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 features independent living in houses, duplexes, and spacious apartments. They also offer assisted living in large one and two-bedroom apartments and skilled nursing care and rehabilitative therapies in their Medicare-certified health center.
The Towne House, another BHI continuing care retirement community (CCRC), first opened its doors in Fort Wayne, Indiana, in 1965. The Towne House also provides 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.
Hoosier Village, The Towne House, and Four Seasons became among the first retirement communities in Indiana to earn national accreditation from the Continuing Care Accreditation Commission (CCAC), which has since merged with the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF) and is now commonly referenced as “CARF-CCAC.”
In 1998, BHI joined with eleven other Indiana CCRCs 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.