Texas Day by Day
On this day in Texas history…
Confederate veterans create orphanage
January 15th, 1867
On this day in 1867, Bayland Orphans' Home for Boys, a county home for dependent and delinquent boys, was organized in Houston by Texas Confederate veterans. The institution was first located at Bayland on the west side of Galveston Bay near Morgan's Point. The nonsectarian home, planned to care for and educate up to 250 orphans of deceased Confederate soldiers, opened in August 1867. Henry F. Gillette was superintendent from 1867 to 1882, and Col. Ashbel Smith served as staff doctor. In 1887, when Houston-Galveston packet travel ceased and Bayland became inaccessible, a decision was made to move the home to Houston. Mrs. Kezia Payne DePelchin, later connected with the DePelchin Faith Home, was elected matron in 1888. The institution moved a number of times around the Harris County area over the years, with its final location near Webster. The orphanage ceased to function strictly as the Bayland Orphans' Home after World War II. Boys attended public school at Webster, and efforts were made to place children in foster homes.