Lyn Johnson, President of the Pine County Genealogical Society
& Susan Lehner - Guest Speaker
at the April 18, 2012 meeting
Presentation on "The New York Orphan Train Riders"
Susan Lehner's Presentation of "The New York Orphan Train
Sketch of a child waiting to be adopted
Children waiting to be adopted
Susan Lehner's mother at age 2 who was adopted by a family in a
small western town in Minnesota
New York Foundling Hospital founded in 1869
Orphan Trains and
Orphan Train Riders
From the East Coast
to the Midwest and beyond
by Susan Lehner
- This was a bittersweet time - orphaned, neglected and
abandoned children of all nationalities were saved from the city
streets of New York City.
- Their lives were endangered by poverty, disease,
crime, lack of shelter, and resources to survive. These children
began "Newsies", (newspaper boys) Shoe Shine children and whatever else
they could find to help them survive. They were left to be on
their own at a very young age to young teenagers. These children
needed to get off the streets and into proper homes.
- With the help of some very compassionate persons,
organizations, and orphanages, this movement was made possible and some
orphan train riders became outstanding citizens in America. These
children are survivors.
- This part of our American History has really not ever
been published in our history books, which was the purpose of the
orphan trains, or presented to our schools as part of our history.
- Our organization, "Orphan Train Riders of New York",
have been celebrating this era and history for over 50 years.
Our Mission Statement
Orphan Train Riders of
New York supports, educates, and preserves the historical epoch of the
orphan trains to groups of all ages.
I am (our family) are very proud descendants of an Orphan Train Rider
who rode an Orphan Train in 1914 to a small western town in Minnesota.
Visit our web site