On Friday the 13th of October in 1911, a train steamed in to Clyde, KS from the east. On board this train were B.W. Tice, Anna Laura Hill and sixteen children from the East Coast. Mr. Tice and Miss Hill were placement agents for the Children’s Aid Society. Their job was to arrange for good homes for those children.
One of the boys was Paul Young. It is unknown at this time who Paul’s birth parents were or what circumstances put him on a train to Kansas. Paul was described by the Clyde Farmer’s Voice as “the tiniest little lad of 2 years with the auburn hair and the freckled nose.” Boyd and Louise Clithero of Concordia had motored over to Clyde to attend the placement and they motored home with little Paul Young.
The Clithero’s owned a grocery store in Concordia. They gave little Paul their name so he was known from then on as Paul Clithero. The Clitheros lived next to the Lewis family and little Norman Lewis (who later owned the Barons House Hotel and Motel) and Paul Clithero were great friends. Just a year after Paul was taken in by Boyd and Louise Clithero they moved to another part of town. According to a Blade-Empire clip from November 6h, 1912, little Paul was heartbroken because Norman wasn’t moving with them. Louise asked if Paul would like for them to get him a sister and Paul replied “No mama, but I would like a little Norman.”
Paul attended Concordia High School. He performed vocal solos for area clubs. The Clithero family made automobile trips all over the US. Paul and Norman made the news occasionally with their antics. When they were teens they rented the ballroom of the Barons House to have a party for their friends. Their biggest adventure was in 1927 when they decided to go down the Republican in a canoe. They were headed to Junction City. About 9 pm the first night, the canoe hit something in the river and sank. Paul and Norman swam for shore, then had to walk four miles to Clyde.
Paul served in the United States Navy aboard the U.S.S. Indiana during World War II. He never married. Paul Clithero died in Leavenworth Kansas on the 5th of July 1963 and is buried in the National Cemetery there.
Author: Lori Halfhide, Head Researcher, National Orphan Train Complex
(Photo Courtesy of the Cloud County Historical Society Museum)
Story originally published in the Blade Empire Newspaper, Concordia, Kansas. July 14, 2016