St. Anna’s Residence is steeped in a rich history. From the very beginning in 1850, when a group of philanthropic ladies formed an organization called “The Society for the Relief of Destitute Females and Their Helpless Children,” to the present, St. Anna’s has been a sanctuary of caring. The need for that original organization grew from the tragic aftermath of devastating Yellow Fever epidemics that left a wake of widowed women and orphaned children in our city.
Funds were collected from generous donors, including Jenny Lind, Judah Touro and primarily Dr. William Mercer. Dr. Mercer’s wife and two small children perished, leaving him with the care of his small and frail daughter, Anna. All efforts to bolster Anna’s fragile health failed and she died at the age of 19. St. Anna’s Residence was so named in her honor after Dr. Mercer bestowed a most generous gift of $25,000 to The Society. Those funds were used to erect our building in order to carry on the ever-increasing relief work of The Society. In appreciation, the Board of Directors legally changed the name of The Society to “St. Anna’s Asylum for the Relief of Destitute Females and Their Helpless Children of All Religious Denominations.” More recently, our name was changed again to St. Anna’s Residence. We are still a welcoming home to residents of all faiths. Now we extend that welcome to gentlemen in need of long-term care as well as ladies.
The same spirit of caring which guided the footsteps of our early founders continues today. That caring permeates every aspect of life at St. Anna’s while our historic building, both inside and out, reflects the pride and contentment of our residents.
Jenny Lind, Benefactor
Dr. William N. Mercer, Benefactor
Miss Anna Mercer