Mudcat Café message #2737197 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #124050   Message #2737197
Posted By: autoharper
03-Oct-09 - 07:07 AM
Thread Name: Folklore: Little Orphant Annie & the Orphan Train
Subject: Folklore: Little Orphant Annie & the Orphan Train
I sing and talk a lot about the Orphan Train movement (1854-1929).

Last month someone told me a good story that I had never heard:

Mary Alice Smith (1850-1924), the orphan girl who worked in the childhood home of the American poet James Whitcomb Riley (1847-1916), and was the inspiration for the poem "Little Orphant Annie," traveled to Greenfield, IN, on the Orphan Train.

However, her obituary, contemporary newspaper accounts, and various biographies of James Whitcomb Riley suggest the girl was born close to Greenfield and never rode the Orphan Train.

Anybody ever heard or read anything making the connection between Mary Alice Smith and the Orphan Train?

-Adam Miller