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Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Grandpa Rode The Orphan Train

In the past few days, I've been helping my son work on a big assignment at school. He has to do a huge term paper on something that happened in American History, so we thought that it would be a good idea to do his paper on the Orphan Trains, that crossed the country in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

The reason we decided that this was going to be his topic, was because my great-grandfather was one of the children that came out west from New York on the Orphan Trains. Unlike many of the kids, who were actual orphans, my great-great-grandfather signed his 11 yr. old son over to the Children's Aid Society in New York. That boy was my great-grandfather.

He was placed with a family in Kansas in 1884, and spent the rest of his life around this area. I have a copy of the actual ledger file they had on my great-grandfather, with updates on his welfare and whereabouts until May of 1896, when he was 23 yrs. old.

Had it not been for the Orphan Trains, I may have grown up on the East Coast, instead of the Midwest. It's always fun to learn where you came from, but when your family played a role in an historic event, it makes it that much better.

My name is Christine Senter, and I am the great-grandchild of an Orphan Train Rider.

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