|Children’s Aid Society Agents
- Alice Bogardus
- Herman Devillo (H.D.) Clarke
- Clara B. Comstock
- Georgia Greenleaf
- Anna Laura Hill
- William J. McCully, Sr.
- Emile Reck
- John Washington Swan
- Hattie McKin Swan
- B.W. Tice
“Frankie Korn had a hero. Her name was Miss Alice Bogardus. In 1914, Miss Bogardus, an agent for the Children’s Aid Society, brought three year old Frankie Nebraska. In the years that followed, she made annual visits to Frankie and his parents. For more than eight years, Frankie wrote letters to Miss Bogardus telling her of the important events in his life. Her picture was included with those of family. To Frankie, she was a friend.””Alice Bogardus and the many placing agents like her were vitally important to the orphan train movement. After choosing a group of five to thirty children averaging eight to twelve years of age, the agent coached them on acceptable social behavior. The agent also helped furnish each child with two travel outfits and a set of dress-up clothes.”“The agent transported children and baggage by streetcar to the train depot and, after boarding the train, took over complete care of and responsibility for them. Preparing food, seeing to toilet needs, caring for sick children, and giving comfort were some of the agent’s chores on the journey, during which he or she got very little sleep.”
“Some groups changed trains in Chicago or St. Louis, which meant that the agent had to make sure the trunks and children were transferred. Sometimes accidents or train malfunctions caused delays. Older children, trainmen, and other passengers were helpful at those times.”
Source: Cobblestone, April 1998, by Doretta Watson
7/4/1903 Brace Farm Teacher
2/1911 Emigration Agent
5/1928 Home Finding Agent
Date Left: 6-30-1944 Retired
May 1, 1956 – Recalled from retirement for another one and a half years.
Reason for Leaving: Died 9-11-1963
1941 Free Foster Homes, Agent [Kansas and
Field Section Nebraska]
Date Left: 8/31/1947 Reason not listed
We named our oldest daughter, Georgia Louise Murphy (Bennett) after her. If she influenced her other charges the way she did Pat (Francis), this old world is a lot better place because of her life. I know his mother gave him life, but G.G. made life worth living and placed him where we met.
Christine Murphy, Spouse of Rider Francis Murphy
Source: Orphan Trains to Missouri By Michael D. Patrick / Evelyn Goodrich Trickel, Page 58
April 2, 1913Dear Mamma,The days are slipping by so rapidly for me, but I presume you have been reading so much about the floods that it has seemed a long time since you heard from me.Alice wrote Mate on the way or I should have written before. We certainly had a strenuous trip. All went well until we reached Cleveland and found that city about flooded; from there on to Fort Wayne we had an awful experience. We went from Cleveland to Bellevue on the Nickel Plate, the railroad we were on from Buffalo. There they pulled the train on a side track and said we would wait for orders and might be there for days, for all reports that could be obtained from the West were very discouraging. We waited until two other trains came in from the East, then we took on the passengers from these trains and proceeded westward, but over the Baltimore and Ohio, for the Nickel Plate was washed out entirely west of Bellevue. While at Bellevue we could see the men and boys going about town on rafts and many houses entirely surrounded by water. We were in constant danger for twenty-six hours and such awful places that we went thru and over, submerged tracks, water on both sides and terrible rivers. We crossed a river at midnight. They sent a work train and 200 workmen ahead of us, they worked about two hours making the bridge more secure. They put in 8 carloads of rock and sandbags, then took two engines, across, and then we went over. It was an anxious time for everyone on that train, not a berth was occupied that night. I shall never forget the awful roar of that mighty torrent; just as we were in the center there was a sudden jar. I closed my eyes, I couldn’t look, for I thought it was all over and we were going down.But GOD continued to look after his helpless little ones and HE has in all the years of the past history of the Children’s Aid society. There was many a prayer offered that night on that train, and by men who had not mentioned God’s name before in many a day.
There were nine houses washed down next to the bridge that we could see distinctly thru the storm, for, to add to the horror, the ground was covered with a heavy snow and a terrible sleet storm was falling accompanied by a biting wind. In these houses were people whom the lifesavers were working desperately to rescue. There was a lite in one house. Think what must have been the feelings of those people held prisoners in those awful places. I hope I shall be spared witnessing such a scene again. The train crew were with us 26 hours with no relief.
In all my experiences I have never seen train men that would talk about any trouble or accidents, but these men were under such tension for so long they had to relieve themselves by talking with us.
Early that morning (Wednesday) the conductor brought me a paper and talked about it. He said,”Do you notice how unnatural the atmosphere seems? There is something awful ahead of us.” And I certainly thought of his remark many times in the next twenty-four hours that followed. Just as we were ready to cross the worst river, he came in and said,”We are going to try it now but GOD alone knows the results.” We, of course, were a day late getting to Decorah, but in spite of that we have done well, but roads are muddy, which makes the work slow. I wrote to Mr. Brace from Chicago telling him about the flood. I had a letter from him today saying that my letter was very thrilling and should be printed in Elmira’s best paper. I didn’t realize that I embroidered it any, but I had just gotten out of it and that was rather fresh in my mind.
What do you hear from Harry? Was he in the flood? I have tried to go on the principle that “No news is good news” and feel that is alright for I haven’t heard a word from him for a long time. I thought I would hear from him before this. I know you have been busy, but Bess could write.
Tell me what you did down at Burlington.
I shall be here over Sunday and then go to Kansas. We have taken a three-week-old baby born here and I do not know yet what we will do with her. Will have to wait and help Mrs. Comstock out with it.
Don’t forget that I now have a P.O. Box #26, Topeka, Kansas, and will have all mail forwarded from there.
Love to all, and write soon.
is noted that by 1893 some 960 children had been placed in Kansas, and as a Placement Agent William would have
been directly involved in this process.William J. passed away December 28, 1915 and Hannah died September 15, 1933. They were buried in Greenwood Cemetery at Clay Center. They were survived by five children, four sons and one daughter, the sons are: W.J. McCully Jr. of Clay Center; James S. McCully of Herington; Hary H. of Oil Center, Cal.; Charles L. of Broughton, Clay County, Kansas USA, and his daughter, Mrs. Sarah Heusted of Clay Center. Mr. McCully was also survived by a sister, Mrs. Sarah J. Chesnut of Attleborough, Mass. Source: article contributed by Don Johnston, his Great Grand Nephew in Australia
John Washington Swan, born October 22, 1851 in Bureau County, Illinois, died March 31, 1935 in Sedalia, Missouri. He was 84 years old.
Supplied by Clark Kidder
sorrow to many a western home, where he was enshrined as one of God’s noblemen–a friend of the poor and a
father to the fatherless–a man who devoted his life to the noble work of caring for those in distress, sacrificing
health and home comforts that others might have health and home privileges.This splendid character we refer to as “Mr. Tice,” was well known in this community, his duties as western emigration agent having brought him frequently among our people. Everyone who met him, at once recognized his ability in his chosen line of work–his loving nature, the warmth of his fatherly heart, his high ideals of manhood and womanhood and the possibilities of developing helpless ones into good citizens by giving them a chance in life’s uneven fight for existence. His very eyes beamed with love and won every person with whom he came in contact. Especially was this the case with the little ones placed in his care. He appeared to possess a magnetism for the children which at once drew them to him, winning the love and confidence of every child–a trait which gave him a peculiar fitness for his work of finding homes and watching over the little wards of his Society.For more than twenty-five years he has devoted his life to that great work, going in sunshine and storm to help those in distress or in need of better conditions. During this time he has placed more than 3000 children in western homes, besides visiting several thousand who had been previously placed, and doing much in other lines of the Society’s work.To the selfish and uninterested, it is strange to see such a person, a man of almost giant strength of body and mind, thus sacrificing himself on the alter of self-denial and practical Christianity, but to those who have watched the work in which he was engaged and taken part in the labors, even in a small way, it appeals as the greatest work in which a man can engage. I would rather have the love and respect of the thousands whom B.W.Tice has helped and the credit of the good deeds he did than to have the highest honor my friends could bestow.It is surely a great work and one of the greatest workers, judging by the result of his work, has been called to his reward. Peace to his sacred ashes.
“Mr. Tice and I were associated together in many distributions in Minnesota, Nebraska, and Iowa. He was a genial man, full of pleasantries. A Methodist but quite tolerant with others of different faith” says Rev. H. D. Clarke in his scrapbook.
var _gaq = _gaq || ; _gaq.push(['_setAccount', 'UA-39239201-1']); _gaq.push(['_trackPageview']);