The guest speaker will be Pam Whitmore of Buckingham who will present a program entitled “Dysart’s Orphan Children”. Whitmore’s grandmother, Laura McNamee, was the oldest of five siblings who arrived 1893 on the Orphan Train from New York
Whitmore grew up in Dysart, attended Upper Iowa University, and pursued a career in education. She spent many years working for the Defense Overseas School System, teaching in Puerto Rico, Korea, Cuba, Iceland, and Japan. She retired after 30 years.
Her experience interacting with children and parents of other cultures and living abroad then led her to begin a new career in the education department of Upper Iowa University in Fayette until 2005. She taught diversity and education classes, and supervised student teachers and field experience students, and still works some in this capacity at various centers throughout Iowa. Pam also finds time to volunteer and serve on various committees.
Whitmore has written a book about the Dysart Orphan Train Children, producing an updated second edition in 2006. Presently she is working on a third edition where she is integrating pictures into the text. She also has compiled “I Remember Grandma”, a collection of memoirs written by Laura McNamee’s grandchildren, including Wilma Krug and Laura Etta Metz of Tama. Dorothy Halupnick is also a descendant.
Copies of the books are in the Tama Public Library and the Museum.