The Ohio Memory Madness 2014 championship has come to an end, and this year’s winner was… the Julia Chatfield sculpture, belonging to the Ursulines of Brown County! Competition this year was fierce, with the winner of one pairing in the first round decided by just one vote! The Chatfield sculpture had a strong showing throughout all six rounds, and beat out the Daniel Emmett violin (featured in our blog post from March 21st) in the final round of votes to claim the title of 2014 Champion. Congratulations to the Ursulines of Brown County on their object’s win!
Born in England in 1809, Julia Chatfield was the foundress of the Ursulines of Brown County. She was raised an Anglican, but after attending an Ursuline boarding school in northern France, she converted to Catholicism–even though the decision led to a permanent break with her family. Chatfield entered the Ursuline order and took her final vows in 1837. She decided to become a missionary to the United States, and in 1845 (at the request of John Baptist Purcell, Archbishop of Cincinnati) she led eleven Ursuline sisters to Ohio, where they settled in Brown County. The sisters chartered their original school in 1846 as the St. Ursula Literary Institute, and thanks to the order’s reputation as excellent educators, girls came from all over the United States to attend the academy. Subjects taught at the school included English, French, music, fine arts, modern languages, physics, and natural history.
Sister Julia Chatfield is recognized as a pioneer in Ohio’s academic and religious development, and as such, was inducted into the Ohio Women’s Hall of Fame in 2007 for her achievements in education. She remains an inspiration behind the Ursuline Academy of Cincinnati, opened in 1896, and the namesake of Chatfield College, founded in 1971. This sculpture in her honor was created by Sister Agatha Fitzgerald of the Ursuline order, and is displayed in front of the Chatfield College Administration Building as a reminder of Sister Julia’s contribution to the organization and to our state.
Thank you to all who participated and voted in this year’s Ohio Memory Madness competition, and we look forward to next year’s event!
Thanks to Lily Birkhimer, Digital Projects Coordinator at the Ohio History Connection, for this week’s post!