Alan is away at a funeral today.

Katie Wilcox Day

This Sunday, May 21st we will celebrate Katie Wilcox Day.  Katie Wilcox was a Chester native who was instrumental in the founding of the first women's college in India.  Below is a bit of history about Katie:

Katie Wilcox was born July 26, 1889 in Chester and grew up in the Main Street homestead built by her grandfather, Jeremiah Shipman in 1803. (The house next to Chester Post Office). She was the daughter of Joseph and Anna Schaeffer Wilcox, and had five sisters and three brothers. She attended the Chester schools and graduated from Deep River High School in 1905. Katie attended Wesleyan University for two years before transferring to Mount Holyoke College, from which she graduated in 1911. Following graduation, she taught at schools in Moodus and Littleton, New Hampshire.

In 1915 she went as a Congregational Missionary to teach in Madurai, India. At that time, she served in the teacher’s training school and the model school that was a part of it.  Katie Wilcox’s imagination and vision saw, in 1915, that the education of women in India was all important. Upon her arrival in Madurai, she immediately began the work and plans which eventuated in the girls’ residential high school in 1939. In 1948 it was, in large part, her heroic efforts which established Lady Doak College for the higher education of Indian women. Katie served as the college bursar and teacher until her retirement in 1958. At that time, the college chapel was dedicated to her.

An article in the Connecticut Conference Missioner for May 1972 states: “Katie was a builder, and thousands of women in Madurai and the surrounding area sing praises to her name out of a deep sense of gratitude, respect and appreciation. …. She built a college, and in that college built a long succession of educated women in India, who are for the most part disciples of Katie, and are building more informed, better prepared, and finer structured lives in many fields of religious, educational and government service”.

She received many awards for her service, and, at her 50th college reunion in 1961, Mt Holyoke awarded her the honorary degree of Doctor of Humane Letters. From then on, she was known as Dr. Katie Wilcox.

On December 17, 1974, Dr. Katie Wilcox died in Chester and is buried in the Wilcox family plot in Laurel Hill Cemetery which overlooks her Chester home.

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United Church of Chester, 29 West Main Street, Chester, CT 06412. (860) 526-2697


From the North: Take CT Route 9 South to Exit 8 (old exit 6) (CT 148). Turn left; we are 1 mile on the right.


From the South: Take CT Route 9 North to Exit 8 (old exit 6) (CT 148). Turn Right; we are .8 miles on the right.

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Tuesday - Friday 9-1


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Wednesday  - Friday



Mailing Address:  

Post Office Box 383, Chester, CT 06412


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29 West Main Street, Chester, CT 06412





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