Deaf Children at St. Bridget’s Half-Orphan Asylum
St. Bridget’s Half-Orphans Asylum for Girls, established in 1858, by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet, on Lucas Avenue and Beaumont Street, served female half-orphans from five to twelve years old placed by the surviving parent. Part of the founding mission of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet was St. Joseph Institute for the Deaf in St. Louis. This put the order in the unique position of being able to serve deaf orphans and half-orphans.
Of the ninety-nine white females, between the ages of four and twenty-one, listed in the 1870 census, twenty-five of the girls showed handicapping conditions; four marked idiotic, fifteen marked deaf and dumb, one marked deaf, dumb and blind, two marked blind, and three marked mute. Of the ninety-four white females, between the ages of ten months and nineteen years listed in the 1880 census, nine of the girls showed handicapping conditions: six marked deaf and dumb, two marked idiotic, and one marked disabled. This is remarkable because St. Bridget’s served a population not seen in the other orphanages.
There is little history available for St. Bridget’s Half-Orphan Asylum for Girls. In 1866, it was placed under the control of the Board of Managers of the Roman Catholic Orphan Asylums of St. Louis. The archives of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet deals only with the sisters. They do not have student records and St. Louis Archdiocesan Archives does not have records for St. Bridget’s Half-Orphan Asylum for Girls either.
The Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet gave permission for the St. Louis Genealogical Society to publish this list of deaf children cared for and taught at St. Bridget’s, which includes their names, birth places, parents’ names, when they left the asylum, and sometimes some additional information. The list includes girls who entered the orphanage from 1865 to 1881.
Last modified: 20-Nov-2019 21:43