During the terrible yellow fever epidemics of the 1870s, the Orphanage’s attendants and children suffered heavily as did the rest of the City’s population.  Many Memphis children were orphaned by this epidemic and so great did the need increase in the years just after the plague, that the Independent Order of Odd Fellows expressed an interest in enlarging the facilities of the Leath Orphan Asylum.  In 1875, the Odd Fellows of Memphis organized a national subscription of funds to erect a large and impressive three-story brick building.  This structure, completed in April 1876, originally was called the Odd Fellow’s Wing.  Eventually, it became the Asylum’s main building and is now used for general administration and visitor purposes and is one of several buildings on the Porter-Leath campus listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

International Order of the Odd Fellows

Cornerstone of orphanage. Order of the Odd Fellows Orphan Asylum