My Grandmother and her 3 younger siblings lived at the Fremont orphanage for a few years after their Mother died and until their father remarried. I will have to ask Mom, but I think it was about 1913 when Grandma & her sibs were placed there.
Grandma loathed it there and said that punishments were very harsh for the slightest provocation...often for no apparent reason at all. She said they were forced to call John Gnuse "Papa Gnusi" and all feared his wrath.
Grandma was so grateful when she & her siblings were able to return home, escaping the horrors of that orphanage. It left emotional scars on her for the rest of her life. It left emotional AND physical scars on many others, as many persons in charge were reportedly extremely sadistic.
*The epidemics that occured in that time frame were:
1911-A severe and deadly heatwave in n.e. Nebraska.
1913-on March 23,(Easter Sunday) 8 tornadoes hit Nebraska & Iowa, causing 181 deaths.
1915-1916 and later- A Polio Epidemic
1918-The Spanish Flu Epidemic...there were other flu deaths reported in previous years,(Probably not spanish flu)especially in institutional settings. Spanish flu is thought to have begun previous to 1918.
In the early 1900's many vaccines were being created and used on humans without their knowledge. Some were tested on babies & children in orphanages, on inmates in penitentiaries and on the criminally insane.
What a terrible shame so many children died. I think it's lovely that you acknowlege those tiny souls with your thoughts and by your kindness in keeping their final resting place beautiful. I would really like to see photos...and of the orphanage itself, especially indoor photos. I've found only one photo of it in an online search.
So strange to think that many of our ancestors may have lived there at the same time, possibly having known one another!
Take care all!