IAGenWeb Project - Allamakee co. Misc. Historical Items
updated 03/11/2015

Allamakee Co.
Orphans & Orphan Train Riders

Waukon Standard advertisement bill, 1913

A company of homeless children will arrive at Waukon this week from New York city to be placed in as many Allamakee county homes as possible. Miss Comstock, of Des Moines, is the placing agent.
~November 1913, news clipping

If you can add to this list, have a photo or additional information on any of the Orphan Train riders, please contribute it for this page.

Interested researchers will find lots of information about the Children's Aide Society and life for the orphans before & after they were placed or adopted, by reading Gilbert Eadie's Biography (a new page will open)


Lansing, Iowa - About twenty-eight years ago a New York Orphans home sent out to this place a company of twenty-four boys in charge of Mr. Trott. These boys were taken into homes here and many of them turned out well. H. Schierholz took the colored boy, Sam Addison, who afterward became a dentist in Chicago; Capt. Bascom gave a home to Braddy Black, who is married and living in the north; Andy McLaughlin was taken by P. Kernan of Lafayette, and others were scattered in town and through the country. Wm. Wendel took home with him George Taylor and he remained with the family for eight years, afterwards going back to New York. What was the surprise of the family to receive a call the past week from Mr. Taylor, now a man grown, and for fourteen years a motorman in the city. He has only words of praise for the kind treatment he received from Mr. and Mrs. Wendel.

~La Crosse Tribune, January 30, 1908
~contributed by S. Ferrall


            A Company of Homeless Children from the East will Arrive at
            WAUKON, THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 13, 1913 AT 2:00 O'CLOCK P.M.

The children are of various ages and both sexes having been thrown friendless upon the world.  They come under the auspices of the Children's Aid Society of New York. They are well disciplined, having come from our farm orphanages.The citizens of this community are asked to assist in finding good homes for them. Persons taking these children must be recommended by the local committee.  They must treat the children in every way as members of their family, sending them to school, church, Sabbath School, and properly clothe them until 18 years of age. Protestant children placed in Protestant homes and Catholic children placed in Catholic homes. The following well known citizens have agreed to act as a local committee to aid the agents in securing homes.

I. E. Beeman, mayor; E. B. Gibbs, C. H. Hale, Dr. P.H. Letourneau, A.T. Nierling, and Dr. A.T. Stillman.
Applications must be made to and endorsed by the local committee.

An Address Will Be Given By The Agent
      Come and see the children and hear the addresses.
Distribution will then take place at the
Waukon, Thursday, Nov. 13th at 2:00 p.m.

Robert M. Brace, Superintendent of Emmagrafton, 105 E. 22nd St. New York City, New York, Anna A. L. Hill, Visiting and  Placing Agency, 105 E. 22nd St., New York City, New York, Clara B.Comstock, Visiting and Placing Agency, P.O. Box 117, Des Moines, Iowa

~source: photocopy of an advertising bill from a 1913 Waukon newspaper
~transcribed by Connie Ellis from a photocopy of the original advertisement bill. The description paragraph was in very tiny print, and some of the words were blurred & illegible. It was difficult to transcribe, so errors may exist.

Notes: The November 13, 1913 bill, carefully framed, was the property of Oscar (Bencke) Rumph of Waterloo, Iowa, who was one of the children who came from New York that day to find a new home near Rossville, where he grew up. The accompanying news article (below) describes the event, which was not uncommon in the middle western towns from the mid-1800's until the late 1920's.



A yellowed clipping from a 1913 Waukon paper tells the story of one of the occasions when children sponsored by the Children's Aid Society of New York City were parceled out to new homes with Allamakee County families. Oscar Rumph of Waterloo still has the "bill" advertising the event, and treasures the old clipping because he was one of the children.

Strange though it seems nowadays, between 1854 and 1929, a score of New York City orphanages made a practice of sending out trainloads of children to middle western communities for distribution to new homes. Clara B. Comstock and Anna Laura Hill came with the 1913 contingent of 15 children, who were quartered at the Allamakee Hotel, given dinner, and met by a local committee.

I. E. Beeman, mayor of Waukon, E. B. Gibbs, C. H. Hale, Dr. P. H. Letourneau, A. T. Nierling, and Dr. A. T. Stillman were on the committee. The children were taken to the old armory building, soon to be demolished now, located south of the Waukon State Bank building. Fifty families had applied for children, but many others came to see the children and watch the proceedings.

The children were asked to give a more or less informal program, sponsors talked about the adoption plan and described conditions. The children ranged from two and a half to 16 years of age. Children were to be given good homes until the age of 18, fed and clothed, educated and sent to church and Sunday School, and treated as members of the family. Reports were to be made annually.

The list of children in the yellowed clipping was as follows: Arthur Kench, 13, and Helen Kench, 10, to the George Thompsons of Jefferson Township; Anna Travers, 14, and Lena Travers, 9, to George Clark, Forest Mills; Frank Riehl, 10, A. H. Gast, Linton Township; Josephine Riehl, 9, O. B. Kelly, Rossville; Helen Riehl, 7, John Buntrock, French Creek; Margaret Kerns, 13, Reuben Bakewell, Lansing; Oscar C. Bencke, 6, John C. Rumph, Jefferson; Henry Schaeffer, 14, J.J. Arnold, Waukon; Clinton Simpson, 15, Otto Helming, Ludlow; Theodore Piderit, 2-1/2, W. H. Robbins, Waukon; Sophia Hanson, 15, A. D. Ingalls, Franklin; Olga Hanson, 16, A. D. Bender, Franklin; Elsie Frederick, 16, Rev. Vernholt, Waukon.

~source: photocopy of a Waukon newspaper article
~transcribed by Connie Ellis


Allamakee County Orphans & Orphan Train Riders

Addison, McNear
Addison, McCune Lear

family: Schierholz, H.
place: Lansing

Notes: My great aunt Mattie and great uncle Herman Schierholz adopted "McNear Addison." I always understood that when my great uncle found him sitting on the sidewalk in front of the Schierholz large Victorian home on Front street, Uncle Herman asked him his name and why he was sitting there. He told him that he was McCune Lear Addison and that nobody wanted him. My uncle took him in and said something like..."Well, that's a big name for a small boy. We'll call you Sam." Sam was an African American. He went to school in Lansing and then my great uncle sent him to dental school in Chicago where he married and had children. I have a letter, written by his widow, Susie C. Addison on October 24, 1909 from Chilicothe, Ohio saying: "God came and took my Dear Husband home to rest Tues. eve at fifteen minutes after ten." My great aunt and uncle traveled extensively and in my uncle's journal he mentions stopping in Chicago on their way to Europe and seeing Sam. He was truly a son to them.
~contributed by Darlene Markley Weiland Johnson, February 2010

Alton, P.

1880 census for Hanover Township:
P. Alton, age 8, born New York; and Dan Buckley, age 14, born New York

Both boys were adopted by Morris and Hanora Bresnahan.
~contributed by Sheila Mellick

Bencke, Oscar C.

family: Rumph, John C.
age 6, Jefferson twp.,  arrival November 13, 1913

Notes: Oscar (born Bencke) Rumph was born March 5, 1907 in New York City, New York to Conrad and Maria (Navarro) Benke / Bencke. He was orphaned in 1913 and adopted in Iowa by John and Edna (Beebe) Rumph after arriving on an orphan train. He married first to Jeanne M. McGeough (June 7, 1932) at Waukon, and after her death he married Mrs. Harold Lasser (January 17, 1960) in Illinois. He lived in Waterloo, Black Hawk co. Iowa.
~Waukon newspaper clipping of his obituary, January 1987
~contributed by Connie Ellis

Oscar's adopted sister, Erma V. Wilson, was also an Orphan Train Rider. According to Erma's story, Oscar played a big role in the Rumph family adopting her.

Black, Braddock

family: Bascom, E. B.
place: Lansing

Additional information - compiled by S. Ferrall
1880 U.S. census, Lansing, June 1880: Household of Elias B. & Mary P. Bascom, and their daughter Ada, age 10. Braddock Black, age 11, Charity child, attending school, born in N.Y.
1885 Iowa State census, 2nd Ward, Diagonal St. near 3rd, city of Lansing, Lansing twp.: Household of Elias & Mary P. Bascon, and their daughter Ada, age 15. Braddock Black, age 15, born New York
1910 U.S. census, 7th Ward, city of Everett, Snohomish co., Washington, April 15, 1910: Braddock (b. NY) & Annie Black (b. MN), both aged 24; and their children Dorothy M., 8, and Walter, 5. Braddock is working as a cook in a Logging Camp. He and Annie have been married 9 years.
1930 U.S. census, 3rd Ward, Sandpoint, Bonner co., Idaho, April 3, 1930: Braddock W. (b. N.J.) & Ann (b. MN), ages 60 & 57; Braddock is a retail merchant and baker;
1940 U.S. census, Springdale precinct, Stevens co., WA; Braddock W. Black, widower, age 70, Fur farmer, Fox farm; residence April 1, 1935 was Bonner, Idaho.
Washington Deaths, 1883-1960, online database (Ancestry.com): Braddock W. Black, b. abt 1870, died December 8, 1948, age 78 in Spokane, WA

Buckley, Dan

1880 census for Hanover Township:
Dan Buckley, age 14, born New York; and P. Alton, age 8, born New York

Both boys were adopted by Morris and Hanora Bresnahan.
~contributed by Sheila Mellick

Buell, Willie

Throught the efforts of Poor Commissioner Sol Burdick, Willie Buell, aged 16 years, an inmate of orphan asylums, has been found a home with relatives. A week ago, the youth was brought to Officer Burdick and his assistance was invoked in the search for the boy's relatives. Buell said that he believed that he had relatives at Waukon, Iowa. Accordingly correspondence with the officials of that town brought out the information that an uncle of the boy's by the name of King resided at Waukon and also that an uncle of the boy's mother lives there. Buell's father died when he was two years old, his mother following his father to her grave a year later. Buell will be sent to Waukon where a home has been found for him with his relatives who never knew where the boy might be, believing that the youth had died or been lost in the world.
~LaCrosse Tribune, February 6, 1905
~contributed by S. Ferrall

Clark, John

family: not given
place: Lansing
(returned to Chicago)

Cronin, George

family: Carr, Daniel
place: Lansing

Additional information - compiled by S. Ferrall
1880 U.S. census, Union Prairie twp., June 10, 1880: George Cronin, age 15, b. NY, is enumerated in the household of Thomas & Johanna O'Connell, working as a farm-hand

Dunn, Charles

family: Michael S. Brady
place: Lansing

Eadie, Gilbert Harrison

Gilbert and Walter Eadie
Gilbert and Walter Eadie

Gilbert Harrison Eadie, the son of John and Delia (Kelly) Eadie, was born November 12, 1902, in New York City, New York. Upon the death of his parents in 1911, he was placed, together with his younger brother Walter, in the Brace Farm School for boys in Valhalla, New York. On July 17, 1913, a group of sixteen children, between the ages of 1 to 16, were placed on an Orphan Train leaving from New York City to Pratt, Kansas. They were taken to the farm home of Mr. and Mrs. Wright. Their stay there was only six months when Mr. Wright sold his farm and moved to Pennsylvania. On January 24, 1914 Gilbert and Walter were brought to Allamakee County, Iowa. They were taken in by Dan and Nettie Kelly, both unmarried. Neither child was adopted.
~Postville newspaper clipping of his obituary, April 2000
~contributed by Mary Durr
~Photo of Gilber & Walter Eadie is from "American Heritage - The Magazine of History", Vol XXVI, No. 1, December, 1974
~contributed by Jone Culp

see also: Biography (lots of additional information)

Eadie, Walter

See photo above. Walter Eadie, the son of John and Delia (Kelly) Eadie, was born in New York City, New York. Upon the death of his parents in 1911, he was placed, together with his older brother Gilbert, in the Brace Farm School for boys in Valhalla, New York. On July 17, 1913, a group of sixteen children, between the ages of 1 to 16, were placed on an Orphan Train leaving from New York City to Pratt, Kansas. They were taken to the farm home of Mr. and Mrs. Wright. Their stay there was only six months when Mr. Wright sold his farm and moved to Pennsylvania. On January 24, 1914 Walter and Gilbert were brought to Allamakee County, Iowa. They were taken in by Dan and Nettie Kelly, both unmarried. Neither child was adopted.
~Postville newspaper clipping of Gilbert Eadie's obituary, April 2000
~contributed by Mary Durr

Eldridge, Edmond

family: John Lindstrom
place: Lansing

Ellsworth, Charles

family: John Edgar
place: Lansing

Esztergalyos, Laszlo Janos

Laszlo Esztergalyos

Photo Caption: That grin on the face of Laszlo Esztergalyos has made him a happy part of life in Postville, where he lives with Mr. and Mrs. Elmer Hoth.  Here he is working in the Hoth Hardware Store.  Laszlo, now 16, was taken from his Hungarian home by Germans to do Nazi work.  Those days are gone -- today he is becoming as American as the bicycle, ice cream, comics and movies that he loves here.

Story: As congress wrestles with the problem of Europe's homeless, some Iowa families have already provided refuge to orphans from abroad.  Some of the children have come directly from relatives in Europe.  Some, like Laszlo, have been brought to the U.S. under immigration quotas by the U.S. Committee for Care of European Children.  This committee screens them carefully and then turns them over to welfare groups in the U.S.   Laszlo is one of 11 children brought to Iowa by the Lutheran Welfare Society.  Some of the youngsters are with foster parents, and some are self-supporting and under the direct care of the Lutheran group.   Since May 1946, better than 1,045 orphans have come to the U.S. by way of the U.S. care committee.  Most of them (684) are boys.  Workers found a tragic absence of girls in Europe--they had been kidnapped by Nazis.  Gone, too, were children between 7 and 13--they could not survive without parents.   The children brought to the U.S. are today fitting happily into the American scene and show promise of becoming stalwart new citizens.
~Des Moines Register, January 4, 1948
~contributed by Errin Wilker 

Laszlo Esztergalyos, age 15, arrived in New York on June 7, 1947 aboard the 'Marine Marlin' from Bremen, Germany. Nationality listed as 'stateless', visa no. quota 838 Hungarian. Destination: USCC, New York, N.Y.
~Alien Passenger Manifest, USS Marine Marlin; New York Passenger Lists, 1820-1957; Ancestry.com database

Decorah Hungarian DP Enlists in Air Force
Decorah, Ia. - Laszlo Esztergalyos, 19, Hungarian DP, enlisted in the United States air force in Decorah last week and was sworn in at Des Moines last Saturday. He will receive his training at San Antonio, Tex.
~LaCrosse Tribune, December 13, 1950
~contributed by S. Ferrall

L. Jon Esztergalyos - Sandra Hall
Mr. and Mrs. L.W. Hall, 506 East A, announce the recent marriage of their daughter, Sandra, to Staff Sgt. L. Jon Esztergalyos at Carswell Air Force Base, Fort Worth, Texas. Mrs. Esztergalyos attended Hutchinson Junior College. The bridegroom, a native of Hungary, attended school in Budapest and completed his education in Decorah, Iowa. He is serving in the U.S. Air Force, assigned to Hahn Air Force Base, Hahn, Germany, where Mrs. Esztergalyos will join him.
~Hutchinson News, December 20, 1963
~contributed by S. Ferrall

Laszlo J. Esztergalyos b. September 1931 d. July 26, 2008. Last residence: Henderson, North Carolina
~Social Security Death Index

"Laszlo Esztergalyos was my father. The photo (above) is the ONLY SURVIVING childhood photo. He was surprised and smiled to see the photo and remarked "I remember that photo being taken". Laszlo (called Jack by his friends), joined the Air force, became a U.S. Citizen, married several times and fathered 6 children (one who died shortly after birth). He came to the US after a lucky escape from Dachau Prison camp. I really miss him, but I have finally located my brother and three sisters, nieces and nephews. Thank you for your time and consideration. Other descendants or interested researchers can contact me via Laszlo Eszterglyos memorial website"
~Debra Neiman (10/08/2012)

Frederick, Elsie

family: Rev. Vornholt
place: Waukon, Makee twp.
age 6, arrival November 13, 1913

Garrett, Jesse Leo

Notes: Jesse was born 03/20/1888 in Keosauqua, Van Buren county, IA, the son of Oliver Perry and Sarah Catherine (Hales) Garrett.  At about 7 years old, he rode the Orphan Train to Northeast Iowa.  The 1900 Census lists him as the adopted son of Sydney & Mary Pierce, New Albin, IA.  Then by 1915, Jesse lived with Francis & Anna Morgan, New Albin, IA.  Sibling:  N.C., Lucy, Elsie, Pennel, Aurelia, Jennie, Oliver, Judson and L.V. Their parents divorced somewhere before 1900.  Jesse married Winnifred Moore on 10/8/1913 and farmed in rural New Albin, IA.
~contributed by Lyn Lysne, Jesse's granddaughter (11/04/2013)

Garry, John

family: Conrad Steiber
place: Lansing

Hanson, Olga

family: A. D. Bender
age 16, Franklin twp.,  arrival November 13, 1913

Hanson, Sophia

family: A. D. Ingalls
age 15, Franklin twp.,  arrival November 13, 1913

Hooligan, John

family: John Mahoney
place: Lansing

Jackson, William

family: John Hoy
place: Lansing

Jennings, Sherman

family: William Weham
place: Lansing

Johnson, Gertrude Perry

Additional information - compiled by S. Ferrall:
1915 Iowa State Census, card #247 Gertrude Perry Johnson, age 13, residence: Center twp., occupation: at school, addended for 7 mo. in 1914, b. N.Y., yrs in Iowa: 3, remarks: Orphan child. [compiler note: This census is on cards, filed alphabetically by surname, which makes it very difficult to determine which family Gertrude lived with. After browsing this collection on Ancestry.com for over an hour, I found card #243 belonged to Oscar W. Johnson, age 33, Center twp., farmer; card #244 Josephine Johnson, age 47, farm wife; card #246 - Clinton Simpson, age 16, birth place: New York, parents b. N.Y., years in Iowa: 1, Remarks: Orphan child - the Johnson's could have been the family that took Gertrude in.] I was unable to find her in previous or subsequent census records.

Kench, Arthur

family: George Thompson
age 13, Jefferson twp.,  arrival November 13, 1913

Kench, Helen

family: George Thompson
age 10, Jefferson twp.,  arrival November 13, 1913

Kerns, Margaret

family: Reuben Bakewell
age 13, Lansing,  arrival November 13, 1913

Kesselburg, Jacob

family: Henry Kostbauer
place: Lansing

Kesselburg, William

family: Charles Kunner
place: Lansing

King, Edward

family: Patrick O'Brien
place: Lansing

Merker, Charles

family: O. A. Ross
place: Lansing

Merrill, Andrew

family: L. Crane
place: Lansing

McLaughlin, Andrew

family: Patrick Kernon
place: Lansing

Notes: On the Allamakee Co census for 1880 is listed '1st waif from New York' with the family of Patrick Kernan. The Kernan family history mentions an orphan from the orphan train. His name may have been Andrew McLaughlin age 15."
~contributed by Mary Kay Simon Gleisner

Piederit, Theodore [Piderit]

age 2, Makee twp.,  arrival November 13, 1913

Teddy Piederit Robbins and Jeremiah O'Hare, 1917
Teddy Piederit Robbins
and Jeremiah O'Hare, 1917
William Robbins, 1929
William Robbins
1929 Waukon HS graduation

Adopted by the W.H. Robbins family of Waukon when he was two years old, he took the name William Teddy Robbins. He graduated from Waukon HS in 1929.

Notes: Jeremiah O'Hare was the husband of Maude Marsden. Maude was  a cousin to Ella Robbins, the adoptive mother of Theodore 'Teddy' Piederit.

~notes and photo of Teddy & Jeremiah were contributed by Tammy O'Hare Kuhn. Interested researchers can contact Tammy at her email address found in the surname registry for O'Hare.

~the graduation photo of William Robbins was contributed by Jan Miller from the 1929 Waukon HS yearbook.

Preston, Louis

family: James McNerney
place: Lansing

Quince, Bella

family & place: 1) T. C. Hatten, Sidney, Fremont co. Iowa
family & place: 2) W. H. Robbins, Waukon, Allamakee co. Iowa
family & place: 3) Stazell, Oakland

Notes: Bella (sometimes spelled Belle) and Alice Quince were sisters and are my great-aunts. Bella and Alice were born in NYC in 1892 and 1894 respectively. They had an older brother William and a baby sister named Mary (my grandmother). In 1898 William, Bella and Alice were placed in the care of the Childrens Aid Society. They were residents of the Five Points House of Industry in NYC. In 1904 Bella and Alice were taken from Five Points and boarded on an orphan train with Rev. H.D. Clarke for placement. It is believed that William ran away from Five Points and eventually went to live with his father. Mary's whereabouts during this time are unknown. Bella & Alice rode the Orphan train to Sidney, Iowa arriving in Sep. 1904. Alice, age 10, was placed with James Easley. Bella, age 12, may have been placed with a family named Hatten. On Dec 9, 1904 they were placed in Oakland, Iowa possibly to a family named Statzell. Bella was placed 12 times in 3 years. One of the homes may have been with a Robbins family in Waukon, Iowa.
~contributed by Kathleen Quince, April 2011. Researchers having additional information about the Quince sisters can contact Kathleen via her email address on this query posted to the IAGenWeb Orphan Train Riders query board.

Reese, Emily F.

family, place & date: 1) Parker, Chicago, Mar. 1906
family, place & date: 2) Brown, LeClaire, Ia, Aug, 1906
family, place & date: 3) Kellogg, Lansing, Jan.8, 1908
family, place & date: 4) C. H. Mikkelson, Wisconsin, 1908
family, place & date: 5) Geo. Courtney, Janesville, Wis., April 1910

Notes: After leaving Lansing, Emily was sent to a final home in Wisconsin where she meet and married Earl Kidder. They were married for over 70 years before their deaths. She died Nov. 21, 1986 in Rock co., WI and is buried in the Milton cemetery, Milton, Rock co. WI. Clark Kidder, grandson of Emily Reese Kidder, wrote a book called “Emily's Story: The Brave Journey of an Orphan Train Rider”. The book was turned into a film documentary which was released in the fall of 2014. The film is called “West by Orphan Train” and co-produced by Colleen Bradford Krantz and Clark Kidder.
~contributed by Connie Ellis from information gleaned on an Iowa Public Television show about Orphan Train riders
~Emily's obituary, a photo of her & the gravestone of Emily & Earl

Riehl, Frank

family: A. H. Gast or Bert Gast
age 10, Linton twp.

Notes: On November 13, 1913, Frank, Josie, and Helen Riehl came on the Orphan Train to Waukon, Iowa. Frank was to be eleven on November 17, 1913. They were sent on the train by the Children's Aid Society of New York City, New York. They came to the Armory Opera House, then located south of the Waukon State Bank, where families came to pick out the children they wanted. Frank went with the Bert Gast family. After a devastating cyclone on June 12, 1915, which leveled all the Gast farm buildings, Frank was sent to the Henry Sunderman home in the Waukon area, where he stayed until his return to New York in 1920
~source: Jane (Buntrock) Tepesch, Waukon, Iowa, daughter of Herbert & Carol (Riehl) Buntrock, niece of Frank, Josephine, and Helen Riehl (siblings)
~contributed by Connie Ellis

Riehl, Helen R.

family: John Buntrock
age 7, French Creek twp.,  arrival November 13, 1913

Notes: Helen R. Riehl was born December 1, 1905 in New York state and was one of the many children who came west on the orphan train. She was raised by the John Buntrock family in French Creek Township, Allamakee County, Iowa. At the age of 16, she returned to New York where other brothers and sisters resided. She married Ralph Hitchcock and they lived all their married life in Yonkers, NY.
~abstracted from a Waukon newspaper clipping of her obituary
~contributed by Connie Ellis

Notes: Helen returned to New York City in 1921 and lived with her other sisters and brothers in an apartment. In one of the Grolier Book of Knowledge Annual Publications, Helen had a section on Iowa with some pictures of the Buntrock farm. One picture was of Dale Buntrock, John Buntrock (son of Herbert & Carol Buntrock) and Bob Hinrichs with the farm horses on the Buntrock farm.

In addition to the 15 children from New York who were placed in Waukon, Iowa on November 13, 1913 by the Children's Aid Society, numerous other children had been and would continue to be placed in Allamakee County, other Iowa counties, plus other Midwestern states. The Children's Aid Society took the responsibility of placing children from 21 orphanages in New York City to homes in the Midwest. They were transported in "orphan trains' in groups accompanied by an agent from the society. At each stop the children would show their talents by song, or verse, or just tell their name and age,in front of the people who had applied for the children. Miss Clara B. Comstock was a lady who served as one of those agents. She accompanied the group that came to Waukon in November of 1913. It was Miss Comstock who was in charge of the annual reports on each child, until the child turned 18 years old. Miss Comstock would make surprise visits twice a year to find out how the children were being treated. At the age of 18, she would take the children back to New York, unless the child had been adopted by the family. Helen Riehl became a good friend of Miss Comstock after her return to New York City. Helen was a regular contributor to the Society and when she died, remembered the society in her will. Helen always felt that the Children's Aid Society was a good organization.
~source: Jane (Buntrock) Tepesch, Waukon, Iowa, daughter of Herbert & Carol (Riehl) Buntrock, niece of Frank, Josephine, and Helen Riehl (siblings)
~contributed by Connie Ellis

Riehl, Josephine 'Josie'

family: O. B. Kelley
age 9, Rossville,  arrival November 13, 1913

Notes: On November 13, 1913 Frank, Josie, and Helen Riehl came on the Orphan Train to Waukon, Iowa. Helen was soon to be eight years old on December 1, 1913, and Josie was nine on January 9. Josephine went with the Orrie Kelly Family in Rossville and Helen with the John and Matilda (Hausman) Buntrock family in French Creek. Josie became quite homesick, so Grandma Buntrock was asked if she would take Josie, so she could be with Helen, which she did. These two girls were raised by the Buntrocks along with their seven boys - Fred, Martin, Oscar, Arthur, Melvin, Allen, and Herbert Buntrock. Josie fell in love with Oscar Buntrock and they went back to New York to be married on November 25, 1925. They returned to the Buntrock farm in French Creek township in Allamakee County, Iowa where they lived for the rest of their life. They had one son, Dale Buntrock, who lived his life on this same farm. On June 23, 1999, at the age of 69, Dale married Jeam Promnitz. Dale passed away in 2004.

Carol Riehl, the sister of Frank, Josephine, and Helen Riehl, was not on the Orphan Train, but remained in New York City with other sisters and brothers. At the age of 14, she worked for a family who lived at 12 N. Ninth Ave., Mt. Vernon, New York. Their name was John R. and Luella. Gould. Carol always referred to them as Father and Mother Gould. He was an architect and they had a home at Mystic, Connecticut. John Gould (he was referred to as Grandpa Gould by Carol's children) had a studio there on the cove, where he did his designing. When Carol finished school, she worked as John Gould's secretary and bookkeeper for the firm of Farrington, Gould & Hoagland. While she was working for them, he was sent to Winona, Minnesota to design the mausoleum for the Watkins Family, which is located in the cemetery in Winona, Minnesota. Carol worked for her foster father up until December 1927, when she came to Iowa to be married. She originally went to the farm to visit Josie and then met Herbert Buntrock, who became her husband.

~source: Jane (Buntrock) Tepesch, Waukon, Iowa, daughter of Herbert & Carol (Riehl) Buntrock, niece of Frank, Josephine, and Helen Riehl (siblings)
~contributed by Connie Ellis

Rogers, John

family: Leopold Trentle
place: Lansing

Rude, William

family: T. C. Medary
place: Lansing

Ryan, William

family: James M. Thompson
place: Lansing

Schaefer, Henry

family: John Arnold
age 14, Makee twp.,  arrival November 13, 1913

Schaffer, William

family: Stephen Neal
place: Lansing

Schoner, Ladislau

family: John Dornbush
place: Lansing

Simpson, Clinton

family: Otto Helming - see 1915 census info. below
age 15, Ludlow twp.,  arrival November 13, 1913

Additional information - compiled by S. Ferrall
1900 U.S. census, City of New York, Kings co., New York, borough of Brooklyn, ward 26, Belmont Ave., Home #624, June 11, 1900:
Simpson, Fred, HOH, b. July 1872, age 27, Married 4 yrs., b. N.Y., parents b. N.Y., occupation: agent
Simpson, Emma, wife, b. Nov. 1872, age 27, Married 4 yrs., mother of 2 children - 1 living, b. N.Y., parents b. N.Y.
Simpson, Clinton, son, b. Sept. 1898, age 1, b. N.Y., parents b. N.Y.
1910 U.S. census, City of New York, Kings co., New York, borough of Brooklyn, ward 17, Kent St., Home #211, April 26 & 27, 1910:
Simpson, Emma J., HOH, age 38, widow, mother of 8 children - 2 living, b. N.Y., parents b. N.Y., occupation: washerwoman
Simpson, Clinton, son, age 11, b. N.Y., parents b. N.Y., attending school
Ruth, N., son (sic), age 3, b. N.Y., parents b. N.Y.
1915 Iowa State Census, card #246 - Clinton Simpson, age 16, residence: Center twp., Allamakee county, P.O. Lansing, occupation: at school, attended public school in 1914 for 7 months, birth place: New York, parents b. N.Y., years in Iowa: 1, Remarks: Orphan child; Signed by Robert Ahlstrom, assessor. [compiler note: This census is on cards, filed alphabetically by surname, which makes it very difficult to determine which family Clinton lived with. After browsing this collection on Ancestry.com for over an hour, I found card #243 belonged to Oscar W. Johnson, age 33, Center twp., farmer; card #244 Josephine Johnson, age 47, farm wife; card #247 Gertrude Perry Johnson, age 13, b. N.Y., yrs in Iowa: 3, remarks: Orphan child - the Johnson's could have been the family that took Clinton in.]
1918 September 12, U.S. World War I draft registration - Clinton Sherrod Simpson, DOB: 09/22/1899, age 19, home address: Lansing, Iowa, occupation: farming, employer: Oscar Johnson, Lansing, IA, nearest relative: Mrs. Emma Simpson, Brooklyn, N.Y., description: medium height & build, blue eyes, light hair, no obvious physical disqualifications
1925 Iowa State Census, January 1,1925, Center twp. Allamakee co. IA - Clinton S. Simpson, HOH, age 26, single, born New York, fathers name: Fred W. Simpson, mother's name: Emma J. Clark (age 55), parents married in N.Y., religion Adventist
1930 U.S. census, Lyna twp., Blue Earth co., Minn., April 26, 1930, household of Ralph E. Campbell - Clinton S. Simpson, hired hand, age 31, single, b. N.Y., parents b. N.Y., occupation: farm laborer, veteran - No
1958, Mankato, MN City Directory - Clinton S. Simpson, custodian Centenary Methodist church, spouse: Lulu A. Simpson, employed at Brink's Barber Shop (note: An on-line family tree (Ancestry.com) indicates he married Lula A. Jacobsen in Minnesota)
Minnesota Death Index - Cert. #1976, DOB 09/22/1899, DOD 06/241976

Stair, Harry

family: J. W. Foster
place: Lansing

Stevens, George

family: Henry Steiber
place: Lansing

Stork, George

family: A. C. Hagemeier
place: Lansing

Taylor, George W.

family: William Wendell
place: Lansing

Travers, Anna

family: George Clark
age 14, Forest Mills,  arrival November 13, 1913

Travers, Lena

family: George Clark
age 9, Forest Mills,  arrival November 13, 1913

Traynor, Michael

family: John C. Conrad
place: Lansing

Uhl, John

family: unknown
place: Lansing

Veritzen, Minnie

family: Nelson
place: Waukon

Weir, Henrietta 'Etta'

family: Lillard
place: Waukon

Additional information - contributed by Tammy Kuhn:
I believe Henrietta Weir was the adopted daughter of Margaret O'Laughlin Liddiard and Fred Liddiard.  Margaret was the daughter of Terrence O'Lauglin and Bridget (Donhoe) O'Laughlin of Union Prairie. Fred was the son of William Liddiard and Catherine Howe Liddiard
1925 Iowa State Census, January 1,1925
Etto M Liddiard; b. abt 1914 in New York; marital status Single; Residence: Iowa, Allamakee co., Union Prairie twp.; Relation to Head of household Daughter; Mother: Maggie O'Loughlin [Maggie Liddiard] b. abt 1870 in Iowa; Father: Fred Liddiard b. abt 1855 in Iowa.
1930 United States Federal Census
Fred W Liddiard, 75
Maggie Liddiard, 60
William Liddiard, 35
Etta Liddiard; age 18, b. abt 1912; residence Union Prairie, Allamakee, Iowa; Relation to Head of Household: Adopted

Wilson, Erma V.

family: John Rumph
place: Waukon

Notes: See Erma's story & photo below


Likely Allamakee co. orphan train riders contributed by Allamakee researchers.
If you have more information on any of them, please contact the Allamakee co. coordinator.

"I was going through the 1880 Census and noticed that my Gr-Gr-Grandparents Michael and Margaret Degnan had a son Peter Mullen, age 13, born in New York who had to have been adopted. Degnan's had 2 daughters I know of and they were born in Iowa. While I was looking through the census I noticed just in the Harpers Ferry area/Taylor Township that there were a minimum of 9 boys between the ages of 11 and 14. All the boys listed were born in New York. It would be great if someone knew the story behind these boys"

Michael Degnan 68 - Peter Mullen 13
James Murphy 68 - Paterick Foley 13
Thomas Sullivan 60 - John Duffy 13
William Seanlin 59 - William Hoey 14
Margaret Ryan 50 - John Owens 14
Edward Owens 74 - Michael Calaher 11
Michael Clark 56 - Henery McQuade 13
Thomas Gilliece 50 - Cornealis Calaher 12
Michael Barry 65 - Edward Owens 11

~contributed by Betty Palmer


Erma V. Wilson

Ethel Adams Sisters, 62 And 64, Have First Meeting

on left: Ethel Adams
on right: Erma Rumph

Erma Rumph

Mrs. Ethel Adams of Sea Ranch, Port Richey, Florida came to Waukon last week to visit her sister, Erma Rumph. But this wasn't just an ordinary visit; it was a momentous occasion, the first time the sisters, 64 and 62 years of age, had ever seen each other, and to make it doubly wonderful, it was on Erma's 62nd birthday. There were a few tearful moments while they greeted each other, but it didn't take long to start filling each other in on the past.

The story started in New York state when the four oldest Wilson children, Wilbur, Gladys, Edith and Ethel, were placed with the Children's Aid Society in New York City, as the parents were unable to care for them in the home. After Erma's birth, she was also placed in the home and the mother died a few months later. The older children were placed in foster homes and Erma was brought to the Midwest by the social worker for the Aid Society. That family did not keep her so she was "reclaimed" by the worker while in this area in May, 1918, while checking on previous placements. The worker would stay at a local hotel and hire a livery rig to make her rounds. She had no place for a child almost four years of age, so called Mr. and Mrs. John C. Rumph, farmers living about 10 miles south of Waukon, and who had previously adopted a six year old boy, and asked them to care for the little girl for a few days. When she was ready to leave the area, she called them and they started to town with the child. Enroute, 10 year old Oscar asked where Erma was going and he was given an explanation. The child looked at his parents and said, "Why don't we keep her?" The idea took root and by the time they were at the place of delivery they had decided to take her home for theirs.

It proved to have a most wonderful decision, for no natural parents with two natural children could have had a happier home. Time went on, and Oscar left for his own home, continuing to be a dutiful son, but Erma remained and during several illnesses the parents gave her loving care. When the couple became aged and moved to town, they were tenderly cared for by their daughter until the father's death at the age of 83 and the mother's death at age 97. The other children had no contact with Erma until she was about 12 years old, when they finally got an address, and since then they have been in contact by letter, phone and pictures. Gladys and Edith have made trips here to see her. It has been a busy week of visiting and catching up but one never to be forgotten. A reception was held for the sisters at the Allamakee County Care Facility in Waukon (where Erma makes her home) on Sunday, July 4, with many friends attending.

~Allamakee Journal, Lansing, Iowa, July 7, 1976
~contributed by Errin Wilker


Iowa Orphan Train Riders

Iowa Orphan Train Riders is part of the Iowa History IAGenWeb special project.You will find more information at the site .. including newspaper articles, historical information, the names of orphans coming to Iowa, and much more. Click the logo to check out the website!

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