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Orphan Train Riders to Iowa Orphan Train Riders
~ Arthur Field Smith ~
The Amazing Journey of Arthur Field Smith (pgs. 10-11)

"Arthur Field Smith wasn't supposed to be aboard the train from New York to Clarinda, Iowa, in December 1922. But when one of the girls scheduled to be placed out got the measles, five-year-old Arthur was chosen to go in her place."

"The three ladies who rode with us -- Clara Comstock is the one I remember -- took care of us very well. They instructed us along the way about what would happen when we reached our destination."

When Arthur was 71, he began to learn more about orphan trains and used newspaper clippings to help him learn the details of his arrival in Clarinda. His search to find his birth family ended when The Children's Aid Society answered his request for information.

"On January 12, 1918, you were left in Gimbel's Department Store by a woman who was thought to be your mother," the letter stated. Arthur was devastated but went on to learn all he could about the orphan train era. Arthur also learned "regardless of how difficult your life is when you're young, hard work, education, and clean living will give you success later in life."

Orphan Train Memorial Mr. Smith has remained active in helping others learn about the orphan trains. He had this memorial commissioned and placed in Clarinda, Page Co., IA.