The Peabody Gazette

Thursday, May 25, 1911

The Peabody Gazette newspaper reported the Children’s Aid Society of New York notified Dr. C.C. Jones, dentist and Mayor of Marion, Kansas, in a letter of May 12th that western agent B.W. Tice had instructed Mr. Swan to arrange for the distribution of children on June 2nd at Peabody.  The children were expected to arrive on the 3:27 afternoon train on Friday, June 1.  On this May 12th date, there were only three boys, brothers, ages 6, 10, and 12 who would definitely be in the group.

The Gazette of June 1 reported applications could be made to any one memeber of the local committee: E.F. Davidson, W.H. Sutphin, R.D. Sands, W.W. House, W.A. Newhard, or Drs. Johnson and Mayer.  Distribution was expected to take place at the Masonic Opera House at 3:30 p.m. on Friday and at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday.  Parties wishing to take children must be well recommended and children would be placed on a trial basis.  If found to be unsatisfactory, they would be removed after a reasonable time.  Adoption was not demanded.

The Gazette of June 8, 1911 reported that eight boys and seven girls arrived later than expected under the care of general agent Mr. Swan assisted by two ladies who accompanied them.  The children were well behaved, well trained and ranged in age from 8 to 14 years.

While they were taken directly to the Opera House, the children were tired and it was thought best to delay the placing of them until Saturday when they were better rested and cleaned up from their long trip.

On Saturday, the following were placed:

Susan Toune, 12, with Chris Devore of Tampa

John Alfred Keats, 12 with Fred Moore, of Ebling

Saunders [later called Richard] Townsend, 10, with Clarence Coleman [and wife Effie]

Bugglen, William, 12, with T.R. Lewis

Elida Relyea, 8, with Robert Slater

Inez Mortimer, 9, with Dr. C.C. Jones, of Marion

Katie [Catherine] Fichtner, 11, with William Olliffe

Carrie Leibecajat, 14, with Arnold Berns

Not placed that day were:

Fred G. Sollett, 12, said to be an electrical genius

Anna Dalaghan, 12

Rosa Galusha, 9

Henry Plot, 10

Walter White, 15, and his brother

John White, 13

The Gazette of June 15, 1911, reported that Anna Dalaghan, was placed with Charles Giffin; that Fred G. Sollett was placed with J.L. Heath; and that Rosa Galusha was placed with Chris Olson of Canada, Kansas.  Henry Plot and the two White brothers, Walter and John were taken to an orphanage in Nebraska.

Research by the Peabody Historical Society, reported in the Spring, 1998 issue, that William and Elizabeth Townsend of Fishers, New York had had six children, but that Elizabeth had died in childbirth and William committed suicide in 1908.  Saunders, referred to in later records as Richard Townsend had previously been sent to Nebraska in 1910, but had been mistreated and been transferred to the Peabody group.  He had a sister, Ruth, who traveled alone in 1914, at the age of 11, to join him at the Coleman farm.  Richard graduated from Peabody High School in 1919, but died at age 21 of a brain aneurysm.

The Society report also reported that Albert Strong was removed from William Bauslin’s and placed with Woodburn “Wood” Slaymaker and that Katie [Catherine] Fichtner was known locally as a Methodist Sunday School teacher; that she married a man named Poteet and moved to Texas.  Her foster parent, William Jolliffe died in 1938 at the age of 93.

A son of Walter White, John, reported that contrary to the report that his father and Uncle John had been sent to a Nebraska Orphanage, his father had been taken by a family of Peabody, but after a beating, ran away and was taken in by Edwin Slaymaker and married Dorothy Greer.  The newsletter has a photo of Walter “Zeke” White, as well as one of Richard and Ruth Townsend, latter taken in 1914.

References: Peabody Gazette, 25 May, 1 June, 15 June 1911; Peabody Historical Society Newsletter of Spring, 1998; letter from Betty Glidewell, 30 June 1998.

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