Descendants of orphans who were transplanted in Iowa many decades ago are gathering in Clinton County today. Thousands of orphans from New York City and Boston were taken by trains to the Midwest for adoption between the 1850s and late 1920s. Many trains made stops at the Delmar Depot in eastern Iowa, which is where the descendants are gathering to piece together their roots and family histories.Cathie Jebsen works at the Delmar Depot Museum and is organizing the Orphan Train Reunion. She says at least one orphan train rider who’s now in his 90s, Bill Sagers of Maquoketa, will also attend. Jebsen says the orphan train rides to the Midwest were organized by a New York minister, Charles Loring Brace, who ran out of adoptive families on the East Coast. She says he wanted the kids to get off the street and come to the Midwest where there was “good clean living.”Programs on the orphan trains will run today at the depot from 8:30 until 11 a-m and from 1 until 4 p-m.
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