Side A: On July 21, 1845, eleven Ursuline sisters from Boulogne-sur-Mer and Beaulieu, France, arrived in St. Martin, Brown County, Ohio. A Catholic order of sisters known for providing quality education to young women, the Ursulines were invited by Cincinnati Archbishop John Baptist Purcell (1800-1883) to establish a school in the diocese and granted approximately 400 acres in St. Martin for that purpose. Led by Mother Julia Chatfield (1808-1878), the sisters quickly established their convent, a day school, and, within the year, admitted their first boarders. Originally known as The Saint Ursula Literary Institute, the school operated for the next 136 years. The Ursulines educated local students from their adopted Brown County as well as many who came from across the U.S. and farther abroad to board on campus. (Continued on other side)
Side B: (Continued from other side) Between 1845-1981, the School of the Brown County Ursulines taught 4,262 students from the Catholic, Protestant, and Jewish faiths. An 1858 prospectus announced the school’s intention “to form young ladies to virtue, ornament their minds with useful information, and cultivate those qualities which render virtue attractive, not only in the family circle but in society.” That vision expanded in 1974 to include young men. In 1958, the Ursuline Teacher Training Institute was established to prepare novitiates for their careers in education. It incorporated as Chatfield College in 1971 offering two-year Associate of Arts degrees to the wider public, and now boasts a second campus in Cincinnati. Chatfield College continues the legacy of the Ursulines of Brown County with a modern mission rooted in faith, community, and collaboration.
Sponsors: William G. Pomeroy Foundation, Brown County Ursuline Alumni Association, Chatfield College, Ohio History Connection