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Orphan Home of the Industry

Privacy Level: Open (White)
Date: [unknown] [unknown]
Location: [unknown]
Surnames/tags: Iowa Orphanages
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"In 1854, the almshouse began a program of sending children as far away as Iowa, to the Rev. Charles C. Townsend's Orphan's Home of the Industry in Iowa City. [1]

"Townsend sent glowing reports of the forty-six children sent to him from the New York Almshouse. Some where placed in the homes of "the good families of the country," where they were "contented and happy." "a few years later (from 1858), however, a visitor to Townsend's institution gave a very different report of conditions there. The conditions of the Iowa Institution were "most unfavorable and the children were in a pitiful and destitute condition." [2]

"The New York Times estimated that Townsend took in 500 orphans in all. However, the townspeople were not happy to have vagrants and criminals in their midst and in 1868 the home had closed and the property sold at a sheriff's auction. Townsend went back to New York where he died a short time later (in 1869)." [3]

"In Chicago, Smith (Children's Aid Society agent) put them by themselves on a train to Iowa City where a Reverend C.C. Townsend, who ran a local orphanage, took them in and attempted to find them foster families." [4]


1860 Census: Iowa City, Johnson, Iowa (Orphan's Home)[5]

  • Chas C Townsend; M; 50; Orphan's Home; Conn (wiki profile)
  • Martha Townsend; F; 45; Orphan's Home; Ohio
  • Sarah J Hess; F; 25; Governess; N York
  • Miss Maynard; F; 28; Matron; Ohio
  • Jane McMirion; F; 28; ___ Sewing; N York
  • Helen Slavery; F; 28; Cook; Ireland
  • Ellen McNemener; F, 24; Nurse; Ireland
  • Mary Odonal; F; 17; Arkansas
  • Susan Hempstead; F; 19; N York
  • Ellen Kuhl; F; 16; N York
  • Clara T Cook; F; 14; N York
  • Louisa Cahell; F; 13; N York
  • Ellen Crumley; F; 13; N York
  • Henrietta Doye; F; 11; N York
  • Laura Bradshaw; F; 14; N York
  • Margaret Smith; F; 15; N York
  • Virginia Brown; F; 9; N York
  • Eliza Simmons; F; 9; N York
  • Martha Sylvester; F; 12; N York
  • Juliet Wheeler; F; 14; N York
  • Mary Plank; F; 9; N York
  • Mary M Honey; F; 12; N York
  • Josephine Kelly; F; 11; N York
  • Elizabeth Green; F; 9; N York
  • Fanny Morrison; F; 10; N York
  • Mary J Sennett; F; 7; N York
  • Theresa McNamar; F; 6; N York
  • Martha Tibbits; F; 6; N York
  • Caroline Darher; F; 8; N York
  • Martha Townsend; F; 6; N York
  • Charlotte Brown; F; 14; N York
  • Louisa Walker; F; 13; N York
  • James Jank; M; 20; N York
  • William Jank ; M; 18; N York
  • Edward Brown; M; 16; Virginia
  • Saml Watkins; M; 18; N York
  • Andr Johnson; M; 18; N York
  • Jas Roberts; M; 18; N York
  • Thos Crummby; M; 18; Penna
  • John Gleason; M; 16; N York
  • John Sennett; M; 14; Virginia
  • Chas Howard; M; 13; Ireland
  • Henry Martin; M; 12; Penna
  • John King; M; 11; N York
  • George Gleason; M; 9; N Hampshire
  • Edward Tibbits; M; 9; N York
  • John M Munn (McMunn); M; 9; N York
  • John S Philip; M; 7; N York
  • A Cleveland; M; 7; N York
  • Chas Hathaway; M; 8; N York
  • Jas Cummings; M; 8; N York
  • Wm Baine ; M; 8; N York (Wiki profile)
  • John McCleary; M; 9; N York
  • Edwin Townsend; M; 5; N York
  • George Mc Munn (McMann); M; 6; N York
  • Joseph Brown; M; 6; N York
  • James Hughel; M; 10; N York
  • Henry Rithward (Richmond); M; 16; N York
  • Joshua Petesh; M; 3; Virginia
  • Chas H Glancey; M; 2; N York
  • Jas McMesenus; M; 1; N York
  • Cary Lewis (Long, Loring, Laing); F; 1; N York
  • Ada Lee (Sie); F; 1; N York
  • Tell Townsend; F; 1; N York
  • John Newgord (Newgood); M; 2; N York


Iowa City Daily Press (Iowa City, Iowa) 19 Mar 1913: "Original Notice; In the District Court of Iowa, in and for Johnson County, April Term, A.D. 1913. Frank W. Vrchoticky and Veronia J Vrchoticky, Plaintiffs V. Rev. Edward W. Peet. Rev.W.F. Lloyd, Rov. Alva G G_non, Stephen Maynard, Richard Sylvester, William Blackwell, ... James, Trustees of Orphans Home of Industry, The Orphans Home of Industry, Peter Statzer and his unknown heirs, the unknown wife of Peter Statzer and her unknown heirs; Mallie A. Boal, Theodore D. Boal and Mathilde Boal, his wife, L. H. Jackson and Virginia Jackson, his wife; Charles C. Townsend; Mary Maynard, and the unknown surviving spouses, heirs, devisees, legatees and grantees of said above named defendants, and the unknown claimants of the following described real estate situated in Johnson County, State of Iowa to wit: The North Five Acres of that part of the East Half of the Northeast Quarter of the Northeast Quarter of Section Three, in Township Seventy-Nine North, Range Six, West of the 5th P.M. lying East of the Prairie du Chien Road."

  • "Frank W. Vrchoticky and Veronia J. Vrchoticky, plaintiffs herein, alleging that they are the absolute and unqualified owners in fee simple of the following describe real estate ... "for more than thirty years last past; and that the said defendants above named and each of them have had no possession thereof adverse to these plaintiffs during the said period of time."
  • Northeast corner of the South Half of the Northeast Quarter of Section Three in Township Seventy-Nine North, Range Six, West of the 5th P.M. running thence North Seventy-Two rods, thence 40 rods, thence South 72 rods, running thence East 40 rods to beginning, being 18 acres off the East end of the North half of the Northeast corner of Section three in Township Seventy-Nine North, Range Six West of the 5th P.M."
  • "Above described real estates was obtained by virtue of a warranty deed from Charles H. Berryhill and Elizabeth W. Berryhill, his wife dated May 1st, 1860 and recorded January 12, 1865 on Page 200 of Book 24 of the Deed Records of Johnson County, Iowa.


U.S. City Directory, Frank Vrchoticky, 1909, R 2 la City, Iowa City, Iowa. [7]

U.S. City Directory, Frank Vrchoticky, 1915, 64p 10a, Iowa City, Iowa. [8]


  1. Miller, Julie. "Abandoned: Foundlings in Nineteenth-century New York City." 2008. New York: New York University Press.pg. 82; https://books.google.com/books?id=pFMTCgAAQBAJ&pg=PA192&lpg=PA192&dq=charles+townsend+orphan+home+iowa&source=bl&ots=nXntmDRbAc&sig=iKJ-uJ0I55U2BCyp8Pvv9rP_n_Q&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjKq5HGjOvSAhXLzVQKHbs9BKwQ6AEIJTAC#v=onepage&q=charles%20townsend%20orphan%20home%20iowa&f=false; accessed 3/22/2017
  2. Miller, Julie. "Abandoned: Foundlings in Nineteenth-century New York City." 2008. New York: New York University Press. pg. 192; https://books.google.com/books?id=pFMTCgAAQBAJ&pg=PA192&lpg=PA192&dq=charles+townsend+orphan+home+iowa&source=bl&ots=nXntmDRbAc&sig=iKJ-uJ0I55U2BCyp8Pvv9rP_n_Q&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjKq5HGjOvSAhXLzVQKHbs9BKwQ6AEIJTAC#v=onepage&q=charles%20townsend%20orphan%20home%20iowa&f=false; accessed 3/22/2017
  3. IAGenWeb, "Orphan Home of the Industry", http://iagenweb.org/history/orphans/org/OHI.htm; accessed 3/22/2017
  4. O'Conner, Stephen. "Orphan Trains The Story of Charles Loring Brace and the Children he Saved and Failed." 2001. http://www.nytimes.com/books/first/o/oconnor-01orphan.html; accessed 3/22/2017.
  5. "United States Census, 1860", database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:M82D-99Q : 30 December 2015), Chas C Townsend, 1860.
  6. Iowa City Daily Press (Iowa City, Iowa) 19 Mar 1913
  7. Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2011.
  8. Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2011.

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