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.
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.
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.
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.