NewsLocal News


St. Francis Hospital time capsule offers look at life in 1913.

Posted at 5:46 PM, Mar 08, 2019

INDIANAPOLIS — The contents of a time capsule placed inside a hospital cornerstone 106-years ago offer a glimpse into what life was like in 1913.

It was the year Woodrow Wilson became president and the year Congress authorized a federal income tax.

In Beech Grove, the big news was a new hospital.

The Sisters of St. Francis of Perpetual Adoration were building what would become St. Francis Hospital.

Inside the cornerstone was a copper container with items the sisters thought might be of interest to future generations.

That copper box was opened at a recent Francisan Health Indianapolis board meeting.

Inside was a proclamation written in Latin from the cornerstone laying ceremony.

There was a remnant of a palm leaf, probably from that year's Palm Sunday.

A newspaper advertised Borden's Malted Milk, Coca-Cola and partial dental plates for $3.

Sister Jane Marie Klein, chair of the hospital board, read a newspaper story about the hospital building project.

"Total cost to be $200,000. My, that sounds like quite a bargain to me when you think about the price to build a hospital these days," she said.

St. Francis Beech Grove opened in 1914 and grew over the years to become the tallest building on the southeast side.

In 2012, most to the Beech Grove campus closed and was consolidated into Franciscan St. Francis on the Indianapolis south side.

But, more than 100-years ago, the forward-looking sisters made sure the hospital's early history would not be forgotten.