Saturday, March 17, 2012

partial Orphan Train newspaper article

I came across this partial page of a newspaper the other day and found this incomplete article very interesting. All I know about the article is that the page is notated as having come from the April 18, 1895 issue of the "The Butler County News" newspaper.

Here is the transcription:
"bor's to find her home filled with this
jolly band. Refreshments were fur-
nished by the circle, which were deli-
and abundant. In both instances
a few tokens of respect and friendship
were given.
  The company of children, consisting
of thirteen boys and two girls, accom-
panied by Mr. E. Trott and Miss C.
Brill of New York, arrived Thursday
noon. About forty applications were
made. The following are the names of
the children and our townsmen who
adopted them:
  Ernest Hudson, age 13, Sam McRob-
erts; Willie Simpson, age 13, W. C.
Shook; Henry Muhleman, age 9, An-
drew McRoberts, Harry Crisman, age 9,
C. C. Cain; Howard Crisman, age 6,
Henry Murphy; Hattie Crisman, age 4,
M. Lovell; John Lockhead, age 15, John
Winterburn; John Parkinson, age 11,
W. T. Martzen; Joseph Parkinson, age
10, O. F. Blasier; Geo. Parkinson, age 6,
R. Miner; Helen Booth, age 6, L J
Stober; John Jakinsky, age 5, Thos.
Montgomery; Thos. Dyer, age 5, Chas.
Gates; Wm. Rohbecker, age 13, F. Falk-
ers, Allison; Wm Rierson, age 15, Dan
  Mr Trott informs us that owing to
the disappointment of so many who
wished to adopt children, he will be
back here with another company in six
weeks, or about May 23. The services
of the same committee have been secur-
ed, and all applications are requested
to be handed in at once."
Doing a little digging I found out that this newspaper was located in Iowa. I also tried finding some of these children and adults in the 1900 Iowa Federal Census and couldn't find any of them. I also looked in the 1895 & 1896 Iowa State Census and again couldn't find any of them. I wonder where they all went?

Lastly, I do not have any connection to any of these children or adults, but I thought this information may help someone looking for more information on an orphan train passenger.

Found one of the boys listed above! It's Howard Crisman living with Henry Murphy. He has taken the Murphy last name, at least that's how they told the Census taker, and they are living in 1900 in Coldwater, Butler County, Iowa:
Henry F Murphy, age 44
Ella M Murphy, age 37
Blanche M Murphy, age 15
Margaret A Murphy, age 12
Ella Murphy, age 9
Howard Murphy, age 11

When you look at the actual census image it has Howard's place of birth as New York. Awesome!

{update #2}
Okay, found another one of the boys. Coincidentally, this one and Howard, listed above, are biological brothers. Here he in the database living with a "sister" in Coldwater, Butler Co., Iowa in 1900.

{update #3}
Wow, found another one of the boys. This one is George Parkinson, living with Richard & Maggie Miner in Green Town, Butler County, Iowa in 1900. This image is from, but the actual image can be found
Richard had a write up in the "History of Butler County, Iowa - Volume II" by Irving H Hart published in 1914. Unfortunately, he doesn't "claim" George among his children in this book. I found it on and it can be seen here:

{update #4}
Great, found another one. This young man is the older brother to George listed above. Interestingly, he is listed under his biological last name, Parkinson/Parkerson. Again this image is from

Hope you enjoyed, glad you stopped by and please come back again ;)


  1. Fascinating newspaper article - and kudos for the research on the boys. Those 3 brothers, so sad, to be split up after being orphaned... Hopefully all the kids found a good home. I'd never heard of "orphan trains" before this. Thanks for posting.

  2. Celia,

    Thanks for the comment. I had read something about the trains years ago, but didn't follow up with finding out any more about them. Thanks to this article, I did a little more digging into from where they came and went and how long they were in existence. Very interesting.

    I do find it sad that the boys were split up and even adopted different last names.



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