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The Orphan Trains: Placing Out In America

The Orphan Train in Michigan.
The Orphan Train in Michigan.


Kansas City, MO – At the turn of the 19th century, some 200,000 children were shipped from the East Coast to points west. They were poor, often children of immigrants who were either orphans, or their parents just couldn't take care of them. Probably about 5000 came to Missouri and Kansas each. In the 1990s, historian Marilyn Irvin Holt caught up with some of them, and wrote the story of their migration in her book The Orphan Trains: Placing Out in America.

Marilyn Irvin Holt will be speaking at the National Archives in Kansas City on Wednesday, October 28, 2009 at 6pm.

For more information on the Orphan Trains, visit The National Orphan Train Complex website.

This story was produced for KC Currents. To listen on your own schedule, subscribe to the KC Currents Podcast.

Sylvia Maria Gross is storytelling editor at KCUR 89.3. Reach her on Twitter @pubradiosly.
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