Boys! Boys! Boys!

Awhile ago I wrote about the story in my husband’s family about their one great grandfather being “sold” at the Ohio State Fair to a farmer down near the southern Ohio border.  Turns out, that this very thing, however unbelievable and far fetched, is absolutely, 100% true.

I reached out on a whim to the Ohio State Fair administration office and they answered within 24 hours.  The Ohio State Fair has a historian named C. LaVon Shook and he wrote a book entitled A History of the Ohio State Fair in which he documents the Children’s Home Society offering “on the spot” adoptions of children.  There was even an article in the Columbus Dispatch!  (see below!)

History-of-the-OSF-by-LaVon-Shook
Excerpt from C. LaVon Shook’s “A History of the Ohio State Fair”

I spoke with Mr. Shook via email and this is what he wrote back regarding these “adoptions” –

“The 1902 story appeared in the Columbus Dispatch and seemingly suggests an adoption process designed to benefit youngsters as well as … “responsible farmers and other persons…” with a minimum of paperwork.  In 1905 a story appeared in the newspaper and it read: “The Children’s Home Society corner is a busy place and before the fair was half over, Dr. Darby had received offers of homes for 20 children while at least 40 people who had been placed in happy homes by the Society came up to greet the doctor and his wife, one of them bringing her own chubby baby.” (Columbus Dispatch)

It’s even further documented here on this site talking about the “Strange Stories of the Ohio State Fair“.  (an interesting read!)

I haven’t had time yet to really dig into the Children’s Home Society in Columbus, Ohio but briefly I came across a few articles where they were under scrutiny for various reasons.  Supposedly the administrator’s adopted daughter burned all the records or something to that effect.  Once my school is done in April, I plan on digging further when I head to Ohio on a genealogy road trip but I thought it was interesting to share with everyone that yes, this did indeed happen.  So amazing to be able to confirm this long held family story and lay to rest some questions for my husband’s grandfather who always wondered whether this was true or not.  (it was his dad’s story)

 

 

Advertisements

One thought on “Boys! Boys! Boys!

  1. It doesn’t surprise me at all. I’ve read about the orphan trains that took boys out of the city and to the country to work on farms. Some were treated well, like family , and others were treated like slaves. Good luck on your search!

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s