I realize that I'm replying to an old post but roughly 11 years ago, I took my mother up to a reunion at the old Sparta ophanage. That day, they also held the ceromony for naming the 111 children in the old cemetary whose names had been lost in a fire at the old Monona center. They managed to find the names of all the children but one..if my memory serves me correctly.
Back in the old days, they would farm children out to whoever needed cheap labor. Many children of these types of places were literally worked to death. In addition to illnesses that went untreated or untreatable and just general abuse, its just sad, sad, sad. It was a very emotional ceramony.
My mom was fortunate to have had a house mother there that genuinely cared for the children and did all she could for them. She was at the reunion and remembered my mother and my aunts that also attended.
I'm also trying to find more information. I know at one time there was a story posted in the Sparta newspaper regarding this and again, it was roughly 11 years ago. I'll post if I'm able to find it and give a link.