ORPHAN TRAIN RIDERS OF NEW YORK (MIDWEST)
Riders 8
Julia Wageronitz (birth name)  Lewis (foster/adoptive name) Christensen (married surname)
NYFH Rider to the Lewis family
Mary Ward (birth name)
1883 CAS Rider to Pipestone, MN
William H Ward (birth name)
1869 CAS Rider to LeRoy, MN
Charles Watson (birth name) Hardtke (foster/adoptive name)
1907 CAS Rider to Winnebago, MN to William Hardtke family
Oswald Watson (birth name)
1907 CAS Rider to Winnebago, MN
Mary Wehrman (birth name)
Rider to New Munich, MN
Willie Weitzel (birth name) Lewis (foster/adoptive name)
1883 CAS Rider to Pipestone,  MN.  He may have gone to Marian Lewis family
Effie Wells (birth name) Smith/Rice or Dodge (foster/adoptive name)
1883 CAS Rider to Oronoco Station Olmstead County, MN to the Smith/Rice/or Dodge families
Hattie Wells (birth name) Smith/Rice or Dodge (foster/adoptive name)
1883 CAS Rider to Oronoco Station Olmstead County, MN to the Smith/Rice/or Dodge families
Antonio Weidman/Weedman (birth name) Anthony Bartishofski (foster/adoptive name)
Born 8/10/1911. Anton & Theresa (Wagner) Weidman from Germany. A 1914 NYFH Rider to Foley, MN to Martin & Helen Bartishofski family
Mary Louise Venere (birth name) Louise Grams (foster/adopted name) Mary Louise  Venere Grams Maile (married surname) (deceased 2000)
Her new family took her in and immediately made her "the daughter" without legal procedure.  But they loved her with all their hearts and so did all their families.
Frances Catherine Vandin (birth name) Frances Cegelske (foster/adoptive name) Murphy (married surname) (deceased 1993)
1917 NYFH Rider to Guckeen, MN to Frank Cegelske family. Born in New York City on July 20, 1914.  She was placed in Catholic Foundling Home in New York and to
Guckeen,/Pleasant Prairie,  MN at the age of 3 by the Orphan Train.  Frances was adopted by Frank and Kate Cegelske.  She married Sylvester Murphy in 1946.  They
were farmers and they  have four children.  Frances died in 1993.
More details in volume  of "Orphan Train Riders, Their Own Stories.  May be purchased from Orphan
Train Heritage Societyof America.
William Jennings VanSlyke (birth name)
1898 CAS Rider to Dodge Center, MN
Charles Vetter (birth name) Brown (foster/adoptive name)
1905 CAS Rider to Dodge Center, MN to the Frank Brown family
Nellie Mary Underwood (birth name)Nellie Mary Weidner (foster/adoptive name) Breitbach(married surname) (deceased 6/20/1986)
Nellie was born December 23, 1896 to Mary McKittrick and Charles Underwood at 226 East 57th Street, Manhattan, New York.  Nellie was taken to
NYFH on January 15, 1897.  In December 1898 Nellie boards the Orphan Train and travels to Paynesville, MN.  Nellie's first family is Jacob and
Elizabeth Neutzling.  Elizabeth passes away April 12, 1900, in June 1900's Census Nellie is still with Jacob Neutzling family and is listed as a lodger
and is four years old.  Nellie's second family is George and Eva Weidner.   In the 1910 Census Nellie is listed as daughter, 1920 Census, Nellie is
listed as adopted daughter.  Nellie was
NEVER  adopted by the Weidner's/  An Indentured agreement is signed by the Weidner's on February 25,
1910.  Nellie's childhood was an unhappy one, with so many chores to do, beat often by Eva, blamed for things she did not do, and sexually abused
by one of the Weidner boys.  George Weidner (and one brother) was good to Nellie, but was away often and Nellie had to struggle with the things
happening to her at home.  Nellie met her future husband after church, during summer baseball games.   Frank Breitbach moved to Circle, Montana,
and wrote to Nellie.  Nellie's letters were given to her by George, unknown secret to Eva.  Frank asked Nellie to marry him; he sent her money to come
to Montana.  Nellie at the age of twenty-six (26) ran away from home.  Nellie wrote to the Weidner's, asking for her birth certificate, so she could be
married.   A return letter came from the Weidner's.  In that letter she was told that she was not their daughter.  At the age of 26, was the first time she
was told that she was not their daughter.  Now Nellie understood why she was treated so badly.  Frank and Nellie were married September 19, 1922
in Circle, Montana.  Frank and Nellie had two sons, Donald and Harold, in Circle, Montana, then they returned to Minnesota and had  a daughter, Anna
Marie, a son, Edward and another daughter Dorothy.  Frank and Nellie were happy.  Nellie always said that Frank was the best thing that had
happened to her.  In 1955, Nellie received a letter from the New York Foundling Hospital, stating that her birth mother was looking for her.  Nellie
wanted to meet her.  Frank and Nellie sent money to Mary, to come for a visit.  Nellie and Mary spent a short time together, and then Mary wanted to go
back to New York.  She disliked the small town and the quietness of it.  Mary McKittrick had nothing, a coat on her back and very little belongings.  She
was living on Welfare Island.  Mary McKittrick died shortly after her visit with her only child.  Nellie Underwood Breitbach passed away June 20, 1986 at
the age of 90 in Melrose, MN.
Presented by Dorothy Breitbach Carstens, daughter to Nellie and Kim Carstens Piehl, grand-daughter.
George Tompkins (birth name) Betts (foster/adoptive name)
1882 CAS Rider to Nashville Centre Township, MN to Joshua Betts family
Henrietta Thompson (birth name) McCadden (foster/adoptive name)
1882 CAS Rider to Rutland Township, MN to  R J McCadden family
Willie Thompson (birth name) Thomas (foster/adoptive name)
1882 CAS Rider to Fairmont, MN to R W Thomas family
Spencer Tingley (birth name)
1903 CAS Rider to Chatfield, MN.Grandmother claimed she was his guardian and never surrendered him.  Returned to grandmother in New York.
John J Travis (birth name) Clark (foster/adoptive name)
1882 CAS Rider to Fairmont, MN to William Clark family
Marie Tromboli/Troumble (birth name)Biersbach (foster/adoptive name) Wander (married surname)
Marie was born 6/22/1895 NYFH Rider in 1900  to St Cloud, MN to the Biersbach family between 1899-1901 who lived in Melrose, MN.  She went to one of these towns
Melrose, Albany, St Cloud, New Munich, Alexandria, Spring Hill, MN.  She was married to Henry Wander.
Frank Turk (birth name)
1902 CAS Rider to Plainview Township, MN
Ralph Turk (birth name) Richardson (foster/adoptive name)
1902 CAS Rider to Plainview Township, MN to C (E) H Richardson family
Anna Louise Weaver (birth name)
1899 rider
Margaret Rose Toohey (birth name) Nosen/O'Connell (foster/adoptive name) Perreault (married surname)  deceased 7-19-2009
Margaret was born March 5, 1915 in New York City, Maternity Hospital  at the New York Foundling Hospital. Her biological mother was Martha Toohey.  Martha visited
frequently her daughter Margaret at first.  She rode the Orphan Train to Crookston, MN in 1920, and was legally adoptive by Emma Noesen (a single Social Worker)
August 19, 1920.  Emma later married James O'Connell and she also took the name of O'Connell.    She married Louis Perrault on February 21, 1939.
Robert Hamby Taylor (birth name) Norbert Thelan (foster/adoptive name) (deceased 8/16/1991)
1910 NYFH Rider to Elrosa MN to Charles Watzke home, later moved toJoe Thelan Family. Born June 5, 1910 as Robert Hamby Taylor in the section of the New York Infants Asylum
(part of the New York Foundling Hospital) to Mary Ellen Taylor.  Norbert shifted from one family to the next.  He settled with Mr. & Mrs. Charles Watzke in Elrosa, (Stearns County)
Minnesota.  At age 11, in the middle of the night, Norbert was taken to live with the Joe Thelan family in Mahnomen, Minn.  Norbert was a hard working farm hand working for many
farmers in the area.  He married Evelyn Schouviller in Mahnomen.  The biological mothers bible ended up with Norbert's granddaughter through a friend of the biological mother. He
became known as Norbert Thelan.  (NYFH)  Biological mothers name Marry Allen Taylor. Her address was given on New York Foundling Home records.  Norbert died August 16,
1991.
More detail in "The Journeys of Hope"  Volume 5  (is out of print at present.)
Frances (Frank) Joseph Wagner (birth name) Wetch (foster/adoptive name) deceased 1991
Born 1902 in New York, rode an Orphan Train in1904-1905 to Solen, ND  His adoptive parents owned a pool hall. Frank grew up in Solen, ND.  He had wonderful adoptive parents.  
Frank grew up knowing his adoptive parents could not have children so they took Frank from the orphan train from New York City.  Frank was a toddler when he rode the train.  On
occasion the nuns from the orphanage in New York City would contact Frank's adopted parents to find out how he was doing.  Frank thought he was the luckiest kid around.  His
adoptive parents loved him.  When Frank was about 8 years old his mother died.  Soon after his father married again.  Frank missed the relationship with his mother.  Frank became
very good at pool.   He could clean any table once it was  his turn to shoot.   Frank was able to  attend business college in Bismarck, ND.  Frank was very ambitious, out-going, great
with numbers and loved people.   Frank could calculate numbers in his head quicker than an adding machine.   Frank made friends everywhere he went.   Frank traveled to New York
City to visit the New York Foundling Hospital to try to obtain more information.  He obtained his birth parents names and nationalities.  The records showed his father had died and
his mother was only placing him with the orphanage for a short time.  The nuns expected her to  come back.   Sadly she didn't come back.  Frank thought he might have siblings but
the records didn't show any.  Frank met Agnes Brandel Quirk who had grown up in a Catholic orphanage in Bismarck, ND.  The mother of Agnes had placed Agnes and her older
sister Helen in an orphanage when their father died.   The girls had to stand in line to be inspected when people came to adopt.  However, they couldn't be adopted since their room
and board was paid by their mother.  Sometimes they would go home to visit.  Later their mother married Mr.Quirk and they moved to Thief River Falls, MN.  As a young adult Agnes
went back to Bismarck to live with the nuns and became a surgical nurse.   This is when Frank and Agnes met.   Frank followed Agnes to Thief River Falls.  Frank and Agnes didn't
have a great relationship.  Frank stayed busy to avoid going home.  At one point they had 3 hotels, Frank's Eat Shop and a couple of other businesses.  Frank's Eat Shop was
recognized in Ginnis Book of Records for the most hamburgers in the smallest square footage.  Frank was also one of the first to make frozen entrees (frozen chili bricks).  Frank and
Agnes had a son Gerald and  18 months later a daughter Mary Ann.  The children were very spoiled.  Frank just kept trying to make more money because there was never enough.  
After 17 years there was a divorce and Frank moved to Fargo, ND leaving everything behind.   He got a job with Westinghouse as an accountant.  He could have done well with the
company, but he wanted to be his own boss again.  He started selling Fuller Brush to elevators.  About 1953 Gerald and his family moved to Fargo, ND.  Frank and Gerald opened the
Stop Shop and Swap Pawn Shop.   Frank continued to sell Fuller Brush while Gerald took care of the pawn shop.  Frank started to experiment on creating other items the elevators
could sell.   He invented one of the first wood glues and rat poison.  The business turned into Wetch Chemical Company.  Frank, Gerald and family  all worked and lived together,
doing well financially.  In 1954 they moved Wetch Chemical to Dilworth, MN.  Frank loved to travel and visit people.  He loved to volunteer at the Dilworth Catholic spaghetti dinners
twice a year.  He loved attending church Sunday Morning with his grandchildren and going out for breakfast with a large group of friends.   Frank loved to go dancing and was always
the life of the party even without drinking.  After being divorced about 25 years, Frank decided to marry again.  There were many women interested in Frank.  He was a salesman at
heart and did a very good job at selling himself. Frank married again, but it wasn't a good relationship.  Around the age of 80 Frank;s memory started to go.  He died in 1991 at
Rosewood on Broadway in Fargo, ND of pneumonia.
Ophelia Mary Verzi  (birth name)Hoefling (foster/adoptive name) Gleason (married surname) (Deceased May 13, 1988)
Born May 14, 1896. A NYFH rider in 1899 to Georgetown, MN.  My first recollection is of sitting in the hallway and seeing a lady in the room across from me feeding a child..  The next is
someone carrying me - it seems to have been a railway station.   At first, I lived with Mrs Riel who must have lived in  Felton, MN and later moved to Georgetown.  She had two sons,
Clifton and George and also had a roomer - Mr Buck.  George was my playmate as he was about my age.  Clifton was older.  The Goss women lived downstairs and I remember their
making me a little red jacket and they also gave me a little wicker basket. Mrs Riel called Mary with the accent on the 'a'.  For some reason Father Maurice took me from the Riel's to
the Hoeflings.  I can remember our driving with the horse and buggy to the Hoefling's house and his carrying me in.  I don't know why, but I fought against going in.  This was my new
home.  I was now Ophelia Hoefling.
© Renee Wendinger and
Susan Keaveny Lehner