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The Congregation of Sisters of St. Agnes had been teaching music students for many years in Fond du Lac before they established St. Cecilia's Academy of Music at St. Mary's convent in 1901. It is unknown how long the academy operated, but the sisters used the convent until 1955. The building is currently used for apartments.


  • Mother Agnes Hazotte, Sister Ambrose Gross (center), and two visiting sisters with some music students, 1890s.
  • Sister Felicitas Dreiling and a music pupil at St. Mary's convent, Fond du Lac, c. 1950.
  • The former St. Cecilia's Academy of Music and St. Mary's convent as it appears today.

In 1894, the Congregation of Sisters of St. Agnes purchased property at 70 E. Merrill Street for $1000 as a convent for their sisters who were teaching at St. Mary’s School across the street. By 1901, the house was deemed inadequate and demolished. Put up in its place was a new convent that would also house St. Cecilia’s Academy of Music. The building soon became known by that name.

With the influx of Italian immigrants in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, stringed instruments such as the mandolin and guitar were gaining in popularity. Young women were keen to learn how to play and the music school filled that need.

The three-story brick building was designed by A.D. Werner and constructed for $8553. It is unclear how long St. Cecilia’s operated as a music school, but the sisters used the building until 1955, when a new convent was built on Amory Street. The St. Cecilia’s building was sold and renovated for use as apartments.

Congregation of Sisters of St. Agnes Archives.

Lorimer, CSA, Margaret. Ordinary Sisters: The Story of the Sisters of St. Agnes, 1858-1990. Fond du Lac, Wisconsin. Congregation of Sisters of St. Agnes, 2007.

Wisconsin Historical Society, Wisconsin Architecture and History Inventory, St. Cecelia’s [sic] Music School, Fond du Lac, Fond du Lac County, Wisconsin, 54587.

Image Sources(Click to expand)

Congregation of Sisters of St. Agnes Archives

Congregation of Sisters of St. Agnes Archives

Sister Jean Hinderer, CSA