ORPHAN TRAIN RIDERS OF NEW YORK (MIDWEST)
NEWS -2-
Researched and compased by :Author, Renee Wendinger 2006.©
Transcripton: ©Kari Haler, Sleepy Eye, Minnesota, 2006, descendant of Frank Morris.

The Autobiography of Frank Morris
They tell me that I was born in Herkimer, New York on July 4, 1872.  My parents both died during some epidemic when I was about two years of age and I left facing the world alone.  I
never knew of any other relatives.
In the early years of my life I used up several sets of foster parents and step foster parents.  Of the whole lot, I only really loved (and possibly the only one that really had the same
feeling for me) was my first foster father, Hugh Weber, and I seen him die of spinal menengitis when I was about five-years-old.  I also liked  his sister, "Aunt Helena" (Mrs. John C.
Rowley, her husband was a Chicago, Illinois banker) who  had I didn't care much for were nice clothes, a stiff collar, and cuffs.  Aunt Helena was what we called in those days "bed
ridden", and thank goodness we don't have the malady of that sickness now.  At any rate, I thought she was a fine looking woman.  When she'd call me to her bed she would flash the
diamonds on her fingers against the coverlet.  I remember when Hugh, my foster father was dying, he'd identified his sister by feeling those same rings on her fingers as she'd reach
her hand to him for one last clasp.  As Aunt Helena sickness got worse, I was shuttled back to my step-mother, (Mrs. Groviley) in Herkimer, New York who in the meantime had
acquired a step-foster-father for me.  One can easily imagine how my return to the "circle" would react on him as I was getting old enough to have strong dislikes in my life. (Herkimer
is about 30 miles from Little Falls, New York and north of Mohawk home of the great pulp plant.  We lived close to the banks of the Mohawk River;  I can still remember the old covered
bridge.)
One incident I can illustrate on how easy one could (do away with someone) was my step foster father had the habit of taking his axe with him as he sauntered down to the river to
collect driftwood and I was to go along and help.  It was not a pleasure jaunt for either of us as I was in the lead as we neared the water of the fast flowing stream.  I suppose I wanted
to see all that I could of my surroundings, and I must have been a little slow for my "dear" father gave a rough command and gave me a slight shove with the hand that held the axe.  
Did he have murder in his mind, maybe not, but I considered later in life that he did.
Somewhere along the road of life I must have had good times when I was placed "way out West".  I could recite numerous old circus songs such as, "Up in a balloon, boys.  Sailing
round the moon" (Do you know a balloon, has gone up to the moon!  The moon has been found, by a great big balloon.  Up in a balloon, boys.  Sailing round the moon boys.  Just
think of  that!  Hurrah for the balloon! Hurrah for the moon!)  "Sliding down Grime's cellar door" and many others.  The nurse maid sang a lullaby adage, "Now my little man, tell me if
you can, where Moses when the light went out."  Followed by "Now I lay me" and Twinkle, Twinkle little star."  One of these same girls gave me a full cup of beer and a half was my
regular ration.  I went to sleep in an old horsehair chair, and when I awoke was found I'd vomited on the elegant chair.  From then on, I hated the sight of those old, cold, slippery,
horsehair chairs.
When I was about eight my "dear" father through some pull or acquaintance got me into the Children's Aid Society in New York City.  I went to the "big burg" with a tag on my little coat
and was put in charge of the conductor.  This was not my first ride as I'd been to Chicago years before, but I don't recall the trip.  People were very kind to me, and one lady gave me an
orange.  A real one, not the kind Barnum used to throw out to the crowds for advertising.
I was at the Home about a year and had my first schooling there.  I hated the sight of highly colored Roman letters the rest of my life.  The reason, I believe, is because I was drilled on
them to a great extent.  I got around the City very little, but I knew of Central Park and saw and rode the "Elevated".  The Home was a real home to me, but the time came when I found
myself in the library with many find ladies (the finest and boot-hearted of the City) seeing that all were dressed in their silks and satins.  One of the well-to-do, but the most
sympathetic, was showing me a picture in a little book of a boy driving a herd of cows and she asked me, "Frankie, how would you like to go out West and do just like that boy in the
picture?"  Well I balked as I didn't know what it was all about.  I had never seen a cow (not even Mrs. O'Leary's) or a live chicken or pig until I came West, and then I saw plenty!
The ladies explained as kindly as possible that some of the older children must make way for the younger ones since this was the original purpose.  I found I could still cry as I was
one of the youth.  We made it unanimous, but can you imagine anyone crying "not" to leave New York City?  Finally I realized it was all for the best for if I stayed I've no doubt been Mayor
of the "old burg" by now, or dead.  I was a little runt and in very delicate health extending beyond a few years, but after I got out West and mixed with fresh air, butter and eggs my life
became a question whether it paid to raise me.
While I was out among the "sticks" they (new foster parents) had a great deal of fun with me for a while and had me chewing gun-wads for lozenges and I learned the meaning of
driving cows.  Later I could "ride 'em cowboy!"  Later years followed with more foster parents.
As I matured, I was allowed scattered schooling, and later a couple of years of college.  I learned a good trade and established a little business on a broken shoe string with a
decorating trade business earning around $1,000.00 per month until War I got underway.

Note: Frank Morris, (born July 4, 1872; passed January 5, 1983) married Edie May Dodge (born February 15, 1873, passed October 8, 1948)
©Rochester (Minnesota) Post Feb. 8, 1888
Minnesota Historical Society
©Wendinger, Renee.
 Extra! Extra! The Orphan Trains and Newsboys of New York
Minnesota: Legendary Publications, 2010, Print.

                                                                                                                    EYOTA, MINNESOTA

A company of homeless boys from the Children's Aid Society, of New York, are expected at this place on the 17th instant.  They are to be in charge of the Society's agent, Mr. A.P.
Stockwell, and will be added in finding them suitable homes by a committee of our leading citizens.  We understand some of the farmers in this vicinity have already decided to
furnish some of these unfortunate boys' homes
Minneapolis, Minn. Journal
October,  1899

The New York Foundling Hospital's bond for $1000 was accepted, and it is
authorized to send children to this state

Minneapolis (Minnesota)Journal
October 5, 1899

Mr. Gates' Duties will be defined by the State Board of Corrections.

State Agent Gates, not knowing precisely what his duties are, the state board
of corrections and charities, at its meeting yesterday, appointed a committee
to define them.  Mr. Gates desired this action because he is not sure how far
his authority goes, especially in removing insane persons.
The board certified the nomination to the probation officer for Ramsey county.
Dr. Folwell was elected vice-president of the board.
The New York Foundling hospital's bond for $1000 was accepted, and it is
authorized to send children to this state.
The Kellogg lock-up in Wabasha county was condemned, but the
condemnation of the Lyon county jail and of the Ortonville lock-up was
postponed until next year.
©The New York Times, June 20, 1897; Pg. 12
Minnesota Historical Society
©Wendinger, Renee.
 Extra! Extra! The Orphan Trains and Newsboys of New York
Minnesota: Legendary Publications, 2010, Print.

                                                                                                    SENDING FOUNDLINGS WEST
                                                    Mother Superior of the New York Asylum defends Robert Curran and tells of the practice.

Two Sisters of Charity connected with the New York Foundling Asylum, 175 East Sixty-eight Street returned from Chicago yesterday.  Robert Curran, the out-door agent of the
asylum, against whom charges have been made that he has been carrying on a traffic in little children, selling them at $6 apiece is said to be still in that city.
The Mother Superior in charge of the asylum yesterday made a statement in regard to the affair wholly  recommendation and approval of Curran.
"Mr Curran has been our agent for the past twelve years "she said, "and we have implicit confidence in him.  He is a kind hearted, tender and  considerate man,  and we have  
innumerable letters from those who have adopted  our children testifying  to his good character.
"In the case of little Mary, or Mary Bliss, I find from the records that she had been indentured to a Mrs Lizzie Murphy in Chicago, but it developed that this woman was not able to
provide for the child and  returned  her to our agent.  A little while afterward Mary was indentured to a Mrs Casey, who has become deeply attached to the little girl and has proved
to be a true mother to her.  Mrs Murphy, I imagine, took the course reported through malice. I can account for her actions in no other way.
"No child is indentured or given for adoption until we are satisfied that a good home will be provided.  In rare cases, like this one, it happens that those who obtain a child are
unable to continue the proper care of it and so report to us.  The child is then taken back and placed elsewhere. "We pay all expenses of the children sent to the West, and accept
no money for them, except in cases where the adoption has been arranged in advance".
"Mr Curran went West two months ago with forty-eight children.  He was accompanied by two nurses and two Sisters from the asylum.  The two Sisters returned today and have
given the most satisfactory account of the children, not only the ones they accompanied, but many of the others previously sent West by us.  They were empathic in their praises of
Mr. Curran.  We place from 250 to 300 children a year through him and we have never yet had a complaint against him".
©Minneapolis  (Minnesota) Journal Jan 13, 1899                                                                                    
Minnesota Historical Society
©Wendinger, Renee.
 Extra! Extra! The Orphan Trains and Newsboys of New York
Minnesota: Legendary Publications, 2010, Print.

                                                                                                   CHILDREN FIND HOMES
                                                           Company of Homeless Children from New York placed with Families Here:

Thirteen homeless children from New York City, ten boys and three girls, were found homes with families in this vicinity yesterday.  The Children arrived on the 9:16 passenger,
and came direct from New York City in charge of Mr.E. Trott, a representative of the New York Children's Aid Society who will remain for a day or two to visit the homes in which they
have been placed and see that all are agreeably located.
The children were all well clothed and had the appearance of being bright and well behaved.  It was an affecting scene at the hall where they were taken for distribution.  
Saddened by the thought of being separated from one another the children burst into tears, and more than one of the people gathered there, touched with sympathy and pity for
the little ones, wiped a tear away.  Specially affecting were the acts of the little brother and sister, who embraced and cried over one another.
The placement of the children was quickly arranged for, and in a few hours they had separated and gone into strange homes and among strange people.  Below are the given
names of the children, and the name of the persons in whose homes they were placed.

Child Placed                          Age           Home, Placed
Geo. Smith                             11             Geo Leatherman
Wm. Stevenson                     12             F. Hoffman Jr.
Fred Clark                               13             F.S. Reynolds
James A. Hamilton               14             G.C. Bice
James May                             10             Fred Bremer
Edward May                            13             Lewis Gardner
Amelia Engle                          9               C.G. Newell
Pearl Gaido/Gaide                 3               I.E. Ondler
Geo. Gaido/Gaide                  5               Geo. Oldridge
Harry Johnson                      11              Joshua Winn
James Mayne                         8               E.R. Watson
Anton Jnouskey                    13                                                             
& his half-sister, Tilla Remer going to Lime Springs, Iowa                                                    
©St Cloud (Minnesota) Times June 17, 1899
Minnesota Historical Society
©Wendinger, Renee.
 Extra! Extra! The Orphan Trains and Newsboys of New York
Minnesota: Legendary Publications, 2010, Print.

                                                                                                            Going to Homes
                                                                             Half of hundred Orphans Among the Great Northern Passengers Today

An extra coach attached to the Great Northern West-bound passenger train this morning was occupied by 51 children from the Catholic Orphan
Asylum of New York City.  They ranged in ages from four to six and half years.  The car was in charge of three Sisters of Charity and the children were looked after by a matron.  
Homes are awaiting for each one of the children in Northern Minnesota and North Dakota.  They have all been told that they are going on a trip to find "papa and mamma", and if you
ask them where they were going they will tell you so.  Each one of the little ones is anxious to see the "papa and mamma" and every visitor meets with the severest scrutiny from
them.
©St Cloud (Minnesota) Times September 14, 1899
Minnesota Historical Society
©Wendinger, Renee.
 Extra! Extra! The Orphan Trains and Newsboys of New York
Minnesota: Legendary Publications, 2010, Print.

                                                                                                    Many Little Orphans
                                                                                    A Coach Load of New York Orphans
                                                                                   Finding good homes in Stearns County

The arrival of twenty-seven little boys and girls was a part of the west-bound local passenger train on the Great Northern today.  Their sweet little faces were glued against the
windows as they gazed into strange faces, for the tots were miles and miles distance from the place of their security.  They are a second group of orphan children from a New York
Catholic Foundling Home and where good homes have been arranged in Stearns county.  
A gentleman and his wife from New York spent several weeks in the county and arranged good homes for them and now delivery is being made. The parish was in charge of a
gentlemen and his wife and three or four sisters of Charity and the little people were spotless, clean and inviting.  Three were received by their foster-parents at the depot here and
the others were will be distributed at various points along the line in this county.

Reprinted from St Cloud Times
Minneapolis (Minnesota) Journal August 22, 1905
Special to the Washington Post
Minnesota Historical Society
©Wendinger, Renee.
 Extra! Extra! The Orphan Trains and Newsboys of New York
Minnesota: Legendary Publications, 2010, Print.

                                    FEARS FOR ORPHAN'S FATE
           North Dakota Officials Thinks Them Doomed to Drudgery

Last Saturday a special car filled with children, non more than four years old, passed through
Minneapolis.  Eleven of the little ones, who were sent out by a Foundling Society in New York,
were placed in homes near the Twin Cities, and forty, in charge of Miss Grace Holburton, of New
York, and four men, were sent on to Dakota.  Today Supt. Hall of the North Dakota Children's
Home, at Fargo, said that these and other children sent out from Eastern cities were doomed to
drudgery which would amount to serfdom.
Twenty-seven applicants for the orphans, he said, were Russians.  Many of them had children of
their own, lived on farms far from towns and schools, and were illiterate and unclean.  Among
these people, who hold aloof from Americans and cling to Old Russian customs, the orphans
would be reared unless the state authorities can prevent it.  This they hoped to be able to do
under and old law which prohibits the  importation of needy or orphan children
©Minneapolis  (Minnesota) Journal October 1, 1908
Researched and Composed by Author, Renee Wendinger ©1989
             
                      
CARLOAD OF FOUNDLINGS
Nearly a car load of foundlings from the New York Foundling Hospital, passed
through Minneapolis yesterday on their way to St Cloud and other towns in the
northern part of the state, where they will find homes. They were in  the charge
of two Sisters of Mercy.
Homes have been promised for all of the children
©St Paul (Minnesota) Pioneer October 15, 1908
Minnesota Historical Society
©Wendinger, Renee.
 Extra! Extra! The Orphan Trains and Newsboys of New York
Minnesota: Legendary Publications, 2010, Print.

                                                                                                    A CARLOAD OF BABIES
                                                                    Sixty-Seven Little Ones Shipped West from New York

                                                                                                    A dispatch 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
Foundling Hospital of New York is sending them West to deal them out into good homes among the farmers near St Paul, Minnesota.
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 smiles 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 sheeting were stretched across the tops of the seats to cover the 'beds' to keep out the cinders and dust