Woman's to highlight mother's ride on Orphan Train, Aug. 9

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Rita Wagner will tell her mother's story of riding an orphan train from New York to Missouri, and the family which chose her, when the Tri-County Genealogical Society meetson Saturday, Aug. 9, at 10 a.m., at the Church of Christ Fellowship Hall, 302 East Hospital Road in El Dorado Springs.

Wagner has traveled to New York in search of information about her mother and will share details of that research. The dress that Wagner's mother wore on her orphan train trip will be displayed.

More than 100,000 orphaned, abandoned, or neglected children were sent on "orphan trains" from New York and Boston to the farming communities of the Midwest between 1853 and 1930. The dream was that America's Christian farmers would welcome the homeless children, give them work, and treat them as new sons and new daughters. This would remove the children from the streets and orphanages of the large cities. Many came on orphan trains to Missouri. The children were given to families, and no formal adoption was required. Many were taken in by good, kind and caring families. Some children were not as fortunate.

The Vernon County Genealogical Society first organized in 1982 by area researchers interested in family history research. Several years later the organization expanded its membership and geographic area to also include Cedar and St. Clair Counties, and the name was changed to Tri-County Genealogical Society (Vernon-Cedar-St. Clair). The Society is a nonprofit organization that promotes genealogy research and is active in numerous projects to make records and information available to researchers. Projects include preservation of county court records records, creation of a new cemetery directory, publishing newspaper and marriage indexes, and preservation of school yearbooks. The Society's main genealogy research collection is housed in the Genealogy Department of the Nevada Public Library where it is available, without charge, during all hours that the library is open.

The public is invited to the orphan train program. Additional details are available online at http://www.rootsweb.com/~motcogs/ or by calling (417) 465-2389.

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