Children for Sale

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Image Credit: The Vidette-Messenger / Rare Historical Photos

Kids for Sale

On August 5, 1948, an ad in the Valparaiso, Indiana, Vidette-Messenger showed a mother who had her back to the reader and her head in her hands. She looked upset. A sign behind her said, “4 children for sale.” Her four young children were sitting on the steps behind her. Look inside yourself. The news finally made it to newspapers all over the United States. By way of Ohio, Michigan, and Wisconsin, from New York and Pennsylvania. After that, it was printed in newspapers in Iowa, Texas, and a few other places.

Image Credit: The Vidette-Messenger / Rare Historical Photos


Lana, 6, and Rae, 5, would be sold. They were seen sitting on the upper step. Milton, their four-year-old brother, sat on the lower step with Sue Ellen, who is two years old. It turned out that Lucille was expecting her fifth child, who would also be sent away. A lot of the kids don’t remember their real mother or the picture being taken. Other people would meet Lucille later in life and think that her choice might not have been necessary. Each of the kids for sale has a unique, interesting, if sometimes rough, story that they’ve been able to tell each other. That is, except for Lana, who died of cancer in 1998.

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Getting to Know the Kids Who Are For Sale

Instead, they were able to get in touch with Lana’s family in order to find out as much as they can about their older sister’s life. Even though it’s sad that they never got to see their older sister again, Rae and Milton were able to spend time together many times over the course of their lives. Rae and Milton were sent to live with John and Ruth Zoeteman in DeMotte, Indiana, even though there is no proof that they were bought or adopted. Rae says that Lucille sold her for $2. It looks like she could have bingo money since the guy she was seeing didn’t want anything to do with her kids. She then sold the kids.

When Rae got pregnant after being raped, Milton changed his name to Beverly and they moved in with Kenneth. They lived together for a few years before Rae was sent to a home for unwed moms in Michigan. She lost her daughter and had to find a new family for her. Their home life as kids was “loveless” and “abusive,” and Rae remembers that the man who raised her only showed her love when he was dying. She said, “They used to chain us up all the time.” “We worked in the fields when I was a little kid.” She saw Lucille again for a short time when she was 21 years old, but she said she felt “no love.”

Source: The Vidette-Messenger / Newspaper Archive / Public Domain


Getting back in touch with the kids for sale

After many years, she had a son named Lance Gray. He was very helpful in helping her stay in touch with her brothers on social media. He talked about his mother and said, “They don’t make ’em like her no more.” “Strong as nails.”

Milton sent her the picture of the kids who were up for sale. She said, “My brother in Tucson sent it to my email in some way.” “I climbed up and said, ‘Good God.'” “That is me.””

The Zoetemans. RaeAnne is on the far left, and Milton is on the far right. Image Credit: Public Domain



At the same time, Milton would arrive in Tucson after a tough trip. Milton said, “There are many things I don’t remember from my childhood.” He was one of the children for sale. He was hit, tied up, and told he would be a slave on his first day with his new folks. He said, “I said I’d go along with that.” “I was a child and didn’t know what a slave was.” Milton would keep getting hurt because he was locked in a barn and only got peanut butter and milk. He asked why he was being treated this way one day and was told to “keep him in line.” John told him, “If you’re scared, you’ll listen to me.” His aunt and uncle took him in and he went to high school and helped out with an egg delivery business.

In the end, Milton was given to the family of a friend. It should be noted that his adopted parents were actually foster parents. He said, “I thought I had been adopted.” “I do not understand how they got away with it.” He had some problems and ended up in a mental hospital, where they told him he had schizophrenia. He got out of jail in 1967 and first lived in Chicago before settling down in Tucson. He said, “My in-laws gave us $500, and we moved to Arizona.”

Meeting Lucille

He and his sister both met their real mother a long time after she had sold them. He stayed with her for a month in 1970. But at the time, he got into a fight with her husband, and the husband was arrested. Because of this, Lucille kicked Milton out. He said, “My birth mother never did love me.” “She didn’t say she was sorry for selling me.” She didn’t care because she hated me so much.

Sue Ellen

She also didn’t have proof that she had been adopted, but Sue Ellen thought she had been adopted “legitimately” by a Johnson couple. She sadly died of lung cancer in 2013, but not before she met Rae again. “That’s great. Sue Ellen wrote to her sister, “I love her.” “She needs to be in hell burning,” she wrote about her real mother, on the other hand.

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The youngest ones to leave

David, their younger brother, who was born Bedford Chalifoux, was not one of the kids who were being sold. He wasn’t given back to his mother; instead, he was given to the McDaniels, who couldn’t have children. He said, “I had bed bug bites all over my body.” “I guess it was a pretty bad place to be.” According to the papers that he was adopted, his real father had left them and “does not return to his home because of a criminal record against him in Cook County, Illinois.”

They lived just a few miles away from him as a child, and he would sometimes go see them. He said, “They’d be tied up in the barn.” “They were abused badly.” McDaniel also met his birth mother and told her that he was married again and had four more kids. She kept all of them. Michael Danielle said, “When my mom saw me, she said, ‘You look just like your dad.'” “She never said sorry.” You had to stay alive back then. What right do we have to judge?”

“All of us are people. We all do bad things. What she was thinking about might have been the kids. “I didn’t want them to die,” he said in the end.

At first, the picture of the children being sold was thought to be caused by hard times, which makes it even scarier. Even though that might still be true, these brothers’ stories make it clear that their mother had other goals that will surely shock all loving mothers.

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