlater  
Samuel Thompson 15 E.E. Gray  
Thomas J. Young 11 C.F. Hayer  
Alex Krownyer 8 O.J. Blandahl Thor