Title: Loretto Academy

Description: Postcard of the Loretto Academy

Historical Article: In 1901 the Sisters of Loretto purchased five acres on Broadway near 35th and the residence belonging to Col. E. S. Jewett. The home was converted into a convent but was quickly outgrown.

In September, 1902, Mother M. Prexedes Carty purchased a tract of land at 39th and Roanoke Parkway and first sod was turned for the foundation of the large new building as pictured on the 1905 post card.

In laying the cornerstone in 1903, Bishop Glennon said that the dedication was a fulfillment of a dream of earlier Lorettines when they passed through Kansas City a half century before to spread their faith in the newly opened West. The sisters left by wagon train from Loretto, Kentucky, June 27, 1852, for St. Louis. There they took the steamer Kansas bound for Independence. Six days out of St. Louis the superior of the group, Mother Matilda, became ill of cholera and 12 hours later died in what is now Missouri City. Continuing on west by way of Leavenworth and St. Mary's Kansas, the others were in a wagon train when it was attacked by Indians. One of the nuns, according to reports, died of fright.

The completed school, always noted for its Fine Arts Department, offered instruction in piano, harp, violin and vocal music as well as the academic subjects. The school flourished and papers of accreditation with the University of Kansas were received in 1906. Affiliations with the University of Missouri and the North Central Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools followed.

A tragic fire occurred in 1909 at a Halloween entertainment where three students lost their lives when a paper dress became ignited by a candle-lighted jack-o-lantern. Mimi Tiernan, Virginia Owens and Mary Maley were the victims.

Today the school occupies a 38-acre site on Wornall Road at 124th. The old red brick building at 39th was sold to Calvary Bible College in 1964. Small trees shown in the picture, and others planted later, now tower over the building, almost hiding it from passers-by.

Kansas City Star
October 23, 1971

Author: Ray, Mrs. Sam (Mildred)

Item Type: Postcard

Collection: Mrs. Sam Ray Postcard Collection (SC58)
See finding aid: http://localhistory.kclibrary.org/u?/Local,36981

Location: SC58

Local Subject: Catholic Schools; Schools; Loretto Academy

Digital Format: JPEG

Barcode: 20000178

Repository: Missouri Valley Special Collections, Kansas City Public Library, Kansas City, Missouri

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