Saint Joseph's Industrial School and Orphanage, and later Home for the Aged, Bethany, Oklahoma.

It opened in 1912 and by the time it closed in the 1965 several thousand children, and aged, had been cared for by the facility.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

1940's Census of St. Joseph's Orphanage

The U.S. Federal census is available for the facility for 1940. It was located in Council Grove, a sub-district of Bethany.  The bad news is the copy is very faint and hard to read.  It may require many eyes working on this to decipher the names listed there.

As any information or transcribed names become available, I will post them here.


  1. Is there a way to find out if this is the orphanage my father was at in either the late 1930's or early 1940's?

  2. Was the 1940 Census ever posted somewhere? My father Bobby Ray Smith was there at that time along with his 4 siblings.

    1. My dad and uncle we're at the St Joseph's orphanage in Bethany Oklahoma from 1949 to 1953... they were five and six when they first arrived,.. I don't know how old the person is you were wondering about but its a possibility my father might have been old enough to remember details of that place in time...my name is Eric would like to help resolve this issue if at all possible...my Email is. Stellar995@gmail com..feel free to contact me anytime

    2. Using Bobby Ray Smith I located a brother an sister on the 1940 census for Oklahoma . They were listed with Sunbeam Services and were on sheet 5B of the census (S.D. 5-8 E.D.78-79, April 8, 1940). Bobby Ray SMITH (F,white, 11 years old; Billy Ray Smith, Male, white, 9 years old). Both born in Oklahoma.

  3. I am interested to know if anyone personally or possibly members of their families that have described cases of mental or physical abuse or even worse (death) of fellow orphans at the St Joseph's orphanage during the early 1930's or mid 1940's

  4. Is it possible to see if my father was on the 1940's census? His name was Paul Whitfield - he would have been there with 5 other siblings


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