Orphan Train Riders Helpful Records
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Orphan Train Riders to Iowa Orphan Train Riders
Charles Loring Brace's book...'THE DANGEROUS CLASSES OF NEW YORK and Twenty Years Work Among Them'  documents the first arrival of children to Iowa from a group of 46 children who were taken to Michigan.  Not all were chosen there so they were brought here 20 Sept. 1854.  The exact quote from Charles Loring Brace's book, page 253 is:

"There was a rivalry  among the boys to see which first could get a home in the country, and before Saturday they were all gone. Rev. Mr. O. took several home with him; and nine of the smallest I accompanied to Chicago, and sent to Mr. Townsend, Iowa City.."   

Mr. Townsend had quite an orphanage in Iowa City that was affiliated with the Children's Aid Society in New York. 

Cities & Villiages: A list of some of the places the orphans were placed when brought to Iowa. 

bulletClinton County
bulletDes Moines County Indentured Children Index
bulletWebster County Adoptions


As we get photos of orphans and other interesting items, they will be put on our Photo page.

The Riders

Here are some of the stories told by orphans about the trains and the people involved in bringing them to Iowa.


Newspapers can be a great source of info.

41 Children called her 'Mother'


Maps of the railroad lines may help you determine where your orphan traveled to.  Also here, I would like to put a bit of railroad history -- when and where the lines went and such.