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The Diocese of Fort Wayne, 1857-September 1907. Alerding, Herman Joseph, 1845–1924.  page: [314][View Page [314]]






From about 1861 till 1865, the Rev. M. P. Wehrle, resident pastor at Lottaville (Turkey Creek), paid occasional visits to Crown Point. He celebrated Mass at the homes of Anna Shehan and Catharine Scherer, and also in the Court House. In fact the first pastoral residence served also as the first church. The resident pastors at Crown Point were: Rev. M. P. Wehrle, from December 31, 1865, till November 26, 1868; Rev. Louis Weiser, from November 26, 1868 till January 22, 1871; Rev. Henry Meissner, from January 22, 1871 till October 3, 1875; Rev. Matthias Zumbuelte, from October 3, 1875 till April 17, 1876; Rev. Aegidius Hennemann, O. S. B., from April 17, 1876 till October 20, 1878; the name of Rev. Piriminius Levermann, O. S. B., also appears on the baptismal register from February 11, 1878 till May 5th, of the same year; Rev. John Ritter, from October 20th, till November 17, 1878; Rev. Aemilian Wendel, O. S. B., from November 17, 1878 till July 23, 1882; Rev. Maurice Kaeder, O. S. B., from July 23, 1882 till September 30, 1888; Father Wendel again, from September 30, 1888 till July 1, 1889; Rev. Philip Guethoff, since July 1, page: 315[View Page 315] 1889. The records of the church show 1,054 baptisms and 186 marriages, up to the present time. The church grounds consisting of about three acres cost $1,000, and were donated by Peter Kahoe in 1866.

The first church building was a frame structure, 30x60 feet. It was erected at a cost of $1,500 and was dedicated by Bishop Luers on Rosary Sunday in 1868. The present pastoral residence was built in 1871 at a cost of $1,500, by Father Meissner. Later a .kitchen was added at an expenditure of $350. The present Sisters' residence was the first school-house; a one-story, one room frame structure built in 1872, at a cost of $1,000. The first church building, to which one story was added at a cost of over $1,000, by Father Guethoff, is the present school. It contains two school-rooms on the first floor and two on the second. Three of these rooms are used for school purposes, the other for society meetings. The Sisters of St. Agnes have charge of the school, which is attended by 103 pupils.

Father Guethoff built the present church in 1890. It is of brick and stone, 50x113 feet, and cost $12,800. The spire has a height of 142 feet; the architecture is Romanesque. The stained glass windows, the three altars, the pews, the pulpit, the organ, etc., necessitated an outlay of $5,000. The chapel in the basement, for Mass in winter, cost $600. $400 was paid for statuary. The frescoing of the church together with improvements and repairs in 1907 cost $3,000. The seating capacity of the church is 600. Crown Point has a Catholic population of 630, or 124 families. There is no debt on the church property.

St. Joseph's Rosary Society, for married men, has twenty-three members. St. Mary's Rosary Society, for married women, eighty-five. St. Joseph's Sodality, for single men, has fifty-seven. St. Mary's Sodality, for single women, has eighty. The Infant Jesus Society, for children, has eighty-five. The League of the Sacred Heart, has 350 members.

One arce and a half was bought for cemetery purposes on March 13, 1869, for $140. In 1907, Father Guethoff bought three and three-quarter acres, additional, for $675. Much has been done towards beautifying the cemetery, and a fund is being secured for its permanent care.

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The first visit of a priest to Elkhart was that of Rev. Henry Koenig, pastor at Mishawaka. From May 19, 1867, Rev. August B. Oechtering, also resident at Mishawaka, attended Elkhart as a station, celebrating Mass in private houses. The first church was erected under the supervision of Father Oechtering, in 1868. It was a brick building, 28x56 feet, and cost about $2,500. The number of souls at this time was about 100, Irish and German. The church grounds were secured, partly in 1867 and partly in 1885; Father Oechtering secured the old, and Rev. William Kroeger the new grounds, at a total cost of $2,100. The present church was erected in 1886, Father William Kroeger being pastor at the time. It is the Grecian style of architecture, and its dimensions are 130x60 feet. The cost of the building, including decorations and furniture, was $45,000.

School is taught in the old church and a one-story building. The Sisters of the Holy Cross have charge of it, and the usual eight grades are being taught. The Sisters reside in the old parochial residence, erected in 1872, for $2,000, during the pastorate of Rev. Jeremiah Quinlan. This house was improved by the Rev. Henry Boeckelmann, in 1902. The priest's house, a two-story brick house, was erected in 1899 by Father Boeckelmann, at a cost of $10,000. The church property has no debt on it, the balance of indebtedness having been paid off, on July 22, 1906.

St. Vincent's Parish has the following societies: The Knights of Columbus, ninety members; the Catholic Benevolent Legion; Catholic Lady Foresters; Archconfraternity of the Rosary, 118 members; Young Ladies' Sodality, fifty-two members; the Guardian Angels' Society. The number of souls of the parish is 550. Two boys of the parish have become priests and two girls Sisters.

The priests, who have had charge of Elkhart, either visiting it or residing there, were: Rev. August B. Oechtering, from 1868 till 1871; Rev. John H. Oechtering, assistant during page: 317[View Page 317] this time at Mishawaka, also visited Elkhart; Rev. Jeremiah Quinlan, from 1871 till 1875; Rev. Martin F. Noll, from 1875 until 1880; Rev. William Kroeger from 1880 till 1891; Rev. Henry A. Boeckelmann from December 1891 till October 4, 1906; Rev. Francis J. Jansen, since November 1, 1906. The assistant priests at Elkhart have been, Rev. John F. Noll, from June till December 1898; Rev. Charles F. Keyser, from October 11, 1902 till October 1903; Rev. F. X. Labonte from April 7, 1905 till October 30, 1906.

The cemetery of St. Vincent's Parish is located a mile and one-half from the church, and comprises five and seven-eighths acres of land.

The school, with an attendance of 142 pupils, is conducted by three Sisters of the Holy Cross, teaching the regular eight grades.



The first Catholic families came to Marion with the construction of, what is now, the Michigan division of the Big Four railroad, in 1855. At that time for a number of years the pastors of Peru, Wabash, Kokomo and Union City visited here. The list of pastors, from 1868, is the following: Rev. B. T. Borg, assistant at Peru, from 1868 till 1870; Rev. P. Frawley, first resident pastor, from 1875 till 1876; Rev. M. F. Kelly, from 1876 till 1882; Rev. James A. Twigg, from May 1882 till 1883; Rev. A. J. Strueder, from 1883 till September 1884; Rev. M. Joy, one month; Rev. John Grogan, from October 1884 till January 1894; Rev. W. J. Quinlan, from January 4, 1894 till April 14, 1906; Rev. P. J. Crawley, since April 14, 1906. Father Borg, in 1868, built the original portion of the old frame church, in which he said Mass for the first time, on the second Sunday of July, 1868. The first resident pastor was Rev. P. Frawley, who built the priest's house, which, in the summer and fall of 1897, was enlarged and refurnished, by Father Quinlan, at a cost of over $4,000.

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The discovery of natural gas much increased the Catholic population of Marion; and when Father Quinlan took charge of the parish, in 1894, he at once enlarged the old frame church, which was ready for occupancy on March 4th, of that year. However, it was apparent that the building of a larger and more commodious church was a crying necessity. Ground was broke, for the present St. Paul's Church, on September 30, 1895; the corner-stone of it was laid on May 7, 1896, and, on November 7, 1897, the new church was solemnly dedicated, by Bishop Rademacher, in the presence of a vast concourse of people.

St. Paul's Congregation has about 150 families, numbering 650 souls. The debt on the church property is $14,500. The societies of the parish have an aggregate membership of 219. Besides these, there are the Knights of Columbus, the Catholic Foresters, the C. L. B. A., the A. O. H., and the C. M. B. A.



Tradition has it, that in the year 1831, the often mentioned missionary, Father Badin, came to Monroeville, on a sick call, to attend a certain French prospector, located there temporarily. It is certain, however, that Father Benoit administered to the Catholic people here, about 1840, celebrating Mass in the homes of Jerome Jeffroy and others. Father Bessonies too called here, about that time. Up to 1868, Monroeville was a station attended by priests residing at the Cathedral, in Fort Wayne. The Catholics hereabout numbered some twenty families, being French, Irish and German, as to nationality.

From 1868 till 1884, Monroeville was a mission regularly visited in the order given, by Rev. E. P. Walters, Rev. J. H. Brammer, Rev. J. M. Graham, Rev. A. M. Meili, Rev. A. Heitmann, and Rev. T. Hibbelen. In the year 1884, when the place was being attended from Arcola by Rev. H. T. Wilken, page: 319[View Page 319] and Rev. B. Hartmann, Monroeville received its first resident pastor, in the person of Rev. John Grogan. Rev. John Hoss was resident pastor, from 1886 to 1887.

The five lots owned by the church were bought, partly by Father Walters in 1868, and by Father Hartmann in 1886. The cemetery, consisting of four acres adjacent to the town, was bought by Father Wilken, in 1877. The total cost of this real estate was about $1,500. When these purchases were made, Father Walters resided at Fort Wayne and Fathers Hartmann and Wilken at Arcola.

The first church, which was erected in 1868, was a small frame structure, and was destroyed by fire in 1887. The present church was built in 1888. The architecture is Gothic, the dimensions 32x92 feet and the spire 102 feet in height. It is a small, but beautiful church, and is a monument to the boundless zeal and untiring energy of the saintly Father Hartmann. The seating capacity is 300. In 1904, under the pastorate of the Rev. T. M. Conroy, a steam heating plant was provided, the church was being lighted by electricity, which, with a few other improvements, cost $2,300, and in 1907 three new altars with carpet for the sancturay were provided; all of which was paid for, immediately after their installation. The parish has no school, for obvious reasons, but the children are being taught their catechism four times a week, and church history once a week.

The pastoral residence was erected in 1882 by Father Hartmann, and was improved in 1899 by Father Paquet. Owing to the purchase of additional real estate, recently made, there is at present a debt of $1,760 on the church property. The parish has the St. Joseph's Benevolent Society, since 1888; among other good works, it buries the poor dead of the parish. The Rosary Society has thirty members. The St. Aloysius' Society, for the young men, and the Blessed Virgin's Sodality, for the young women. The Columbus Club, for young men, has twenty-two members.

In 1892 Father Hartmann was succeeded by Rev, F. Von Schwedler, whose successor was Rev. L. R. Paquet, in 1897. After him came Rev. F. J. Dandurand, from August 23, 1900 until July 1904. The present pastor, Rev. T. M. Conroy, has had charge since September 21, 1904.

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St. Joseph's Church is a branch of St. Vincent's Church. The first St. Joseph's Church was erected by Rev. Jacob Mayer, in 1869. It was a brick building, 80x40 feet, with a seating capacity of 600. At the time, the parish consisted of only fifty families. The cost of the church was only $4,300, because the parishoners did much of the work gratis. The dedication took place on February 2, 1870.

In August 1872, the Rev. Henry Koehne took charge of St. Joseph's Congregation. In May 1882, he had paid off a debt of $6,000, and had accummulated a fund of $2,000 for a new church. The corner-stone of the new church was laid in July 1885, in December the building was under roof, and, on Sunday, October 23, 1887, the church was dedicated by Bishop Dwenger, assisted by Bishop Rademacher, of Nashville. The new and present church is 165 feet long and 65 feet wide. The elevation of the spire is 161 feet, surmounted by a cross, 12 feet high. The style of architecture is Romanesque. Above the entrance is a gallery capable of seating 200 children, and immediately over this, is a smaller gallery for the organ and choir. The width of the center aisle is six feet, and of the two side aisles five feet. The furniture of the church is all black and white walnut, beautifully oiled. The church will seat 1,000 persons, leaving a vacant space for pews to accommodate 200 more. The fresco painting of the church is chaste, artistic and suggestive. The ten stained glass windows present scenes from the life of our Saviour, the Blessed Virign and the Saints. The total cost of the building amounts to $80,000.

During the absence of Father Koehne in Europe, in 1888, three large bells were placed in the tower, at a cost of $1,250. In 1894, the church was again frescoed, and the artist, Zukotinski, executed four handsome oil paintings; the Archangel Michael over the Main Altar and the Archangel Gabriel, the Holy Family and the death of St. Joseph over the Side Altars. These paintings cost $500 each.

New altars, in the byzantine style, were placed in 1894. They are in imitation of white marble, richly ornamented with page: 321[View Page 321] gold. The Main Altar has the statues of St. Joseph, St. Aloysius and St. Theresa; one Side Altar the statues of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and two angels, the other Side Altar the statues of Our Lady of the Sacred Heart, St. Cecilia and St. Barbara. The cost was $3,000. A little later, fine oil paintings of the fourteen stations of the Cross were procured, for $1,400. Christmas of 1900 was distinguished with a new imported crib, worth $400. All the furniture and furnishings, and all needed articles for the sanctuary, including sacred vessels and vestments, have been procured and are in every respect first class.

From the time Father Koehne took charge of the parish, the Cullen House was used as a school, from 1872 to 1892. The number of pupils increased to such an extent, that larger accommodations became a necessity. On the first day of April, 1891, the old church was torn down, and in its place a new school erected, and dedicated on January 17, 1892. This building is in every respect commendable. It is three-stories in height, with a basement. The first floor has two classrooms, with a capacity each of seventy-five, on the same floor is a room for society meetings. The second floor has four class-rooms and two music rooms. The third floor is a hall, a perfect model of its kind, with a seating capacity of 600. The dimensions of the stage are 26x20 feet. The school was conducted by lay-teachers from 1872 to 1877. In August of 1877, Father Koenhe secured the School Sisters of Notre Dame for his schools. At the present time eight Sisters have charge of 290 children. The old school building has been remodeled and serves now as the Sisters' dwelling.

Father Koehne, up to the time of his death, occupied the residence on the corner of Market and Second streets. In 1904 he purchased a residence adjacent to, and west of the church, for a priest's residence, at a cost of $9,000, from his own personal means, and donated the same to St. Joseph's Church. The debt on the church property is $2,555.

The following are the societies: The Rosary Society, since 1869, with 100 members; St. Aloysius Young Men's Society, since 1883, with ninety members; the Young Ladies' Sodality of the Immaculate Conception, since 1872, with 140 members; the Sacred Heart Sodality, since 1899, with 125 members; the St. Joseph's Benevolent Society, since 1872, page: 322[View Page 322] with 160 members. The number of families is 250, numbering about 1,150 souls. Two boys have become priests and eight girls Sisters.

The pastors of St. Joseph's were: Rev. Jacob Mayer, from 1869 to 1872; Rev. Bernard Wiedau, Rev. F. Von Schwedler, and Rev. A. M. Meili, had charge temporarily. Rev. Henry Koehne, from August 1872 to November 24, 1906; Rev. Anthony J. H. Kroeger, since January 1, 1907.

From 1903 to 1905, Fathers of the Most Precious Blood were assistants at St. Joseph's Church, but since May 1905 it was Rev. William Hoff, till July 13, 1907, when Rev. Henry Hoerstman was appointed.



Muncie, the county seat of Delaware county, is situated on the south bank of the White river, about fifty-three miles northeast of Indianapolis. It is opposite the site of the old Indian town which was north of the White river, deriving its name from a tribe of Indians, known as the Muncies, who were a division of the Delaware tribe. It was here the Shawnee Prophet, Tecumseh's brother, resided.

Missionaries, in the earliest days, occassionally visited the few Catholics scattered here and there. The first priest visiting Muncie was Rev. Daniel Maloney, who came from Indianapolis. The first Mass was celebrated at the house of Patrick Tuhey, on the site of the present public library. For nearly four years Father Maloney paid monthly visits, celebrating Mass alternately at the homes of Patrick Tuhey and Peter Mutch. Patrick Tuhey is no more, but Peter Mutch and his wife, both nearly ninety years of age, still occupy the old home of the early missionary days. Father Maloney had to make his journey from Indianapolis on horseback.

Rev. August Bessonies attended Muncie, from Indianapolis, in 1855 and 1856. Rev. Michael Clark came to Muncie, in 1857. He also attended the missions of Winchester, Anderson page: 323[View Page 323] and Union City. His efforts to build a church in Muncie were not successful. Missionary visits continued, for short periods of time, by Revs. Simon Siegrist, and Theodore Van der Poel, John McMahon, John Gueguen, Daniel Maloney and William Doyle. Rev. FitzMaurice took charge in the early sixties and ministered to the spiritual wants for three years. Revs. John Bleckmann and Frederick Von Schwedler both attended Muncie from Union City. The Rev. Lawrence Lamoor, of Union City, began the building of the church in 1869. The congregation at that time numbered seventy-five members, none of them rich, but what they lacked in wealth, they supplied in zeal and perseverance. Lots were bought on the corner of Charles and Hackley streets, upon which the church was built. It was a brick building, 35x60 feet in size. St. Lawrence, the deacon, was named the patron of the church. It was dedicated in 1873 by Bishop Dwenger. Rey. Joseph A. Marshall had charge of Muncie, from June to September 1873. Rev. John B. Crawley, of Anderson, succeeded Father Marshall from September 1873 till December 1874. He attended Muncie once a month, and paid off all but $250 of the indebtedness of the church.

The present pastor, the Rev. William George Schmidt, was appointed pastor of Muncie on January 28, 1875. At that time the congregation had about forty-five families. He erected a small frame residence, which served as a priest's house until 1899, when he built the present rectory, at a cost of about $7,000. The first pastoral residence was partially destroyed by fire, on November 1, 1880. Father Schmidt built a frame school-house in 1881, wherein he himself taught, from 1881 to 1882. He attended Hartford City in 1875, and Montpelier from 1875 to 1896. Sick calls to Hartford City, Montpelier, and the surrounding country, were made by such modes of travel as horseback, handcars, and other primitive conveniences.

The present church edifice, planned in the Gothic style of architecture and cruciform in shape, was built by Father Schmidt and dedicated by Bishop Rademacher, on the feast of the Nativity of our Lady, 1895. The altars and furniture are of oak. The cost of the church was $43,000. It has a seating capacity of 950. After the new church was built, the page: 324[View Page 324] old church was converted into two school-rooms, which, with the frame structure erected in 1881, served for the accommodation of the children until 1901, in the spring of which year Father Schmidt began the erection of the present school. The work progressed throughout the spring and summer of 1901, and in October of that year, two rooms were ready for occupancy. These rooms accommodated those children, who had formerly attended in the "Old Church" school-rooms, which latter Father Schmidt tore down, at this period. He rented, for the first four to six weeks of the fall term, two rooms in a neighboring building, formerly used as a blacksmith shop, and many of the children now attending school laughingly recall their school days in the "Blacksmith Shop." The other rooms of the new school were ready for their purpose by December, 1901. The building contains eight well lighted, thoroughly ventilated, and finely equipped school-rooms, each 27x27 feet. Two spacious halls separate the rooms on each of the two floors. A large hall occupies the third floor. The heating and other conveniences are of the modern type. The cost of the building is about $20,000. The indebtedness on the church property is $17,000.

The school was first taught by the pastor, later by a lay-teacher, then by the Sisters of St. Joseph, and since 1886 by the Sisters of St. Agnes, from Fond du Lac, Wisconsin. Eight Sisters are engaged in teaching the 403 children, who attend the school. The eight grades are followed by a modification of the ordinary high school and commercial college. The Sisters reside in a frame building near the school-house. Father Schmidt contemplates the erection of a more spacious residence for them, in the near future.

The parish has the St. Vincent de Paul's Aid Society, established in 1894; the A. O. H., in 1892; the Ladies' Auxiliary of the A. O. H., in 1898; the Catholic Benevolent Legion; the Ladies' Catholic Benevolent Association; and the Knights of Columbus. For the girls there is the St. Agnes' Sodality and the Children of Mary; for the boys, the Holy Name Sodality and the St. Aloysius' Society. The Sodality of the Blessed Virgin Mary is for single women; the Guardian Angel and Infant Jesus Societies are for the children. St. Lawrence's Congregation has 329 families, numbering 1,697 souls.

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The Rev. John Schmitz was the assistant from 1899 till 1900; later the Rev. L. R. Paquet and after him the Rev. Z. Huot.



In 1870, Rev. George A. Hamilton built St. Ann's Chapel on the corner of Wabash avenue and Smith street, in Lafayette, at a cost of $5,000. This chapel was a two-story, brick building arranged for church and school purposes, and services were held here, every Sunday, by one of the priests of St. Mary's Church. On the advice of Father Walters, St. Ann's was made an independent parish by Bishop Dwenger, in September 1884. Rev. John Dempsey was appointed its first pastor, who at once built a pastoral residence. He was removed to Valparaiso, August 24, 1888.

Father Dempsey's immediate successor, was the Rev. Patrick F. Roche. Father Roche, recognizing the necessity of a new church began the work on the present St. Ann's Church in May 1896. On September 12, 1897, Bishop Rademacher laid the corner-stone with elaborate ceremonies, and in the presence of at least 3,000 people. The church is a handsome structure, built of brick and stone, 143x53 feet. The cost of the building, including the furnishings, amounted to $20,000. The furniture of the church, altars, pews, railing, organ, the vestments and sacred vessels cost, in the aggregate, about $8,000. The seating capacity is 640, and 200 in the gallery, total of 840. The old church is being used for school purposes. The dimensions of the building are 145x44 feet. It is divided into three school-rooms and can accommodate 180 pupils. The eight grades are taught, and the Sisters of Providence have had charge, from the beginning; they reside in a rented house. At the present time, three Sisters have charge of 143 children. There is a debt of $5,100 on the church property.

St. Ann's has a Living Rosary Society, for married men and women, since 1892, seventy-four members; the St. Ann's page: 326[View Page 326] Cadets, for single men, since 1897, forty-three members; the Young Ladies' Sodality, since 1890, ninety-five members; the Children of Mary, since 1902, sixty-two members; the Holy Angels' Society, eighty members, and the Sacred Heart League, with forty-eight members. The C. B. L., the C. K. of A., the A. O. H., and the Ladies' Auxiliary A. O. H., have an aggregate membership of 207.

St. Ann's has had two resident pastors: Rev. John Dempsey, from September 1884 till August 1888; Rev. Patrick F. Roche, from August 24, 1888 till May 16, 1901. The present pastor, Rev. Michael F. Byrne, has had charge since May 16, 1901.

The Indiana State Soldiers' Home, near Lafayette, has in it a chapel for the accommodation of the Catholic inmates, since 1896. Rev. P. F. Roche was instrumental in securing these accommodations, consisting of one large room in the rear of one of the main buildings, at the Home; it is fully furnished with altar, vestments and other requisites, as well as pews. Services are held there, by the pastor of St. Ann's, on week days only, with an average attendance of about twenty-five.

Rev. John Blum was assistant at St. Ann's, from July till December 28, 1905. The number of souls in St. Ann's parish is 1,120, constituting 250 families. Four boys and eight girls have entered the religious state of life.



The few Catholic families, living at Lowell, were visited by the Rev. Francis X. Deimel, pastor of Crown Point. He celebrated Mass in the home of John Driscoll, at regular intervals. It was not long, however, when, upon a visit of Bishop Luers, a site was selected for a church and arrangements made for its erection. The Bishop himself gave a donation of $100. Under the direction of Father Deimel, and a building committee, a small structure of frame was built, at a cost of about $500, and was dedicated by Bishop Luers in 1870.

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In 1878, Lowell became a mission attached to Klaasville. The Rev. John H. Bathe, pastor of Klaasville, attending it until 1882. Father Bathe secured a site for a cemetery at a cost of $250. The Rev. Charles A. Ganzer succeeded Father Bathe, remaining till 1891, when he was transferred to Kentland. For a short time, the Rev. Adam Buchheit attended Lowell from Klaasville. From 1891 till 1898, Lowell was attended by the Fathers of the Most Precious Blood near Rensselaer. The Rev. F. X. Schalk, C. PP. S., built the present edifice at a cost of $5,000. The building was dedicated by Bishop Rademacher, in 1897.

In September 1898, Lowell received its first resident pastor in the person of Rev. Frederick Koenig, with Wheatfield and Kniman as missions. Father Koenig at once built the priest's house, costing about $2,500. In November, 1905, Father Koenig was transferred to Lottaville, and was succeeded by the Rev. Charles F. Keyser. Since June 8, 1907, Lowell is attended from St. Joseph's College, by Rev. Alphonse Mueller, C. PP. S. On the day of the dedication of the new church, the building was free from all indebtedness and the congregation today has no liabilities.

The congregation has 31 families, numbering 112 souls. The Rosary Society, for married women, has twenty-three members; the St. Aloysius' Society, for single men, has twelve, and the Sodality of the Blessed Virgin, for single women, has twenty members.



The earliest visits of a missionary, in these parts, go back to 1862. St. Anthony's was attended, as a station, by Rev. Joseph Stephan from Rensselaer, from 1863 to 1864. For a period of five or six years Mass was celebrated, four or five times a year, in the house of Anthony Dehner. The early Catholic settlers were Germans.

While residing in Kentland, Rev. A. Messmann had charge page: 328[View Page 328] of St. Anthony's, where, on April 24, 1869, he organized the nineteen families into a parish, began the building of a church and finished the same in 1870. It is the present church. The church grounds are composed of ten acres of land. In 1869, Anthony Dehner donated five acres for church and cemetery and, in 1876, Bernard Quante donated five acres for priest's house and pasture. The dimensions of the church are 54x60 feet. In 1894, Rev. J. Baker made extensive repairs, by lining the ceiling and replastering the church, at a cost of $250 and, in 1898 and 1899, Rev. F. J. Bilstein added a sacristy and had the church frescoed, at a cost of $2,023. $1,500 of this amount was secured by three funded Masses. The seating capacity of the church is 240.

The priest's house was built in 1876, by Rev. F. X. Ege. It was a one-and-a-half story house to which, in 1884, a kitchen and dining room were added by the Rev. F. J. Lambert. A barn was built by Rev. J. Hoss, in about 1880 or 1881. It was struck by lightning and burned. Another stable was built at once, this too was destroyed by fire in 1899. The third stable and barn combined were built by Father Bilstein, for $300. .The church property is free of debt. The number of souls is 157, or twenty-five families. In 1885, a large number of French Catholics began to come here, so that the parish increased to ninety families, but within ten years the French Catholics left the place. One girl of the parish has entered a religious community. The parish has the Rosary Society, since 1892, and the Sacred Heart Society, since 1901. They have charge of the altar and sanctuary.

The priests who have been the pastors of St. Anthony's were: Rev. Joseph Stephan, when a station; Rev. A. Messmann, of Kentland, from 1870 to 1876, when a mission. The following were the resident pastors: Rev. F. X. Ege from July 1876 to October 1878; Rev. John Hoss, from October 1878 till June 1884; Rev. F. J. Lambert, from June 1884 till May 1888; Rev. A. J. Strueder, from May 1888 till August 1891; Rev. Joachim Baker, from August 1891 till January 9, 1896; Rev. F. Von Schwedler, from January 9, 1896 till February 16, 1898; Rev. F. J. Bilstein, from February 16, 1898 till October 1, 1900; Rev. G. A. Zern, from October 1, 1900 till October 2, 1903; Rev. F. J. Koch, since October 2, 1903.

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Walkerton derived its name from a Mr. Walker, who constructed the Lake Erie railroad from Walkerton to Michigan City. Prior to that time it was known as East Troy, West Troy and West York. About 1856, the Rev. Paul Gillen and Rev. John Curley, Fathers of the Holy Cross, residing at Notre Dame, said Mass in an old log cabin on Kyram Devery's farm. In 1870, Rev. Timothy D. O'Sullivan, residing at Laporte, paid occasional visits to Walkerton. The number of souls at that time was about forty, mostly Irish. Father O'Sullivan built the church, a frame structure 45x22 feet, costing about $800. "The pews had no backs to them, and the window sills served for lamp stands." Most of the money was collected along the railroad line. Rev. M. E. Campion, also residing at Laporte, succeeded Father O'Sullivan. The church at that time was called St. Henry's Church. In October 1881, the Rev. H. F. Joseph Kroll, pastor at Chesterton, took charge of Walkerton. From September 1, 1895 to February 4, 1897 Rev. Dominic Shunk, C. PP. S., residing at Wanatah, was visiting pastor. Next came Rev. Edward Jakob, C. PP. S., till September 1, 1897; Rev. Raymund Vernimont, C. PP. S., till January 18, 1898, both residing at Wanatah. Rev. Adam M. Buchheit, residing at Wanatah, attended the place till September 10, 1899.

The first resident pastor was the Rev. Henry C. Kappel, from September 10, 1899 to July 18, 1901. He bought the house, adjacent to the church, for a pastoral residence. Father Kappel was succeeded by Rev. Peter Budnik, from July 18, 1901 to June 5, 1902. Since this latter date, the present pastor, Rev. Joseph Abel, has had charge.

The church grounds consist of two lots. In 1886, Father Kroll built a gallery in the church, and procured an organ; and in 1889 he built an addition of 25x45 feet to the church. Father Shunk, in 1895, erected a belfry and put in it a bell, and in 1896 gave the church stained glass windows. Father Abel, since his arrival, has made several improvements and page: 330[View Page 330] many repairs. The seating capacity of the church is about 150. The priest's house owes its present, neat appearance to Father Abel. The church property is out of debt. St. Patrick's parish has two societies: The Rosary Society, organized in 1899, and the Sacred Heart Society, in June 1902. The number of souls at the present time is eighty-one, or twenty-four families.

The pastor at Walkerton has charge also of the missions Hamlet and Bremen, and the station Knox.



St. Peter's church property, known as St. Peter's Square, is bounded on the north by St. Martin's street, on the east by Hanna street, on the south by Dewald street, and on the west by Warsaw street; it measures 150x450 feet. Three of the lots were purchased in 1871, one of the lots was donated by Father Wemhoff, and five lots were purchased about the same time; total cost $6,000. The first building erected was a two-story brick structure, 40x70 feet. The first floor served as school, accommodating comfortably 250 pupils, and the second, as church, with a seating capacity of 300. The total cost was about $10,000. Rev. John Wemhoff was the pastor at the time.

The present church was built during the pastorate of Rev. A. Messmann, in 1892 and 1893. Its dimensions are 190x80 feet and its cost was $65,000. It is a Gothic structure of pleasing design. The present pastor, Rev. Charles Thiele, is furnishing the church with a beautiful altar, Stations of the Cross and a pulpit. When completed the church with the furnishings will represent an outlay of $75,000. The debt on the church property is $22,000.

During the pastorate of Rev. Ferdinand Koerdt, in 1905, a new school building was planned, which, when completed, will be one of the most imposing and best equipped school-houses in Fort Wayne, and will have cost fully $60,000. One wing only of the new building is now standing at an expense of $18,000, furnishing accommodations for 200 children. The page: 331[View Page 331] present pastor, Father Thiele, has installed a central heating plant, to serve all the buildings on the premises, at a cost of $11,000.

Up to 1881 lay-teachers taught the children, but in that year the School Sisters of Notre Dame took change of the school. Eight Sisters are engaged in teaching the eight grades, and one in the higher branches. The school has an attendance of 446 pupils. The Sisters reside in a home, specially erected for them, in 1880 by Father Messmann, a commodious two-story brick structure, 30x65 feet, costing about $3,000. The school is supported by the St. Joseph's School Society, which was organized in the very beginning, and to which all heads of families belong. It may be mentioned that the members of this society are either active, or passive, or honorary members. The active members are the heads of families, who send children to school. They pay eight dollars initiation (in installments, if preferred) and seventy-five cents per month, no matter how many children they send. The passive members are heads of families, who have as yet no children old enough to attend school. They pay twenty-five cents per month, until their children go to school; the amount having been paid in by that time is accepted in payment of the initiation fee as part or whole payment of the same as the case may be. The honorary members are the heads of families who have no children to send to school; they pay twenty-five cents per month. Any single person may become an honorary member.

The first priest's house, built in 1872, was a frame building, 20x30 feet, with an addition of 8x12 feet. It was removed and is at present number 2007, on Hanna street. The present priest's house was formerly located where the church now stands. It is a frame building and was moved to its present location in 1892. It was twice enlarged, at considerable expense, and its value is about $3,000.

Besides the School Society, with 170 members, the parish also has the following: St. Martin's Benevolent Society, with eighty-eight members, organized in 1874, assists its members in time of sickness and death; St. Stephen's Society for young men, with eighty-five members; St. Agnes' Society for young women, with 145 members, and the Guardian Angel's Society, for children, with 125 members, have been in existence since page: 332[View Page 332] the organization of the parish. The Rosary Society is the oldest society, for married women. The Christian Mothers' Society has a membership of 312. These societies have been most helpful in contributing towards the church furnishings. To mention one item, they have contributed $5,000 for a new altar. Still other Societies are: The Catholic Knights of America, with fourteen members, the Catholic Benevolent Legion, seventeen members, the Catholic Benevolent League, eighty-nine members, the St. Vincent de Paul's Society, ninety-six members, the Association of the Holy Family, 177 members, the Poor Souls' Society, ninety-five members, the Association of the Holy Childhood, 379 members, the Sacred Heart League, 555 members. All these societies are in flourishing condition.

The parish has 384 families. The number of souls is 1,872. Four boys have become priests, and six girls Sisters.

The assistant priests at St. Peter's Church were: Rev. John Biedermann from October 1, 1901 to June 30, 1905; and Rev. Norbert Felden the present assistant.



Although it is known that missionaries visited these parts at an early date, still the name of Rev. Paul Gillen, C. S. C., is the first, of whom we have any record, in 1855. He resided at Michigan City. He celebrated Mass in the house of John Mellane, near Hobart. After Father Gillen came Rev. John Force, residing at Valparaiso, from 1858 to 1859. He said Mass in the same house. The Rev. Alexius Botti, residing at Valparaiso, came next. He celebrated Mass in John Ormand's home. It was in the year 1871, that Rev. M. O'Reilly began to visit Hobart from Valparaiso, his place of residence. Until 1873 he celebrated Mass in the home of John O'Doyle, when he bought some lots on which to build a church. These three lots had an old picture gallery on it, which was converted into a church; a building sixty years old, and in use today. $1,100 was paid for the property, at the time; of this amount Father O'Reilly paid over $700 and his successor, Rev. F. X. Baumgartner, the rest. The number of souls at this time was about page: 333[View Page 333] 100. The succession of priests attending Hobart, was the following: Rev. Paul Gillen, C. S. C., Michigan City, from 1855 to 1858; Rev. John Force, Valparaiso, from 1858 to 1859; Rev. Alexius Botti, Valparaiso, from 1859 to 1871, Rev. Michael O'Reilly, Valparaiso, from 1871 to October 18, 1875; Rev. F. X. Baumgartner, Turkey Creek, from 1875 to 1881; Rev. H. M. Roth, Turkey Creek, from 1881 to May, 1883; Rev. F. X. Baumgartner, Turkey Creek, from 1883 to February 1885; Rev. Joseph Flach, Turkey Creek, from February 1885 to July 1888; Rev. Charles V. Stetter, D. D., Turkey Creek, from July 1888 to February 27, 1903; Rev. Thomas F. Jansen, Hobart, February 27, 1903, who was and is the first resident pastor at Hobart, and who attended Turkey Creek, as a mission, until October, 1904.

The old church was much improved and beautified by Father Stetter, the interior is nicely frescoed with eight handsome paintings and has three beautiful altars. Father Jansen, during his pastorate, has also spent over $1,000 in repairing, improving and still further beautifying the church. Besides this, Father Jansen has bought the present priest's house, together with over an acre of land, for a consideration of $6,200. The purchase was made in August 1903, and an additional sum of $500 was spent on the house. The church property has a debt of $2,700. The number of souls is about 260, consisting of fifty-two families.

St. Bridget's Church has the St. Ann's Christian Mothers Sodality; the Young Ladies' Sodality, organized in 1906; and the Children of Mary. A Society for married and single men is now in process of organization.

The debt on the church property, at the present time, is $2,650. Lake Station is a small mission attended by the pastor of Hobart.



Barrydale, formerly known as the "Ditch," was so termed on account of a big open ditch a mile or so from the church, which served to drain the low, swampy country. In the page: 334[View Page 334] autumn of 1901, it was named Barrydale. St. Bridget's Church was attended by priests from Lafayette; Rev. F. Joseph Stephan, about the year 1860, celebrated Mass in private houses from time to time. The same can be said of Rev. E. B. Kilroy in 1862, and of Rev. C. J. O'Callaghan, in 1864. In the year 1870, the Rev. John R. Dinnen, residing at Oxford, began to pay St. Bridget's regular visits. At this time the Catholic population did not exceed a dozen families.

The first little frame church was built, in 1873, at a cost of $800, by Rev. Meinrad McCarthy, O. S. B. This building still stands and is now used for a hall. Father Dinnen, of Oxford, had charge of the mission until 1875, and Rev. Thomas M. Cahill, until 1878. Father Cahill was succeeded by the Rev. John Dempsey, who for a short time lived in a farm house near by, then moved to Fowler and attended the mission from there, till 1882, when again it was visited from Oxford, by the Rev. P J. Crosson, till 1894. The number of families had now increased to about thirty-five. The church grounds comprise about two acres. One acre was secured for $50 in 1873 by the Benedictine Father McCarthy; and the rest, by the present pastor, also for a consideration of $50, being less than half its actual value. The parish never had a cemetery of its own, its dead being buried in Lafayette or Oxford. Nor has there been ever a Catholic school in the place, owing to the long distance the children would have to come. The present church was built, in 1896, by the Rev. W. Conrad Miller residing at Oxford, at a cost of about $7,000. It is a handsome and substantial brick structure with a seating capacity of about 325. The congregation has forty-three families, numbering 245 souls.

The present and only priest's house, the place has had, was built in the summer of 1901 by the Rev. Charles E. McCabe, the first resident pastor, at an outlay of about $3,500. It is a fine frame structure of ten rooms, with all modern conveniences, and complete in every detail. The church property has a debt of $2,600.

The Societies, organized in the summer of 1901, were: The Rosary Society for married men and women, with thirty members; the Sodality of the Children of Mary for young women and girls, with eighteen members, and the Sodality of the Holy Name for young men and boys, with twenty members. page: 335[View Page 335] Aside from the spiritual purposes, for which these organizations were called into existence, the same are also helpful in a material way, by furnishing the church and sanctuary with many necessary and useful articles.

The present pastor, the Rev. Michael J. Ford, was appointed on July 22, 1906. He has secured additional ground, has beautified the place, and has made several necessary improvements.

The pastor at Barrydale visits the mission, at Otterbein, every Sunday and Holyday, from Easter to Christmas, and every other Sunday from Christmas to Easter.



The Rev. John H. Oechtering was the first priest to visit Otis, or Salem Crossing, as it was then known, and the neighboring country. The Catholic population, in the year 1870, consisted of about forty-five Polish and two or three German families. Father Oechtering, who was the resident pastor at Laporte for ten years, built the first church at Otis in 1873 and secured the services of the Rev. Francis X. Szulak, S. J., of Chicago several times a year to give the Polish families an opportunity of receiving the sacraments. Shortly after, the Rev. Peter Koncz began to reside at Otis, and became its first resident pastor, making his home with private families. His successor was Rev. Ludwig Machdzicki, who built the first priest's house and remained till 1881. In August, 1881, the Rev. Urban Raszkiewicz was appointed pastor at Otis, where he continues to live and labor at the present time, the venerable pastor of St. Mary's Church, in the eighty-fourth year of his age.

The church property contains five acres of land, part of which is used for cemetery purposes. The present pastor has made additions to, and improvements on both the church and the priest's residence. The church is neatly furnished, cruciform, frame building, and can seat 400 people. It has a chime of three bells, in a belfry beside the church. The school was page: 336[View Page 336] built by Father Machdzicki, in 1880; it is a two-story frame building with basement, and has two class-rooms, and private rooms for the Sisters and boarders; it cost $2,000. The average attendance at school is seventy pupils. Two Felician Sisters, from the Mother-house at Detroit, Michigan, teach English and Polish branches. The priest's house with additions and improvements has cost about $3,000. There is no debt on the church property.

The parish has three Societies, two are sodalities and one is beneficiary. St. Mary's Congregation has given the church two priests and four Sisters. Otis has 110 families, comprising 500 souls. Unable to attend to his pastoral duties, on account of old age, Father Raszkiewicz received Rev. P. A. Budnik for his assistant, on June 8, 1907.



Rev. August Young visited Auburn, for the first time, on August 5, 1872, finding eight Catholic families in that place. For two years he had services in the house of E. Ashley, on West Seventh street. The foundation for the present church was laid on June 1, 1874, on the corner of Fourth and Railroad streets, and the church was dedicated by Bishop Dwenger on October 18th, of the same year. The building cost $3,000, and the total amount was paid on the day after the dedication. The present priest's residence adjoining the church, was bought for $1,900, on April 15, 1874. The congregation at that time numbered 300 souls, and had no debt on the church property. By order of the Bishop, Father Young changed his place of residence from Auburn to Garrett, on November 10, 1886, but continued to visit Auburn from Garrett, until November 1, 1891.

The resident pastors succeeding Father Young at Auburn were the following: Rev. Rudolph Denk, eight months; Rev. Francis P. Faust, from June 1892 till November 1895; Rev. Edward J. Boccard, from November 1895 till September 1898; Rev. Frederick J. Dandurand, from September 1898 to July 1900; Rev. John M. Schmitz, since July 13, 1900.

page: 337[View Page 337]

On August 30, 1881, four and a half acres of ground, known as Mader's addition to the town of Auburn, were bought for $543.54, and have since been St. Mary's Cemetery, serving Auburn, Garrett, and missions for burial purposes, up to 1897. Since his accession, the present pastor, Father Schmitz, has done much toward improving the church property. The Rosary Society for married women, with twenty-four members, a Sodality for single women, with twenty-three members, proved beneficial to the parish in many respects. At present, Auburn has forty Catholic families, numbering 161 souls. The debt on the church property is $160.



The pastors of St. Michael's Church were: Rev. Henry Meissner, Crown Point, from 1874 till September 1875; Rev. Godfrey Kueng, from 1875 till October 1876; a vacancy, from October 1876 till February 1877; Rev. John Henry Bathe, from February 16, till August 18, 1877; Rev. F. X. Deimel, from August 1877 till May 28, 1881; during Father Deimel's illness, Rev. Eustachius Vollmer, O. F. M., and Rev. Charles Rosenbauer, C. SS. R., attended the parish; Rev. William Berg, since May 28, 1881.

Schererville exists since 1866. All the old settlers of these regions were Catholic, and according to convenience attended the churches at St. John, Turkey Creek, Crown Point or Dyer. In the year 1874, Bishop Dwenger approved the project of building a church at Schererville, and placed the undertaking under the supervision of Rev. Henry Meissner, pastor at Crown Point. Four and a quarter acres of land, for church and cemetery purposes, were donated by Nicholas Scherer, after whom the town is named. The church was a frame structure 45x95 feet, with a tower 100 feet. It was dedicated by Bishop Dwenger at the end of September 1874, and placed under the patronage of St. Michael, the Archangel. The church cost $5,000. The congregation was anxious to have a resident priest, and, with this end in view, they built a priest's house at a cost of about $1,800, in 1875.

page: 338[View Page 338]

Rev. Godfrey Kueng was the first resident pastor; he was a good priest, but, having no taste for financial matters, he resigned in October 1876, and returned to his native country in Tyrol. Father Bathe provided some vestments, and Father Deimel procured two. bells, stations of the Cross and both these pastors reduced the debt. Father Deimel's health was not good. He spent about two years in the Alexian Brothers' Hospital, at St. Louis. When Father Berg took charge he found a debt of $2,300. He made many improvements and repairs on the church and house, and when, in the summer of 1889, all the church debt had been paid, he was given a three months' vacation to visit his native country; during which time his brother, Rev. John B. Berg had charge of the parish.

The cemetery is adjacent to the church, on the west side, and was blessed by Bishop Rademacher, on September 27, 1895. In the year 1893, the church was frescoed, and repaired at a cost of $1,200. The Main Altar and the two Side Altars and their statuary were provided gradually, costing probably $1,300. The church received ten 'stained glass windows in 1889, a new roof in 1890, a hot air furnace underneath the church and in 1897, a pipe organ. The church is supplied with vestments, sacred utensils and everything necessary in the line of furniture.

Father Berg secured the services of the Sisters of St. Francis, of Joliet, in 1886, to teach the public school. They had lived in a rented house for two years, when a separate residence was built for them, in 1888. The public school arrangement proved unsatisfactory, for many reasons. In 1893, the old public school building was sold, and 20x24 feet of it was moved to the church for school purposes, and, in the year 1900, an addition was made to it, affording two roomy apartments for school purposes. The building was blessed on September 15, 1900, and on the day after the school opened with an attendance of 42 pupils. The school building measures 24x50 feet, and cost $1,200.

St. Michael's has these Societies; St. Mary's Altar Society, over twenty-five years old, has done much for the sanctuary. St. Michael's Society for men. The Catholic Order of Foresters. The Columbian League of Indiana. The Young Ladies' Sodality of the Blessed Virgin. Ten young ladies of page: 339[View Page 339] the parish have entered religious communities. In 1888 the Apostleship of Prayer was canonically established and has now 150 members. The aggregate membership of these societies is 500. The school is attended by eighty-five children, taught by two Sisters. There is no debt on the church property.



Tipton changed its name from Kingston to Canton and then to Tipton. The town was laid out in 1844, and in those days Catholics in Tipton and vicinity were few and far between. The first priest, as far as can be ascertained, who said Mass in Tipton county, was Rev. Simon Siegrist, pastor of St. Mary's Church, at Indianapolis, who, on occasion of a sick call to Tipton, said Mass in the home of John Murphy. In 1856, Rev. D. Maloney came occasionally and said Mass alternately at the homes of John Murphy at Tipton, and of James Sheil at Shieldsville (now Atlanta), five miles south of Tipton. Next came Rev. B. J. Force, stationed at Peru. After him, Rev. Bernard Kroeger from Peru, who having assistants from 1864 to 1871 attended Tipton, at regular intervals. These assistants were: Rev. C. Mougin 1864, Rev. Lawrence Lamoor 1865, Rev. Michael Hanley 1867, Rev. B. T. Borg 1869, Rev. P. Frawley 1870, and Rev. J. H. O'Brien in 1871. Rev. John Grogan attended Tipton as a station, from Kokomo.

Rev. Francis Lordemann, pastor at Kokomo, attending Tipton built the first church there in 1874, a small frame structure 30x40 feet, costing $1,200. At that time the congregation at Tipton consisted of fifteen families. The church grounds consist of seven lots; three of these, on which the church and priest's house stand, were secured by Father B. Kroeger in 1866; the four lots constituting the school grounds, were secured by Rev. F. G. Lentz, while pastor at Tipton. The Sisters of St. Joseph erected their convent on four lots, adjoining the school property.

The Rev. F. G. Lentz became the first resident pastor of St. John's Church, at Tipton, in July 1876. In 1881 he built page: 340[View Page 340] an addition 30x30 feet to the church. The church was destroyed by fire, on the evening of December 14, 1885, caused by a defective flue. Until the completion of the new church divine services were held, first in one of the school-rooms, and later, when the school building had been completed, in the hall upstairs. The corner-stone for the new church was laid, on the site of the old, by Bishop Dwenger, June 16, 1889. Father Lentz remained long enough to see the church under roof, when he was succeeded by Rev. Anthony J. Kroeger, on June 5, 1890. Father Kroeger completed the church, and it was dedicated on August 30, 1891. Owing to the sickness of Bishop Dwenger, Very Rev. J. H. Brammer, V. G., officiated. The church is built in Gothic style, of brick and stone, has two towers, one 165 and the other 80 feet high. The dimensions are 130x60 feet, with a frontage of 85 feet. A life-size statue of St. John the Baptist is seen over the center entrance door. The church has three double entrance doors. In 1895, massive pews of quartered oak were placed, at a cost of $1,500. In 1898, the towers were completed and the brick work was tuck-pointed, at a cost of $3,000. In 1900, excavation for basement was made and the steam heating plant installed, for $3,000. In 1901, the church received electric light, for $600. In the same year three altars were placed; the main altar costing $1,000 was donated by Francis Mattingly, one of the side altars costing $500 was presented by James Sheil. In 1903, a set of stations of the Cross (statuary) was added, the gift of F. J. Froelich, having cost $800. In the same year two large transept windows 30x16 feet, one representing the Nativity of our Lord and the Adoration by the Magi, the other His Ascension, were placed at a cost of $1,700. In 1904, the church was refrescoed, a work of art throughout; the side walls are done in plain olive green, the ceiling divided into fields contains the twelve Apostles life-size, and over the transept windows are seen the four Evangelists. The sanctuary especially is beautifully done. The cost of this work was $2,000. In 1906, a new pipe organ was installed, at a cost of $3,000.

The school-house, erected by Father Lentz in 1885, was a two-story brick and stone building, 65x50 feet, with two school-rooms on the first floor, and the second floor the hall for society meetings, school entertainments, provided with stage, etc. page: 341[View Page 341] The cost was about $5,000. From 1885 to 1888, the school was taught by lay-teachers, after which the Sisters of St. Joseph took charge. The Sisters resided in a cottage, on the southeast corner of the school property, until the summer of 1891, when they moved into their new convent, adjoining the school property opposite the church. The usual grades are taught, including high school. The number of pupils is 133.

The first priest's house was built, in 1876, by Father Lentz. It was a story-and-a-half brick house, with eight small rooms. In 1897, a new priest's house, a two-story brick and stone building was erected by Father Kroeger. It is a house of twelve, well arranged, commodious rooms, with a basement of five rooms. The building cost only $7,000. The little frame house, used for a time by the Sisters, is still there, and answers the purpose of an infirmary, when needed.

The Catholic cemetery consists of two acres, adjoining the non-Catholic cemetery, southwest of the city limits. It was bought by Father Lentz, in 1879 for $150. The church property is without debt. St. John's Parish has the Emerald Benevolent Association, organized in 1885, by Father Lentz. This society merged into the present St. John's Benevolent Association, in 1890, and has a membership of fifty. The Catholic Benevolent Legion of Indiana, since 1900, with thirty-five members. The Young Men's Sodality, since 1890, with sixty members. The Rosary Confraternity, since 1895, with eighty-five members. The Young Ladies' Sodality, since 1877, with sixty-five members. The Holy Angels' Society, since 1906, with nineteen members. The women's societies look after the needs of the sanctuary. The number of souls is 675, or 142 families, and three girls of the parish have entered the convent. The pastorate of Father Kroeger continued until January 1, 1907, when he was succeeded by the Rev. Anthony Henneberger.



The town of Fowler was platted October 27, 1872, and was named after its founder. About twelve Irish Catholic families settled in the town. In the fall of 1874, Rev. John page: 342[View Page 342] R. Dinnen, then pastor of Oxford, visited Fowler and made preparations for the building of a church. Moses Fowler donated four lots, or one-half block, and Father Dinnen bought the other half for $100, and donated it. In the spring of 1875, a frame church was built, 22x40 feet, the furnishing of which consisted of a plain, little, home-made altar, three dozen second-hand pews, a set of vestments, linens and a small chalice. Bishop Dwenger dedicated the church, under the invocation of St. John, the Evangelist. Succeeding Father Dinnen in October 1875, Rev. Meinrad McCarthy, O. S. B., had charge of Oxford and Fowler until October 6, 1877. In September 1875, Bishop Dwenger bought 200 acres of land a half mile south of Fowler, on which to erect a Catholic College. The conveyance was made upon condition, that the deed would be void if the grantee would fail to erect a college building, worth a specified sum, within one year. Bishop Dwenger left the matter in the hands of Father McCarthy, who failed to interest the Abbey of St. Meinrad in the undertaking, and the whole project fell through.

Rev. John Lang pastor at Oxford, attended to Fowler, from October 1877 until April 19, 1878. After him Rev. John Dempsey, from April 19, 1878 to January 1, 1882. He had charge also of St. Bridget's, as a mission. The congregation, at this time, numbered about twenty-five families. He built a priest's house, from his own means, which he occupied during his stay in Fowler. He fenced the entire church property. After him, Rev. P. J. Crosson was pastor of Fowler and the mission St. Bridget's, from January 1, 1882 to June 15th of the same year. He was succeeded by Rev. C. J. Maujay, from June 15, 1882 till May 1889. The mission, St. Bridget's, was now attended from Oxford and Earl Park, a mission, attached to Fowler. In 1887, however, Earl Park received a resident pastor, both places having now about forty families each. Father Maujay made a number of improvements; he purchased a new reed organ and organized a choir, provided a fine picture of the patron of the church, a set of new stations, ostensorium, cope, etc. Up to this time, he lived in a rented house; but in September, 1882, he bought a little frame house of three rooms and moved it on the church lots. This dwelling, 20x26 feet, was enlarged by an addition of 12x12 feet. The ceiling was page: 343[View Page 343] eight feet high. This work cost $500. A barn was built, 20x24 feet, in 1883. In 1884, the number of families having increased to fifty, an addition of 20 feet was made to the church. In the same year he bought a bell, weighing 1,385 pounds. In May, 1889, Father Maujay left Fowler to visit his aged parents in France, once more. For one month the parish was visited, on Sundays, by Rev. Michael Byrne, assistant at the Cathedral of Fort Wayne. Rev. A. Henneberger, newly ordained, was appointed pastor at Fowler and took charge June 29, 1889. At this time the parish numbered twenty-eight Irish, twenty Canadian and twelve German families. The new pastor built a small sacristy to the rear of the church. He organized St. Ann's Society, for the married women, and the Sodality of the Blessed Virgin, for the single women, in 1889. In 1891, a frame building, 26x32 feet, was erected for $800, on the first floor of which a school was opened in September of that year, with an attendance of sixty-five children; and the second floor became the Sisters' residence. The Sisters of St. Francis have charge of the school. In 1892 an addition was made to this building, of 18x20 feet for $400. In the fall of 1894, it was resolved to build a new church, to cost about $10,000, and in May of 1895, the corner-stone was laid by Bishop Rademacher and on Ascension Day, 1896, the church was dedicated, in honor of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. The church is built in the Gothic style of architecture, 46x112 feet. The steeple measures 125 feet, the interior elevation of the church is 38 feet, with a seating capacity of 400. The total cost, including furniture, was $15,000. The old school-house was now remodeled and made a priest's house, for $556.80, and the old church was changed into a two-room school-house, and the old priest's house, some what enlarged, was added to the school for a Sisters' residence, costing $491.

In August, 1898, Father Henneberger was transferred to Attica and Rev. H. A. Hellhake took charge of Fowler, remaining until August 12, 1900. The new pastor improved the church property in several respects. Father Henneherger was made pastor of Fowler, a second time, from August 12, 1900 to January 1, 1907. Cement walks were put down in 1902. In the same year a pipe organ was bought for $1,200. In 1903, twelve parishoners donated a set of stations of the Cross, page: 344[View Page 344] at an expense of $700. In 1904, he erected a one-story building, 40x60 feet, for $1,500 to be used for school purposes, since the old building had become wholly unfit for use. The eight grades are being taught by three Sisters, and the attendance is ninety-three. Four girls of the parish have become Sisters of St. Francis.

The dead of the Sacred Heart Parish were buried in a cemetery, consisting of two acres of ground, but owing to a change of roadways, this cemetery was no longer desirable, and five acres were bought, situated along a public road, in 1895. It has a strong, iron fence and in the center a Crucifixion group, life size.

The Societies here, are: The League of the Sacred Heart, 150 members; St. Ann's Society, for married women, eighty-four members; the Sodality of the Blessed Virgin, for single Women, thirty-five members; the Guardian Angel Society, 140 members; the Confraternity of the Precious Blood, for the relief of the Souls in Purgatory, 100 members; the Catholic Order of Foresters, St., Anthony's Court, since 1894, fifty members.

The present pastor Rev. Michael P. Louen took charge of the Sacred Heart Church at Fowler, on January 1, 1907. The parish has 131 families, numbering 670 souls. The amount of debt on the church property is $4,100.



St. Bridget's Congregation owns a whole square of ground in Logansport. Bishop Dwenger bought it, July 11, 1873, from Judge Dykmann, for the sum of $5,000. Prior to that time the forty-five families, or 125 souls, living in that part of the city, attended one or other of the existing parishes. Rev. Bernard Kroeger was the first pastor, who in 1875 erected a two-story structure, which has since served the purposes both of church and school. It cost about $8,800. The school was opened in 1875, and can accommodate about 120 children. About $350 was spent in furnishing the school. Sisters of St. Joseph, whose Mother-house is in Tipton, Indiana, teach page: 345[View Page 345] the eight grades, and they live in rooms annexed to the school. The priest's house was erected in 1893, by Father Kroeger, at an expense of $5,272; improvements were made on it from time to time.

A hall for entertainments, socials and society meetings was built in 1890, at a cost of $2,500. The church property is not only free from debt, but has over $3,000 in the treasury. St. Bridget's has 113 families, numbering 610 souls. Two Sisters of St. Joseph, conducting the school, have 103 children in their charge. Four girls of the parish have become members of religious communities.

The Rosary Society, for married people, organized in 1875, has seventy-four members; the Sodality of the Blessed Virgin, for single men, has twenty-six members, and the same, for single women, has forty-nine members; the Children of Mary, thirty-five members; St. Anthony's League, since 1901, has 103 members; and the League of the Sacred Heart, since 1890, has a membership of twenty-seven.

The following priests have been assistants at St. Bridget's Church: Rev. John F. Noll, from December 1898 to February 1899; Rev. Henry C. Kappel, from February 1899 to June 1899; Rev. Michael J. Ford, from 1900 to 1902; Rev. James F. Connelly, from 1902 to 1905; Rev. John F. Kohl, since June 30, 1905.



The first priest to visit Remington was the Rev. Joseph Stephan, who came here from about 1860 to 1870. In 1870, Rev. Anthony Messmann, residing at Kentland, visited Remington regularly, celebrating Mass in the house of Timothy O'Connor, in the western part of town. At the same time Rev. August Young, residing at Rensselaer, said Mass from time to time in the home of John Eck, some eight miles northwest of here. At this time the number of families was about twenty-five. This state of things continued until 1875, when a frame church, 70x25 feet, serving the purposes of a school at the present time, was erected under the superintendence of page: 346[View Page 346] Father Messmann. The church grounds were bought at different times, three lots in 1875, two in 1881, and one and a half in 1903. From 1876 till 1883, the Franciscan Fathers attended Remington, as a mission. Rev. John Wellinghoff, O. F. M., from 1876 visited every two weeks. From 1879, Rev. Guido Stallo, O. F. M., and from 1881, Rev. John B. Schroeder, O. F. M. During his pastorate the sanctuary and sacristies were added to the frame church. At this time the congregation numbered about forty families.

In 1883 the Sacred Heart Church at Remington received its first resident pastor in the person of Rev. J. H. Werdein. He erected a parochial residence of seven rooms at a cost of about $700. Rev. John B. Berg broke ground for the present church in 1899, and after two years the beautiful church was dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, on July 22, 1901. The old frame church was moved across the street and converted into a school, at an expense of $1,500. The school was opened in September 1903, in charge of two Franciscan Sisters of Lafayette, teaching fifty-four children. The church property has a debt of $3,500.

The Sacred Heart Church has the Married Ladies' Sodality, the Young Ladies' Sodality, the St. Aloysius' Society, the Children of Mary; as well as the Catholic Order of Foresters and the St. Joseph's Society. The total number of members is 180. The parish has ninety-six families, or 450 souls.

The following is a list of the pastors, from 1883 to 1907: Rev. J. H. Werdein, from 1883 till 1886; Rev. Henry A. Hellhake, from May 1886 till August 1893; Rev. M. Kelly, from August till October 1893; Rev. J. B. Berg, from October 16, 1893 till July 4, 1905; Rev. George H. Hortsmann, since July 4, 1905.



About four families bought farms and settled in the wild prairie of the present Dunnington and surroundings, in 1870. They attended Mass, during the summer season, at Kentland, a distance of about seventeen miles. On July 7, 1874, the page: 347[View Page 347] Rev. John R. Dinnen, then pastor of Oxford, came out to the prairie, for the first time, and organized the new congregation, calling it St. Michael's. He secured two lots at Talbott and put in a foundation for a new church, to be a frame building, 30x40 feet. The congregation furnishing the stone and doing the hauling, the foundation cost $100. The foundation finished, the people objected to the building of the church at Talbott, because it was not centrally located. In the fall of 1875, Rev. Meinrad M. McCarthy, O. S. B., succeeded Father Dinnen at Oxford and visited Dunnington twice a month, celebrating Mass in a school-house. The record shows that he was paid $15 for each visit. By this time the congregation had increased to fifteen families, Irish, German and French. On August 12, 1876, Father McCarthy bought the one acre of land on which the church and house now stand, and opposite to it, he bought two acres for cemetery, at $40 per acre. A month later he let the contract for a frame church, 30x40 feet, for $850 and called it St. Columbkill's Church. The first services were held in the new church on Christmas-day, 1876, and Father McCarthy continued to visit St. Columbkill's twice a month,; until the fall of 1877, when he was succeeded by Rev. J. F. Lang.

In 1881, Father Lang built an addition of 24x30 feet to the church and called it Holy Trinity Church. Hoffman's Directory of the next year called the place Langton. The number of families, at this time, was thirty-six. The pastorate of Father Lang terminated on April 30, 1882. Rev. John Grogan was the first resident pastor of the congregation, from June 25, 1882 till the summer of 1884. He built a pastoral residence, a one-and-a-half story frame structure, at a cost of $900. Father Grogan was succeeded by Rev. A. J. Strueder, who remained from the summer of 1884 till May 15, 1888. On May 15, 1888, Rev. F. J. Lambert, the present pastor, took charge of the congregation. The number of families had now increased to seventy, owning three acres of ground, on one of which stood the church and house, and the other two acres were used for cemetery. In 1892, Father Lambert bought the corner lot on to which he moved the old church. Adjoining the church property, a quarter acre was donated for a new church. This new church, a substantial frame building of page: 348[View Page 348] 125x52 feet, was begun in July 1892 and was ready for occupancy on July 1st, of the following year. The cost of this church was $9,000. The architecture of it is Gothic. It was frescoed for $1,000. The tower is 133 feet high and has a chime of three bells. The furniture is all antique oak, costing $2,500. In 1905 the hot air furnaces were discarded, and replaced by a steam heating plant, at a cost of $1,165. A light plant was installed this spring, for the church and house, costing $300. The seating capacity of the church is about 600. Father Lambert changed the name to St. Mary's Church, the feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin being the patron feast.

In the summer of 1893, a residence was built for the Sisters, opposite the church, being a two-story frame building, costing $1,500. The old church was remodeled into a school-house, with two commodious school-rooms and a large chapel, in which Mass is celebrated on week days during the winter season. In September, 1893, three Sisters of St. Francis opened the school with an attendance of eighty pupils, teaching the eight regular grades. The expense of the school is paid from the revenues of the church. The priest's house was remodeled in the fall of 1899 and a brick veneered building was added to it, at a cost of $4,950. It is a two-story building with basement and attic; it is heated by hot water, is lighted by acetylene gas and has all modern improvements. The entire church property has a debt of $2,890.

St. Mary's has: The Catholic Order of Foresters, with a membership of sixty-four; St. Mary's Altar Society, with sixty members; St. Joseph's Society, with twenty-five members; the Purgatorian Society, with 150 members. The number of souls is 640, consisting of 117 families. The parochial school has an attendance of seventy-three children and is conducted by two Sisters of St. Francis, of Lafayette. Two of St. Mary's boys have become priests and five girls, Sisters.



A small frame church, 24x26 feet, was built at Garrett and was opened for divine service, on June 29, 1876. The page: 349[View Page 349] congregation increasing rapidly, a cruciform addition of 110x50 feet was made to the church, in 1886. This addition, beautifully painted on the interior, with three altars and pulpit, stained glass windows and a bell cost $5,000. The seating capacity of the church was 300. A two-story pastoral residence, at a cost of $1,500, was provided and the first resident pastor, Rev. August Young, took possession of it, on November 10, 1886. In 1893, another addition had to be built to the church, increasing the seating capacity to 500, costing $3,300. This, the SS. Peter and Paul's Church, was dedicated by Bishop Rademacher, on September 16, 1893.

The present school-house, situated a hundred feet south of the church on Peter street, was begun in 1888, by erecting the main building, 54x32 feet, and one wing 18x30 feet. This portion contains four school-rooms. At that time, 180 pupils were enrolled and the school was taught by five Sisters of the Precious Blood. In 1904, the school had become inadequate for the accommodation of the children to such a degree, that twenty-four children could not be admitted for want of room. Accordingly, in 1905, the school was enlarged by completing it, after the original plan, giving four additional school-rooms. The building presents a beautiful appearance, built of brick, trimmed with Bedford stone, with an elevation of two-stories and basement. In all its appointments it is the most completely equipped school-house, in Dekalb county. At the present time, 226 pupils are in attendance. The usual eight grades are taught and the four grades of high school. Since 1894 a goodly number of pupils have graduated annually. The school can accommodate 400 children. It is a free school all expenses being paid by the School Society. Seven Sisters of the Precious Blood conduct the school.

The congregation has 147 families, numbering 583 souls. The Sisters' residence was built in 1890 for $2,000.

On the 10th day of January 1897, seven and a half acres of land were purchased just outside of the city limits, for $800. This plot of ground was laid out for cemetery, has 750 lots, beautiful drives and walks; and the total amount spent on it is about $3,000. The amount of debt on the church property is $2,550.

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The first priest, known to have visited Portland, was Rev. Joseph Dwenger, C. PP. S., later Bishop of Fort Wayne, who celebrated Mass and preached in the Court House, at stated intervals. It was visited, as a station in 1873, by Rev. Paul Reuter, C. PP. S., from St. Mary's Home, near New Corydon. He came on horseback and celebrated Mass once a month on week days, at the home of F. V. Gigandet, about two and one-half miles northwest of Portland. The first Catholics of this neighborhood were mostly Irish.

Father Reuter called a meeting of all the Catholics of Portland, consisting of about seven families, on April 3, 1875, at which it was determined to build a church. Everybody, Catholic and non-Catholic, in Portland and in the neighborhood of it contributed generously, and in a short time $600 were secured. A lot was bought on East Walnut street for $25. From 1876 till 1888 services were conducted, in the church at Portland, on two Sundays of every month by the Sanguinist Fathers from Fort Recovery, Ohio, and from St. Mary's Home, near New Corydon, Indiana. The church was built, in 1876, by the Rev. George Fleisch, C. PP. S., a frame structure, 28x40 feet, costing $1,185. Two additional lots were bought, in 1888, by Rev. Joachim Baker, at a cost of $1,200, on one of which stood a small cottage, which is used as the priest's residence. The Rev. L. A. Eberle, in 1906, remodeled the church and built an addition of 28x32 feet to the nave of the church, adding also a new sacristy 15x15 feet, at a cost of $1,900. The seating capacity of the church is about 200. The priest's house was remodeled and a kitchen, bath room and pantry added in 1903 by Father Paquet.

The societies are: The Living Rosary Society since 1905 with thirty-two members; the Children of Mary, made up of boys and girls who have made their first communion, with twenty members. The number of souls is 180, consisting of forty families.

Beginning with Rev. Joseph Dwenger, C. PP. S., in the early 70s up to July 1888, Portland was attended by Fathers page: 351[View Page 351] of the Most Precious Blood: Rev. Paul Reuter, C. PP. S.; Rev. George Fleisch, C. PP. S., 1876 till January 1878; Rev. Cosmas Seeberger, C. PP. S., from January 1878 to December 1878; Rev. Aloysius Malin, C. PP. S., from December 1878 to May 1882; Rev. August Seifert, C. PP. S., from May 1882 to September 1882; Rev. Joseph Heitz, C. PP. S., from September 1882 to February 1885; Rev. J. O. Misler, C. PP. S., from February 1885 to November 1885; Rev. M. L. Dentinger, C. PP. S., from November 1885 to March 1888; Rev. John A. Nageleisen, C. PP. S., from March 1888 to July 1888; Rev. Joachim Baker, first resident pastor, from July 1888 to October 1891; Rev. Anthony J. Strueder, from October 1891 to October 1894; Rev. Constantine Maujay, from October 11, 1894 to October 1900; Rev. J. P. Lasher, from November 25, 1900 till July 1, 1901; Rev. Thomas M. Conroy, from July 1, 1901 to July 1, 1902; Rev. L. R. Paquet, from July 1902 to February 1904; Rev. Paulinus Trost, C. PP. S., from March 1904 to July 1904; Rev. Lawrence A. Eberle, since July 3, 1904.

The present debt on the church property is $600. The pastor of Portland has charge of the mission Geneva.



Polish people have been arriving in South Bend since 1869. Up to 1877 they were part of St. Patrick's Congregation, and worshipped in the old St. Patrick's Church, on west Division street. Their spiritual wants were attended to by Polish priests from Chicago and from Otis, then known as Salem Crossing. Two of these priests were, Rev. Peter Koncz and Rev. Louis Machdzicki. The number of souls at this time had increased to 125 families.

On January 1, 1877, Rev. Valentine Czyzewski, C. S. C., took charge of the congregation, residing at St. Patrick's parochial residence. The first church, located on Monroe street, was started in the fall of 1876, and was finished and blessed on July 1, 1877. It was a frame structure, 83x40 feet, page: 352[View Page 352] and 24 feet in height. The cost of this church was $3,500. In 1879, a cyclone totally destroyed this church. The present church property on Scott street was bought at a cost of $2,325 on January 18, 1880. The present St. Hedwig's Church was begun on August 12, 1881, and was dedicated April 15, 1883. The style is the Romanesque, its length 149 feet and the width sixty-two feet; the main walls being thirty-three feet in height and the steeple 156 feet. The altars used for several years were temporary, and the church, including pews, was erected at an outlay of $33,000. It was entirely remodeled in 1898: pillars were placed in position to support the roof, steel arched ceilings were provided, new pews replaced the old ones, together with decorations of various kinds, amounting in all to $7,300. In 1891, three very fine altars were donated by the societies of the church. The St. Hedwig's Society donated the Main Altar, costing $2,500. The two side altars were donated by the St. Stanislaus' Society, at a cost of $1,200. The organ was donated at an expense of $2.500, by the St. Casimir's Society. The seating capacity of the church is 920.

The first school of brick, containing eight rooms and two offices, was built in 1884 and was destroyed by fire, on February 4, 1886. The present school is three-stories in height and its dimensions are 126x62 feet. It contains twelve schoolrooms, a large hall and two rooms for office purposes. It has an attendance of 735 children. The school was erected in 1886, and cost $28,000. The interior was entirely repainted in 1905, at an expense of $600. In the same year, an iron fence was built around the church property. The school is taught by eight Sisters of the Holy Cross arid five female lay-teachers. The Sisters reside in St. Joseph's Academy, one block away from St. Hedwig's school. The original school building is now used as a society room, and also for choir practice, as well as by St. Florian's Turners.

The parochial residence is a frame building, and was moved to the present site in 1884, having been purchased by Father Czyzewski at a cost of $3,000. An addition was made to the house in 1884; and the hot water heating apparatus, was provided for it, in 1904. This house is the first parochial residence and, until it was ready for occupancy, Father Czyzewski resided with the pastor of St. Patrick's Church.

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St. Hedwig's Church has numerous societies: St. Stanislaus Kostka's Society, St. Casimir's, St. Hedwig's, St. Vincent de Paul's, St. Valentine's, St. Adalbert's, St. Florian's, the Apostleship of Prayer, the Young Ladies' Holy Rosary Society, the Children of Mary, the Guardian Angel Society and the Temperance Society. The number of souls in the parish is about 4000, or 828 families. There is a debt of $19,000 on the church property.

Father Czyzewski has been the pastor of St. Hedwig's Church, since January 1, 1877. In 1896, he bought the lots for, and organized St. Casimir's Congregation, and in 1898 he did the same for St. Stanislaus' Parish. He also built churches at Terre Coupee and Rolling Prairie. Among the assistants, Father Czyzewski has had, may be mentioned Rev. Michael Lauth, C. S. C., Rev. A. Zubowicz, C. S. C., Rev. C. Sztuczko, C. S. C., Rev. R. A. Marciniak, C. S. C., Rev. Casimir Smogor, C. S. C., Rev. Eligius Raczynski, C. S. C., Rev. Theodore Jarzynski, C. S. C., Rev. George Kolesinski and Rev. Boniface Iwaszewski, C. S. C. Three regular and four secular priests have come from St. Hedwig's Parish and thirty young women have entered different convents.