In 1837, Bishop Bruté purchased a property in Terre Haute that had once housed a public school. St. Joseph Church was built on this lot by Rev. Stanislaus Buteux. It was dedicated July 26, 1840. Mother Theodore and her companions attended Mass here on Oct. 22, 1840, a few hours before crossing the Wabash. In 1848 the pastor, Rev. Simon Petit Lalumiere, purchased an adjoining lot and gave it to the Sisters of Providence, on the condition that they would build a school for girls and repair an existing building. Father Lalumiere raised some money for this project, but the greater part was paid for by the sisters. Father Lalumiere gave the sisters the deed the following year.
The school opened on Jan. 2, 1849, and was called St. Vincent Academy. In April 1872, Mother Anastasie Brown sold St. Vincent’s to the Franciscans for St. Bonaventure College. Then she acquired the nearby Griswold property and opened St. Joseph School. In 1873 she agreed to include in the school boys up to the age of thirteen. Three years later the Congregation sold the Griswold property and bought St. Vincent’s back. Its name was changed to St. Joseph Academy. In 1937 the high school section merged with St. Patrick High School. The grade school continued until 1957.