Oklahoma Baptist Homes for Children


1903 to 1912

Gladys Smith and Annabelle Hunt

Gladys and Annabelle were the first two children the Scotts brought into their home.

A three-week-old baby girl whose mother was near death and living in a little shack in an alley near Washington Avenue Baptist Church was the first child the Scotts brought into their home. The little girl, Gladys Smith, lived in the James Allen Scott and his wife, Theodocia Gresham Scott's home until the formal opening of the Oklahoma Baptist Orphans’ Home.

Gladys Smith
Annabelle Hunt

Left in a wagon in Pauls Valley, Indian Territory, Annabelle Hunt became the second baby taken into the Orphans’ Home. She was two months old. The Oklahoma Baptist Orphans’ Home opened March 5, 1903, and welcomed three more little girls into its shelter. Three months later, the Home was moved to a six-room rented house on West Pottawatomie Street and had grown to include nine children.

This is the story as told by James Allen Scott in 1936 copied from "The Child Care Ministry of Oklahoma Baptists" by J.M. Gaskin:

Mrs. Scott gave all of her time to securing funds, clothing, and other provisions for the Home and often looked about for orphan children that needed help. Her first find was a young child whose mother was living in a one room house on the alley of Chickasaw street. The mother and child seemed helpless and ready to die. She took the child, whose name was given to us as Gladys Smith, to the Home as the mother relinquished her to the care of Mrs. Scott. Gladys Smith was the first child to be legally adoped by the Home. She was kept in the Home until she was about nine years old, adobted out, but her adopted mother died. She came back to the Home and when she was about fifteen years old. I found her again at Holdenville, Oklahoma. 

I took her to California with me, took her in our home, finished her education in high school and junior college, gave her musical training in piano for sever years, also a business course. Then she married a young business man. Some years passed and how she has a home of her own. She is president of the PTA of one of the large school districts in West Los Angeles. Her oldest son, ten years old, was baptized last Christmas. She has a second son, eight years old.  She is teaching in the West Baptist Church in Los Angeles in the Sunday School and is assistant pianist.

Gladys was sick from the time we found her until she was about four years old. The doctor said we would never raise her. Dr. W.E. Dicken, a great Baptist laymen, was the first physician and continued his services for the Home for several years free of charge, and often furnished medical supplies. Dr. L.H. Buston, Eye, Ear, and Nose specialist, Dr. Wier, Dentist, and Dr. Nowlin gave their services unstintingly to the Home.

The next baby, Annabelle (Hunt), was a foundling left in a wagon at Pauls Valley, then Indian Territory. She was brought by Mrs. Scott's suggestion to the Home. Mrs. Turner found her when she heard a baby cry at one o'clock in the morning. She was kept in the Home and these where the first two babies of the Home. When she was about nine years old she was adoped by a man and his wife, whose name was Ashurst, members of the Washington Avenue Church.  Her name was changed from Annabelle to Aileen. Her adopted mother died when she was about twelve. Her father died when she was about fourteen. There was left for her about $10,000.00. The sister of Mrs. Ashurst took her to Kentucky where she lived. She became her guardian and put her through college and the university. The last I heard of her she had a Christian home of her own.

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