was born at a very early age somewhere in New York City. He was placed
on the doorstep of one of the organizations that took in the unwanted
children of factory workers.
When maximum capacity at the home was reached, this home would place
their charges on one of the orphan trains that were sent out West.
The reasoning was that life on the farm was a happy and healthy life.
The name Raoul came from a handbill advertising a French restaurant
that someone had placed on the building's door. The wind blew it to
where the name Raoul appeared just below the baby's chin. Since Raoul
was born with a full set of teeth and a tattoo of a mermaid embracing
an anchor - he frightened the staff. He was placed on the first train
out. The ten-car train grew smaller as it went further west. It was
down to five cars when it reached Ft.
Worth and by the time the train reached Marfa
only Raoul was left - in the baggage car.
People at the station who were there to adopt a family were shown
Raoul. One disappointed couple after another came to the various depots
only to find Raoul was the only "child" left. They peeked into Raoul's
little box that someone had thoughtfully punched some breathing holes
in the top of.
They always thanked the express-car man and they always said the same
thing: "We don't need a family that bad". He was taken home by the
railroad agent and fed table scraps. The man's wife was less than
overjoyed. While the adopted father slept, his wife basted the babe
in animal fat, placed him in a wicker basket and left him out for
the Coyotes. When the telegrapher woke and asked about Raoul the wife
replied that he had died suddenly during the night and she had buried
him. She had some explaining to do the next night when the man was
sitting on his porch and a coyote came up the path and dropped off
Raoul was sent to San Francisco "accidentally" in a load of laundry.
It was a common practice at the time to send laundry out on the Westbound
train. It was in San Francisco that he was taken in by a Chinese family
who gave him to Japanese neighbors named Hashimoto who had recently
lost a child. They took pity on the 60 pound infant that was half
as big as they were and did their best to raise him.
Escapes, in its purpose to preserve historic, endangered and vanishing
Texas, asks that anyone wishing to share their local history, stories,
landmarks and recent or vintage photos, please contact