Lewis University Adele Fay Williams Collection of Drawings and Prints (Lewis University)
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St. Francis Academy (Joliet, Illinois)
St. Francis Academy (Joliet, Illinois)
TitleSt. Francis Academy (Joliet, Illinois)
CreatorWilliams, Adele Fay
Date of the DrawingApril 21, 1929
DescriptionDrawing of old St. Francis Academy and convent in Joliet, Illinois, from Wilcox Street. This drawing is a part of the Robert E. Sterling Collection.
Title of ArticlePicturesque west side scene
Transcript of the ArticlePICTURESQUE WEST SIDE SCENE
This charming sketch of the buildings that are a part of St. Francis convent and academy was made by Adele Fay Williams, Herald-News artist and writer.
Like an ancient feudal castle, beautiful, old St. Francis convent lies, half buried in trees, a charming view from Wilcox street. Altho it bears the air of age and dignity, it was not built 100 years ago, according to the records of the People's Abstract company. Building was slow in this neighborhood and even the homes were few and far between about the middle of the last century.
The land on which this convent stands was bought by the Community of the Third Order of St. Francis in 1879.
The convent from almost any point of view is beautiful. Its spires and little steeples, its many gabled roofs at all angles, its thousand and one picturesque windows, dotting the stone walls like so many eyes seem always to possess a romantic, serene and old world beauty.
A busy and a devout place it is, where the good sisters are occupied with deeds of kindness and mercy from morning until night.
These sisters of St. Francis of Mary Immaculate have had among them many meek and devout jubilarians whose years were full, and whose memories were deep, of a time long since perhaps, when they themselves took their final vows. The very air about the interesting towers and halls seems to suggest the solemn but beautiful masses that have been said there. The renewal of their vows by the meek jubilarians at the diamond jubilee, which was the first to be held there for many long years, is one of the shining points in the history of St. Francis. All of these solemn occasions that have taken place there from time to time, seem to invest the building with a certain glamour of romance, a profound expression of devotion, an echo of many pieties.
To the lay mind of the passerby, the building seems an interesting volume, like an old missal, full of exquisite miniatures of religious subjects.
The land itself has some historical associations. It was bought by Royal Reed and later became the property of John Onderdonk and William Barrett. And these two, whose names still echo in the history of Joliet, sold it to Willis Danforth, and Willis Danforth sold it to William A. Strong, who sold it to the sisters.
Even today, when the street cars clang by, and the automobiles scurry by, no one can look across the fields and trees at the beautiful lines of the building without feeling something of its devotion and beauty and being thankful for them both.
SubjectWilliams, Adele Fay
Joliet (Ill.) -- History
Physical Description30 cm. x 22.5 cm.
SourceClick this link for more historical information on the Joliet area - http://lewisu.edu/imcanal
Publisher (Digital)Lewis University
RightsAll rights held by Lewis University. For permission to reproduce, distribute, or otherwise use this image, please contact the Howard and Lois Adelmann Regional History Collection at Lewis University at 815-836-5665.
CollectionAdele Fay Williams Collection of Drawings and Prints (Lewis University)
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