In 1853 a man by the name of Charles Loring Brace, along with other well-to-do men in New York City, founded the Children's Aid Society. The society planned to give food, lodging, and clothing to homeless children and provide educational and trade opportunities for them. But the number of children needing help was so large that the Children's Aid Society was unable to care for them, and Brace developed a plan to send many of the children to the rural Midwest by train. Orphan Trains to Missouri documents the history of the children on those orphan trains - their struggles, their successes, and their failures. Touching stories of volunteers who oversaw the placement of the orphans as well as stories of the orphans themselves make this a rich record of American and Midwestern history.
Michael D. Patrick is Adjunct Professor of Folklore at the University of Southern Alabama and Associate Professor Emeritus at the University of Missouri-Rolla. Residing in Trenton, Missouri, Evelyn Goodrich Trickel is the coauthor of A Pictorial History of Grundy County and recipient of the Charles Loring Brace Award from the Orphan Train Heritage of America. Patrick and Trickel, along with Evelyn Sheets, coauthored We Are Part of History: The Story of Orphan Trains.