Alums donate Saint Mother Theodore’s clock to Indiana State Museum

News | 12.13.2017
Alabaster Clock
Photo credit: From the collection of the Indiana State Museum and Historic Sites.

By Dianne Frances D. Powell

An alabaster clock previously owned by Saint Mother Theodore Guerin may soon be enjoyed by more Hoosiers thanks to the generosity of a mother-daughter duo, both alumnae of Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College (SMWC).

Lisa Young McCord ’09, 13G and her daughter, Valerie Young Love ’09, have donated the precious artifact to the Indiana State Museum earlier this year. The clock was given to Mother Theodore, foundress of SMWC and the Sisters of Providence, in 1852 by Father Julian Benoit of Fort Wayne for the work she had done for Catholic education in Indiana, McCord said. It was later restored by Thomas Terstegge, the brother of Sister Georgiana Terstegge.

This piece of treasured history was purchased by McCord in 2015 for $400 when the Sisters of Providence of Saint Mary-of-the-Woods auctioned off the contents of Owens Hall, which was closed shortly after. Later that day, she was approached by a curator at Indiana State Museum who suggested donating it to the museum. But the family decided to keep the clock at the time, and in 2016, Love took the clock to Antiques Roadshow’s summer tour in Indianapolis where it appraised for $2,500 after minor repairs.

McCord and her daughters at the 2013 graduation
Lisa Young McCord ’09, 13G (middle) poses for a photo with her daughters, Valerie (right) and Elizabeth (left) during her graduation from SMWC’s Master of Leadership Development program in 2013.

With McCord’s recent return home to Wisconsin to open an assisted living facility, she decided to donate it to the Indiana State Museum in order to share it with Hoosiers. “With me moving to Wisconsin, I decided that it would be good to make a decision on a permanent home for the clock since it was so old and in a fragile state,” McCord said. The donation was officially accepted in May. “We are proud to share this treasure on behalf of the Sisters of Providence with the citizens of Indiana.  I would not have felt right taking this from Indiana to Wisconsin,” she said.

McCord hopes seeing this possession by a great woman up close will inspire people to greatness.  “I hope that they would have appreciation for the people who founded the early state of Indiana such as Mother Theodore,” she said.

“This little piece of artifact that is left from her life is a tribute to that life.”

McCord purchased other items from the auction which are now in her new assisted living facility: grand piano (from 1915), crucifixes, church pews and statues “that remind me of The Woods on a regular basis.”

“I am proud to be a Woodsie and love that I could incorporate these items into my new business,” she said. The early plan for this new facility was McCord’s project when she was completing the Master of Leadership Development program at SMWC.

Read about McCord’s business, which was inspired by her experience in the Master of Leadership Development program, in the Fall-Winter 2017 issue of the Onyx.

1 Comment


| 12.21.2017 at 4:43am
Beautiful story about my daughter in law’s mother Lisa.