Leadership in History Award

Posted by on April 27, 2015 in Press, Press-New | 1 comment

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 for our documentary (which is now available nationally via Amazon Prime Video). Many thanks to the AASLH.

1 Comment

  1. My maternal grandfather, who was born George Stahl in Upstate New York in 1904, was brought to New York City and placed in The Children’s Aid Society. He was an orphan train rider and brought to Iowa in 1909. He was adopted by Miss Julia Merkel and grew up on her farm which was located near Story City, Iowa.

    Thank you for all your hard work in trying to bring the little known history of the Orphan Trains to public attention. My grandfather died when I was only two years old so I have no memories of him. The information I have gathered about the Orphan Train Riders as well as the Children’s Aid Society of New York has helped me get a glimpse of an event that had a profound effect on his life and in turn probably had an influence on the life of my mother and myself as well.

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