Our Four campuses:  Evansville, Indiana

This is part three of a four-part series on the history of the four primary campuses in the Province, which correspond to the locations where the four provinces that formed the Province of St. Louise had their provincial houses:  Emmitsburg, MD; Albany, NY; Evansville, IN; and St. Louis, MO.  Part one on the Emmitsburg campus can be found here.  Part two on the Albany campus can be found here.

Campus aerial, late 1970s

Our Evansville campus was the second established location following the provincial divisions of 1969.  Alongside the Albany province, the new Evansville province had to begin organizing its affairs. 

Initially, the East Central province utilized the Kellogg House on Lake Shore Drive in Chicago for its campus location.  Due to the issues of space, transportation, cost of land and living, and the hassles of downtown big-city life, Visitatrix Elise Boudreaux began scouting locations for a more permanent campus.

In April 1971, the province purchased 195 acres of land at 9400 New Harmony Road in Evansville and began construction on a new provincial house.  This land was selected because in order to ensure that the provincial house was near to the Seton Manor, which had already been established as the residence for Sisters in retirement.  It also served as a mid-point to some of the largest and most longstanding ministries of the Daughters in Chicago, Nashville, St. Louis, and Indianapolis.  Starting in September of that year, the offices were shifted from Chicago to Evansville at the nearby St. Mary’s Hospital, which the Daughters had operated since the late 19th century.  Finally, in March of 1974, the last group of Sisters moved to the new seat of the province.

Scouting the new campus site; taken from the provincial newsletters

In 1991, the Sisters of Seton Manor moved even closer to the provincial house when they relocated to the newly constructed Seton Residence.  Sisters could now begin their vocation in the Seminary and end it in the Ministry of Prayer on the same campus.

Aerial of Seton Residence, formerly known as Seton Manor, 1993, with the rest of the Evansville campus visible in the background centered around the lake

The campus is often described – particularly by the sisters who came from the former East Central Province – as the most beautiful of the campuses, featuring a manmade lake from the 1940s, a log cabin that was once slated for destruction but has since become a small chapel, and pathways through the woods for Sisters, visitors, and people looking for some peace and quiet.

View of residences across the lake, 1974
Administration Building, 1989
The log cabin chapel, 2002

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New Digitized Materials Available: St. Joseph College postcards

Explore the campus of the St. Joseph’s Academy and St. Joseph College in Emmitsburg through the digitized postcard collections! Now available through our partners at Digital Maryland https://collections.digitalmaryland.org/digital/collection/sjap.

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The Hospital Newsletters

The Daughters of Charity were extensively involved in many hospitals over the years, dating back to 1823 in answer to a call to staff the Baltimore Infirmary.  The predecessor Provinces that combined in 2011 to form our current Province of St. Louise sponsored and/or operated many hospitals stretching from the Rocky Mountains to the Atlantic Coast. 

In the 1950s and ‘60s, almost every hospital the Daughters owned or operated began publishing a newsletter, which documented some of the special events, major changes, and goings-on among doctors, staff, and administrators.  Essentially, they functioned as the newspapers of the hospitals and, as such, contained information that is valuable both to scholars and to general researchers. 

For example, the News Notes of Providence Hospital provides a chronicle of the Hospital’s move from Detroit to Southfield, Michigan over the course of 1964 and 65.

In February 1985, the Lifeline, out of Seton Medical Center in Austin, reported on the Hospital and its service during and after a rare Texas snowstorm, providing a resource to a specific event in the history of Central Texas as it related to the hospital. 

The Esprit de Corps out of Hotel Dieu in New Orleans made sure to list every new student in the Hotel Dieu School of Nursing in 1948 – one of the earliest newsletters from any of the hospitals.  For those researching a parent, aunt, or grandparent who attended the school, these newsletters continue to provide an opportunity for more information or photographs.

For those with family members who worked at the hospitals, these newsletters often mention or profile staff members, particularly those who were there for extended periods of time.

Currently, the newsletters are available on-site, but not yet available in digitized form.  However, they can easily be searched by staff with a location and a year range provided by the researcher.

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Filed under Archives, Hospitals, Hotel Dieu, New Orleans, Providence Hospital, Southfield, Seton Medical Center, Austin