Book Relates 150-Year History of Ursulines of Youngstown

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – As the Ursuline Sisters of Youngstown celebrate their 150th year, a new book delves into their history and accomplishments.

“The Ursuline Sisters of Youngstown: Serving the Mahoning Valley Since 1874” by Thomas Welsh ($24.99) is available on It can also be purchased at the Tyler History Center, downtown, and the Shop in the Gardens at the Davis Education & Visitor Center at Fellows Riverside Gardens.

The author will have a book-signing event at 5 p.m. Monday, April 15, at Ursuline Center, 4289 Shields Road, Canfield.

The sisters commissioned Welsh, who is a local historian, author and college instructor, to write the 221-page book. Published by History Press, it features dozens of photos and draws upon archival data and interviews with people connected to the Ursulines.

When six Ursuline sisters stepped off a train in Youngstown in September 1874, they encountered a smoky industrial town reeling from a recent economic downturn. They went on to staff more than a dozen parochial schools while organizing the city’s first Catholic high school. 

Over the next century, they compiled an extraordinary record of community service.

When the Mahoning Valley’s fortunes eroded in the wake of the collapse of the steel industry, the Ursulines gradually expanded their mission to address a host of new challenges. Today, the sisters are known for their groundbreaking efforts to assist the urban poor, single mothers and people living with HIV/AIDS. They remain committed to meeting the needs of the community.

The new book is Welsh’s sixth. His other titles include “Closing Chapters,” “Strouss: Youngstown’s Dependable Store,” “Classic Restaurants of Youngstown,” “A History of Jewish Youngstown and the Steel Valley” and a biography of local developer William M. Cafaro.

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.