Friday, January 5, 2007

Tough times in Iowa

One of the surnames I'm working with in my friend's ancestry is Corporon. She has a family by that name in Centerville, Appanoose county, Iowa. When I put the surname into the Linkpendium surname search, and clicked on the message board link, I was surprised to find this message on the board:


"The Kansas City Times" (Missouri) Monday, April 21, 1913


A 13-year-old boy walked into the station between J. F. Darnell and S. J. Sebree, the largest two patrolmen on the police force, last night. When Samuel I. Reed, sergeant, asked what his crime was, he said: "Nothing, only asking these gentlemen where I could get something to eat."

Darnell and Sebree explained that the boy was so gentlemanly that they had taken him to a restaurant, where he ate a steak, four eggs, two cups of coffee and two stacks of hot cakes. He said his name was Virgil Corporon and he formerly lived in Centerville, IA. He said his parents were divorced and each had remarried and he was welcome in neither home.

"When I went to my father's home," he said, "my stepmother would tell me I had better go and live with my mother and when I went there my stepfather would tell me to get out. Mother cried and begged my stepfather to let me stay with them."

Here the boy paused and wiped away a tear. "But he said that he didn't want anybody else's brats about."

"I worked my way to Kansas City be sweeping out the caboose of a freight train. I got here yesterday morning and the brakeman bought me something to eat. I tried all day yesterday and today to get a job, but nobody wanted a boy. Tonight I got so hungry that I stopped these policemen."

He was taken to the Detention Home. An effort will be made today to obtain a job for him.


Virgil is not my friend's ancestor, but he certainly must have been her distant cousin.

I can't help wondering what happened to Virgil Corporon. Did he go back to his family? Did he survive his teenage years and become a working man and a family man? I hope so - he sure sounds like a responsible 13 year old young man in the article. Hungry too.

No comments: