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Daughters of Isabella, St. Lawrence Circle #166 records and photographs

Identifier: MSS-231

Scope and Contents

The Daughters of Isabella Records contain minutes, reports, publications, scrapbooks and photographs relating to meetings, conferences, treasurers activities and membership. Scrapbooks (1975-1995) include various photographs and documents related to the organization and its operations. There are photographs (PSC 247) from two conventions (1984 and 1998). The collection also includes a seal stamp. A. Stone, 09/02/2003


  • Creation: 1921 - 2002

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Biographical / Historical

The Daughters of Isabella is a Roman Catholic women’s organization intended to “unite all Catholic women into a fraternal, beneficial, social society, in order to promote friendships, and to establish a bond of unity and truth that will be of mutual interest in time of trouble and distress.” Additionally, the organization is dedicated to preserving the memory and importance of the Spanish Queen Isabella of Castile. In 1897, its first chapter or “circle,” as they are called, was founded in New Haven, Connecticut. This collection primarily focuses on and is oriented around the Muncie chapter (Saint Lawrence Circle #166), which was founded in 1921 by Agnes Zellers on the third floor of the Cohen building at the corner of South Walnut Street and Howard Street. At the time of its founding, there was only one Catholic Church in Muncie, from which the Saint Lawrence Circle derived its name. The Great Depression of the 1930s stressed the coherence of the organization as membership dropped because people were unable to pay dues. In 1940, Father Flanagan, the famed founder of Boys Town, came to Muncie on behalf of the Daughters of Isabella to speak at Muncie Central High School. Corresponding with the economic prosperity after the Second World War, membership picked up again in the late 1940s. The Daughters of Isabella focused their attention on charitable projects and various fundraisers. The organization held regular meetings and conventions to discuss matters of business operation and religious concern. The numerous chapters of the organization spanned across the United States and reached beyond its borders into Canada and the Philippines. Not only did these chapters concentrate their efforts locally, but they also corresponded and cooperated to consolidate and strengthen their efforts beyond their individual localities. For example, Saint Lawrence Circle #166 participated with other Indiana circles to support the Saint Elizabeth Home for unwed mothers in Indianapolis, and they joined with circles internationally to pledge $1 million for the National Center for Family Studies. (Sources: St. Lawrence Circle #166, Daughters of Isabella, History and Information Pamphlet)


4.4 Cubic Feet (10 boxes and 2 folders)

Language of Materials



This collection is arranged alphabetically.

Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script

Repository Details

Part of the Stoeckel Archives of Local History Repository

Alexander M. Bracken Library
2000 W. University Avenue
Muncie Indiana 47306 USA