The Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ, a religious order of nuns, played an important part in the history of Clinton County. They served as nurses in the early history of the county and they served as teachers in the schools for 100 years.
Their first mission in Clinton County was at Carlyle in 1874. On 1 May 1875, four sisters, Sister Ermelinda, Superior, Sisters Athanasia and Joseph, Teachers, and Sister Wenefrieda, Nurse, came to Germantown. They occupied the old rectory, which was arranged to also care for the sick, and for a time, provide classroom space for teaching the children. Much of the nursing service was provided in the homes of the patients.
In 1914, the practice of nursing was discontinued because these services were provided by the hospital in Breese, which the Order ran from 1911 to 1918. The Poor Handmaids continued teaching in Germantown until 1975.
This Order of nuns played a large role in the development of Clinton County:
St Mary’s School in Carlyle in 1874 – 1892
St. Anthony’s School in Beckemeyer – From 1905
Mater Dei High School in Breese – From 1955
St. Mary’s Home and Hospital in Carlyle 1911 – 1969
St. Joseph’s Hospital in Breese 1911 – 1918
Sacred Heart Home and Hospital in Aviston 1891 – 1962.
Source: Souvenir of the Sesquicentennial Celebration, Village of Germantown, 1833 – 1983.
Clinton County ILGenWeb Page
This file last modified