Students Learn History a Century Ago Through Orphan Trains Presentation

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DES MOINES, Iowa -- The Iowa State Historical Museum presented a program Friday on Orphan Trains in the years 1854-1929.

Due to immigrants' economic circumstances, a number of children could not be cared for by parents or the children lost their parents.

Personal stories were presented by Clark Kidder, whose grandmother came to Iowa on an orphan train to start a new life. He wrote a book on her and used her story along with many period photos of the orphans in the presentation.

Story teller Pippa White presented a one-woman show to help personalize the Orphan Train experience.

Students attended from the Des Moines metro area. The students were asked to look at the old photos and ask what conclusions they could draw from the images of the kids back at that time.

The students also were given help in knowing how to question an elder, as a way to better understand what their life was like when they were young.