Nuggets From Helena — Trouble with neighbors: House of the Good Shepherd

ELLEN BAUMLER

House of the Good Shepherd, 1990; now part of the Good Shepherd Historic District. The convent is now apartments and the greatly enlarged dorm is Tim Holmes’ studio.

Photo provided by Tim Holmes Studio

Linnie Connor sat inside the tall board fence that surrounded the House of the Good Shepherd at Ninth and Hoback, crying as if her heart would break. A passing neighbor climbed the fence to get a better view. One of the Catholic sisters noticed the intruder and hustled Linnie into the house, warning the trespasser to vacate the sidewalk. According to the Helena Journal, an inmate added a parting shot “too indecent for publication.” Emotions were volatile in the Seventh Ward during the spring of 1892.

As far as the neighbors knew, Linnie Connor was an innocent, typical Victorian-era teenager. Her parents, however, saw her as suddenly difficult and defiant. Her family troubles led to a spectacular neighborhood fracas. Sisters of the House of the Good Shepherd and their home were at the center of the controversy.

The Order of the Good Shepherd had

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