Riley Hospital for Children’s memorial stained-glass window remains a bright centerpiece in the hospital’s history. Stop and take a closer look at the window on your way to the chapel or the Edward A. Block Family Library. The intricate designs of 120 individual stained-glass panels are breathtaking, telling the story of generations of people and organizations who believed in and supported the work of the hospital to care for all children.
The window, officially unveiled on Dec. 27, 1927, honors the memories of individuals, families and organizations who donated to the hospital. Each stained-glass panel tells a different story, some of heartbreak and loss, some of a desire to honor the memory of a loved one, all with the hope that no matter what, they were giving to do good for children who were patients at Riley Hospital for Children. Here are just a few of those stories:
Emily Caroline Rae (1961-1962, 5 months old): Emily’s parents were Edwin Carter Rae (1911-2002) and Dorothy Frances Farris Rae (1921-2016). Edwin was part of a group of men and women from 13 countries who worked to recover and return artworks and artifacts taken by the Nazis during WWII. The couple’s daughter was Emily Caroline Rae, who came to Riley with congenital heart disease in the early 1960s, a time when expertise in pediatric cardiology was in its infancy, before she passed away. In 1962, her family donated money to create the Emily Rae fund to honor their daughter and to help with the educational development of practitioners in pediatric cardiology. The Emily Caroline Rae Lectureship is now sponsored on an annual basis.
Martha Stewart Moxley (1913-1918) was not quite 5 years old when she died in Greenwich, Conn., after a yearlong illness, which started with influenza. Martha was the daughter of G. Barrett Moxley, president of the Kiefer-Stewart Co., a wholesale drug firm in Indianapolis, and Charlotte Scott Moxley, who served as a director of the Eleanor Hospital, the first pediatric hospital in Indianapolis (1895-1909). She worked with the Indianapolis Junior League to establish the department of occupational therapy at Riley Hospital.
Elizabeth Sinclair was grandmother to William Fortune, one of the 21 Incorporators for the James Whitcomb Riley Memorial Association in April 1921. William Fortune founded the Indianapolis Chapter of the American Red Cross and was a successful businessman who once headed 12 independent telephone companies. He purchased the home where James Whitcomb Riley lived on Lockerbie Street in 1916, then sold the home to the Riley Memorial Association in 1922 at cost. The Riley home at 528 Lockerbie St. opened as a museum in April 1922 and continues to welcome visitors today as the James Whitcomb Riley Museum Home and Visitor Center to perpetuate the memory of James Whitcomb Riley.
-- Compiled by Riley Hospital Historic Preservation Committee; photos by Mike Dickbernd and Thomas D. Lund