"Orphan Trains of Kansas" is contributed by CONNIE DIPASQUALE.

April 8, 1886

     One of the most interesting events that has recently occurred in Cawker was the distribution of boys from New York City last Saturday. As previously announced, Mr. Charles Fry, Children's Aid Society, of New York, was to arrive on Friday night with a company of boys for the purpose of finding homes and employment with farmers and others. Early in the evening a telegram was received stating that sixteen boys would arrive on the train which was an hour late. The Young Ladies' Aid society holding a social at the time in the Hall, decided to wait and welcome the new immigrants, who upon their arrival were escorted to the Hall and given a supper. They were then quartered at the hotels under the care of the agent and his assistant, Mr. Rudolph Heig. The committee previously selected to receive names of applicants for boys reported about thirty names, and the distribution under the management of Mr. Fry, the agent of the society, began on Saturday morning at ten o'clock. The Hall was crowded by the curious sight-seers and applicants for boys. The boys were seated on the stage facing the audience and presented altogether a different appearance from the ideas formed of them by some. They were an intelligent lot of little fellows and neatly clad, the most of them having been in the society's Home four or five years, and have had good training and discipline. All but two can read and write, one of the exceptions being between three and four years old, the ages of the party ranging up to seventeen years. The good humor of the audience was evoked by the chubby baby's comical and pleased expression. This little orphan fell to the lot of Mr. and Mrs. Chas D. Brown, and quite a scene was enacted on the stage when their selection was made and the little one threw his arms around the neck of his adopted mother. "His lines are fallen in pleasant places."

     The mode of distribution was for the Agent to call the name of an applicant and let him select his boy after talking to him and learning his wishes. Where two applicants wanted the same boy the choice of guardian was made by the boy himself. Those who have taken the younger boys are expected to treat them as their own in the matter of schooling and providing for them; the eldest boys are to remain one year and are then expected to decide for themselves. The boys and one girl were distributed as follows:

      Willie Bailey, 12 yrs old, to L.A. Rees
      Willie Howard, 12 yrs old, to Daniel Shook
      Jas K.P. Smith, 12 yrs old, to W.H. McClaskey
      Eddie Bean, 12 yrs old, to H.M. Reynolds
      Chas Sommers, 12 yrs old, to Jas M. Doak
      Chas Martin, 12 yrs old, to A. Grimes
      Wm VanWoessell, 10 yrs old, to Wilson Moore
      Andrew Tarbitt, 10 yrs old, to J.A. Hazeltine
      George Fox, 12 yrs old, to Mrs. E. Bowman
      Robert Chadwick, 12 yrs old, to Chas E. Bishop
      Joseph Gathier, 17 yrs old, to Wm F. Donaldson
      Richard M. Brown, 16 yrs old, to C.H. Hawkins
      James Freeman, 4 yrs old, to Chas D. Brown
      Robert Duval, 16 yrs old, to Thos Shaw
      Thomas Pugh, 16 yrs old, to Gordon Kerr
      Mary Chadwick, (no age), to Mrs. L.M. Leggett

     Since the distribution as above, there have been two changes. It is the desire of the Society's agent, as well as the local committee who assisted, that if further changes are necessary, the committee be advised so that the boys can be cared for. The committee endeavored to do the best for the welfare of the boys, and there being nearly double the number of applicants as there were boys, there must of necessity be some disappointment by many who would have given good homes to the little fellows. It was noticeable that the audience took great interest in the boys being provided with proper homes. Any information, or correspondence in regard to the boys will be given attention to at this office.

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