He rode the ‘Orphan Train’ across the country
24 December, 2008
I never knew such a train existed – interesting story.
The Orphan Train movement took Stanley Cornell and his brother out of the city during the last part of a mass relocation movement for children called “placing out.”Watch Cornell share ups and downs of his family story
Brace’s agency took destitute children, in small groups, by train to small towns and farms across the country, with many traveling to the West and Midwest. From 1854 to 1929, more than 200,000 children were placed with families across 47 states. It was the beginning of documented foster care in America.
“It’s an exodus, I guess. They called it Orphan Train riders that rode the trains looking for mom and dad like my brother and I.”
“We’d pull into a train station, stand outside the coaches dressed in our best clothes. People would inspect us like cattle farmers. And if they didn’t choose you, you’d get back on the train and do it all over again at the next stop.”