“Home for the aged and infirmed”
Sister Annette starts a “home for the aged and infirmed” at 710 Martin Street in St. Paul, MN. She was born in Kentucky in 1840, and in 1856 she left home to enroll at the Monticello Female Seminary in Godfrey, Illinois. Fifteen years later, Sister Annette came to Minnesota to teach in Faribault. In 1874, Bishop Whipple consecrated her as a sister for the Episcopal Church. For further reading, see Dave Kenney’s book on the history of Episcopal Homes, called “At Home in the City.”
J. J. Hill Donation
J. J. Hill donated $100 that kept the Home open and operating. An excerpt from “At Home in the City” by Dave Kenney, details this donation. “In 1896, during its first few months on John Street, [the home’s] financial picture grew so dire that Bishop Gilbert told the matron, Harriet Godfrey, to close is doors and send the residents to the poorhouse. But as word of the home’s imminent demise spread, Reverend William C. Pope of the Church of the Good Shepherd in St. Paul intervened. He went to the city’s richest man, railroad magnate James J. Hill, and asked for help. Hill responded with a $100 check.” Photo is of Hill in 1902, via Photo MNopedia.
Church Home moves to 527 John St. in Saint Paul.
Articles of Incorporation adopted as Home becomes part of the Episcopal diocese. Membership in this new corporation cost a 25-cent annual fee. With this, a board of trustees and a board of managers oversaw policy and financial decisions, and the home’s day-to-day operations, respectfully. Information from Dave Kenney’s “At Home in the City” book about the history of Episcopal Homes.
Church Home moves to 509 Lafayette Ave.
Church Home moves to Hoffman Ave.
Board members are asked to raise $5 for the coal bill.
A book party was held to establish a library for the Home.
State Fair Fundraiser
A State Fair fundraiser serving lunch earned $247 for the Home. Based on inflation for 2019, that $247 would be worth $7,259.26! Photo is from the 1902 Minnesota State Fair, courtesy of the Minnesota State Fair Archives.
230 Hoffman Avenue
The St. Paul Globe reported that the P. H. Kelly residence was “fitted up” to accommodate more inmates.
587 Fuller Avenue
The Church Home moves to 587 Fuller Avenue, sharing space with the Episcopal Deaconess Home. However, the home could only house 14 residents. The building was threatened to be condemned by city inspectors if everything wasn’t brought up to code. With a growing waitlist, something had to be done. Information from Dave Kenney’s “At Home in the City.”
September 22 designated as the Diocesan annual contribution date for the Home.
Board voted to remove all kerosene lanterns and stoves from the Home.
Sister Annette becomes Resident
In 1909, Sister Annette becomes a resident of the Church Home. In the same year, House rules included “inmates are strictly forbidden to make complaints.” Sister Annette was reprimanded for voicing concerns and speaking up regarding the Home’s state of affairs. In 1910, the suggestion was raised to change “inmates” to “residents” of the Home.
Schubert Club of St. Paul gave a musical to raise funds of $4.60.
Lindeke Mills donates sacks of flour to the Home.
Resident Mrs. Berry moves her piano from her room into the parlor.
The Sunshine Society sends cards, flowers, and curtains along with a donation of $4 in honor of “Annual Old Ladies Day.”
Neighbors deliver vegetables from their summer gardens for the women of the Home.
Chemical fire extinguishers were placed on all floors.
The Schubert Club begins providing concerts at the Home.
An entertainment program was sponsored by St. Clement’s and raised $51.35.
Sister Annette passes
Sister Annette dies at The Church Home and is praised for “years of service, undaunted courage and persistent hopefulness in all times of trial, and her large faith in the ultimate success of The Home.”
A new piano was purchased from Bowyer Piano Company and they agreed to tune the piano free of charge for five years.
St. John’s of Mankato donated a barrel of fruit.
The November annual reception was cancelled due to the flu epidemic.
Photo from St. Paul Pioneer Press, 1918.
The Matron, Mrs. Stephenson, received a salary increase to $40 per month with two months vacation!
$40,000 for Hinkle Mansion
The board voted to purchase the Hinkel Mansion at 1879 Feronia Avenue for $40,000. Residents are temporarily moved to 534 Ashland Avenue until the mansion is equipped and furnished. The same year electric lights will be installed. This etching was done in 1886 of the J. G. Hinkel Mansion.
Due to war, certain supplies were difficult to get, especially sugar.
St. Mark’s Church donated 100 pounds of sugar.
In the summer, St. John’s Church sent cars every Wednesday for rides for the residents.
Ascension Church of Stillwater donated fresh vegetables, fresh and canned fruit, and jellies.
Schubert Club Involvement
The second Thursday of each month featured musicals by the Philanthropic branch of the Schubert Club. Community churches rotated as hostess. Photo is of the Schubert Club, unknown year.
A fundraising movie at the Oxford Theater raised $168 from half of the price of each 25 cent ticket.
The Uptown Theater in St. Paul was once the Oxford Theater which opened in 1921. The name was changed to Uptown Theater in 1929. It has since been demolished. 1053 Grand Avenue, St. Paul, MN 55105
The Sunday School Girl Choir of St. Mary’s Church sang several hymns at the home followed by serving cake and ice cream.
The Young Men’s Club
The Young Men’s Club from St. Mary’s Church refused to allow any organization of that church to outdo them in social activities. They went to the Home one evening and “…gave a very unique program, as only those young men can give. Our ladies had a wonderful time.”
Three telephones were installed to help eliminate so much running up the stairs.
“No cleaner no better place”
The State Inspector stated to the board there was no cleaner no better place in the city: “It is as good now as it was bad.” This was referring to the conditions of the Home when it had been on Fuller Street–which had had limitations and incidents. During this year in St. Paul, hundreds will die from a Smallpox epidemic.
Mrs. Louise Oehler working in the position of Matron secures a beautiful rug for the front hall from Luger Wholesale Store at a third off.
Mrs. Donaldson was requested to remove her revolver form her nightstand and put it in a locked trunk.
Regular worship services began by a variety of priests and ministers.
Reverend Frank Zoubek
The Reverend Frank Zoubek was nominated to be Chaplain of the Home where he would remain for 46 years. The photo is from 1947, which shows Rev. Zoubek giving communion.
A new Sagamore radio console was purchased and placed in the living room.
Mrs. Forepaugh donates 85 books to create a full library.
Women take over the complete operation of the Home with five men to “assist” as an Advisory Board. Women officially took over in May, 1930, at the annual meeting. This photo is of the board from 1935.
Eliza May is elected first female President of the Board. The photo of Eliza May is from 1880.
Certificate of Amendment to original incorporation changed to “Home For Aged or Homeless Persons.” No longer women only.
Board develops memorial fund to assist residents with financial need.
Property at 474 Lynnhurst is purchased for $35,000.
Isabella T. Cooke
Isabella T. Cooke donates $50,000 to build an addition to the Home. Image is of the (later) Emily B. King Hall and the Isabella T. Cooke Hall.
West Point Academy donated $100 from the Army-Navy football game.
The J.R. VanDerlip Estate left an endowment to yield an income for the Home that would continue for decades.
Photo is from 1919, Lee Brothers Portrait Collection, Minnesota Historical Society.
The federal government granted exception from taxes to the Home.
Social Security Act provides old age assistance, so many residents now have a source of income.
Mrs. Louis Hill sponsored a lecture by Mrs. William Hibbard of Chicago on “The Hill Towns of France” raising $330.
The Como Park Flower Show sent cut flowers to the Home.
Photo is of the park’s flower gardens in 1905.
The Christmas program featured carols by the Schubert Club.
The Board votes to purchase the adjoining O’Leary property. The O’Leary house was remodeled and renamed after Mrs. Eliza May.
Emily King Hall dedication
The dedication included the presence of Judith Relf, great grandniece of Sister Annette.
Noted one of the “most beautiful” Schubert Club events– Miss Gould brought her choir pupils who did caroling throughout the Home for Christmas.
The Sister Annette portrait was unveiled on December 30, a gift given by Mrs. C. A. Fuller of Minneapolis, a lifelong friend of Sister Annette.
Stained glass windows for the chapel were put on hold until after the war due to shortage of lead.
The Board noted it was difficult finding nurses and to keep staff due to inflated salaries during the war.
A victory garden was planted with all red, white, and blue flowers.
Mrs. Bremer invited the Board to a picnic at her home in Stillwater, but they could not accept due to no gas available.
Nurses were requested to work 56-hour work weeks due to shortage of personnel.
The Masonic Women held a Valentine party for the women and “trimmed little baskets were presented to each resident.”
The Home was hit by the flu epidemic.
Eisenmenger’s Market provided free chickens for Christmas.
Photo is from the Minnesota State Historical Society.
An appeal is made for “corporate memberships” at $3 per year. The appeal is for the construction of a building to serve as a Nursing Home.
For the first time since the war, residents were again going for auto rides.
Mrs. Eliza Leigh
Mrs. Eliza Leigh provided direction and funding to renovate the Chapel. Photo is of Eliza, from The Minneapolis Star, 5/4/1935.
Tuberculosis tests were added to the pre-entrance medical examinations.
The Board voted to purchase a television set for $305.
St. Paul Pioneer Press coverage
A 1952 St. Paul Pioneer Press article describes the Church Home: “Behind the hedge at the bend of brief Feronia Avenue stands a dynamo of human industry powered by some 70 silver-haired ladies in retirement. No one glaring at the sedate facade of the Church Home of Minnesota would suspect the hilarious year-round activity that goes on within its orderly, high-ceilinged rooms.”
Each Board member donates $1 to purchase a television antenna.
Purchased “a moving picture machine and project” at a cost of $367.
The Board considers a list of conscientious objectors recommended by L. E. Lilygren of the Selective Service System for the position of janitor.
James Falconer dies and leave a large gift for the Home of which Falconer Lounge is named after him.
A fan for every room purchased along with two fire gongs for basement and lounge.
The board turned down a large donation offered from a Milwaukee man who requested the Home only be open to Episcopalians.
Groundbreaking for a new Church Home building began with architect George Entrikin’s design aligned with the Board’s wishes for a place with “home-like characteristics.” To give space for this new building, King Hall (the original home of 1879 Feronia Ave.) was razed along with May Hall. On this new space, a two-story brick building was made. In 1965, a dedication ceremony was held. Information supplemented from Dave Kenney’s “At Home in the City.”
The Chapel is vacated for construction. Chaplain Zoubek alternates services between the sunroom and the lounge.
The St. Paul Library begins services to the Church Home.
Leigh Chapel begins services on Thanksgiving Day.
Isabella House Donation
Mrs. Isabella House provides over $500,000 in her will to the Church home.
The Activities Director placed an “ailment jar” in the dining room. Residents spending time discussing ailments were to put a dime in the the jar.
The Corps of Engineers designated the Home as a “fallout shelter” and requested permission to store 88 drums of water, biscuits, and carbohydrates in the crawlway under the building.
The Church Home officially changes its name to The Episcopal Church Home of Minnesota.
Rev. Zoubek celebrates his 1,000th service at the Home.
The first Occupational Therapist is employed to expand the activities program to meet social, recreational, and physical needs of all residents.
Katy Relf Carlsen
Great great grandniece of founder Sister Annette, Katy Relf Carlsen, joins the board. This photo is from 1994, when Katy served on the planning committee for the 100th anniversary of Episcopal Church Homes in 1994.
House Committee recommends to go forth with installation of air conditioning for the kitchen, chapel, and first floor of May Hall at a cost of $30,000.
484 E. Lynnhurst
Property purchased at 484 E. Lynnhurst for $69,900.
First marriage of residents in ECH history– Rev. Carter Butts and Lillian Winterer.
Mrs. Fitzpatrick of the Church Home Auxiliary donated a TV antenna worth $5,752 and made purchases for kitchen and dining room items with trading stamps.
WCCO-TV films a communion service in Leigh Chapel celebrated by Bishop Philip McNair to be presented on Easter Sunday.
House purchased at 498 Lynnhurst for $66,500.
The ECH Foundation is set up and bylaws prepared.
Planning for Becketwood Cooperative begins with a land purchase from Sheltering Arms in Minneapolis for $950,000.
First Owners move into Becketwood Cooperative
A live-in pet, Trixie the Golden Retriever, moved into the Home
Photo is of Trixie and Rev. Dick Smith from 1988.
Scholarship funds become available for staff to continue education.
First Iris Park Commons Residents
ECH Foundation Chair John Relf, descendant of founder Sister Annette Relf, provides an extensive report on plans for a fundraising campaign for the 100th anniversary.
Episcopal Homes celebrates 100 years!
Rev. Irma Wyman Dresses Up
Reverend Irma Wyman dresses up as Sister Annette to give the homily in the Chapel. Photo is of Jenny Rice (left) and Irma (right).
Survey of residents shows 29% are Episcopalians
A new computer network system was installed at the cost of $80,000.
New security system is installed for $8,915.
A new chapel organ was donated by Mrs. Margaret Schroeder.
Marvin Plakut becomes the new CEO and remains so today.
Sister Annette Relf Legacy Society
The Sister Annette Relf Legacy Society is announced to honor those who bequeath gifts through their will or estate for Episcopal Homes.
Installation of a new telephone/communication system at a cost of $82,000.
Purchased old Midway Ford (Slawik) property for $980,000
Applied for HUD dollars and received 4.1 million dollars to be used to build subsidized housing units for seniors.
Groundbreaking for Seabury addition begins.
Episcopal Homes unites and rebrands as Episcopal Homes of Minnesota.
Episcopal Homes receives the 2002 Business of the Year Award from the Midway Chamber of Commerce for business success, innovation, leadership in the business community and commitment to the Midway area of St. Paul.
Stone soup nights began during the winter where residents got together to chop, slice, dice and simmer savory kettles of “stone soup” to share.
The wedding of residents Verna Beaver and Lorraine Grunke initiated the “Prairie Restoration Park” project.
Six million dollar capital campaign to expand senior housing to include affordable housing options.
The first residents move into Cornelia House, a new 47-unit independent senior housing facility. Cornelia House is named after Cornelia Whipple, the wife of Minnesota’s first Episcopal Bishop, Henry Whipple.
Received the Walter & Lydia Deubener Award from the St. Paul Chamber of Commerce for outstanding achievement in growth, excellence, risk, diversity and innovation.
Photo of Jean Probst , Marvin and Fran with 2006 Deubener award.
Metropolitan Council recognizes Episcopal Church Home as a project that “encompasses a continuum of senior housing options with a sense of community” as part of a Transit-Oriented Designed space that allows area seniors to stay in their community.
Carty Heights Opens
Named after Father Denzil Carty, Carty Heights opened with another HUD grant, serving low-income seniors. This new location is in Ward 1 of St. Paul, a different setting than Episcopal Homes’ main campus.
Episcopal Homes’ Creative Ventures programming designed to engage and enrich lives through a range of creative outlets such as professionally-led pottery and painting courses to educational series and theater outings begins.
King’s Crossing opens in Frogtown to the praise of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. It’s recognized as a model for innovative community planning and neighborhood revitalization.
Purchased site of Porky’s Drive-In restaurant
Community Impact Award
Episcopal Homes is awarded the 2012 Community Impact Award for Kings Crossing by the Aging Services of Minnesota.
Carter Family Concert
Melvin Carter Sr, a resident at Episcopal Homes, hosts a spirit-filled jazz and gospel concert performed by three generations of his family, including current St. Paul Mayor, Melvin Carter III.
Campus expansion includes turning Porky’s restaurant property into 170 unit building.
Walter Otto, a lifetime member of Gethsemane Episcopal church and church organist, leaves ECH a gift of $6,000,000.
Episcopal Home residents donate more than 400 holiday gifts and $2,000 for children served at the Hallie Q. Brown center.
Photo is from an issue of At Home from Spring 2011, when the Episcopal Homes community distributed toys for children of food shelf recipients.
Midway Pointe houses 50 additional units of HUD affordable housing.
ECH becomes the first nursing home in Minnesota to implement the Green House model of skilled nursing care.
Best Nursing Home Award
U.S. News & World Report awards Episcopal Church Homes and the Gardens building with a Best Nursing Home Award.