From the late 1800s, Dr. David T. Porter was a Trustee of the Orphanage and one of its most generous contributors.  His brother and sister, James K. Porter and Mrs. Rebecca Porter Bartlett, were also active in the institution.  When Mrs. Bartlett died in January 1903, she left a substantial bequest to the Orphanage.  Her Will probated on January 22, 1903, set forth “… the remainder of my estate of every kind, character … I give, bequeath and devise to J.M. Dockeny, Elica H. Porter, John Quenton, John W. Dillard and Thos. B. Turley, as trustees – and to their successors in trust, … I direct that this fund shall be used … for the care and maintenance of orphans … whether orphaned by the death of one or both parents….” 

In 1904, in recognition of her generosity and the services of her late brother, the Home’s name was changed to the Porter Home and Leath Orphan Asylum. Some years later, the name was shortened to the Porter Home and Leath Orphanage. In 1912 the northern and southern areas of Memphis, Western Tennessee, Eastern Arkansas, Southeastern Missouri and Northern Mississippi were all devastated by Mississippi River flooding and the resulting backup of rivers and bayou canals in all of these areas.  This flood, like all later great Mississippi River floods, brought many destitute and homeless families and orphans to the high bluff areas of Memphis. 

In 1919 the Porter Home and Leath Orphan Asylum published its Annual Report which included a “current” photograph of the main three-story building with its North Annex and a printed invitation stating “Visitors are welcome at the Home every Thursday afternoon.”

From the Leath Orphan Asylum and Children's Home for Orphan and Destitute Children Constitution and By-laws, 1900

Photo of orphanage welcoming visitors every Thursday afternoon