Placing out is a 19th century term for getting abandoned and homeless children off the streets.  They were sometimes gathered by police.  Some of the kids came voluntarily. they all were brought to local aid societies.  If they weren’t wanted at home they were brought there by relatives or parents.  They all were cleaned up and given new clothes and taken out west in large groups on a train.  Three times a month about 30 kids were put into groups.  Sometimes they were given a suitcase if they had personal belongings.  They had assigned seats on the train.  Most of trains left on Tuesday.  They were given bibles to comfort them.  Sometimes they sang songs on the train. They journey usually lasted 3-4 days.  The kids were not allowed to leave the trains only to change trains and to pass time during a layover.  When they neared the destination they changed into good clothes and washed up.  When they got there they all lined up in a line on a stage.  Then an agent gave a brief account on each and explained the rules for placement.  The rules were, placement are on a trial basic, and legal adoption is not acquired but the foster parents are supposed to treat them like their own family.  Many children were shoved, pushed, and pulled about as people tried to make a decision if they should take anyone home. After all the stops and they were still left on the train they went back to New York.  Many orphanages lead pleasant lives when they grew up .

1853-the train started
1853-Children Aid Society started by Charles Loring Brace
1854-the first train ran on Sept. 20 it had 46 boys aboard
1867-a very large group came to Sparta on dec.14th 
1930-the train ended

American history for kids Cobblestone; Orphan Trains April 1998