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        Minnesota Legacy Short | The Orphan Trains

        In the 1800s, the railroads faced a problem - farm labor shortages along their newly expanded westward lines threatened profitability. Not surprisingly, in 1853, they jumped at the chance to support a New York City minister's idea - an early version of foster care that would find homes for the city's orphans on farms in the Midwest. Until the program ended in 1929, more than a quarter of a million abandoned, homeless, and orphaned children were taken from the streets, tenements, and orphanages of New York City and sent to uncertain futures with strangers.

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