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The History of BHI Senior Living


BHI Senior Living began with a commitment by Edward and Sarah Crawford on June 27, 1904, for a gift of 185 acres in southeast Boone County, Indiana, to build an orphanage to be managed by a new corporation. The Crawfords were American Baptists, and local American Baptist churches provided additional funding for the school. Articles of Association were executed on March 15, 1905, for the Crawford Baptist Industrial School, a non-profit ministry with the mission of operating an orphanage and industrial school.


In 1937, the school assumed the name “Indiana Baptist Home.” That same year, the estate of Emma Downing Wood of Indianapolis became the possession of the home. In accordance with Mrs. Wood’s will, a girls’ dormitory was erected on the grounds and dedicated in memory of her parents as the Downing Home. Serving as a stately reminder of the organization’s long history of dedicated service, the Downing building still stands on Hoosier Village’s campus and is currently home for the Indiana Association of Homes and Services for the Aging.


It was approximately 1951-52 when welfare agencies adopted a policy of placing children with foster families instead of sending them to homes such as the Indiana Baptist Home. On July 12, 1952, the home officially opened its doors to older adults, and within a short period of time, the home was serving only older adults.


Hoosier Village, the organization’s first full-service retirement community, was founded in southeastern Boone County, Indiana, on the site of the Crawford Baptist Industrial School. Hoosier Village now boasts 300 acres of immaculately landscaped grounds that include independent living in houses, duplexes, and spacious apartments. As a Life Plan Community, Hoosier Village is also proud to offer Assisted Living and Memory Support programs, specifically designed to maximize the independence of those we serve while offering additional help when needed.


The Towne House, another BHI Life Plan Community, first opened its doors in Fort Wayne, Indiana, in 1965. Over the years, The Towne House has grown to provide active senior living in its spacious apartments and Chapman’s Crossing homes with the security of an on-sight continuum of quality health care services–including assisted living, 24-hour nursing care, and rehabilitative services–should they ever be needed.


The organization completed construction and opened Four Seasons in Columbus, Indiana, in 1967. The stately chapel is part of the nationally renowned Columbus architectural tour. Four Seasons also offers independent living and assisted living services in its spacious apartments, with 24-hour nursing care, memory care, and rehabilitation services available on-sight in its Medicare-certified Health Care Center.


On April 2, 1986, BHI Foundation, a separate charitable organization, was established to enhance the endeavors of the BHI senior living communities in the fulfillment of their missions.


In 1998, BHI joined with eleven other Indiana Life Plan Communities to form the Samaritan Alliance, a limited liability corporation that enables its members to operate more cost-effectively through group purchasing of pharmaceuticals, employee benefits, and other related products–resulting in savings to our residents. In 2002 the alliance was cited by the Continuing Care Accreditation Commission in its annual “Best Practices” recognition program.


2004 was the centennial anniversary year of the BHI organization. Led by a 12-member board of directors who employed approximately 550 staff members, the BHI communities served approximately 1,000 residents at the time of their centennial celebration.


While the original corporation underwent several name changes throughout its history, it had been known as “Baptist Homes of Indiana, Inc.,” since the 1960s. On September 21, 2011, the name was changed to BHI Senior Living, Inc. The new name was selected to maintain a link to the organization’s faith-based heritage while also trying to convey that the BHI communities are very inclusive and open to individuals of all denominations and backgrounds.


Wesley Manor, our 83-acre Life Plan Community in Frankfort, Indiana, joined the BHI family in January 2016. Originally founded in 1961, Wesley Manor offers a continuum of on-site health care options such as assisted living, memory care, skilled nursing, and rehabilitation services. The campus also features ten recently updated independent and assisted-living apartments and a modernized rehabilitation wing.


BHI added another affiliate in September 2019 with The Barrington of Carmel. The Barrington opened its doors in 2014 and immediately established itself as the best-in-class Life Plan Community in Carmel, Indiana. With assisted living, memory care, rehab, and skilled nursing all under one roof, The Barrington provides seamless direct entry to every level for both current residents and those coming to the community on a month-to-month basis.


BHI broke ground on its newest product, Prairie Landing, in January 2020. Prairie Landing is the first luxury neighborhood for highly active adults, 55 and older, in Fort Wayne, Indiana. The neighborhood boasts 60 beautiful acres and 100% maintenance-free living in spacious single-family and duplex homes. Prairie Landing is a Life Plan Community that provides a high-quality continuum of care at The Towne House when additional support services may be needed.