• Sumo
Clark Kidder – Eastern Iowa

“In this presentation, Mr. Kidder brings to light his expertise and family connection to the orphan trains. Kidder tells the story of his paternal grandmother – the late Emily (Reese) Kidder, who was brought to the Midwest in 1906 on an orphan train. He will read from his book, Emily’s Story: The Brave Journey of an Orphan Train Rider as he shows numerous historical and family photos in a PowerPoint presentation. Kidder is also the author of Orphan Trains and Their Precious Cargo – The Life’s Work of Rev. H. D. Clarke, and is co-writer and co-producer of the documentary West by Orphan Train, which won a Midwest Regional Emmy Award in 2015. The film is based on his book, Emily’s Story.”

1620 Sienna Xing

Janesville, WI  53546


Dennis Wilson – Northern Iowa

My interest stems from my forty year career as a Railroad conductor and interest in railroad history. I do an hour presentation with or without power point. The presentation starts with one of the hundreds of Orphans stories, acted out taking about ten minutes. I try to change the story each presentation.  The rest deals with the history of the placing out movement both The Children’s Aid Society, and New York Foundlings Society. Also, I address the pros and cons of the Orphan Trains, movement against, states passing laws, foster care, and the end of the movement. Finally, as we view children today, what did we learn from the Orphan Train movement, and why is it important to keep that history alive.