In addition to the chronology provided below, you may want to check out selected photographs from the archives.
1875 - The Benedictine Sisters care for 7 orphan children in Pierz, Minnesota.
1878 - The orphan population grows to 24 boys and girls. The children are moved to St. Cloud.
1882 - The orphans are transferred to St. Joseph.
1884 - The St. Joseph orphanage is incorporated, and the orphans are again transferred to St. Cloud.
1885 - Due to overcrowding, 23 boys are moved back to St. Joseph. The girls are sent to the Benedictine mission in Pierz.
1891 - The Franciscan Sisters of Little Falls are organized as a diocesan institute and are entrusted with the care of the orphans.
1892 - Bishop Zardetti suggests that a collection be taken up in October by all the diocesan parishes for the sake of the orphans.
1893, August 17 - The orphanage in Little Falls expands with the arrival of 33 orphans on the noon train.
1894 - The Franciscan Sisters are given permission to make personal appeals in each parish.
1895 - The St. Otto Orphan Asylum is built in Little Falls in honor of St. Cloud Diocesan Bishop Otto Zardetti.
1900, Summer - A smallpox epidemic hits the orphanage, affecting the girls living on the third floor. The entire group is moved off campus and into tents near the Mississippi River. There is no loss of life.
1915 - Orphan trains bring the largest number of children for foster and adoptive homes.
1918, October 25 - 97 of the 125 children suffer from an influenza epidemic. One child dies.
1919 - Bishop Joseph F. Busch begins working on the St. Cloud Orphanage project. The Franciscan Sisters 25-year contract to care for the diocesan orphans expires.
1919, November 6 - Bishop Busch forms a committee to expedite the orphanage project, decide upon an architect, supervise the preparation of plans, and get the preliminary work underway as soon as possible.
1920, April 22 - Bishop Busch issues a report on the orphanage progress in a pastoral letter. He mentions that a separate corporation has been formed to be known as The St. Otto Orphanage of the Diocese of St. Cloud. Architect, John T. Comes of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania prepares plans and the basement is completed. In his letter, Busch describes the locale: A beautiful site comprising forty acres...it is situated near the banks of the Mississippi River immediately south of the city limits and about twenty acres of rich loamy garden soil about fifty feet below, skirted by a spur track of the Great Northern Railway.
1923 - Ms. Mary Majerus donates $5,000 to purchase 25 additional acres adjacent to the land donated by the City.
1923, July - Father Bernard Karels starts a magazine, The Homeless Orphan, to solicit funds for the orphanage.
1924, June 11 - 47 orphans and 12 Franciscan Sisters are transferred to St. Cloud for the dedication of the St. Cloud Orphanage by Bishop Joseph F. Busch. 800 guests attend the dedication. Father Bernard Karels serves as the first Superintendent and Chaplain.
1924, September - Reverend Monsignor Edward Mahowald serves as Superintendent and Chaplain.
1924, December - The magazine was renamed The Messenger of the Homeless Orphan.
1930s - The orphanage magazine is renamed the St. Cloud Advocate.
1937, August - Reverend Jerome Bielejeski is appointed as Superintendent. As the city limits of St. Cloud expand, the orphanage phases out the farming program.
1940s - The Holy Innocents Cottage is opened for hydrocephalics and other children in need of intensive care.
1947-1948 - The St. Coletta Cottage is opened to care for mentally handicapped children under the leadership of Sister Elizabeth Ann Widmer, O.S.B. 13 children are moved from Avon to the St. Coletta Cottage.
1950s - The St. Cloud Orphanage is renamed the St. Cloud Children's Home (SCCH).
1952, July - Rev. H. M. Lutgen serves as director of the St. Cloud Children's Home.
1955 - Catholic Charities of the Diocese of St. Cloud is officially incorporated by Bishop Bartholome and includes the Children's Home.
1960 - The St. Cloud Children's Home Auxiliary is formed and assists in activities and fundraising.
1960s - The Watab cottage is built. A riding program begins at the home with 12 horses.
1961, August - Father Jerome Reisinger serves as director.
1962, March - Fr. Lloyd Haupt serves as director.
1964 - The St. Cloud Children's Home ceases their program caring for mentally handicapped children. As more tax dollars are used for child welfare services, the Home becomes a treatment center for emotionally disturbed children. The St. Cloud Children's Home develops its own Advisory Board.
1965, August 15 - SCCH holds its first annual Horse Show Benefit.
1965, November - SCCH begins the use of foster grandparents with children. It is one of only 21 foster grandparent programs nationally, and the only one to work with teenagers with emotional or behavioral problems. 32 foster grandparents help launch the program.
1969, July 1 - Bishop Speltz appoints Fr. Richard J. Leisen as director of the SCCH.
1969 - An experimental daytime outreach program is developed at SCCH, funded in part by the United Way. The program provides, primarily, special reading instruction to high school students who were poor readers.
1970, March - John Doman is hired as director of SCCH.
1971, July - The Busch Shelter opens in the former staff apartment above the kitchen, as a emergency shelter for children between the ages of 8-16.
1973, March 1 - SCCH opens a half-way house to provide a group living situation where youth can make use of the new skills they have learned while at the Children's Home prior to returning home.
1973, September - SCCH begins the Tiffany Group Home. The
home provides a structured, community-based living situation for 10 youth between
the ages 14-18.
1975, May - St. Clouds first Vietnamese refugee family is sponsored by the St. Cloud Childrens Home. SCCH prepares an apartment for the family.
1977, May - A dining and meeting room is added to the St. Cloud Children's Home by covering a portion of one of the inner courts.
1977, November - Catholic Charities moves the central administration offices to the grounds of the SCCH.
1981, November - The decision is made to close the Busch Shelter.
1982 - The St. Cloud Children's Home develops and opens its first co-ed adolescent unit.
1983 - In-Home Services begin at SCCH. Cottage 6 is converted to a pre-adolescent co-ed population.
1985, June - Tiffany House is closed.
1985, August - Tiffany House is reopened as Cottage 7 to serve adolescent girls.
1985 - Park Place becomes St. Francis Home and serves developmentally disabled adults.
1986 - The Special Friends program is first offered. It is a program of service in collaboration with Cathedral High School.
1987, September - Day treatment begins at SCCH.
1987 - Father Timothy Wenzel begins as Director of Catholic Charities as Father Richard Leisen leaves.
1990, July 9 - SCCH develops and opens an Intensive Treatment Unit (ITU) in Fergus Falls.
1990, Fall - The entrance sign (granite marker and flower bed) is set in place.
1991 - John Krueger is hired as director of SCCH.
1992, January 1 - The entire St. Cloud Children's Home campus becomes tobacco-free.
1992, Summer - SCCH Annex-Cottage 8 (for lower functioning students) begins.
1993 - Bishop John F. Kinney moves onto the SCCH campus.
1994 - Father Timothy Wenzel leaves as director of Catholic Charities. Steve Bresnahan is appointed as the first lay director of Catholic Charities.
1996 - Cottage 7 closes and the Youth Learning Center opens as a community alternative education program.
1997, August - Cottage 2 is converted to a secure unit.
1997, September - The SCCH Annex (Cottage 8) becomes the Assessment Unit (Cottage 7) offering 30 day assessments to youth and their families.
2005, June - Cottage 3 Plus was opened to accommodate a collaborative service between the St. Cloud Hospital and SCCH. Services provided are to adolescents with chemical dependancy issues.
2006, April - Special Friends program celebrates 20 years. This collaborative service works with Cathedral High School volunteers to nurture a relationship with students in our care.
2006, December 13 - Opening of the new state-of-the-art Intensive Treatment Unit in Fergus Falls. This facility has been designed from the ground-up to offer the most advanced, progressive, and safe intensive treatment environment to adolescents in our care.
St. Cloud Children's Home
1726 7th Ave S
St. Cloud, MN 56301
Ph: 800.830.8254, ext 1500