Gilbert Eadie’s Story

by Guest Elaine Eadie My grandfather, John Eadie, along with his twin brothers, Hugh and Tom, arrived at Ellis Island, New York as immigrants from Glasgow, Scotland around 1891. My grandfather became a U.S. citizen October 19, 1892. Shortly after my grandfather arrived he found work immediately since he was a mason. He helped build the St. John the Devine Cathedral in New York City. My grandfather, John Eadie, married Adelia Kelly from New York City and six children were born to this union. In 1911 Dad’s mother’s health began to fail and Dad, along with two of his siblings, went with their mother to Connecticut in hopes of getting help for her health. She passed away in July, 1911. John carved his wife’s tombstone, which I have a picture of. The following year Dad’s father’s health was failing. Dad always said his father died of a broken heart after the passing of his wife. He passed away in April 1913. In December 1912, Dad and his youngest brother were taken to the Brace School for Boys in Valhalla, New York, which was fifty or sixty miles north of the city. Dad always said if he could have lived his life over, he would have stayed at the Brace School since he thought the world of Mr. and Mrs. Wendel who Dad called Ma and Pop Wendel. They were the caretakers of this school and Pop Wendel taught school there. His sister made one request – that the boys were never to be split, and the Children’s Aid Society kept her wish. They remained together until Walter passed away in 1937 from Multiple Sclerosis. My father, Gilbert Eadie, and his younger brother, Walter, rode the orphan train from New York City to Northwood, Iowa on July 17, 1913. The Children’s Aid Society already had a home picked for Dad and Walter, and they did not have to stand before the crowd to be picked over like slaves on the platform or stage at the Dwelle Opera House. The night of their arrival they, along with Anna Laura Hill from the Children’s Aid Society, stayed at the hotel in Northwood before departing for Pratt, Kansas where they lived with Mr. and Mrs. William Wright. They had two daughters the same age as Dad and Walter. Mr. Wright was a school teacher and the boys rode in the surrey to school each day. The Wrights’ parents came from Pennsylvania and convinced the Wrights to move back to Pennsylvania, which they did, but they did not want to take the boys with them. Anna Laura Hill came to Pratt, Kansas and brought the boys to Waukon, Iowa January 24, 1914. She took...

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