Memphis, during the late 1920s, witnessed the formation of another social agency seeking to serve the needs of children.  In 1926, the Community Chest (a predecessor of the United Way) helped organize the Children’s Bureau which was formed to serve dependent, neglected and emotionally disturbed children who were not orphans but who needed temporary foster care.  By the late 1920s, the combined efforts of the Porter Home and Leath Orphanage and the Children’s Bureau would better meet the needs of children in Memphis and Shelby County.

In 1926, the Superintendent of the Orphanage was Miss Georgia Robinson, who at one time operated a summer camp for children in New York for railroad magnate Mr. Edwin Gould, son of the famous Jay Gould. While passing through Memphis that same year, Mr. Gould visited with “warm friend” Ms. Robinson and toured the institution and was impressed by its work. Edwin Gould knew of Memphis and some of its needs as a result of his father’s earlier generous contributions to the victims of some of the area’s most devastating floods. After showering the children with a taxi-load of toys, Gould decided to donate $45,000 to the Porter Home and Leath Orphanage.  This generous gift made possible the establishment of a building for older girls. Gould Cottage, as it was named, was completed and dedicated in 1929 and fully and artfully described in newspaper articles and pictures published at its dedication. During his lifetime, Edwin Gould continued to send the Orphanage sums of money annually for the upkeep of the building and assisted in the improvement the institution’s other property

Announcement of Edwin Gould's gift of a cottage

1926 newspaper clipping announcing completion of Gould Cottage

Gould Cottage Today

Present day Gould Cottage