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First How the System Worked -Janet M. Coble compiled a booklet on children from the Asylum for the Illinois State Geelogical Society. Here is part of the History of the New York Juvenile Asylum as she tells it. In New York City, between 1840 and 1850, were increasing numbers of children who were in need of help. These children were sons and daughters of immigrants who found earning a living and caring for their children and overbearing problem. There were between 30 and 40 alms giving societies in operation for relief of particular classes of indigents. However, even with the addition of supplies of legal charity, the needs of the indigent were not being met. In the winter of 1842-3 the "New York Association for the Improvement of teh Condition of the Poor" was formed. They oversaw the workings of the other charities. But still there were children who were not being provided for. By 1850 the Association agreed there was a need for a Juvenile Department to improve the condition of the children and youth in the city. They wished to remove children from "the dangerous and corrupting associations and place them in such circumstances as would be favorable to their reform, and tend to make them industrious, virtuous and useful memebers of society." In 1851 a bill was passed that gave authority to take over the guardianship of these children. In Jan 1853, the New York Juvenile Asylum opened a House of Reception at 109 Bank Street. Soon afterwards a building at the foot of 55th Street was rented to be occupied, temporarily, as an Asylum. In 1859 the House of Reception was moved to No. 71 East Thirteenth Street. This was where children were frist sent by the Magistrates and where they were held for up to 10 days until it could be ascertained whether their parents could take them and care for them or not. If not they went to the Asylum where they would remain until they were sent home to a relitive or friend or were sent to homes in the country. No child was to be received into the Institution unless between the ages of 7 and 14. A child could come into the institution for the following reasons: 1. When parents were unable to provide for support because of poverty 2. When parents or guardian were sick or otherwise unable to bestow attention to the child and make sure they were educated. 3. When parents found the child to be incorrigibly mischievous and otherwise bad, so as to need the influence and discipline of this institution for its reformation. 4..When one of the parents is intemperate, brutal, addicted to crime, or in confirmed vicious habits, and the other parent is disirous of removing it from such evil influence. Children were sent from the asylum to IL and later a few other states. An agent would advertise for about 3 weeks in the local papers of the counties where the train would be stopping and let people know that the children were coming. The notice would state:"Homes are wanted for these children with farmers, where they will recieve kind treatment and enjoy fair advantages. They have been in the Asylum from one to two years, and have received instruction preparatory to the terms of apprenticeship. They may be taken upon trial for four weeks and afterwardds, if all parties are satisfied, under indentures - girls until eighteen, and boys until twenty-one years of age. The indenture provides for four months' schooling each year, until the child has advanced through compound intrest, and at the time of the expiration of the term of apprenticeship, two new sits of clothes, and the payment to girls of fifty dollars and to the boys one hundred fifty dollars. All espenses of transportation will be assumed by the Asylum, and the children will be placed on trial and indentured free of charge. Theose who desire to take children on trial are required to meet them at the hotel at the time above specified" At the end of the trial period both the adults and the child had to be satisfied with the arrangement. If not, the child was replaced. A few children went through many trail placements. Once a year the child was asked to write back to the Asylum. I have copies of two letters that my grandfather wrote. He was placed in the asylum at about the age of 14 and was placed with a farmer in IL at the age of 15. He had very fond memories of the family. When this family went out of farming he drove the buggy for the town doctor. We don't know why my grandfather was placed. He never talked about the Asylum or the reason he was placed there. His father died and his mother remarried twice. The family in IL kept in contact with the family in Brooklyn for many years. I know that one of Grandpa's nephews became a banker in Manhatten. Finally, letters to the family in New York came back marked "return to sender" More information is on the internet. Cydislist has a catagory for the orphan trains. A search on Google will bring up many sites. One of the things the Asylum did was subscribe to the magazine " A Youths Companion" -- Contact: Illinois State Genealogical Society P.O. Box 10195 Springfield, IL 62791-0195 or Illinois Orphan Train Heritage Society Shirley Howenstine, Executive Director 2925 Virginia Lane Glenview, IL 60025-4647 The following is a partial" list of "New York area" institutions that had provided "orphans" to be sent west to new homes on the Orphan Trains. If you have an ancestor who spent time in one of these "homes", and ended up in Kansas, it is likely that they are an Orphan Train Rider. Angel Guardian Home, Association for Befriending Children & Young Girls, Association for Benefit of Colored Orphans, Baby Fold, Balwin Place Mission and Home for Little Wanders [Boston), Baptist Children's Home of Long Island Bedford Maternity, Inc., Bellevue Hospital, Bensonhurst Maternity, Berachah Orphanage, Berkshire Farm for boys, Berwind Maternity Clinic, Beth Israel Hospital, Bethany Samaritan Society, Bethlehem Lutheran Children's Home Booth Memorial Hospital, Borough park Maternity Hospital, Brace Memorial Newsboys House, Bronx Maternity Hospital, Brooklyn Benevolent Society, Brooklyn Hebrew Orphan Asylum, Brooklyn Home for Children, Brooklyn Hospital, Brooklyn Industrial School, Brooklyn Maternity Hospital, Brooklyn Nursery & Infants Hospital, Brookwood Child Care, Catholic Child Care Society, Catholic Committee for Refugees, Catholic Guardian Society, Catholic Home Bureau, Child Welfare League of America Children's Aid Society, Children's Haven, Church Mission of Help, Children's Village, Inc., Colored Orphan Asylum, Convent of Mercy, Dana House, Door of Hope, Duval Collage for Infant Children, Edenwald School for Boys, Erlanger Home, Euphrasian Residence, Family Reception Center, Fellowship House for boys, Ferguson House, Five Points House of Industry, Florence Crittendon League, Goodhue Home, Grace Hospital, Graham Windham Services, Greer-Woodycrest Children's Services, NOTE: Greer-Woodycrest was never involved in any Orphan Train activity, as it did not exist until the 1980's. The merger between Happy Valley (Five Points Industrial School in Pomona) which opened around 1912, that is to say, that the Pomona Location was opened at that time, could and I believe was part of the Orphan Train movement. But Woodycrest at 936 Woodycrest Aven, Bronx, did not have an involvement with the Orphan Trains as far as I know. As late as 1930, it had been known as the "American Female Guardian Society and Home for the Friendless", according to Tax Maps of the era. It had only been opened at the turn of the 20th Century. Adoption was one focus of the insitution, however the perspective parents were to come to the Orphanage for interviews, both the child and the adoptive parents. Woodycrest (American female Guardian/Home for Friendless) did have a Summer Camp at Ocean Port/Side NJ, called Wright Memorial. I was just speaking to an elderly man who went to that Camp when a youngster. Woodycrest Child Care did not purchase the Bear Mountain site on Lake Cohasset until around the mid to late 1950's. It was in the 1970's that Woodycrest changed their name to Woodycrest-Five Point Child Care, in contemplation of merging with Happy Valley, run by Five Points, and known as their Industrial School in Pomona. It was not until the 1980's that the name was changed again, to Greer-Woodycrest, after they decided to attend to special needs individuals, and the "old crowd" had attained majority and was either forced to leave, or left on their own account. When this insitution went bankrupt in the early 1990's, the residents were placed in Crystal Run Village. While a Court Order was necessary to obtain records relating to my days at Woodycrest and Woodycrest Five Points, I did not pursue it as I did not have a compelling reason for asking a judge to unseal my records. My inquirey took place while the Insitution was still viable and under the control of Greer-Woodycrest. Again, I doubt seriously that the institution located at 936 Woodycrest Avenue, Bronx, ever participated in the Orphan Train, and it certainly did not exist when I was either in the Bronx, or the Pomona Location. David A Henry Guardian Angel Home, Guild of the Infant Savior, Hale House for Infants, Inc., Half-Orphan Asylum, Harman Home for Children, Heartsease Home, Hebrew Orphan Asylum, Hebrew Sheltering Guardian Society, Holy Angels' School, Home for Destitute Children, Home for Destitute Children of Seamen, Home for Friendless Women and Children, Hopewell Society of Brooklyn, House of the Good Shepherd, House of Mercy, House of Refuge, Howard Mission & Home for Little Wanderers, Infant Asylum, Infants' Home of Brooklyn, Institution of Mercy, Jewish Board of Guardians, Jewish Protectory & Aid Society, Kallman Home for Children, Little Flower Children's Services, Maternity Center Association, McCloskey School & Home, McMahon Memorial Shelter, Mercy Orphanage, Messiah Home for Children, Methodist Child Welfare Society, Misericordia Hospital, Mission of the Immaculate Virgin, Morrisania City Hospital, Mother Theodore's Memorial Girls' Home, Mothers & Babies Hospital, Mount Sinai Hospital. New York Foundling Hospital, New York Home for Friendless Boys, New York House of Refuge, New York Juvenile Asylum, New York Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Children, Ninth St. Day Nursery & Orphans' Home, Orphan Asylum Society of the City of Brooklyn, Orphan House, Ottilie Home for Children.-- RETURN to ORPHAN Main RETURN to BROOKLYN Main