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Bayland Orphans' Home for Boys, a county home for dependent and delinquent boys, was chartered as the Confederate Orphans' Home on September 24, 1866, and organized in Houston on January 15, 1867, by Texas Confederate veterans. The institution was first located at Bayland on the west side of Galveston Bay near Morgan's Point, at a place that later became part of the Goose Creek oilfield. The nonsectarian home, planned to care for and educate up to 250 orphans of deceased Confederate soldiers, opened on August 13, 1867. Henry F. Gillette was superintendent from 1867 to 1882, and Col. Ashbel Smith served as staff doctor. Private support for the home came primarily from Galveston and Houston. In the 1870s the home received a share of state public lands, including acreage in Shackelford, Stevens, and Callahan counties. Agents for the institution were kept in the field to gather and accept donations of all kinds, and a small community church at Harmony Grove was moved to the site for use as a school. By 1878 the home owned a 328-acre farm and several buildings and had cash reserves.

In 1887, when Houston-Galveston packet travel ceased and Bayland became inaccessible, a decision was made to move the home to Houston. A charter amendment made on January 29, 1888, designated the new institution Bayland Orphans' Home Association and provided that it could accept any White orphan child from any county in the state. Mrs. Kezia Payne DePelchin, later connected with the DePelchin Faith Home, was elected matron of the new home on June 4, 1888. Around 1900 the home was moved from its original location on Galveston Bay to a thirty-six-acre tract in the Woodland Heights area three miles from Houston, with space for forty-two children.

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Diana J. Kleiner | © TSHA

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Adapted from the official Handbook of Texas, a state encyclopedia developed by Texas State Historical Association (TSHA). It is an authoritative source of trusted historical records.

Belongs to

Bayland is part of or belongs to the following places:

Currently Exists


Place type

Bayland is classified as a Town

Has Post Office


Is Incorporated