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Somerset, Wisconsin: 125 pioneer families and Canadian connection: 125th year

[Rosalie Parnell's book on Somerset, Wisconsin],   pp. 11-64 PDF (24.6 MB)

Page 27

There was a belfry over the entrance. The bell in Saint Vincent
de Paul's Church was placed therein. Same is still used in the
three story school building to this day.
Then a question of a new school building arose. Much debating
and soliciting and so on got nicely started in 1905. Father Berube
was transferred and Father Eugene Caron became our pastor and
went ahead with the project, which was completed in 1907.   There
came during the summer some nuns from Superior, Wisconsin, and
seven postulants. The school was to be a boarding school and
novitiate for recruiting girls to the sisterhood. These young
girls were received into the order in our church by our Reverend
Bishop Schinner of Superior in August of that year. A beautiful
and impressing ceremony, it might have been encouraging to many
of the young girls to join the order.
The number of teachers was insufficient so two lay teachers were
hired to help teach the French language. They were from Kankakee,
Illinois. They were the Misses Goodreau, Louise and Henrietta.
The latter became Mrs. Marcel Levesque, now in Washington.
The new school building was built back and quite a bit north, to
the right on the river bank back of the cemetery. A beautiful spot,
evergreens for a backgound, quiet and privacy as it is quite a bit
off the highway. It is a three story brick building providing a
large chapela library, a music room and classroom on the first floor.
The basement was meant for a large dining room for the boarders and
a smaller dining area for the nuns, as well as a large kitchen where
all the cooking was done. There was also a laundry, drying room,
lavatories and a room for the caretaker. Mr. Louis Belisle is the
one everyone remembers for he served diligently in this position up
to a few years ago. The second floor was entirely classrooms except
for an office for the superior. The third floor was all dormitories,
bath and a recreation room for both nuns and boarders.
It is a landmark indeed. Not very many of this generation did
not at one time or another attend this place of learning.   Since
about 1940 hot lunches have been served to the pupils.   At first
the lunches were sponsored by the convent, but now the parish
Mothers Club take charge. It is such a wonderful thing for the
children. Some come in from quite a ways by bus.
After the nuns from Crookston took over, girls who wanted to
join the convent had to go to the mother house in Bourge in Braise,
France, to make their novitiate and profession. A few of our girls
were over in France at the time of the First World War. Thus many
brothers and sisters met over there as they also did during World
War II. It was quite a thrill for them to meet either relatives or
even just someone from back home, or from the good old U.S.A. Most
all of them helped care for the wounded. Those in World War II were
unable to return for a long time. They could not even be located at

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