When I read about Frances Marsh taking the census of the No. 2 School District of Lake County (June 13 issue). I remembered people talking about her as the census-taker.

In her later years, Frances (or Franny as she was more commonly known) lived at the old St. Vincent Hospital. It could be said that the old St. Vincent Hospital had the first extended-care unit for elderly people who had nowhere else to go and no one to take care of them. This first ECU was referred to as the old-age section of the hospital. In exchange for the meager pensions, if they had one, the Sisters took care of these people. I especially remember seeing Fanny even though I was only five or six years old.

When you visited someone in the hospital and got in or out of the old rickety cage-like elevator on the second floor, Fanny and usually a couple gentlemen were sitting on chairs across from the elevator. That was their daily pastime. Nearly everyone who knew Fanny stopped to talk to her.

Fanny was of small stature. She wore a black dress and had her hair in a bun. She had a sweet cherub-like face and always greeted people with a smile. When visitors got out of the elevator, it was common to hear someone say, “There’s Fanny.”

Beverly Pologar


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