Timeline for the Sisters of St. Francis 1867-1893

1867 – November 5, Rev. Joseph Bihn begins account for Citizens Hospital and Orphan Asylum with $5,000 paid for farm.

1867 – November 9 – First property deed is signed by Father Bihn for the purchase of 58 acres of land from Dr. Freeman E. Franklin and wife, Caroline M. Freeman, for $5,000.

1868 – March 1, Mrs. Elizabeth Schaefer answers the request of Father Bihn, pastor of St. Joseph Parish, for help with the work of caring for orphans and aged persons which he was undertaking. She and her two daughters, Mary Ann and Josephine, together with her aged father, John B. Greiveldinger, and orphan, Peter Wiot, come to live on the farm purchased by Father Bihn.

1868 – July, Mary Ann Schaefer finishes course at Ursuline Academy, Tiffin, where she had been enrolled since its founding in 1863.

1869 – March 3, Mary Schaefer, sister- in-law of Elizabeth Schaefer, joins the newly formed group at the home south of Tiffin.

1869 – June 4, on the Feast of the Sacred Heart, Elizabeth Schaefer (Mother Francis), Mary Schaefer (Sister Nativity), and Mary Ann Schaefer (Sister Alacoque), and Cunegunda Schmidt (Sister Ludmilla) receive the habit and veil of the newly formed Community of of the Sisters of St. Francis. Father Bihn offers the Mass and conducts the ceremonies. Mother Francis and Sister Nativity, who have been Franciscan Tertiaries, also make profession of vows.

1869 – On this same day, June 4, the first orphans are received into the home which came to be known as St. Francis Home. Entries for this day are Peter Wiot, Nicholas Wiot, and Julia Stover.

1869 – -September 2 – New organization is incorporated as Citizens Hospital and Orphan Asylum.

1869 – December, Josephine Schaefer leaves Ursuline Academy, which she had attended since September, 1864, to enter the new religious Community.

1869 – December 2, The new foundation was made a legal body and incorporated under the laws of the State of Ohio as “The Citizens Hospital and Orphan Asylum.” (Father Bihn served as President of the corporation until his death in 1893.)

1869 – By the end of the first year, Father Bihn and the first four Sisters (Elizabeth Schaefer, Mary Schaefer, Mary Ann Schaefer and Cunigunda Schmidt) had committed their entire means to the new endeavor.

1870 – January 1, Mr. Michael Boos, Thompson, Ohio, offered his services to Father Bihn. His example inspired other men. Father Bihn established the Brothers of the Third Order of St. Francis.

The Brothers managed and worked the farm, made brooms, shod the horses, made tools, repaired all machinery, utensils, and tools, ditched the farm, cut wood, and built fences. (Brother Cornelius was a blacksmith by trade and a fireman; Brother Lorenz, a miller; Brother Aloysius, a carver).

1870 – January 21, Mother Francis receives $4,000 for the sale of her farm in Seneca Township.

1870 – June 4, Sister Alacoque (Mary Ann Schaefer) and Sister Ludmilla (Cunnigunda Schmidt) make profession of vows. Elizabeth Kopping (Sister Coletta), Mary Kopping (Sister Agnes), and Josephine Schaefer (Sister Bonaventure) receive the habit at an outdoor ceremony. Father Bihn presides.

1871 – First teachers, Sister Alacoque and Sister Bonaventure, are sent to teach at the newly organized parish school at St. Nicholas, Frenchtown, where Rev. Joseph P. Gloden is pastor.

1871 – New building, dedicated to the Holy Family, is blessed by Bishop Michael Heiss, of La Crosse, Wisconsin. (The Cleveland See is vacant because of the resignation of Bishop Amadeus Rappe.)

1872 – January 11, First reception is held in the new chapel. Mary Kramer (Sister Pius) receives the habit.

1872 – March 13, 1872, Father Bihn deeds all the land to date to The Citizens’ Hospital and Orphan Asylum.

1873 – October – Father Joseph Bihn resigns pastorate of St. Joseph Church, Tiffin, and is appointed full time chaplain of the new institution.

1874 – January 1, Father Bihn consecrates the Community to the Sacred Heart of Jesus with impressive ceremonies.

1874 – Father Bihn, as the Bishop’s delegate, dedicates the new church at Carey to Our Lady of Consolation. Father Gloden is pastor.

1874 – John B. Greiveldinger, father of Mother Francis and first resident of St. Francis Home for the Aged, dies at the age of 84. He is buried in St. Francis Cemetery.

1878 – Community numbers 27 Sisters, nine of whom are on missions, while 72 orphans, and 23 aged persons are at St. Francis Home.

1878 – On Trinity Sunday the cornerstone for anew chapel (70’by 40’) and an addition to the house is laid by bishop Gilmour. -Cornerstone for the new chapel is laid by Bishop Gilmour.

1878 – Mother Francis becomes seriously ill with typhoid fever.

1881 – Father Bihn observes the Silver Jubilee of his ordination. Bishop Gilmour presides at the ceremonies and also dedicates the new chapel addition.

1883 – An epidemic of typhoid fever breaks out in the institution. Rosalia Houser, aged 22, a postulant from Germany, dies of the disease and is buried in the convent cemetery.

1883 – The cemetery cross is erected.

1884 – West wing of the main building is completed and will be used as a residence for men.

1884 – Sister Innocentia Bork, aged 36, dies of tuberculosis. This was the first death in the Community.

1888 – Foundation for the boiler-house is erected. Steam heat is introduced.

1890 – Original convent, the farm house, burns to the ground.

1893 – Both Founders die.