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valkricry (46 stories) (3124 posts) mod
 
3 years ago (2017-08-01)
I think you're right, Manafon. It seems only fitting that at a minimal it would say "Sister Augustus, serving X Order." But then again, I find it ironic the only articles you found on the wreck were from out of state. What's up with that? I've looked too, and either the locals did not cover it (we had a paper as far back as 1849) or due to flooding etc they've been lost.
AugustaM (6 stories) (992 posts)
+2
3 years ago (2017-08-01)
Knowing to what order she belonged would likely help the search. If you Google 'sister Augustus' you get every guy named Augustus who ever had a sister but if we could also add in the order, that may get us somewhere. If she died in such a selfless way, likely there is a record or a plaque somewhere in her honor. Maybe ask at the Catholic church down the street?

Here is a pretty bang up history of Catholics in Illinois that might give you a lead:
Http://www.diobelle.org/about/about-the-diocese/956-history-of-the-diocese

Here is a directory of all orders:
Http://www.vocations.com/womenrel.html

Piggy backing in Manafon's research, I think I have an idea of where to look, which leads me to lean towards the Sisters of Mercy but it doesn't seem as though they have much of a history in the area, they are just the institution there now. However, they may know of the history of religious orders in the area. The orders also keep records of their members and their last names. I just now happened into one such record but it wasn't for the right order. So if you can track down her order, her identity might be a Google away.
AugustaM (6 stories) (992 posts)
+1
3 years ago (2017-08-01)
My mother grew up going to a Catholic school from kindergarten until the 12th grade. She remembered the nuns as very strict. Her family was never strictly religious and as an adult she didn't go to church but when she had her first child (my brother) her OBGYN had hospital rights at the Catholic hospital in town so there she went. She too had a C-section. When she came to, there was the tallest nun she had ever seen holding her tiny baby in her arms - she said it was the most comforting feeling in the world and when she had to leave the room for tests etc she felt so at peace knowing that her baby was watched over by such a calm kind presence. She would return to the same hospital ten years later to have me:) My father moved his practice there (later they would give him the boot because he simply is not a good or kind person) and I grew up visiting the office and interacting with the nuns - I will always remember their kind serene faces and the absolutely sinfully delicious cookies they baked! They always had a word of kindness and comfort for everyone they met and the patients always looked so happy to see them.

The sum total of my lifetime experiences with organized religion have left me wary of it to say the least but from the experience my mother described, every hospital should have a cohort of nuns in it!

That hospital is lucky to be inhabited by Sister Augustus' kind spirit. I would guess she stays around because she feels it is her calling to do so. What a lovely spirit indeed!
Tweed (29 stories) (2362 posts)
+1
3 years ago (2017-08-01)
Val, cool encounter. There's really something about hospitals that attract former staff, or in your case a nun, to return and help out. It's also amazing because these locations always seem to attract the most vivid/solid apparitions which fool those who encounter them. My Stepmother, you know, the nihilist, works at a hospital. Makes me wonder what she may have encountered.😉
As for finding out the identity of the nun, maybe try an historical society in your town. Suppose nuns would be hard to track, but you never know.
Manafon1 (5 stories) (677 posts)
+2
3 years ago (2017-08-01)
Hi again Val--I do know that the nuns names are changed but I was assuming that she would have been referred to as Sister Augustus along with her birth name and whatever order she was associated with in any newspaper article.

I wonder of Sister Augustus didn't die of the injures sustained by the sulphuric acid but was so attached to helping people in need in that hospital that she stuck around for the same reason she was there in life. Either way, you had two rare and fascinating encounters with a ghostly nun.
valkricry (46 stories) (3124 posts) mod
+1
3 years ago (2017-08-01)
Anno_Domini, thank you. 😊

Manafon, hi. Thanks for verifying the train wreck. 😊
I'm fairly sure Karen was just repeating what she had heard from others at the hospital. I had never even heard of that wreck until then. Not 'spectacular' enough to be repeated through the years, I suppose. But,apparently,the story of Sister Augustus endured.
I don't know what you know about nuns, but you might find this interesting. When you become a nun you leave behind your Earthly name and take a new name from the church. Usually 2 Biblical names, the first commonly being Mary. So Emily Brown becomes Sister Mary Joseph. Depending on the strictness of their order, this may become shortened to Sister Joseph. So her birth identity would still be a mystery even if I knew more details, like what parish she was from and what Order. Was she a local nun, or incoming from another town? If so, what about her traveling companion? Nuns usually travel in pairs.
You wonder," if like many ghosts the actual identity of the apparition you witnessed is shrouded in an oral legend that was passed down and which possibly altered her real identity and has left her actual name lost to the mists of time," whereas I wonder if with the closing of the hospital Sister Augustus is lost to the mists as well. Even her legend forgotten.
Manafon1 (5 stories) (677 posts)
+1
3 years ago (2017-08-01)
Hi Val--This was a really intriguing account. I'm also from Illinois and I was able to find some info about this train wreck. As I'm not sure you want the name of the town you live in revealed I will leave that out of what I found.

There seems to be some confusion as to if one or two people were killed in the train wreck. A newspaper article dated August 17, 1895 states that Thomas Rosh was killed and that Fred Robinson was badly burned by acid, Arthur Robinson was "frightfully burned", Mrs. Nancy Smith of Chicago received a broken nose, Conductor Charlson injured his back, Brakeman William Farrell injured his back and received a cut above his head and J. Munch was burned badly about the body. All this info comes from The Aspen Weekly Times, dated August 17, 1895, which was one day after the accident.

However, there is an article from a Fort Wayne, Indiana paper dated August 21, 1895 that gives several alternate names. These include a different name for the person killed as Rush Thomas and Mrs. Vandemar, Charles Chilvers, Albert Hope and Henry Holder among the injured. Sadly I couldn't find any mention of a Sister Augustus but since she wasn't involved in the actual accident that might explain it.

Did the nurse (Karen) have any further information about the nun? Your two sightings of her sound amazing. I assume she appeared completely solid and it's wild that she actually handed you a glass of water. There must be some way to verify the historical Sister Augustus. It's always nice to find out more information on the history of the person who an apparition represents. Clearly she was a deeply caring human being but it's frustrating when information about the actual person is so elusive.

It seems very evident that you experienced an apparition twice at the hospital but I wonder if like many ghosts the actual identity of the apparition you witnessed is shrouded in an oral legend that was passed down and which possibly altered her real identity and has left her actual name lost to the mists of time.
Anno_Domini (3 stories) (161 posts)
+2
3 years ago (2017-08-01)
valkricry I'm partial to your style of writing, very smooth and you don't leave out the important details!

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