On Thursday, October 6, the Jessie Allen Wise Garden Club had its regular meeting at the Jefferson Playhouse. In a play entitled “Six Sisters from St. Louis” written by Julianne Fischer, seven characters from Jefferson’s past came back to visit and tell their stories.
The play is based upon the actual diaries of the characters.Members of the Jessie Allen Wise Garden Club and their guests were able to hear the first priest of Immaculate Conception Catholic Church, Father Jean Giraud tell about the new church built in Jefferson in 1867 and about his trip to France to get funding for a school . The French Catholics graciously provided about $6,000 for the building of a school for Jefferson’s children! Then Father Giraud requested that six Sisters of Charity of the Daughters of St. Vincent de Paul of St. Louis come to Jefferson to live and be the teachers at St. Mary’s School. In the play, the sisters tell in a very lively way about their adventures traveling on a steamboat which took them from their home in St. Louis down the Mississippi River,
then up the Red River to Shreveport. They reached Jefferson after a long train ride from Shreveport to Marshall and then had a bumpy ride from Marshall to Jefferson in a stagecoach. After spending their first night in Jefferson at the Excelsior House, they were shown to their new convent home by Father Giraud. Their home and the site for their school and a hospital is the house known today as the Ruth Lester Memorial on West Henderson Street.
The role of Father Giraud was played memorably by Father David Puckett; the six dedicated sisters were portrayed delightfully by Laura Miller, Susan Wise, Kay…
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