In cooperation with #GivingTuesday, we have decided to re-issue the Descendant Challenge for 2016.
My mother, Clara Reed Morgan and her two brothers, Howard and Jimmy, were put on an Orphan Train in New York and brought to Belleville, KS, in 1909. The boys were adopted by a farmer and a couple in Belleville that had a hotel, and my mother (Clara) was adopted by a local preacher (Reverend Duckett and his wife). They were very fortunate to have stayed close together, as many sibling Riders were separated. My mother became a school teacher for most of her life, and she wanted the Orphan Train Riders’ stories to become part of history. Her dream was that the Orphan Train Era be preserved so every child could learn about this part of history.
As a tribute to my mother, my family helped build the Morgan-Dowell Research Center so all Riders’ stories could be documented and stored for anyone to come and look up their family history. We also donated to the Depot Museum to name the Ladies’ Waiting Room in our mother’s honor. We worked long and hard to get the railroad to give the land to the Complex, and as descendants of the Orphan Train, we have helped by giving monthly contributions to help keep the Orphan Train stories alive.
We challenge all descendants, their families, friends, and neighbors to honor the Orphan Train Riders’ history by giving a monthly tax-deductible donation to the National Orphan Train Complex. Your contributions will help pay bills like water, electricity, insurance, a salary for the curator, and many miscellaneous items the board uses every day. You can help by giving $25, $50, $100 or more to help keep this DREAM alive!
Thanks and God Bless You,