Oklahoma Baptist Homes for Children

 

1903 to 1912

New Property

New property was purchased in 1907 at NW 63rd and Pennsylvania Avenue.
Baptist Children's Home-early 1900s


The new property, purchased in 1907 at NW 63rd and Pennsylvania Avenue, was seven miles outside Oklahoma City limits. The children, and everything else, were loaded on a lumber wagon. The oldest boy in residence drove the horses to the new location of Oklahoma Baptist Orphans’ Home. The new three-and-a-half-story building, Old North, sat on 40 acres. Old North provided housing for up to 46 children and administration offices for the staff. It was the only building on the 40-acre campus until 1918. Old North was condemned in 1939 and later torn down after a long and useful life.


"The Child Care Ministry of Oklahoma Baptists" (1978) by J.M. Gaskin wrote:

Early Administration

In 1883 the Baptist General Convention of Indian Territory was organized at Tahlequah. It served mostly the lands occupied by the Five Tribes of Indians - which basically was Eastern Oklahoma. The Oklahoma Baptist State convention was organized at Lexington, in 1895. It served mostly the Western portion of Oklahoma. Divisions and mergers subsequently developed in both conventions, but by 1902-1903, when the two conventions voted to support the Baptist Orphans' Home at Oklahoma City, a substantial spirit of unity prevailed in the two conventions. While neither owned the Home, it was the object of support from both from the beginning. It is our only institution which antedades the merger of the two conventions involved in its beginning, and which merged in 1906 to form the present BGCO, just one before Oklahoma became a state.

Location:

Trustees of the Home, representing the two conventions were instructed to consider bids for the permanent location of the Home. After several bids were submitted from El Reno, Holdenville, and Oklahoma City, the last-named was accepted as the best, and in 1905 this became the permanent site of the Home.

Old North

In this account quoted earlier, J.A. Scott referred to the laying of the foundation of the first building after purchase of the 40 acres of land, both under his administration. But the building was not erected for some time.

A joint session of the two Territorial conventions was held at Oklahoma City September 27, 1905. E.D. Jeter was elected solicitor and financial manager to gather funds for an administration building. In June of 1906, Jeter was elected superintendent of the Home. At that time there were 13 children, but the Home was growning, and more building space would soon be needed. A year after Jeter came, there were 31 children. Under his leadership the foundation and basement were completed, but the main building was not completed until McKinney's administration.

The structure was completed sufficiently for use in 1908. It was more than an administration building - it was the only housing for children for many years and had a capacity of 46. In 1939, it was condemned and torn down in the early 1940s, after a long and useful life.



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