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The Diocese of Fort Wayne, 1857-September 1907. Alerding, Herman Joseph, 1845–1924.  page: [266][View Page [266]]






It was in 1824, Joseph Bailey, a Frenchman, brought his family to northern Indiana and settled about a mile west of the present Chesterton, at a point known to this day as Baileytown. It is said he came in fulfillment of a vow for deliverance from extreme peril. From 1824 to 1841, Bailey's house was the home of the Catholic Church in Porter county. The present Chesterton was in the beginning known as Coffee-creek; it was an Irish settlement, and a station on the Lake Shore railroad, in 1851. In 1855 its name was changed to Calumet. Up to 1858, Fathers of the Holy Cross, from Notre Dame, attended to the spiritual needs of Catholics in these regions.

In 1858, Rev. E. B. Kilroy built a small frame church, and thereafter Calumet was visited every month, from Laporte. After Father Kilrov came Rev. Paul Gillen, C. S. C., and then Rev. Francis Lawler. In 1869, the place received its present name, Chesterton. In 1868, in the month of September, Rev. John Flynn was appointed the first resident pastor of Chesterton. He also attended Walkerton every other Sunday. Father Flynn died on August 1, 1870, aged twenty-eight years; his remains were interred in the parish cemetery of Chesterton. From 1870 to 1875 Chesterton was again a mission, visited by page: 267[View Page 267] several priests, as may be ascertained from the baptismal records. The following names are found there: The Rev. William F. M. O'Rourke, Rev. F. M. Lawler, Rev. Timothy O'Sullivan, Rev. Michael O'Reilly, Rev. P. Koncz, and Rev. C. Wardy. From March, 1875, Chesterton has had resident pastors up to the present time. Rev. John F. Lang was the pastor from March 1875 to March 1878. In August 1879, the Rev. H. F. Joseph Kroll took charge of St. Patrick's Church.

In mission days, James Moroney's house was the home of visiting priests. The first church built, in 1858, was located quite a distance from Chesterton and too inconvenient for the attendance of the faithful. For this reason two lots were bought during Father Flynn's time. A portion of the present St. Patrick's Church was erected in 1874, Father O'Reilly, of Valparaiso superintending the work. When Father Kroll took charge, the church was a building devoid of every ornamentation or even the necessary furniture. He had the church frescoed, bought three beautiful altars and new pews, and built the tower, paying off all indebtedness. The spire alone cost $650. The Rev. Herman Juraschek, in 1902, enlarged the church by the addition of a transept and a spacious sanctuary, costing $5,635. New stained glass windows were provided at a cost of $425. Two furnaces were also put in. To provide the interior of the addition with necessary furniture, and to supply the sanctuary with what is required as well as the sacristy, and to build cement sidewalks and otherwise improving the church grounds necessitated an additional outlay of some $1,700. The seating capacity of the church is five hundred.

The parish school had its beginning in 1887, when Father Kroll opened two class-rooms in the rear of the church, which arrangement continued until 1902. When Rev. F. Von Schwedler became the pastor of Chesterton, he had at his disposal $2,886.83, being principal and interest of a bequest made by Mrs. Rosa Howe to Father Kroll. This money was used in the erection of the present substantial St. Patrick's school, 60x45 feet. A memorial slab, bearing the donor's name, is found at the entrance. The lot, on which this school was built, was bought for $1,500, which money was given to the church, for funded masses. Having expended the bequest, a page: 268[View Page 268] balance of $1,715 remained due after the building had been erected. In 1904, an additional half lot was bought, cement walks were built, and further supplies for the school had to be purchased. The building has a fine basement used as a club room for the young men; the main floor has three school-rooms with a large hall on the second floor, and a special room for society meetings and library. The parochial school teaches the eight grades, is conducted by three School Sisters of Notre Dame and is attended by seventy-seven pupils. Their support is given them from the church revenue. Some twenty non-Catholic children attend the school. The Sisters' residence is one of the landmarks of the town. In 1907 a new and modern residence is being erected for the Sisters at an expense of $2,100.

The first priest's house was also one of the landmarks, a very small building, consisting of one room and a kitchen. The first resident pastors lived in this house, as did also Father Kroll from 1879 to 1882. The present house was built in 1882 by Father Kroll at a cost of $2,400. Three hundred dollars have been spent on it since. The furniture of the house was for the most part donated. The debt on the church property is $3,000. There are ninety-three families, numbering 498 souls. One boy is preparing for the priesthood and three girls have become Sisters.

The Married Ladies' Rosary and Altar Societies were organized in 1899, with sixty-two members, and in the same year the Young Ladies' Sodality, with forty-two members. The Married Men's Rosary Society was established in 1906, with thirty-five members. The Catholic Columbian League of Indiana began to exist in 1905, with thirty-six members. Aside from their spiritual purposes, these organizations assist the pastor in a financial way.



It was about 1845 when missionaries began to visit Valparaiso, the name of one of these was Rev. F. Cointet, C. S. C. Priests from Notre Dame, namely, Rev. J. Curley, Rev. E. B. Kilroy and Rev. E. Leveque visited the place, from 1853 till page: 269[View Page 269]\ 1857. They celebrated Mass in the old Court House on Washington street, and in a grove north-west of the city. The number of families at that time was twenty, mostly Irish, but a few French.

Valparaiso became a mission in 1858, at which time the first church, a frame structure, 110x50 feet, costing $2,000 was erected during the pastoral attendance of Rev. Paul Gillen. The same was made the first resident pastor, residing in a small cottage south of the church. The church stood on the corner of Indiana avenue and West Chicago street. The construction of the Pennsylvania railroad brought many more Irish families, and that of the Grand Trunk road increased the number of the French families, making a total of about 200 families, or 900 souls. The resident pastors were: Rev. Paul Gillen, C. S. C., from 1857 till June 1858; Rev. John H. Force, from July 4, 1858 till December 27, of the same year; Rev. G. A. Hamilton, from January 1st, till August 7, 1859; Rev. J Alexius Botti, from August 1859 till September 19, 1862; after a vacancy of a few months came Rev. Michael O' Reilly, from January 17, 1863 till August 4, 1887, the date of his death. Rev. John Dempsey, from August 25, 1887 till May 1898. Rev. John H. Bathe, a short time. Rev. L. A. Moench, from July 1898 till February 1903. Rev. William S. Hogan since February 26, 1903. Four lots, 60x132 feet, facing West Chicago street, between Academy and Campbell streets, and two lots of the same dimensions on the corner of Campbell and West Chicago streets, were bought by Father O'Reilly, in 1866, for $1,800. The present priest's house, a two-story brick, was erected in 1870, at a cost of $6,000.

The corner-stone of the present church was laid by Bishop Dwenger, on October 8, 1883 and was dedicated on July 4, 1886. The architecture of it is Gothic; the nave has a width of fifty feet, the transept eighty-five feet, and the length 165 feet. The seating capacity is 1000. The furniture is all oak, and the total cost was $65,000.

The school-house on the corner of Academy and West Chicago streets was erected in 1867. It is a two-story brick building, 90x50 feet, has four large school-rooms, can accommodate 250 pupils and cost $9,000. It was provided with a new roof and new floors at a cost of $350, in 1906. The school page: 270[View Page 270] is conducted by three Sisters of the Holy Cross, with an attendance of 115 pupils. The Sisters reside in a house on Academy street, which was, on the lot when bought. Father Hogan spent $2,000 on it, in 1906, for various repairs and improvements. The pastoral residence, erected in 1870, was improved by Father Moench, in 1900, at a cost of $1,000. The debt on the church property is $12,500.

The congregation has 140 families or 800 souls. Quite a number of these are students of the Normal School located here. The Rosary Society has seventy members, the Young Ladies' Sodality, forty; the Sacred Heart Society, thirty; the Knights of Columbus, ninety-eight, and the Boys' Sodality, forty. St. Paul's has given the church seven priests and twenty-five Sisters.



As early as 1831, the settlement in the center of Hanover township was called Hanover Centre. In the beginning of 1843, a number of Catholic families purchased small farms, in this locality, attending divine service at St. John, Lake county. Four and one-half acres were donated by Matthias Geisen, and a subscription was taken up to raise funds to erect a church, in 1858, but the building was not completed until 1859. It was a small frame building, about 20x30 feet, to which a sacristy was added, for the accommodation of the visiting priest. It was called St. Matthias' Congregation. The Rev. F. X. Nigh organized the parish and visited it twice a month, attending also to Turkey Creek, Crown Point and Klaasville. Father Nigh was succeeded by the Rev. M. P. Wehrle, residing at Crown Point, and he in turn was succeeded by the Rev. Henry Renson. In 1866, Rev. Simon Bartosz planned a new priest's house, but, on account of some disagreement as to its locality, it was not built until 1867. It was a two-story frame structure, 22x30 feet. In the year 1866, the church, together with all that it contained, was destroyed by fire. The parishoners, however, were not to be discouraged. With renewed zeal page: 271[View Page 271] steps were taken to rebuild; and in 1868 a frame building, 36x66 feet, at a cost of about $3,000, was completed and called St. Martin's Church.

In 1869, the Rev. Frank Siegelack was appointed the first resident pastor, of Hanover Centre, having Klaasville and Lowell as missions. Rev. F. X. Deimel succeeded Father Siegelack, in 1873, remaining till 1877, when he was transferred to the pastorate of Schererville. Father Deimel built a kitchen to the pastoral residence, in 1875, having the dimensions of 20x30 feet. In August 1877, Rev. William Berg was made its pastor, having only Hanover Centre to attend to. He purchased the old public school building, using the same for a summer school, for the Catholic children. This building is now the Sister's residence. Father Berg remained till June 9, 1881, when he was succeeded by Rev. Charles Steurer. At this time, the congregation numbered about sixty families. For six months the parish was left without a priest, and not until October 1889 did they receive a pastor. On that date, the Rev. Matthias Zumbuelte, the present pastor, received his appointment. During the night of July 9, 1902, the frame priest's house was struck by lightning, caught fire, and, together with its contents, was destroyed. The people, at once, set to work to provide a new residence, and in November, of the same year, Father Zumbuelte occupied the new building. The residence is equipped with modern conveniences, and cost about $3,000.

The number of children being insufficient to continue the public school, the building was offered for sale to Father Zumbuelte. In September, of 1904, Father Zumbuelte purchased the building together with its furnishings. Not being able to procure Sisters to take charge of his school, he engaged a young Catholic woman. A new railroad was surveyed through the town, to pass through the building. The company agreed to move the building near the church, to build a new cistern and well at a cost of $750. The school-house is 40x60 feet, and valued at $2,500. In September 1905, two Sisters of St. Francis, of Lafayette, took charge of the school. They have eighty-one children in their care, and teach the eight grades.

St. Martin's Church has the following societies: The page: 272[View Page 272] Young Mens' Sodality, the Young Ladies' Sodality, the Rosary Society, St. Martin's Society and the Catholic Order of Foresters, with a total of 156 members.

In his last will, Hilary Roettgen bequeathed to St. Martin's Church the sum of $2,000, to be used for the erection of a new stone church. The congregation has sixty-two families, numbering 310 souls. The property consists of five and one-half acres. There is no debt on the church property.



With the building of the Monon railroad, Catholics began to locate in Crawfordsville. The Rev. Michael J. Clark, of Lafayette, was the first priest to visit here, celebrating Mass in the Court House, about the year 1850. The first church was built on the north side of the town, about 1859. It was a frame structure, 75x40 feet, costing about $800. The present church property, at the corner of Washington and Pike streets, has a frontage of 110 feet on Washington street and runs back half a block on Pike street. The school property consists of one full lot on the corner of Main street and Grant avenue. The present church property was purchased by Rev. E. P. Walters who had charge from 1868 till 1878. Prior to that time, Rev. Edward O'Flaherty was the first resident pastor, from 1856 to 1864. He was succeeded by Rev. Charles Mougin, from 1864 to 1868. Father Walters erected the present church, from 1874 till 1876. It is built in the Gothic style of architecture, has a seating accommodation for about 400 persons, and cost about $20,000. The Rev. John R. Dinnen, who was the pastor from 1878 till 1894, furnished the church, built the priest's house, and purchased the school property on Main street. The Rev. P. J. Crosson, who had charge from 1894 till 1898, repaired the damage done the church by fire, to the amount of $5,000, and also had the church frescoed. The Rev. John Dempsey, pastor, from 1898 till 1906, added to the sanctuary furnishings, reduced the church debt and looked after the public improvements ordered by the city. While celebrating a funeral Requiem, on April 4, 1906, he dropped page: 273[View Page 273] dead while singing the Preface. His successor is the present pastor, the Rev. W. J. Quinlan.

In 1866, the Sisters of the Holy Cross purchased a residence on Main street, at a cost of $3,500, and at an expense of $1,500 transformed the building into St. Charles' Academy. A little later Father Walters, having purchased the present church property, also erected a frame building on it and opened a parochial school, conducted by the Sisters of the Holy Cross. This served its purpose until the present church was to be built, when the pupils were looked after, at the Academy. This state of things continued until the present priest's house was built, when the old priest's house was turned into a boys' school and so continued until it was condemned by the Board of Health. In 1894 the congregation bought the Academy from the Sisters, since which time it has been St. Bernard's school. The Sisters of the Holy Cross are still in charge and two of them take the pupils, to the number of sixty, through the eight grades.

The first priest's house, a frame building, stood adjacent to the first church on the north side. It was Father O'Flaherty who built it. The second priest's house fronting on Pike street, at the rear of the present church, was built by Father Walters. The present parochial residence was erected in 1886, at a cost of about $3,500. St. Bernard's parish has 120 families, numbering 450 souls. The Societies of the parish are the Rosary Society, the Young Ladies' Sodality, the St. Catharine's Society, the League of the Sacred Heart and the Purgatorian Society. One boy at the parish has become a priest and another boy, a member of the Holy Cross Community, is studying for the priesthood. Two girls of the parish are now Sisters of the Holy Cross. The debt on the church property, at the present time, is $2,450. The mission Ladoga is attended from Crawfordsville.



It was the well known missionary, Rev. F. X. Weninger, S. J., who in 1859 persuaded the German portion of St. Peter's page: 274[View Page 274] congregation, at Laporte, to form a separate parish. The first pastor of this new congregation, which was placed under the patronage of St. Joseph, was the Rev. Martin Sherer, who built the present church and remained eight or nine years. Rev. N. Y. Konen succeeded him, for a short time. For three years and two months Rev. Simon Bartosz was pastor. In January 1870, the Rev. J. H. Oechtering took charge. He built the present priest's house, and added the steeple to the church. After a pastorate of fully ten years, Father Oechtering was succeeded by the Rev. Joseph Nussbaum, who bought the present cemetery, secured the Sisters' dwelling, procured a $1,500 pipe organ, frescoed the church and supplied the church with a full line of vestments. Father Nussbaum was a straight forward and outspoken man. He departed this life, as pastor of St. Joseph's, on December 26, 1895. For about six months thereafter, Rev. Julius Becks was pastor. After which time, owing to ill health, he was assigned to the hospital at Anderson.

The parish school was taught by lay-teachers, from September 1880 to September 1896, when the Sisters C. PP. S. took charge. Two of these Sisters are at present teaching seventy-five children.

The present pastor, Rev. Anthony Messmann, was appointed on July.9, 1896. During his pastorate new stained glass windows were placed in the church at an expense of $1,200. The church property has no debt on it. St. Joseph's parish has eighty-nine families, numbering 515 souls. The Rosary Society, for married women, has sixty members; the Young Ladies' Sodality has twenty-one members; the Holy Angels' Society, for children, has twenty-seven members; and the St. Joseph's Benevolent Association has a membership of forty-five.



New Haven was settled by Puritans, who came from the New England States as early as 1839, when Henry Burgess laid out the town; but it was not incorporated until 1866. The first missionary Father, known to have visited New Haven, page: 275[View Page 275] was Rev. Alexius Botti, who came in the fall of 1858, and visited the place once a month for one year. From 1859 until September 1861, Rev. Grevin, residing at St. Vincent's, had charge of New Haven.

The Rev. Wolfgang Giedl was the first resident pastor of New Haven, having Columbia City as a mission; he died on May 23, 1873, and his remains rest in the cemetery at New Haven. Rev. Sebastian Birnbaum C. PP. S. assisted Father Giedl during his illness, and after his death remained until a successor had been appointed, in the person of the Rev. Bernard Wiedau.

The first services, held in New Haven, took place in the basement of Nick Schueckmann's house, and also in a rented dry goods store. Father Botti bought the goods, and the ladies made the vestments. The congregation, at the time, numbered twenty-three families. The old church, 30x60 feet, with a sacristy in the rear of the sanctuary, was erected in 1859, at a cost of $4,000. At this time, the parish numbered about 120 souls. Four lots of the church property were bought in 1859, for $300; four more in 1864, for $400, and in 1870 still two more at a cost of $500. On the latter two lots the present school-house was built, from 1872 to 1873. It is a two-story brick building and basement, 40x56 feet, having three school-rooms for 150 children, and a dwelling for the Sisters, costing $8,000. Several lay-teachers conducted the school, in a frame building 30x40 feet, till the year 1873, when the Sisters of St. Agnes took charge. The usual eight grades are taught, by three Sisters, attended by 140 children.

The present church is a Gothic structure, and was built from 1876 to 1877. It has been newly decorated and furnished with a fine $1,800 organ, two new side altars, an artistic communion table, a splendid pulpit, a fine baptistry, beautiful statuary and three harmoniously tuned bells. The church cost about $20,000, and has a seating capacity of at least 500; and is free from all indebtedness.

The old church is used for society meetings, and for school and social entertainments. The parish at present has 114 families, numbering 508 souls. As many as twenty-four girls of the parish have joined religious communities.

In 1863, the St. Mary's Altar Society was established, page: 276[View Page 276] and shortly after the St. Joseph's School Society. In 1866, St. John's Benevolent Society was organized; and, about thirty years ago, the St. Rose of Lima Young Ladies' Sodality. These societies have done much for the church, and for the upbuilding of the parish, both in a financial and a spiritual direction. The Benevolent Society, during its forty years of existence, has paid out $9,000, for sick benefits, and at present has $3,000 in the treasury. At present the following are the societies and the membership: St. John's Benevolent Society, for married and single men, ninety-seven; St. Mary's, for married women, eighty-four; St. Rose's Sodality, for single women, forty-five; the Holy Childhood, for children, sixty-five; the Confraternity of the Holy Family, 64; and the Catholic Knights of America, twenty-eight.



The priests, who had charge of Sheldon, are the following: Rev. Jacob Mayer, Decatur, July 1858 till 1862; Rev. Aloysius Meili, from 1862 till 1863; Rev. Martin Kink, from 1863 till 1866; Rev. Theodore Hibbelen, for a short time; Rev. William Woeste, from 1866 to 1872; Rev. Joseph Nussbaum, Hesse Cassel, from 1873 to 1876; Rev. Ferdinand Koerdt, from August 1876 till May 1896; Rev. Rudolph J. Denk, from May 1896 till Spring 1900; Rev. J. H. Bathe, from April to August 12, 1900; Rev. H. A. Hellhake, since August 12, 1900.

Father Mayer in 1858 celebrated Mass at the house of Fred. Weaver. Sixteen families constituted the congregation at that time. He visited the place on the third Friday of each month, for several years. In 1859 Christian Miller donated three acres of land, on the east side of the Bluffton road, and in the same year a frame church, 29x36 feet, was erected on this land, and was named St. Aloysius' Church. In the course of time the church became too small, to accommodate the congregation, and in 1875 Father Nussbaum added to it a sacristy, and at the same time built a spire, and gave the church a new roof, thereby involving an expense of $1,400.

Upon his arrival at Sheldon as the new pastor, in August page: 277[View Page 277] 1876, Father Koerdt at once gave his attention to repairing the church and also to the erection of a handsome brick priest's house at an expense of $3,500. On October 9, 1876, he opened the parochial school which for some time he taught in person. At the present time, three Sisters of St. Agnes teach the school, attended by ninety children. Father Koerdt left Sheldon free from all indebtedness, when on July 3, 1896, he was transferred to St. Peter's Church, at Fort Wayne. Rev. H. A. Hellhake is the present pastor. The mission Bluffton, is attended from Sheldon.



In the year 1859, Rev. Thomas Carroll, C. S. C., built the first St. Patrick's Church, a small brick structure 60x30 feet, with a seating capacity of 350. To pay for the erection of this church, Father Carroll collected money abroad. During the pastorate of Rev. P. P. Cooney, C. S. C., 36 feet were added to the length of this building, and a wing of 50x32 feet, which for some years served as a school, and then as a place of worship for German and Polish Catholics, until they were able to provide a church for themselves. At this time, all the Catholics on the west side of the St. Joseph river, about 1,250 souls, belonged to St. Patrick's Church. Thomas Murphy was very kind to Father Carroll, and until the parochial residence was built, the pastor made his home with Mr. Murphy, whenever in town. This first St. Patrick's Church was located on Division street, and the Grand Trunk railroad, having secured right of way on this street, made the situation undesirable for church purposes. During the pastorate of Rev. D. J. Spillard, C. S. C., the property was sold for $8,000, and with it the present parochial residence was built.

The present property of St. Patrick's parish, was purchased during the pastorates of Rev. D. J. Hagerty, C. S. C., and Rev. John W. Clark, C. S. C., for $7,200. It extends through from Taylor to Scott street 400 feet, and has a frontage of 140 feet on Taylor street, and 100 feet on Scott street. The corner-stone of the present church, which is the second of St. Patrick's page: 278[View Page 278] parish, was laid in 1886, and was completed the following year, Father Hagerty being the pastor. The church, with a seating capacity of 800, is of Gothic architecture, richly frescoed in cream and gold. All the furniture is of the best material and harmonizes with the architecture of the building. The church cost about $37,000, and the furnishings about $8,000. Many improvements have since been made to beautify the grounds, not to mention a thousand feet of cement walks, and an iron fence on Taylor street.

The new St. Patrick's school, built in 1898 by Father Clark, measures 54x83 feet, and has three large class-rooms with accommodation for 150 children. The building also contains a large hall, a society room, and a well furnished gymnasium. Its cost was $14,000. This school is for boys only, who are taught by the Sisters of the Holy Cross in a course of eight grades. Adjacent to St. Patrick's Church is St. Joseph's Academy, conducted by the same Sisters, which serves also as a parochial school for the girls, 261 pupils'attend the school. This property belongs to the Sisters, and was provided in 1886. The Sisters of the Holy Cross, who teach in South Bend, all reside at St. Joseph's Academy.

The first parochial residence was next to the old St. Patrick's Church, on Division street, and was a very fine house at that time, 1865, having cost $8,000. The present parochial residence on Taylor street was erected by Father Spillard, in 1892, at a cost of $7,500. The debt on the church property is $4,000.

The Sodality of the Children of Mary was organized in 1866, as well as the Holy Rosary Society, canonically established in 1892. The present pastor, Rev. John F. DeGroote, C. S. C., organized the St. Cecilia's Society for girls, up to their seventeenth year of age, after which they become Children of Mary. In 1904, he organized the Holy Name Society, and in 1905, the St. Vincent de Paul Conference. At present the number of souls in the parish is about 1,282, or 273 families. Three young men of the parish have become priests, and five of its young women have entered religious communities.

St. Patrick's Church has had these pastors: Rev. Thomas Carroll, C. S. C., from 1858 to 1864, during this time he resided at Notre Dame; Rev. Joseph Carrier, C. S. C., was the pastor page: 279[View Page 279] during the absence of Father Carroll, on a collecting tour; Rev. William Corby, C. S. C., was pastor for three or four months, in 1865; Rev. Peter P. Cooney, C. S. C., was pastor from 1865 till March 12, 1871; Rev. Daniel J. Spillard, C. S. C., from March 1871 till April 1874, and again from 1891 until 1893; Rev. William O'Mahoney, C. S. C., for seven or eight months, 1874; Rev. John Lauth, C. S. C., for one year, 1875; Rev. Peter Lauth, C. S. C., from January 1876 till August 1880; Rev. Denis J. Hagerty, C. S. C., from August 1880 till January 1891; Rev. John W. Clark, C. S. C., from 1893 till March 16, 1899; Rev. John F. DeGroote, C. S. C., pastor since March 29, 1899.



As far back as 1837, priests residing in Logansport visited Anderson. Prior to that time, Rev. John Claude Francois and Rev. Vincent Baquelin celebrated Mass here in a log tavern. Rev. Michael J. Clark came, for several months in 1857, from Lafayette, to celebrate Mass in the Court House. The number of souls, almost exclusively Irish, was at this time about sixty. It was the same Father Clark who in 1858 laid the foundation for the first Catholic church in Anderson on the site of the present St. Mary's Church.

Rev. FitzMaurice was the first resident pastor. He was succeeded by Rev. John McMahon, in 1860. He built the first church on the foundation laid by Father Clark. It was a 70x36 feet structure and cost about $2,000. The lot on which it stood was 72x144 feet and cost $100. In 1865 Father McMahon left for Canada. Rev. J. B. Crawley was the pastor from 1866 until August 1884. He secured two more lots, 144x144 feet, at a cost of $1,000, and on July 4, 1875, laid the corner-stone of, and in due time finished, the second St. Mary's Church, which, for its day and the size of the congregation, was a splendid structure. He also built a parochial residence, a plain one-story frame building.

Father Crawley was succeeded by Rev. F. C. Wiechmann, in August 1884, who during his pastorate built the present page: 280[View Page 280] parochial residence, a brick structure. About this time, the discovery of natural gas greatly increased the membership of St. Mary's Church. When on May 7, 1891, Rev. D. J. Mulcahy was appointed pastor, he determined at once to build a church, commensurate with the number and importance of his rapidly growing congregation. Accordingly, the first church built was removed, and on its site the corner-stone of the new, and third, and present St. Mary's Church was laid on July 9, 1893; and on October 6, 1895, Bishop Rademacher solemnly dedicated the new sacred edifice to the service of God. The church has a seating capacity of eight hundred, and is built in the Romanesque style of architecture. The interior decorations, the elegant stained glass windows and all the furnishings harmonize perfectly. The organ cost $2,500 and the fourteen Stations of the Cross, beautiful statue groupings, were added during the past year. The total cost of St. Mary's Church, as we see it today, was $55,000.

St. Mary's Church has had its parochial school since 1869, but it was taught in very humble quarters, by lay-teachers. In September of 1879 the Sisters of the Holy Cross, at the request of Father Crawley, took charge of the parish school. They taught school in the first church building and lived in rented quarters, in the vicinity of the church, until, a new parochial residence having been erected, the old one became their place of residence. Having finished the new church, in 1895, Father Mulcahy determined to provide more suitable quarters for school and for the Sisters' residence. He succeeded in converting the old church into a school, with commodious class-rooms, together with a new two-story brick residence for the Sisters. This work was completed on February 2, 1898, and necessitated an outlay of $10,000. Six Sisters of the Holy Cross have charge of St. Mary's School with an attendance of 294 children. The diocesan course of eight grades for parochial schools is closely followed, and to it is added three years of high school. The school is supported from the church revenues; no tuition fee is paid by the children, and St. Mary's School is therefore a free school. The priest's house built in 1884, by Father Wiechmann, is still in use without any alteration. The debt on the entire church property is $31,200.

The parish has these Societies, for men: Catholic Knights page: 281[View Page 281] of America since 1891, with sixty-five members; Ancient Order of Hibernians since 1893, with fifty-three members; the Brownson (Social) Club, with very fine club rooms, since 1900, 115 members; Knights of Columbus, with 110 members. For boys: the Sodality since 1892, ninety-three members. For women: The Altar and Rosary Society since 1891, 165 members; the Ladies' Aid Society, caring for the needs of the parish poor, since 1897; the Ladies' Auxiliary A. O. H. since 1901, thirty-five members; the Catholic Lady Foresters, since 1901, twenty-eight members. For unmarried women: The Blessed .Virgin's Sodality since 1895, 111 members; the Children of. Mary, for girls under eighteen, since 1892, ninety-seven members. The St. Anthony's Society, for the colored members of the parish, eighteen members. Besides these there is a St. Mary's Alumni Association for those who have graduated from St. Mary's High School.

The number of souls is 1,300, with 267 families. The total number of boys, who have become priests or are preparing for the priesthood, is seven, and six girls have become Sisters. One of the noteworthy men of St. Mary's Parish was John Hickey, who has been most generous to the parish and who has given the city of Anderson the splendid St. John's Hospital conducted by the Sisters of the Holy Cross.

St. Mary's has had the following assistant priests: Rev. L. R. Paquet from November 1901 to June 1902; Rev. T. M. Conroy from June 8, 1902 to August 21, 1904; Rev. M. J. Ford from September 1, 1904 to January 18, 1906; Rev. Edmund Ley since January 1906.



Columbia City, county seat of Whitley county, was visited for the first time in the spring of 1856, by the Rev. Edward M. Faller, pastor of St. Mary's Church, at Fort Wayne. He offered the Sacrifice of the Mass in a small frame house, occupied by Joseph Eich. Father Faller repeated these visits, from time to time, until the summer of 1857, when Columbia City was made a mission, attended from Huntington, by the Rev. page: 282[View Page 282] F. Fuchs, pastor of SS. Peter and Paul's Church. Rev. Wolfgang Giedl, residing at New Haven, assumed charge from 1859 to the spring of 1860, when the Rev. Henry Schaefer bought ground, on Hannah street, and built a neat frame church, 30x50 feet, completing the same in the fall of 1860. He also built two one-story frame buildings, to serve as school and priest's residence. The labor and material were furnished by the parishoners.

The church becoming too small to accommodate the faithful, and the location not being a desirable one, steps were taken to purchase a new site. In 1867, three lots, 150x150 feet, located on South Lime street, were secured at a cost of $250. Plans and specifications were at once drawn up for a Gothic structure, 44x110 feet. The corner-stone was laid by Father Benoit on May 27th, of the same year. In October, 1867, the new church was dedicated by Bishop Luers and placed under the patronage of St. Paul of the Cross. The cost of the church, including furniture, was about $12,000. The seating capacity is three hundred. Father Schaefer continued to live in the old priest's house until 1868, when he erected the present house, at a cost of about $1,500, material and labor being donated. The present pastor expended about $2,500 for new pews, stained glass windows, altars, Stations of the Cross, statuary and frescoing the church. He also equipped the residence with all modern conveniences. In 1870 Rev. Joseph Rademacher succeeded Father Schaefer, who in turn was succeeded by Rev. Matthias Zumbuelte from July 1872 to August 20, 1875; Rev. Peter Franzen temporarily; Rev. Henry A. Hellhake from October 1875 to May 1, 1886. Father Hellhake secured the Sisters of St. Agnes to take charge of the school.

The first school was opened in September 1861. It was in charge of Peter Mettler, with an attendance of about twenty-eight pupils. Upon the completion of the new church, Father Schaefer purchased a lot opposite the church upon which there was a frame building. Having repaired and remodeled the same, it served the purposes of school and teacher's residence. On May 1, 1886, Rev. A. M. Ellering was made pastor. Seeing the necessity for more suitable school accommodations, he at once began the erection of a new school building. A beautiful structure of red brick and sand stone trimmings, 34x54 feet, page: 283[View Page 283] with slate roof, was completed in December of the same year. The first floor contains two school-rooms, 25x30 feet, hall way and cloak room; the second floor has a large assembly hall and ante-room. The cost of the building together with the furniture was about $5,200. Since September 15, 1880, one Sister of St. Agnes, of Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, has had charge of the school. The eight grades are taught. At present the school is attended by forty-six pupils. The school is supported by monthly tuition and voluntary donations. The Sisters occupy the old school-house, which has been remodeled for a dwelling at a cost of $400. The congregation is free from all indebtedness. The number of souls is 312, consisting of sixty-two families. Three girls of the parish have entered religious communities.

St. Paul's Church has the following Societies: Catholic Knights of America, established in 1880, with seventeen members; the Married Men and Young Men's Society, with thirty-nine members; the Rosary Society for married women, with forty-one members, and the Young Ladies' Sodality, with twenty-eight members. Aside from their spiritual purposes, these organizations assist the pastor in a financial way.

The pastor at Columbia City also attends the mission Warsaw, visiting it on the fourth Sunday of every month, and occasionally on week days.



Beginning with 1854, Delphi was regularly visited by these priests: Rev. Michael J. Clark, of Lafayette; Rev. D. Maloney, of Lafayette; Rev. Joseph Stephan, of Rensselaer; Rev. John McMahon, of Lafayette; Rev. William Doyle, of Logansport; Rev. J. A. Winter, of Lafayette. Services were held once a month in the old Delphi House. The number of souls at this time was about 150, two-thirds of them Irish and one-third German and French. A brick building, 35x40 feet, was bought in 1860 for $900. The priests visiting Delphi, as a mission, were Rev. George A. Hamilton, from June 8, 1860, to January 31, 1861; Rev. John Vahey from February 1, 1861 to May 19, 1861; Rev. William Gausepohl, O. S. F., of Lafayette, from page: 284[View Page 284] January 21, 1866 to December 1866; the latter visited Delphi every Sunday. By this time the number of souls had increased to 250.

The church grounds consist of five lots, of 30x120 feet each. The first lot was bought April 19, 1860, for $500, the second April 27, 1863 for $800, and the three other lots April 20, 1899. These three lots with the Sisters' house cost about $3,000. About ten acres of ground were acquired, October 5, 1887, for $1,000; this ground is used for cemetery purposes.

The foundation of St. Joseph's Church was laid by Father Vahey in March and April 1860, and Father Hamilton built the church in the fall of the same year. It was dedicated by Bishop de St. Palais, Bishop Luers being present, on February 9, 1861. The building is of brick, 45x90 feet, Gothic architecture and cost $9,000. The first building bought and used for divine services was now sold for $700. Rev. John Bleckmann had the church frescoed, he also procured a church bell and an organ. Rev. Charles Romer had it redecorated in 1894, put in a furnace in 1898, and completed the steeple in 1899. Rev. Edward Boccard secured a new altar, put in electric lights, baptismal font and holy water basins. The seating capacity of the church is 400.

The dimensions of St. Joseph's school building are 40x50 feet. The building was erected by the Rev. A. B. Oechtering in 1863, at a cost of $2,000. Father Boccard put new desks in the school in 1903. Lay-teachers taught the school from 1861 to 1875. The Sisters of Providence from 1875 to June 1901. The Sisters of St. Joseph of Tipton since September 1901. The eight grades are taught, two Sisters teaching sixty-six children. The Sisters lived in a rented house, from 1875 to 1883. The Daly property was bought by Father Bleckmann in 1883 for $1,700; but this house being too far from the church and school, the Weber property was secured, April 13, 1889, for $3,000 and the old Sisters' house sold.

The first priest's house was a one-story building of four rooms and stood on the lot, bought in 1863. The present priest's residence is a two-story brick building, with eight rooms, built by Rev. T. O'Sullivan, in 1869, for $2,385; Father Romer added a porch in 1899 and Father Boccard, in 1903, put in electric lights. There is no debt on the church property.

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The parish has the Rosary Society, for married women, since 1865; the Children of Mary, since May 1, 1876; the St. Aloysius' Society, since 1880; the Sacred Heart League, since 1893; the Catholic Benevolent Legion, since 1877; the Ancient Order of Hibernians, reorganized in 1894. The aggregate membership of these organizations is 262. The number of souls of St. Joseph's Parish at present is 431, consisting of ninety-six families. One boy of the parish has become a priest, and another has joined the Christian Brotherhood; eight girls have entered religious communities.

The following priests attended Delphi, when it was a station: Rev. Michael J. Clark, 1856; Rev. D. Maloney, 1857; Rev. Joseph Stephan, 1858-1859; Rev. J. McMahon, September, October and November of 1860; Rev. William Doyle; Rev. J. A. Winter and Rev. Neuber.

The following, when it was a mission: Rev. George A. Hamilton, June 8, 1860, to January 31, 1861; Rev. John Vahey, February 1 to May 19, 1861, and Rev. William Gausepohl, O. F. M., from January 1, 1866 to December 28, 1866.

The following were the resident pastors: Rev. A. B. Oechtering, from May 26, 1861 to December 20, 1865; Rev. John Kelly, acting pastor, 1864; Rev. Timothy O'Sullivan, from January 1867 to April 24, 1870; Rev. J. H. Quinlan, from April 24, 1870 to September 14, 1871; Rev. P. M. Frawley, from September 14, 1871 to April 4, 1875; Rev. Matthew E. Campion, April and May of 1875; Rev. John Bleckmann, from May 9, 1875 to February 17, 1885; Rev. Henry A. Boeckelmann, from February 15, 1885 to December 31, 1891; Rev. Charles M. Romer, from January 1, 1892 to July 17, 1901, and Rev. Edward J. Boccard, since July 17, 1901.



Priests who had charge of this church at different times were: Prior to 1860, priests from Fort Wayne or Notre Dame, had Mass in the old Court House or private dwellings. Of these Rev. Alex. Granger, C. S. C., Very Rev. Edward Sorin, C. S. C., and Rev. Henry Vincent Shaefer are remembered; Rev. Frederick J. Holz, from 1861 till 1866, the first resident pastor; page: 286[View Page 286] Rev. A. B. Oechtering, from Avilla, for six months; Rev. Storr, resident pastor in 1867; Rev. D. Duehmig, from Avilla, one year till close of 1868; Rev. H. Meissner, from the close of 1868 till 1871; Rev. D. Duehmig, from Avilla, a short time in 1871; Rev. J. H. Quinlan, from Elkhart, in the same year; Rev. M. F. Noll, from Elkhart, till 1878; Rev. H. A. Boeckelmann, resident pastor, from 1878 till 1880; Rev. A. J. Kroeger, from 1880 till 1887; Rev. Adam Buchheit, from the fall of 1887 till 1889; Rev. S. M. Yenn, from August 1, 1889 till February 1, 1900; Rev. F. A. King; Rev. W. S. Hogan, from September 7, 1902 till February 1903; Rev. J. B. Fitzpatrick, since February 1903.

The church was built in 1860. The first school building was erected in 1867, by Father Meissner, at a cost of $500. This school was taught by lay-teachers. In 1881, Father Kroeger built a brick school-house, at a cost of $1,100. In that same year the Sisters of the Holy Cross were given charge of the school. The building is located west of the church on the corner of Third and Monroe streets, and its dimensions are, 30x40 feet. In 1889, the school was attended by fifty-seven children. The St. Joseph's Society, established in November 1892, gives support to the school. Upon the arrival of the Sisters, Father Kroeger gave his frame residence to the Sisters and lived in a rented house until he had provided the present brick residence.

Goshen has ninety Catholic families, numbering 362 souls. The school now has an attendance of seventy-three children, and is taught by three Sisters of the Holy Cross, in the eight grades. The Societies are: St. John's, for married men, forty-two members; the Rosary Society, for married women, sixty-five; the Young Ladies' Sodality, thirty-eight; St. Agnes', for girls, eighteen; St. Aloysius', for boys, twenty-one; Holy Angels', for children, forty-three; the League of the Sacred Heart, 160 members. Since Father Fitzpatrick's advent many repairs and improvements have been made on all the buildings, and a heating plant for all has been installed. The debt on the church property is only $600.

Up to 1897 the missions Ligonier and Millersburg were attended from Goshen. Since 1903, Millersburg is again in charge of the pastor at Goshen.

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The following is the chronological order in which, the priests named, had charge of Klaasville: Rev. F. X. Nigh, Pulaski, from 1860 to 1861; Rev. Martin Kink, Pulaski, from 1861 to 1863; Rev. F. Fuchs, died at Klaasville October 8, 1863; Rev. B. Rachor, St. John, and Rev. M. P. Wehrle, St. John, 1863 till 1866; Rev. Henry Renson, Klaasville, from 1866 till 1869; (Rev. Martin Sherer, baptismal record, February 26, 1867;) Rev. Francis Siegelack, Hanover Centre, from October 1869 till May 6, 1873; Rev. F. X. Deimel, Hanover Centre, from June 25, 1873 till August 10, 1877; Rev. John H. Bathe, Klaasville, from August 10, 1877 till December 30, 1881; Rev. Charles A. Ganzer, from January 1, 1882 till April 27, 1891; Rev. Peter J. Weber, from April 27, 1891 till August 1895; Rev. Adam Buchheit, from August 1895 till August 1898; Rev. F. X. Ege, since August 13, 1898.

The history of Klaasville goes back to 1856, when a number of German families settled here, who, from 1856 to 1860, attended the church at St. John, about eight miles from Klaasville. The first church was a common, frame building with very common seats, which cost about $500. It was built in 1860 to 1861, and was dedicated, by Bishop Luers, Father Nigh having charge at the time. At this time the congregation numbered about fourteen families, or sixty souls. In 1878, Father Bathe built an addition to the church and the steeple, at a cost of $700. The seating capacity of the church is about 200. The church grounds comprise five and one-half acres of ground, four of which were donated in 1860, by the Klaas brothers. The place is named after Henry Klaas.

The first priest's house was erected in 1866, by Father Renson, and cost about $800. The present priest's house was bought by Father Bathe, in 1878, for $1,125, having one and a half acres of ground with it. This house was repaired in 1901, for $220. The first priest's house has been occupied by the teachers of the district school, for many years. Though the school is a public school, the priest has free access, the population page: 288[View Page 288] being almost exclusively Catholic. The church property is free from debt. The parish has thirty families, numbering 150 souls. Five girls of the parish have become Sisters.

From 1877 to 1896, Lowell was attended from Klaasville. From 1869 till 1877, Klaasville was attended from Hanover Centre. From 1860 till 1886, the pastors of Klaasville resided with Henry Klaas.

The Young Ladies' Sodality was established in March 1882; St. Aloysius Young Men's Society in June, of the same year; and the Altar Society was organized, in 1873.



Kokomo was named after an Indian chief, and signifies poplar, in the Indian tongue. The town was laid out, in 1844, and consisted of forty acres of land. We give here a list of the priests, who have served the Catholic people at Kokomo, as far back as 1850. Other priests may have visited the place, or rather this region of country, but there is no record to that effect. The names are: Of those who visited Kokomo when a station, Rev. D. Maloney, Rev. William Doyle. Priests who visited Kokomo when a mission, from 1859 till September 1869, Rev. George Hamilton, Rev. B. J. Force, Rev. Bernard Kroeger, Rev. Michael Hanley, Rev. B. T. Borg, Rev. Simon Siegrist, Rev. C. Mougin, Rev. Lawrence Lamoor, Rev. J. Kelly. The resident pastors: Rev. Patrick Frawley, from September 1869 till October 1871; Rev. J. H. O'Brien, from October 1871 till June 1872; Rev. John Grogan, from June 1872 to September 1873; Rev. Francis Lordemann, since September 1873.

On January 24, 1859, two lots were secured and in the year following Father Hamilton erected the first church, a small, frame building but sufficient for the time. A sacristy was added to this building by Father Frawley. The congregation, at this time, comprised about forty families. In 1874, Father Lordemann built the parochial residence, still in use. page: 289[View Page 289] In 1875, he bought the lot north of his residence. The old church, having become entirely inadequate, was removed to an adjoining lot and, in its place, was erected a brick church, 56x115 feet, with a seating capacity of 700. It was dedicated by Bishop Dwenger, in 1877. Its cost was about $20,000. In 1900, two lots on Fremont street, were secured for $1,600. In 1903, the parochial residence was improved and enlarged, was equipped with a steam heating apparatus, and newly furnished throughout, at an expense of about $4,000.

The first school was organized, in 1874, when part of the church was partitioned off, and used for school purposes, with an attendance of about thirty-five pupils. In 1877, the old church building was fitted up for school, accommodating 130 pupils. The attendance at this time was sixty. But, to accommodate the increasing number of children, a new school building was erected, in 1893, and was dedicated by Bishop Rademacher. It is a two-story brick building, 40x65 feet, costing about $11,000. The attendance had increased to 160. In October, 1904, an addition consisting of a Sisters' residence and a basement costing $3,500, was added to the school building, now known as St. Francis' Academy. The Sisters of St. Joseph have charge of the school, the usual eight grades and high school are taught. There is no debt on the church property at present. The church which has served its purpose so well, is found inadequate to accommodate the Catholic population of Kokomo. Father Lordemann has begun the erection of a new church, which will be 150 feet long, 64 feet wide in the nave, and 84 feet in the transept. A basement 12 feet high is under the entire building. It is to be of Bedford stone and of Gothic architecture. The height of the main tower is 175 feet, and that of the north tower 130 feet. When completed it will have cost $75,000.

St. Patrick's Congregation has these societies: The Catholic Benevolent Legion, since 1882; the Ancient Order of Hibernians; the Rosary Society, since 1862, which during its existence has furnished the church with a bell, two side altars, three statues, baptismal font, vestments, etc.; the Young Ladies' Sodality, since 1871, which furnished the main altar and many of its ornaments; the League of the Sacred Heart, since 1900; the Kokomo Zouaves, composed of boys of the congregation page: 290[View Page 290] under twenty years of age, organized in 1899, which won the prize of a gold medal at a competitive drill at Elwood, on July 4, 1900; the Knights of Columbus, since 1902, with a membership of 125. Two boys of St. Patrick's are studying for the priesthood, and five girls have entered religious communities. The parish has 189 families, numbering 825 souls. Four Sisters of St. Joseph have charge of the school, attended by 208 pupils.

St. Michael's Church, at Bunker Hill, in Miami county, is visited by Father Lordemann three or four times a year.



Holy Trinity church is located in Wabash township, Jay county. In the year 1854, on August 24, Rev. Wilibald Willi, C. PP. S., accompanied by two Brothers and four Sisters of the Precious Blood Community, came to these parts and on 240 acres of land built several log houses and a log chapel, as the establishment of a new mission house of the Community of the Most Precious Blood. For the first ten years the small band consisted of one priest,five Brothers and twenty Sisters. The entire Catholic population of Wabash township, at this time, consisted of three families. In the year 1861, Rev. Rochus Schueley, C. PP. S., erected Holy Trinity Church. It was a log house rather than a church, 27x40 feet, with a seating capacity of about 100, costing in money $100. At this time the congregation numbered about forty souls. Holy Trinity Church is about one mile distant from the mission house, and convent chapel of the Community.

The priests in charge of the parish were the following: Rev. Rochus Schueley, C. PP. S., from 1862 till 1864; Rev. Engelbert Ruff, C. PP. S., from 1864 till 1866; Rev. Jacob Ringele, C. PP. S., from 1866 to 1869; Rev. Peter Capeder, C. PP. S., from 1869 till 1871; Rev. Paul Reuter, C. PP. S., from 1871 till 1876; Rev. George Fleisch, C. PP. S., from 1876 till 1877; Rev. Felix Graf, C. PP. S., from 1877 till 1878; Rev. Joseph Uphaus, C. PP. S., from 1878 till 1888; Rev. John Nageleisen, C. PP. S., from 1888 till 1892; Rev. George page: 291[View Page 291] Fleisch, C. PP. S., from 1892 till 1898; Rev. Anthony Dick, C. PP. S., from 1898 till 1901; Rev. Julius Heffner, C. PP. S., from 1901 till 1906; Rev. Seraphine Kunkler, C. PP. S., since 1906.

As to nationality Holy Trinity parish is German. The church property consists of four acres of land, donated by P. Didion. The old log church is no more and-in its place stands now a stately brick church, 130x50 feet. It was built by Father Uphaus, at a cost of $18,000. The seating capacity is 600, and the style of architecture is Gothic. The steeple is 100 feet high. At the time the church was built, the congregation numbered sixty families.

The school, built in 1880 by the same Father, at a cost of $500, is 24x24 feet, with accommodations for 100 pupils. Two Sisters of the Most Precious Blood teach the school, attended by sixty-six children. The parish church has no priest's house, the pastor residing at the mission house; nor has it a residence for the Sisters, the Sisters residing in their convent. The church property has a debt of $200. The number of souls at the present time is 350, consisting of seventy families. Five boys of the parish have become priests C. PP. S., and three girls have entered the convent.

Holy Trinity has St. Joseph's Society, for married men, forty members; the Christian Mothers', for married women, thirty-six members; St. John's Society, for single men, forty-two members; St. Rose's Society, for single women, thirty-five members; the Children of Mary, thirteen members, and the Holy Childhood, fifty-five members.



The construction of the Wabash railroad and bridge across the river, in 1850 and 1851, brought a number of Catholic families to Attica. Rev. Michael Clark and later, Rev. Edward O'Flaherty, attended them making their home with James Sheridan and celebrating Mass in private houses or public halls. At the time, there were about twenty-five Catholic families in and around Attica. Many members of the page: 292[View Page 292] congregation are descendants of the pioneers of those days. Powers' will bequeathed two lots and $600 for the erection of a church. These lots, located near the Wabash depot, were exchanged for one lot on Perry street, near Monroe. During Father O'Flaherty's absence to the old country, Rev. F. Joseph Stephan collected an additional $600 and erected a frame church, in 1862. At the suggestion of Bishop Luers, a second lot was bought for $300, on which stood a house used later for a priest's house.

It was in 1863, that Attica received its first resident pastor, in the person of Rev. Joseph Rademacher, who also attended Covington and the entire country, east and west, from Odell to the Illinois State Line. He found the church and house devoid of every convenience. The pews in the church were rough boards and store boxes. He procured pews, an altar and a little reed organ. In 1865, he prepared a class and admitted them to their first Holy Communion, in May. On this occasion, Bishop Luers also administered Confirmation. The congregation was small, and poor, and Father Rademacher submitted without complaint, to many privations and hardships. In the year 1870, Rev. John Bleckmann succeeded Father Rademacher. He bought the cemetery grounds. The most necessary repairs and improvements on the priest's house were made by him. He also built an addition to the church, in which a Catholic school was taught for a while, but for a lack of funds had to be discontinued.

Father Bleckmann was succeeded by Rev. Thomas Cahill, whose successor, in May 1875, was Rev. Dominic Meier, O. F. M. He resided at Lafayette, attending Attica from there, and receiving $300 per annum, and railroad fare, for his services. The Rev. John A. Mark was appointed pastor at Attica in April, 1876, and was succeeded by Rev. Henry M. Plaster in January, 1880. In that year Covington was made an independent congregation. Father Plaster preferring it to Attica, Rev. Charles Lemper was sent to Attica in August, of the same year. The first ten years of Father Lemper's pastorate, were productive of an iron fence around the cemetery, an addition to the priest's house and other necessary improvements. The building of a new church was determined on, in 1890. All the stone for the foundation were donated and the farmers page: 293[View Page 293] did the hauling. A member of the parish burnt the brick on his place, and boarded the laborers, whilst the congregation paid their wages, and the farmers again did the hauling of brick, sand and other material. The church was dedicated by Bishop Rademacher, of Nashville, on June 21, 1891.

In 1895, Father Lemper built the present priest's house. In the same year Father Lemper arranged the addition to the old church for a dwelling for the Sisters, and having partitioned the old church into two school-rooms, he reopened the parochial school. On account of inadequate school accommodations, as well as accommodations for the Sisters, and the greatly reduced number of children attending, the school was abandoned, some seven or eight years later. When Father Lemper left the parish, there was a debt of $2,541.83. Father Lemper secured assistance from far and near, outside of the parish.

Rev. A. Henneberger was appointed the pastor at Attica, in July 1898. He enjoyed poor health, but hoped to be benefitted by this change; the change, however, did not benefit him, on the contrary his health grew steadily worse. He was removed, and on May 5, 1899 the present pastor Rev. F. Von Schwedler took charge of the parish. At the present time there is no debt on the church property. The number of souls is steadily increasing and a larger church will have to be provided in the near future. The congregation has ninety-two families, numbering 394 souls. The parish has an Altar Society, for married women, with forty-seven members, an Altar Society, for single women, with twenty members and the Catholic Foresters.



The Rev. Joseph Stephan, it would seem, was the first to visit the Catholics of Oxford and surroundings. He was at the time visiting many other places. He said Mass, at Oxford, in the Court house, public school house and in various private houses, and was in the habit of coming here from 1860 till 1863. Until 1867 Rev. E. B. Kilroy attended here. It was he who laid the foundation for the present church, in the year page: 294[View Page 294] 1863. There being no railroad transportation in those days, building material had to be hauled a long distance, and required much time. The church however was put under roof, Father Stephan still calling occasionally, and also Rev. C. J. O'Callaghan. The latter was the first resident pastor at Oxford. The baptismal records begin with July 1867. In 1870 Father O'Callaghan was succeeded by Rev. John R. Dinnen, during whose pastorate, the church was plastered, and some old pews and furniture obtained from Lafayette. The dimensions of the church are 76x36 feet, with an elevation of 25 feet. The probable cost of the church was $6,000. The congregation, at that time, numbering about 175 souls, was larger than it is now. The church grounds consist of four acres of land. Father Dinnen remained until October, 1875, and was succeeded by Rev. Meinrad McCarthy, O. S. B., after whom came Rev. John F. Lang from October 1877 till April 1882. Rev. P. J. Crosson was pastor until September 1894, Rev. Julius Becks until June 1895, when the Rev. William C. Miller was sent here and remained until October 6, 1906. The Rev. F. X. Labonte had charge from October 30, 1906 till March 21, 1907. It is related of Father McCarthy that on a Christmas day he celebrated the first Mass in St. Bridget's Church (Barrydale), rode his little pony to Fowler, where he said the second Mass, and then rode to Oxford to celebrate the third Mass. The church was repaired and refurnished by Father Miller, who put in new stained glass windows, in 1896, and repaired the whole building in 1904, arching the ceiling, frescoing the interior, redecorating and painting the altars, pews etc., at a total cost of $3,500. The congregation has only twenty-eight families, or 113 souls, and has no debt on its church property.

The first priest's house was a small cottage, built by Father Dinnen, for about $800. It was remodeled and refurnished at a cost of $1,350 by Father Miller. The Altar Society, with thirty members, takes care of the altar and sanctuary, and supplies its wants, such as candles, oil, linens, etc. One girl of the parish became a Sister of Providence.

Oxford was supplied by the Rev. J. R. Dinnen from March 21, 1907, the date on which Father Labonte died, until June 8, 1907, when St. Patrick's Church again received a resident pastor, in the person of Rev. H. C. Kappel.

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The treaty of the United States with the Indians, in 1832, assigned as their reserve to the Pottawottamies, a region of country to the southwest of Plymouth, its northeastern corner being near the western border of the town. The Pottawottamies were Catholics, and a good sized chapel, built of logs, occupied a site on the north bank of one of the Twin Lakes. The building has long since disappeared. Prior to 1842, the early missionaries such as Fathers Allouez, Aveneau and other Jesuit Fathers, as well as Father Badin, visited these regions. From 1842, however, the Fathers, of the Congregation of the Holy Cross, attended to the spiritual wants of these Indians and the early Catholic settlers, in Marshall county. In 1838, Father Petit, at the earnest entreaty of the officers of United States military forces, conducted the Indians from their reservation to their new home, in the west.

The history of the present St. Michael's Congregation dates back to 1856, when on December 19th, three lots were bought on which now stand the church, the priest's house and the school. The total cost of the three lots was $500. The first resident pastor was Rev. Gabriel Volkert, from 1862 to 1864. St. Michael's Church was built in 1863, and was dedicated by Bishop Luers, in September of that year. Rev. George Steiner was pastor from 1864 to 1866. After him came Rev. Francis Siegelack, from 1866 to 1869. He organized the St. Boniface's Benevolent Society. The Rev. George Zurwellen took charge of the parish, in October 1869, and remained till the time of his death, February 5, 1883. A school had been in operation since 1861, taught by lay-teachers. The building was a long building with a boarded partition, which separated the school from the stable. When Father Zurwellen began his work, the school and stable combination was removed to the back part of the lot, on which the pastoral residence stands today, and the priest's house was removed from the extreme south to its present location. A brick school-house, costing $12,000, known today as St. Michael's Academy, was erected in 1870. About this time a bell was bought.

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On November 20, 1872, the three lots opposite the church were bought. These lots front to the north, and the present St. Joseph's Hall is situated on one of them, lot 67. The first cemetery of St. Michael's Congregation was one acre of ground, donated by John Hughes, and was used until 1871; when the city of Plymouth gave the Catholics the privilege of using a portion of Oak Hill cemetery. This continued until April 15, 1875, when Father Zurwellen secured the four acres of ground, which are used today for burials. The Rev. Louis A. Moench was the resident pastor, from February 6, 1883 until July 26, 1898. The debt of $5,000 was paid by him, the pastoral residence was built at a cost of $1,200, the church was frescoed for $660, beautiful new altars were provided, St. Joseph's Hall was built, at a cost of $1,300, stained glass windows were placed in the church, a new iron fence was built and sidewalks put down. The delivery from church debt was duly celebrated on February 18, 1890. Succeeding Father Moench the following were the pastors here: Rev. Charles Lemper, from 1898 till his death on December 13, 1900; Rev. Peter Schmitt, from July 1900, during the illness and after the death of Father Lemper, till March 1, 1901; Rev. Simon M. Yenn, from March 1, 1901 till July 1, 1905; Rev. Henry C. Kappel, from July 1, till September 1, 1905; Rev. John Tremmel since September 1, 1905. Father Yenn made many necessary repairs and improvements on the entire church property, including the grounds. Three acres of the cemetery, consisting of six acres, also received much needed attention from Father Yenn. At the time of his removal the fund for a new church had accumulated the handsome amount of $9,000. During this time the Sisters of the Holy Cross enlarged their Academy, which serves also for parochial school, twice; it being now a commodious structure of three-stories and basement, running back from street to alley. Center street was improved during the pastorate of Father Tremmel. At the present time the fund for a new church amounts to $9,616.13.

Plymouth has 114 Catholic families, numbering 518 souls. The parochial school, in connection with the academy, having an attendance of ninety-eight pupils, is conducted by four Sisters of the Holy Cross. The church societies are: The Rosary Society, with ninety-five members; the Sacred Heart page: 297[View Page 297] Sodality, with sixty-seven; and the Children of Mary, with thirty-four members. Other associations are, the St. Boniface, the Benefit Association of Our Lady of Loretto, and the St. Vincent de Paul Aid Society.



When Ege was visited for the first time, in 1856, as a station, by Rev. Francis Deschamp, it was called Girardot Settlement. It was in 1853, that Gabriel Girardot emigrated from France and settled on a farm, where Ege is now located. When Father Deschamp visited the place, he found nine families in that neighborhood. The Rev. Henry Vincent Schaefer, pastor at Avilla, visited Ege as a station, and in 1863 the first church, 25x40 feet, was built. In July, of that year, Bishop Luers and Father Benoit celebrated Mass in the unfinished church-- they were at the time prospecting for a location, where to build the diocesan orphan asylum. Gabriel Girardot had preceded his family to this country and had made a vow that he would build a church if he would see his family in the New World. He donated two acres of land, where the cemetery now is, and there he constructed a church and made most of the furniture with his own hands. In consequence, the church was a long time building, and was not finished until May, 1864. When completed, the little frame church was valued at $1,000. After Father Schaefer, the pastors of Avilla had charge of Ege as a mission; namely: Rev. Francis Deipenbrock, 1863; Rev. John Wemhoff, from December 1863 till December 1865; Rev. A. B. Oechtering, from December 1865 till May 12, 1867; and Rev. Dominic Duehmig, from May 12, 1867 till 1876. During this time, the Fathers of the Holy Cross would frequently relieve the pastors of Avilla, by attending the mission Ege. In 1875, Father Duehmig purchased four acres of land, at a short distance from the church westward, where two roads cross and there put up a more spacious frame church, 35x90 feet, with a seating capacity of 260. The old church was moved to the new place and an addition was made to it; after which it served the various purposes of a school-house, page: 298[View Page 298] of a teacher's residence, and of a priest's house, until 1885. The Sisters of St. Francis, of Joliet, took charge of the school, in 1879.

The Rev. William Geers was the first resident pastor of Ege, in 1876, and was succeeded by the Rev. Peter Franzen, from February 1877 until October 1878. After him came Rev. F. X. Ege, from October 1878 until November 1897. He found the church property indebted to the amount of $3,500. In 1885, the old church burned down, insured for $500. Father Ege thereafter erected a two-story brick building, 30x65 feet, the lower front room accommodating sixty pupils, and the upper front room being used for parish meetings and entertainments, until January 1898, when it too was used for school purposes. The other parts of this building serve the Sisters for a residence of six rooms. In 1878, Father Ege erected a handsome two-story, ten room priest's house, at a cost of $3,000.

The present pastor, Rev. Francis P. Faust, took charge of the parish in November, 1897. He found that the parish had a debt of only $30~9 He has made various improvements and many repairs, with several purchases, amounting to fully $2,500, and there is a debt of $243 on the church property. The church grounds proper comprise four acres; and the two acres of the old church is now used for burial purposes. Two members of the parish have become Franciscan Brothers and five have become Sisters. The number of souls is 408, consisting of seventy-five families.

St. Mary's Society, for married women, has forty members; St. Rose's, for single women, thirty; and the Apostleship of Prayer, ninety members.



The Rev. George A. Hamilton visited Kentland and vicinity, from 1861 to 1864, from Logansport. After him, it was attended from Rensselaer by Rev. Joseph A. Stephan, until 1870. He visited the place once a month, celebrating Mass in the Court House or in Kent's hotel, boarding with John H. Schmitt, a mile and three-quarters from Kentland. page: 299[View Page 299] The Catholics numbered about fifteen families, Irish, German and French, within a radius of twelve miles. In 1864 Father Stephan erected the-first church, a frame structure, 24x40 feet.

The grounds, on which the church, priest's house, the school and the teachers' house stand, have a frontage of about 360 feet, with a depth of 150 feet. Opposite this ground the church owns two acres, just outside the corporation of Kentland. The cemetery has five acres, one mile south of the church. These grounds were secured during the pastorates of Revs. J. Stephan, A. Messmann, and W. C. Miller.

The first resident pastor was the Rev. Anthony Messmann, from 1870 to 1881. He resided with the above mentioned John H. Schmitt until 1872, when the priest's house was built. He added 30 feet to the church, to gain more room. Rev. F. X. Baumgartner added a sacristy, 28x14 feet, built a tower and supplied it with a bell. Father Baumgartner was pastor from 1881 to March 1883. After him came Rev. William C. Miller, from .March 1883 to September 1891. Father Miller built the present church, in 1888. It is a brick building, 100x45 feet and 24 feet in height. It has stained glass windows of Roman style; the ceiling is flat. The Main Altar of the old church was transferred to the new church, and two neat side altars and two confessionals were provided. The cost of this church was $9,000. It has a seating capacity of 400.

Rev. Charles A. Ganzer was pastor from September 1891 to December 10, 1902. He renovated the church and made necessary repairs, giving the church a new roof and purchasing a beautiful Main Altar. The church was also frescoed and electric lighting provided, another bell was procured, a new way of the Cross secured, a new pipe organ and a steam heating plant installed. The present pastor, Rev. Charles V. Stetter, D. D., holding that position since February 13, 1903, enriched the sanctuary for Christmas, 1905, with an artistic crib.

Father Messmann started a school in 1872, but it had to be discontinued. The school was a frame building, 44x18 feet. In 1885, Father Miller reopened the school. It was taught by lay teachers till 1887, when the Sisters of St. Francis took charge. In 1888, Father Miller remodeled the old church into a two-room school-house. The old school building and the sacristy of the old church were made into a residence for page: 300[View Page 300] the Sisters. Father Stetter built a porch to it. The dimensions of the school are 40x70 feet, accommodating ninety children. The eight grades are taught. Two Sisters have charge of ninety-five pupils at present.

The priest's house, built in 1872 by Father Messmann, is a nine room two-story brick structure. It was Father Miller, who finished the entire house and furnished it more completely. Father Stetter also has done something in that direction. The church property has a debt of $2,119.98. The number of souls is 540, consisting of 106 families. One boy of Kentland has become a priest and ten girls Sisters. St. Anthony's, Goodland and Remington were attended from Kentland, for some time.

The following priests had charge of Kentland: Rev. George A. Hamilton, from Logansport, and perhaps others, from 1861 till 1864; Rev. Joseph A. Stephan, from Rensselaer, from 1864 till April 1, 1870; Rev. Anthony Messmann, pastor from April 1, 1870 till December 19, 1880; Rev. F. X. Baumgartner, from December 19, 1880 till March 27, 1883; Rev. William C. Miller, from March 31, 1883 till August 30, 1891; Rev. Charles A. Ganzer, from August 30, 1891 to December 10, 1902; Rev. Charles Meyer, C. PP. S., Rev. Frederick Schalk, C. PP. S., and Rev. Virgilius Krull, C. PP. S., from December 10, 1902 till February 13, 1903; Rev. Charles V. Stetter, D. D., since February 13, 1903.

The following societies are found here: The Cemetery Association with eighty members; the Rosary Society, for married women, since 1884, with seventy-nine members; the Sodality of the Sacred Heart for single women, with sixty-one members; the St. Aloysius' Society for young men, with forty members; the Catholic Benevolent Legion and the Catholic Order of Foresters.



The first priest on record at Wabash, is Rev. John Ryan, who residing at Lagro occasionally attended Wabash, from 1862 to September 1865. He celebrated Mass at the homes of Patrick Ivory and others. At this time the number of souls page: 301[View Page 301] was thirty-five, Irish and German. The foundation for the new church was put down, in 1864, by Father Ryan, and the building was begun by Rev. B. Kroeger, and completed during the pastorates of Rev. George Steiner, and Rev. M. E. Campion, the latter two residing at Lagro. The building cost about $2,000, and the number of souls at this time was about forty. A lot, donated by Patrick Dwyer 66x132, was given in trade for two lots making the grounds 132x132 feet. This business was transacted by Father Ryan. The church built in 1864 was a brick building, 30x60 feet, to which Rev. P. J. Crosson added sixteen feet, in 1898. The same had the interior decorated and put in electric lights, at a cost of $700. The seating capacity of this church was 250. A frame school-house, 20x30 feet costing $800, was built by Rev. F. C. Wiechmann in 1877, but the school had to be discontinued after the first year, for want of support. The first priest's house was located on the corner of Maple and Comstock streets, a half block west of the church; but in 1888, Rev. John H. Bathe built a new house on the corner of Minor and Fisher streets and adjacent to the church, at a cost of about $1,700; and in 1898, Rev. P. J. Crosson enlarged it, at an expenditure of about $500.

The described church property was exchanged by Rev. Robert J. Pratt, for a church and house, owned by the Methodists, on the northeast corner of Sinclair and Cass streets. This church is a two-story brick building, the second story used for church purposes has a seating capacity of 500. The house, adjacent to this church, which is the present priest's residence, is a commodious two-story brick building. The Methodist people had expended fully $22,000 on these buildings. The church and house have a frontage of 96 feet on Sinclair street and 123 feet on Cass street. St. Bernard's Congregation secured this property, in exchange for their church and house, by paying a cash difference of $5,500. This business was transacted on April 17, 1900, and, on the same day, two lots 264x264 feet, with a large brick residence, just back of the church property were bought, with the intention of using it for school purposes at some future time. This last purchase cost the congregation $4,000 in cash, and the first priest's house on Comstock and Maple streets, valued at $1,500. The church was remodeled, and $3,500 was spent in doing this; page: 302[View Page 302] besides furnishing the church with altars, confessionals, sacred vessels and also putting in a heating system. The Very Rev. J. H. Guendling, Administrator of the diocese, dedicated the building on September 23, 1900, the Rev. D. H. Clark, of Columbus, Ohio, preaching the sermon. The church has a debt of $2,900.

St. Bernard's Church has the Confraternity for the Poor Souls, since 1889; the Sodality of the Blessed Virgin, since 1898; the Young Ladies' Sodality, since 1900; the Catholic Knights of America, since 1885; the Lady Foresters since 1899. The congregation numbers 403 souls, or 102 families. Two girls of the parish have entered the religious state of life.

The visiting pastors of the parish have been: Rev. John Ryan, Lagro, 1862 till September 1865; Rev. B. Kroeger, Peru, September 1865 till December 1866; Rev. George Steiner, Lagro, December 1866 till July 1868; Rev. M. E. Campion, Lagro, August 1868 to 1871. The resident pastors were: Rev. F. C. Wiechmann, from February 1871 till October 1879; Rev. M. M. Hallinan, D. D., from November 1879 till November 1881; Rev. John H. Bathe, from December 1881 to May 1898; Rev. P. J. Crosson, from May 1898 to January 30, 1900; Rev. Robert J. Pratt, since January 30, 1900.



The Catholics of the northwestern part of Fort Wayne, anxious to improve their church accommodations, took steps to form a new congregation. A meeting representing the thirty-five families of this district was held, on November 15, 1863. Bishop Luers approved the intention of these Catholics to build a church, and gave his consent to the purchase of a building site. A number of other meetings were held to accomplish the end in view. Some opposition, however, was experienced on the part of Rev. Joseph Weutz, then pastor of St. Mary's Church. Bishop Luers explained later, that the opposition arose from a misunderstanding. Finally, on February 2, 1865, property was bought on the southeast corner of Griffith street (now Fairfield avenue) and Washington boulevard, at a page: 303[View Page 303] cost of $3,500 from George W. Ewing; ten years' time was given to pay the price. A frame church, 75 feet long and 37 feet wide, was erected at a cost of $3,700. A unique method of securing funds was resorted to, by renting the pews of the church not yet built. The church was dedicated, by Bishop Luers, on the first Sunday in October, 1865. On December 16, 1865, Bishop Luers gave St. Paul's Church their first pastor, in the person of Rev. Edward Koenig; the Bishop himself introducing Father Koenig to the congregation.

Father Koenig at once organized a School Society and an Altar Society. The Bishop fixed the 25th of January of each year, the Feast of .the Conversion of St. Paul, as the patron feast of the Church. Already on January 19, 1866, the zealous pastor opened the parochial school, with Louis Weiser as the first teacher and an attendance of sixty-eight children.

Two additional lots were bought on January 28, 1866, for $5,000. During Lent, of the same year, the Rosary Society was established, and on March 25th, the Confraternity of the Scapular of Mount Carmel. Still another lot was bought in July 1866 for $1,400. Louis Weiser, the first teacher, went to the seminary and Peter Mettler succeeded him as teacher. In September 1867, the boys and girls began to be taught in separate school-rooms: Clementine Koenig, sister of Father Koenig, teaching the girls. The frame school building having become entirely inadequate, a brick school-house was erected at a cost of $3,308, and in September 1868 the same was ready for occupancy. The same building is used for school purposes at the present time. When in 1868, Franciscan Fathers gave a Mission, the Young Men's Sodality, under the patronage of St. Anthony of Padua, and the Young Ladies' Sodality, under that of St. Agnes, were established on September 21st.

The church property is made up of 92x150 feet on the southeast corner, and of 1271x150 feet, on the northeast corner of Washington boulevard and Fairfield avenue; and of 48x150 feet on Washington boulevard; the latter was bought in 1903 and is now used as the priest's house. The cost of the residence and property was $11,500. The first property was bought before a priest had charge, Father Koenig bought the second, and the present pastor the last mentioned.

The present church was erected by Father Koenig in 1886, page: 304[View Page 304] at a cost of about $55,000. It was built in the Roman style of architecture. The furniture is all solid oak. The seating capacity is about 600. On January 22, 1898, Father Koenig, after thirty-three years of arduous pastoral work, was called to his reward.

Bishop Rademacher appointed Rev. H. F. Joseph Kroll, to succeed Father Koenig, on February 21, 1898. The new pastor found a debt of $17,000 on the church property. A number of improvements had become necessary, which received immediate attention by Father Kroll. It was he who bought the present priest's house for $11,500 and converted the former pastoral residence on Fairfield avenue into a school; this residence had been erected by Father Koenig in 1881 at a cost of $6,586. The school can accommodate about 150 children. At the present time four Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ have charge of the school. The school is well graded, eight grades being taught. The school is supported by St. Paul's School Society. At present 101 children are in attendance at school.

Three boys of the parish have become priests and one boy is now at his studies. Nine girls have become Sisters.

The parish has 148 families and the total number of souls is 675. The societies are: The School Society, 110 members; the Altar and Rosary Society, for married women, 110 members; St. Anthony's Sodality, for single men, thirty-five members; St. Agnes' Sodality, for single women, sixty-five members; the Boys' Sodality, thirty-four members; the Girls' Sodality, forty-two members; the Purgatorian Society, fifty members; the Scapular Confraternity, 150 members; the Sacred Heart League, 250 members, and the St. Joseph's Benevolent League, with sixty-one members.



The succession of priests, who cared for the spiritual welfare of Catholics in Covington and vicinity, were: Rev. Edward O'Flaherty, prior to 1859; Rev. Joseph Stephan, from page: 305[View Page 305] 1859 till 1863; Rev. Joseph Rademacher, from 1863 till 1870; Rev. John Bleckmann, from 1870 till 1875; Rev. Thomas Cahill, from 1875 till 1876; Rev. John A. Mark, from 1876 till 1880; Rev. H. M. Plaster, from 1880 till August 15, 1885, first resident pastor; Revs. King, Lentz, Lemper, from 1885 till 1891; Rev. John Tremmel, from August 1891 till September 1, 1905; Rev. Peter Schmitt, since September 13, 1905.

Father O'Flaherty attended Covington from Crawfordsville. The number of souls in 1859 was about 350, or sixty families, of Irish nationality. Father Stephan laid the foundation of the church in 1860, and Father Rademacher completed it in 1865. Bishop Luers dedicated the building in October, 1867. The dimensions of this church were 30x60 feet, and the cost was $6,000. The church grounds consist of two lots and ten feet, donated by a Mr. Daly, during Father O'Flaherty's time. The church is a brick structure, but in 1875 a frame addition was made to the rear of it, during Father Bleckmann's pastorate. For a short time this addition was used for a school; the cost of it was about $650. The priest's house was built by Father Plaster, at a cost of about $2,400. The debt on the church property at the present time is $300. The mission, Veedersburg, is attended from Covington on two Sundays of the month.

At the present time the number of families is fifty-one. The Rosary Society has fifty-three members. The men of the parish belong to Catholic Knights of America, Catholic Foresters, or Knights of Columbus.



This church, in its earliest days, was called St. Charles', later St. Joachim's, and since 1901 St. Joseph's Church. It was attended as a station, as early as 1862, when priests visited here from Lafayette, such as Rev. E. B. Kilroy and others. The Catholic population, at that time, was about sixty-five page: 306[View Page 306] souls. The first church was a building formerly used as a residence and then remodeled for a church, in about 1865, by Rev. Joseph A. Winter who continued to attend till 1870. Rev. John R. Dinnen visited the place, from 1871 till 1874. The following were the resident pastors of Lebanon: Rev. Thomas M. Cahill, from the beginning of 1874 till May 1875; Rev. John Ryan, from May 1875 till December 1878; Rev. L. A. Moench, from 1879 till 1882; Rev. John Dempsey, from 1882 till September 1884; Rev. D. J. Mulcahy, from 1884 till the fall of 1886; Rev. Michael F. Kelly, from the fall of 1886 till 1893; Rev. H. A. Hellhake, from 1893 till August 1898; Rev. W. S. Hogan, from August 1898 till 1899; Rev. P. J. Crawley, from June 1899 till July 1905; Rev. James Connelly, since July 1, 1905.

The first building used for church, bought by Father Winters, was located within a half square of the Court House. At that time the population was from eighty to ninety souls. Father Ryan was the pastor, in 1876, when the present church grounds were secured. He sold the old place, and Father Crawley, by another sale, reduced the church grounds to their present dimensions. The second church was a building formerly occupied by the Christian denomination. It could seat 200 persons, and was bought by Father Winters for $300. This continued to be used for the church until 1901, when the present church was erected by Father Crawley. Its furnishings are complete in every detail. The seating capacity is about 450, and it cost $10,000.

The first priest's house was a story-and-a-half building, bought by Father Dinnen for $200. It was sold with the first church property. Father Ryan purchased a house for $300, which Father Crawley repaired and improved at a cost of $1,500; this being the present priest's house. The church property has a debt of $2,000 on it. The number of souls at present is 209, or fifty-one families. Two girls of the parish have entered the convent.

St. Joseph's has Altar and Rosary Societies, organized 1894. They have the care of the altar and the sanctuary; the Ancient Order of Hibernians, organized in 1896; also a Sodality for boys and girls. The altar of the church was donated by the Altar and Rosary Societies.

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Early missionaries paid occasional visits to Arcola and vicinity; but, in the year 1866, Rev. P. J. Madden held regular services in an old school-house. The building of a church was inaugurated by him. The Rev. Henry Schaefer next attended Arcola from Columbia City. The Rev. Theodore Van der Poel was Arcola's first resident priest, arriving on Christmas eve and celebrating Mass, as pastor of Arcola, on Christmas day 1867. The frame church, begun in 1866 by Father Madden, was a neat frame structure and completed by Father Van der Poel,' who also built the present priest's house. The Rev. Theodore Wilken came next to Arcola and built a fence around the church property. Rev. Bartholomew Hartmann succeeded Father Wilken in 18'80. During his stay of seven years the school-house was built. The congregation at this time, numbered about seventy families. Rev. Father Hickmann came next but only remained five or six weeks. Next came Rev. J. H. Werdein, continuing his pastorate for about four years; then Rev. William J. Quinlan was the pastor for two years, till August 20, 1891; and after him Rev. William Conrad Miller, who remained for a period of four years, till 1895.

The pastorate of Rev. Robert Pratt at Arcola began June 29, 1895. It was he who induced the Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ to take charge of the parochial school. It was during his pastorate also that a new brick church was built in 1898. He also erected the Sisters' residence. Upon Father Pratt's transfer to Wabash, January 30, 1900, the Rev. S. M. Yenn succeeded him as pastor of St. Patrick's Church, continuing in that capacity for thirteen months. In March, 1901, the Rev. Peter Schmitt was appointed and remained until September 13, 1905, when he was succeeded by Rev. Henry C. Kappel. The present pastor is Rev. E. J. Mungovan, since June 8, 1907.

St. Patrick's Parish has thirty-four families, numbering 180 souls. The school is attended by thirty-three pupils and is taught by one Poor Handmaid of Jesus Christ. The Societies page: 308[View Page 308] of the parish are: The Rosary Society, for married women, with seventeen members; the St. Aloysius' Society, for single men, with thirteen members; the Children of Mary, for single women, twenty-five members. There is no debt on the church property. Pierceton is a mission attended from Arcola on the second Sunday and Monday of each month.



The country about Reynolds, less probably than a century ago, was noted principally for its low lands covered with water, sandy ridges appearing here and there, with scant vegetation. But in the year 1856 the water had receded sufficiently, for a dozen families or more, mostly Irish, to settle in this part of the country. It was in this year that Rev. Joseph Stephan, residing at San Pierre, began to visit the Reynolds settlement, and celebrate Mass in the home of Michael Vogel.

The first church was erected from 1866 to 1867, at a cost of about $975. The Rev. J. A. Winter, assistant priest at St. Mary's Church, Lafayette, was in charge of Reynolds, at the time the church was building. The ground on which it stands, comprising seven and one half acres, was acquired in the year 1866. The seating capacity of this church was about 150. Without much adornment it served its purpose until 1876, when the second and present church was erected for about $6,000 or $7,000, under the direction of Rev. Dominic Meier, O. F. M., who attended Reynolds from Lafayette. The church is built in the Roman, style of architecture, and is a plain, brick building, 64x96 feet, with a seating capacity of 475.

Several years after the church had been built, a frame school-house, 20x40 feet, was erected at a cost of about $475. The Sisters of St. Francis were in charge, residing in a small frame house built by Rev. John McMahon, opposite the school-house, in 1869. The school, however, after a number of years was abandoned, and the Sisters left the place. Father McMahon moved in the house, vacated by them, but lived in it only a page: 309[View Page 309] few days, when he departed this life on May 8, 1872. After this until 1899, the pastors of Reynolds occupied the old church for their residence.

Rev. John Kubacki, in the year 1899, built the first and present pastoral residence, costing about $2,000. The church property is free from all indebtedness. St. Joseph's Church has the Rosary Society, a Young Ladies' Sodality, St. Joseph's Aid Society and the Poor Souls' Confraternity, since 1905. The number of souls in the parish is 282, or fifty-one families. One of the girls of this parish has become a Sister of St. Francis.

The list of priests, having charge of St. Joseph's Church at Reynolds, is the following in their chronological order of succession: Rev. Joseph Stephan, in 1856; Rev. Joseph A. Winter, 1866 and 1867; Rev. John McMahon, from 1867 till May 8, 1872, when he died; Rev. Burns; Rev. Anthony King; Rev. Anthony Messmann; Rev. Dominic Meier, O. F. M., in 1876; Rev. Ignatius M. Wilkens, O. F. M.; Rev. John B. Schroeder, O. F. M.; Rev. Augustine Beyer, O. F. M.; Rev. Peter Welling, O. F. M.; Rev. Francis S. Schaefer, O. F. M.; Rev. Matthias Zumbuelte, from April 1888 to June 1889; Rev. John Berg, from June 1889 to June 8, 1893; Rev. George Schramm, from June 8, 1893; Rev. John Blum, from December 24, 1895 to November 1, 1896; Rev. John Kubacki, from November 1, 1896 to August 6, 1900; Rev. George Horstmann, from August 6, 1900 to July 4, 1905; Rev. Julius Seimetz, since July 4, 1905.

The pastor of Reynolds also has charge of the missions, Francisville and Medaryville.



The priests who had charge of St. Joseph's Church at Dyer were the following: Prior to 1867, Rev. M. P. Wehrle, Turkey Creek. The following were resident pastors: Rev. Jacob Schmitz, from April 1867 till July 1870; Rev. B. Theodore Borg, from July 1870 till September 1871; Rev. H. Meissner, Crown Point, September till December 1871; Rev. Bernard page: 310[View Page 310] Wiedau, from January till December 1872; Rev. Anthony King, from December 1872 till April 1874; Rev. F. J. Freund, from May 24, 1874 till August 1875; Rev. Charles Steurer, from August 4, 1875 till January 30, 1878; Rev. Joseph Flach, from March 5, 1878 till August 3, 1883; Rev. Charles V. Stetter, D. D., from August 23, 1883 till July 29, 1888; Rev. Joseph Flach, again, since July 29, 1888.

Prior to 1867, the Catholics of Dyer and vicinity were visited by Father Wehrle of Turkey Creek; they were considered members of St. John's Congregation, at St. John. The first church was a frame building, erected in 1867, by Father Schmitz, the first resident pastor of Dyer. The church cost from $4,000 to $5,000. The church grounds comprise about four acres of land. In 1893, Father Flach improved the church by replastering, frescoing, painting the building and putting in stained glass windows, and in 1899, giving the church a basement, with a chapel, all of which was done at a cost of $2,500. The church, with its new altars and a pipe organ, was now in very good condition; but on December 28, 1902, the entire church and contents were destroyed by fire. Father Flach, however, went to work and, on July 12, 1903, the corner-stone of a new church was laid by Bishop Alerding. The present church is a brick and cut stone Gothic structure, 118x432 feet, with a tower 125 feet high. The dedication took place on November 26, 1903, the Rev. J. H. Bathe, officiating. The entire cost of the church is $18,500. The seating capacity is 400.

The parochial school was opened in September 1901. The building of which has been improved since, and a house for the Sisters erected, for $1,600. Two Franciscan Sisters of the Sacred Heart, of Joliet, have charge of the school, teaching the usual grades. The attendance at school is eighty-seven. The priest's house built in 1869 was moved, remodeled and improved, including a new heating apparatus, for $1,700 in 1905. The church has a debt of $3,675. The number of souls is 413, consisting of seventy-five families. Three girls of the parish have become Sisters.

St. Joseph's Parish has the Society of the Holy Childhood, since 1880; the Young Ladies' Sodality of the Blessed Virgin Mary, since 1880, forty members; the W. C. O. F., since 1898, page: 311[View Page 311] fifty members; the C. O. F., sixty-five members, and the Catholic Columbian League, forty members; the Confraternity of Christian Mothers, forty-four members; and the Confraternity of the Immaculate Heart of Mary.



Although no specific date can be given, it seems to be the opinion, that Rev. Stephen Badin, Rev. Simon Lalumiere, and Rev. Alphonse Munschina, visited Kendallville several years before the establishment of the diocese of Fort Wayne. Rev. Louis Mueller, residing at Fort Wayne, visited Kendallville a few times. After him Rev. Julian Benoit came more frequently. As a rule, however, the Catholics of these regions attended divine services at Avilla, prior to 1865.

In the year mentioned, Rev. A. B. Oechtering, residing at Avilla, began to visit Kendallville regularly, celebrating Mass in the house of Peter Ringle. Owing to the construction of the Grand Rapids and Indiana railroad, the number of Catholics increased, so as to make the building of a church possible. Lots were bought in what is now known as the West Side, and in the fall of 1866, Bishop Luers laid the corner-stone of the new church. The erection of this church, however, was abandoned when Father Oechtering bought the Baptist church, which was offered him for $2,200. This building stood on the corner of Oak and Diamond streets. In 1867, Father Oechtering was transferred to Mishawaka, and Rev. Dominic Duehmig was made his successor at Avilla, having charge also of Kendallville. Father Duehmig remodeled the Baptist church, the Ladies' Altar Society assisting him in the purchase of the requisites for the altar and the sanctuary. Two rooms were added to the rear of the church, for the accommodation of the pastor, when visiting Kendallville. The full dimensions of the church, as it now stands, is 40x70 feet.

Father Duehmig had charge up to 1884, and after him Rev. Max Benzinger, residing at Summit, until 1887. From page: 312[View Page 312] 1887 to 1889 Rev. John Hoss visited Kendallville. After that date until 1897, it again became a mission attended from Avilla. In 1897 Rev. George Lauer was made pastor of Ligonier, with Kendallville for a mission; when, however, Rev. John F. Noll was appointed to succeed Father Lauer in 1899, he took up his residence in Kendallville, and since that time Kendallville has had a resident pastor. Father Noll improved the church property and during his stay lived in a rented house. His successor, on June 8, 1902, was Rev. John C. Keller. That same year a residence was built, containing ten rooms, costing $2,500. On September 18, 1905, a church bell was bought. The church property has a debt of $1,450.

The Kendallville Parish has the Altar Society, since 1868, and the Young Ladies' Sodality, since 1903, both for the women. The Holy Name Society is for the men. The number of souls is about 201, constituting forty-eight families.

Priests attending Kendallville, for whom we can give any definite dates, were: Rev. August B. Oechtering, from 1865 till 1867; Rev. Dominic Duehmig, 1867 till 1884; Rev. Max. Benzinger, from Summit, 1884 till 1887; Rev. John Hoss, 1887 till 1889; Rev. Dominic Duehmig, 1889 till 1897; Rev. George Lauer, from Ligonier, 1897 till 1899; Rev. John F. Noll, first resident pastor of Kendallville, 1889 till 1902; and since June 8, 1902, Rev. John C. Keller, second resident pastor.



The spiritual needs of Catholics at Winamac and the surrounding country, were looked after by priests from Logansport, from 1850 to 1867. Mass in those days was said at the residence of M. D. Falvey. The Rev. George A. Hamilton erected the first church, a frame structure. Father Hamilton at that time resided at Logansport. Rev. Henry Koenig was appointed the first resident pastor, in 1867. The name of Rev. Charles Kunkel also appears on the baptismal records. Rev. Bernard Wiedau was the pastor from 1869 to 1870, and page: 313[View Page 313] again from December 1872 to 1873. In 1873, Bishop Dwenger gave the Fathers of the Congregation of the Most Precious Blood charge of Winamac and the neighboring missions. Rev. August Reichert, C. PP. S., was the first of these Fathers sent to Winamac, but he remained only a few months when he was recalled, and Rev. Theopistus Wittmer, C. PP. S., was sent to fill his place. Father Wittmer built a parochial school and engaged the Sisters of the Most Precious Blood to have charge of it, in 1874. Father Wittmer was recalled in 1876, and Rev. Theobald Schoch, C. PP. S., succeeded him. In 1880, Rev. Christian Nigsh, C. PP. S., was made the pastor, who in 1883 erected a brick church, 45x95 feet. Rev. Kilian Schill, C. PP. S., was pastor from 1885 till 1887. From 1887 to 1897, it was Rev. Otto Missler, C. PP. S., who had charge of the congregation. Rev. Joseph Uphaus, C. PP. S., was pastor from 1897 till the fall of 1898. Rev. Leopold Linder, C. PP. S., came next and remained until 1903, when Rev. Valentine M. Schirack, C. PP. S., succeeded him. This Father met with a fatal accident, on November 15, 1904, on account of a runaway horse, and died almost instantly. Rev. Virgilius Krull, C. PP. S., succeeded Father Schirack at Winamac, and remained till the end of January 1905, when the present pastor, Rev. Lawrence J. Schirack, C. PP. S., was appointed pastor.

Winamac has ninety Catholic families, with 440 souls. The parochial school, with an attendance of seventy-four pupils, is conducted by two Sisters of the Precious Blood. The church societies have an aggregate membership of 200. There is no debt on the church property.