On December 11, 1985, Porter-Leath’s buildings were officially noted as historical properties and a marker was placed in front of the main campus building and dedicated by the Shelby County Historical Commission.  

The marker reads:


An orphan asylum founded by Sara Leath was chartered in 1850 and moved to this site in 1856.  After surviving the hardships of the Civil War years, the orphanage endured the scourge of the 1870s yellow fever epidemics.  Since many children were orphaned during this period, additional capacity was needed.  Responding to this crisis, in 1875 the Independent Order of Odd Fellows provided funds to erect another building.  In 1904 the name Porter was added in recognition of the generosity of the Porter family.  Porter-Leath continued to be an orphanage until 1969 when it became a multi-service agency to serve more children in need.

1985 Historic Marker

Courtesy of the Shelby County Register of Deeds

1985 Historic Marker