Leadership in History Award

Posted by on January 8, 2016 in Uncategorized | 2 comments

The American Association for State and Local History wrote: “The documentary… seeks to correct misimpressions or false assumptions about the orphan train experience, in that the process and family placements did not always improve children’s lives. West by Orphan Train takes a balanced look at the whole story, which had both humanitarian and cruel aspects. The emotional impact of the film and its discovery of illuminating primary sources will undoubtedly stir new investigations and insights in Iowa’s genealogical and local history discussions.”

The AASLH, which gave West by Orphan Train a 2015 Leadership in History Award, also wrote the following about the documentary: “Although the documentary was only released in Iowa in late 2014, it has already received much attention and acclaim from those interested in this intriguing human story.”

We are honored by this national award. Many thanks to the AASLH.


  1. My grandmother was traveled to Texas on the Orphan Train to area around Wharton, TX- I am beginning my search for any history I can find.

    • Do you know if your grandmother was placed by the Children’s Aid Society or by the New York Foundling Hospital – the Catholic group? You may start by looking for records with the agency that placed her in Texas.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *