Orphan Train - Wisconsin


W. D. J., Thursday, October 15, 1908:

"A dispatch from Milwaukee says: There were 67 of them and 67 different varieties. There were babies from two years up to five, all colors, shapes, sizes and previous conditions of servitude. Little waifs they were, the discard of New York, out in search of a home far from the center of sorrows and woes that they were born into.

On the way to St. Paul from New York a special car with these babies passed through Milwaukee. With the children there were several Sisters of Charity and two trained nurses. The Home Finding society of New York is sending them west to deal them out into good homes among the farmers near St. Paul.

When the conductor came out of the car there was a suspicion of moisture in his eyes. "I won't go through there again," he said. "They're happy, and all that, but it's too pitiful. They all wanted to shake hands with me and caught hold of my hand and looked up at me and smiled as I passed. I suppose they are taught to do it.

"There are all kinds, and they are just as sweet as most babies are. It is a shame that they will never know a real mother and father."

The Sisters made the babies' beds by placing boards across from seat to seat…for the special car was not a sleeping car. Several babies were piled into one "bed." The car accommodated the 67, besides the nurses and Sisters.

Long pieces of abeating were stretched across the tops of the seats to cover the "beds" and keep out the cinders and dust."


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this page last edited 06 Dec 2003