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St. James Episcopal Church History collection

 Collection — Folder: S2182
Identifier: S2182

Scope and Contents

This collection includes three typed manuscripts, a history of the church (1941) and two papers on women's work in the parish (1889 and 1940), as well as one typed transcript of the program for the Semi-Centennial Celebration of St. James Church held in November 1889. The paper written by Francis M. Van Natter in 1941, 15 pages, covering the history of St. James Church from its inception in 1823 to the consecration of its new building in 1907. Sophie Amelia Langton Ghee wrote the six-page manuscript with the heading: "To the Bishop, Rector and members of St. James' Episcopal Church, Vincennes, Ind." She wrote of the women's work in the parish from 1839 to 1889. On page 2, Ms. Langton wrote: "the society met once a week at the Rector's residence, and made useful and fancy articles that were sold at Fairs given by them" with the proceeds used to pay church expenses and "at times a portion of the Rector's salary."

The third manuscript, consisting of five pages, was entitled "Women's Work in St. James Parish" by Florence G. Watts , dated December 5, 1940. She used Amelia Langton's paper for research. Before they had a building, the ladies formed a sewing society, and were able to donate $200 toward the purchase of the lot on which the first church was built. The women held entertainments which raised money to buy an organ and provide other benefits for the church. They maintained a sewing school for girls at a mission school. In 1887, the younger women formed St. Mary's Altar Guild to raise money for altar expenses. Ms. Watts wrote, on page 4, "The women had much to do with the music of the church."


  • 1889-1941


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Legal title, copyright, and literary rights reside with Rare Books and Manuscripts, Indiana State Library, Indianapolis, IN. All requests to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted to Rare Books and Manuscripts.

Administrative History

The Protestant Episcopal Church of Vincennes, Indiana started in 1823. The St. James parish was formed on October 7, 1839 and the congregation was renamed St. James Church, and then met in the Town Hall while they began constructing their own building. On August 13, 1843, the church, located at Fourth and Busseron streets, was consecrated. The church celebrated a semi-centennial celebration in 1889. In 1907, the current St. James Episcopal Church building was completed at Sixth and Perry streets.


Items in the collection.


0.01 Cubic Feet (1 folder)

Language of Materials



This collection is arranged chronologically.

Custodial History

This collection was received by Rare Books and Manuscripts as two donations from Francis M. Van Natter on 1941/01/23, and from Florence Watts on 1941/01/30.


No further additions are expected.

Processing Information

Collection processing completed 2015/05/21 by Nikki Stoddard Schofield. EAD and finding aid completed 2015/05/21 by Nikki Stoddard Schofield. EAD finding aid revised 2015/06/30 by Brittany Kropf.
St. James Episcopal Church History collection
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script

Repository Details

Part of the Rare Books and Manuscripts Repository

140 North Senate Avenue
Indianapolis, Indiana 46204 U.S.A.