By: Andrea Warren
The History Of Orphan Trains
By the 1850's, thousands of children were living on orphan trains or on the streets all over American cities. There were many different reasons why children would be on orphan trains. The most common reasons were that the children had no parents, the family could not properly support the children or the parents would abandon the child. Most likely after a child was separated from their family, they would probably never see the again. Very few kids had the possibility of ever seeing their siblings again but some were very lucky and were taken into homes in groups with their sisters and brothers, unlike others. The orphan trains became a big success around the country and a 1910 Children's Aid Society said that 87% percent of the children that were on the orphan trains had found loving families.
What Life Was Like For A Train Rider
Problems With Big Families
Many big families could not support their children forcing them to put them on the orphan trains.
The orphan trains would leave the station while the children would wave to their families.
Lee Nailling is an example of an orphan train rider whom had a loving adoptive family and was reunited with his brothers years after.