Emma Elizabeth Calderhead Foster.

History of Marshall County, Kansas : its people, industries, and institutions online

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Skinner died in 1901. Members moved away and the church
declined. In 190.^ the church property was leased to the Episcopal people
and later sold to them. In 19 10 the church formally disbanded. This
church amply justified its existence by the part it took, for more -than
three decades, in the religious and social life of Blue Rapids. Among
those who went out from under its guidance is Rev. Frank L. Macy, for
many years a successful Congregational minister, now residing at Mil-
ford, Kansas ; Rev. Harry E. Vincent, a Congregationalist pastor, of New
York state; Charles W. Elkins, of California, a Sunday school worker of
national reputation. Among the prominent pastors w'ho served the church
may be noted Rev. Vernon H. Deming, of New England, and Rev. Wil-
liam M. Brown, president of Tillotson College, Texas.


The Free Alethodist church of Frankfort, Kansas, was organized on
May 24, 1907. The first members were: Rev. Charles H. South worth,
Wesley Long. Christian Reust, Samuel McDonald and Edgar Long. The
first trustees were : Christian Reust, Samuel McDonald, Samuel A. Reust,


Samuel Retist, Samuel Koch, E. S. Slifer and AVesley Long-. Stewards :
Joseph Reust, Tabitha Packard, Mary A. Alleman. Class leader, Wesley
Long; treasurer, S. A. Reust; secretary, Tabitha Packard. Membership of
the church, twenty-nine. Superintendent of Sunday school, E. S. Slifer;
membership of Sunday school, thirty. First pastor, C. S. Huston. The
church was built in T910. The present pastor is J. A. Chaney.


In July, 1880, Rev. Mr. Rhodes, of Seneca, organized a church of the
Universalist faith at Vermillion, with forty members. Services were held by
Reverend Rhodes in the school house and in an upper room of a store building,
for some time, when the organization finally disbanded, many placing their
membership in other denominations.


On the corner of Fourteenth street and Broadway in Marysville, stands
this little church, built and dedicated to the service of Christian Science, in
the spring of 1893.

It is said that this is the second church building ever dedicated to the
cause of Christian Science in the world.

Christian Science was first introduced into this county by Mrs. Lillie
B. Shepard in the year 1887. ^^^ 1891 a Christian Science society was
formed by a few families meeting in a hall.

In 1892 a Sunday school was organized with a goodly attendance. In
1893 3. charter for a church was procured under the name of First Church
of Christ, Scientist. There were fourteen charter members.

In 1903 the reading rooms connected with this church were established
in a commodious suite of rooms in the White building.

There is regular Sunday service and Sunday school and Wednesday
evening testimonial meetings are maintained by this organization.


This society was organized in Alay, 19 12. Services are held every
Sunday morning in the Odd Fellows hall.




The Pentecost cluircli at Blue Rapids was organized on August 6, 1907,
by W. C. Craig, then bishop of the general Pentecost church, with twenty-
three members. Officers were elected as follow : Elders, C. A. Bartell and
E. J. McAtee; deacon, R. A. McAtee; deaconess, Ollic W'adley; treasurer,
Delia McAtee; recorder, W. E. Ellis; trustees. T. M. Guy, E. A. Wadley,
C. A. Bartell, L. E. Payne and Zelina Westlake. Pastor, E. J. McAtee.

A Bible school was organized with forty scholars. Officers and teach-
ers as follow: Superintendent, .\. E. \\'adley ; assistant superintendent, Iva
Cox; secretary, D. L. Reed; treasurer, R. A. McAtee; teachers, R. A. McAtee,
W. E. Ellis. Ollie Wadley and Carrie McAtee.

At the time of organization the congregation owned a building on
]\Iain street, purchased from the Christian church, in which services were
held until a new church was built and dedicated on December 20, 1912. In
January, 191 7, there were only fifteen members.

The present officers are as follow : Elders, E. J. McAtee, R. A. McAtee ;
deacon, Albert Warner ; deaconess, Rebecca Mosher ; treasurer, E. J. McAtee ;
recorder, Mrs. S. Burton; trustees, Albert Warner, Charles Mosher and
R. A. McAtee. Pastor, E. J. McAtee.

The Bible school consists of twenty-three scholars. Superintendent,
E. J. McAtee; secretary, Maude Burton; teachers. D. L. Reed. E. J. McAtee
and Mrs. S. Burton.


In a log cabin the first mass was celebrated in the Irish settlement in
Cleveland township. The cabin was built in 1866 and at that time was
considered a palatial residence. It became the property of W. P. and Cath-
erine Gregg in 1867 and from that time until 1872, when a church was
erected, Catholic services were held monthly in this house. The old log
cabin, w^hich became each month a tabernacle to the Most High, and which
was always a hospitable home for the pioneer priest, has long since been
abandoned as a residence but is still standing, one of the very few remain-
ing log cabins in the county. It is the property of Hon. W. J. Gregg, of
Frankfort, a son of the pioneer, and to ]\Ir. Gregg the editor is indebted for
the accompanying picture.

I- • T —^

f XSJ'f.,




The second church of this denomination to be built in the world.



S:\ iV.



ST. Joseph's church.

A great tide of emigration from Eastern states and from European
countries, swept over Kansas between the years 1854 and 1865, when the
country was opened by the United States government to settlers.

The new settlers represented different nationalities and different creeds.
The two localities where Catholics settled in early days and founded colonies
were Irish creek in the southeast and St. Bridget in the northeast of the

The settlers who came between the years 185 7- 1860 were Daniel, Jerry
and Dennis Donahy, John Doud. William Thomas, John and Daniel Nolan,
Thomas and Edward McNieve, Patrick, Ned, Mike and Herbert Burk, the
Greggs, William Kennedy, Harrington, Grimes and William Handeshan.
The pioneer settler ■ was followed by the pioneer priest.

The Jesuit Fathers of St. Mary's and the Benedictine Fathers from
Atchison would travel over the prairies of Kansas and visit the early settlers,
and have mass in private houses and dug-outs.


In 1865 Father William Fitzgerald made his home among the settlers
of Irish creek. The Gregg family donated a strip of land along the creek
for church purposes. The location was in the northeast quarter of section
20, Cleveland township. Here they found plenty of timber to l)uild the
church, and shade and shelter for the teams in summer and winter.

The first church, a structure twenty-eight by fifty feet, was built mostly
out of native lumber and dedicated to St. Joseph. Some years later an addi-
tion was put to this church. With the erection of the church came the building
of a parish house for the priest.

Some of the successors of Father Fitzgerald were Fathers Daily, Hud-
son, Butler, Weikmann, Meile, Stack, John Ward, now bishop of Leaven-
worth ; Fathers Meehan, Jennings and Michel.

The Rev. Father Fitzgerald procured a ten-acre tract of land one-half
mile away from the church for a cemetery. It had always been the desire
of many to have the church and house near the cemetery. In 1902 Father
William Michel built a new parish house, and hall and bought two acres
of ground opposite the cemetery. On this piece of land he built the parish
house, a beautiful brick veneer structure.

In 1904 the church was moved from the creek to the new site. A year


after Father Patrick O'Sullivan succeeded Father Michel as pastor of Irish
creek. During this time a new railroad was built from Topeka to Marysville
and a new town was laid out one mile east of the church. The town was
called Lillis. in honor of the bishop of the diocese, Rt. Rev. Francis
Lillis, D. D. 1'he question then arose to move St. Joseph's church to the
town of Lillis. The congregation was divided on the matter and it was
finally decided by vote, in presence of Rt. Rev. Bishop Ward, to leave the
church at the old place opposite the cemetery.

In 19 ID Rev. Father Fitzgerald succeeded Father O'SulHvan. The
Rt. Rev. Bishop had given orders to build a new church and Father Fitz-
gerald set to work to take up subscriptions and get the plans for the new
building. A rock church was decided on, fifty by one hundred and ten feet,
Roman in style. The rocks were quarried three miles west of the church
and the basement and foundations were finished in the summer of 1912.
In the fall of 19 12 the corner stone was laid by Bishop Ward. A few months
later on account of a defective flue the brick veneer house burned down and
was replaced with a stone structure in harmony with the new church. The
new church was finished and dedicated on May 10, 19 16, by Bishop Ward,
in presence of a large concourse of people from far and near, and assisted by
twenty-two priests of the diocese.

St. Joseph's church stands as a monument which speaks to future gen-
erations of the faith and devotion of the priest and the people who built it.
The cost of the church and house was thirty thousand dollars. One hundred
families belong to St. Joseph's church, one mile west of the small town of
Lillis in Marshall county.


The Catholic church known as the Church of the Holy Family, in Sum-
merfield, was built in the same year that the town was built — 1889. Father
John Hurley, pastor of St. Bridget church, from which the Summerfield
church was attended, was the first pastor and he it was who built the church.
He attended the parish until his removal from St. Bridget about the year
1895. Rev. Patrick O'Sullivan succeeded him as pastor of St. Bridget and
also attended the Summerfield parish until the year 1907, when Rev. Clar-
ence Bradley was appointed as the first permanent pastor. He attended' the
parish for almost two years, during which time he built the parish house.
Rev. M. T. Hoffman succeeded Father Bradley until the year 191 5. In the
fall of 191 5 Rev. E. R. Embleau was appointed pastor and is the present


pastor. During his time he has purchased ground for a Cathohc cemetery,
for, until up to this time, Summerfield people had been using the cemetery
in St. Bridget to bury their dead. The Summerfield parish consists of fifty
families. Plans are being made now to build a new church to correspond
to the means of the people.

ST. Michael's church^ axtell.

St. Michael's congregation was organized by Rev. Timothy Duber, O.
S. B., and the church was built in 1883. Up to this time the scattered Catho-
lics in and around Axtell attended service at St. Bridget, six miles north.
From 1884 to 1886 Father Martin, O. S. B., and Father Rettle, O. S. B.,
attended to the flock.

In the year 1890 Father Hurley built the parochial residence and moved
the church to a new site in the northeast part of town. In 1891 Father
Bononcini built a small parochial school and procured a bell. In 1894, not
having sufficient children, the parochial school was abandoned. From 1894
to 1898 Father Shields, Father Hiawalka and Father O' Sullivan had charge
of Axtell. Father J. N. Burk was appointed pastor of Axtell in 1898 and
remained for five years until in 1903, when Father Taton, the present pastor,
took charge of affairs.

The first church ground was donated by Michael Murray in block 2,
east of Barnes Hall. In 1890 the lots were sold and the church moved to
a new site purchased from Mrs. Catherine Murray. It was during this time
that A. P. Cetmer caused some religious disturbance among the citizens of

In 1 90 1 Rev. M. Burk began arrangements for the erection of a new
church and in June of the same year purchased block 13 for a new church
site. The foundation for the new church was laid in the spring of 1903
and the corner stone was laid by Rt. Rev. Bishop Lillis in May, 1904.
Before the foundations were completed. Father Burk was removed. Father
Taton, after some changes in the plans, finished the beautiful St. Michael's
church in 1905. In 1909 Father Taton started the erection of a new parish
house, which is the pride of the town. In 19 13 the foundations were laid
for a parochial school. The contract for the school and hall was let in the
spring of 191 7.

The parish has seventy families and is in good condition financially
and spiritually. The Catholic cemetery dates back to the year 1886.




The first setllcr in rind near Waterville came to that locality in 1856,
twelve years or more hefore the railroad was built and the town laid out.
The first pioneers, who were Catholics and located in that vicinity, w^ere
the Casey, Oliver and Smith families, wdio came in 1858. The nearest
Catholic church was at Atchison, one hundred miles away.

A few years later, the pioneer priests followed the pioneer settler. Irish
creek and St. Bridget received pastors and the neighboring towns and adjoin-
ing counties were attended from there. It was not until 1866 or 1867 that
Father Fitzgerald, of Irish creek, visited the settlement in the southwestern
part of the county and celel:)rated the first mass at the Casey home, a mile
east of the present Waterville.

After the railroad came in 1868, services were held once a month in
the Sexton house, w^hich was occupied l)y Mr. Brady. In 1870, Father
Pichler, of Hanover, attended Waterville for a time. Later, Waterville was
annexed to Frankfort, Greenleaf, Parsons creek and Kimeo. Fathers Weik-
mann, Hoffman and Groeters said mass on weekdays for many years.
The services were held at the John Ready home west of town. From 1896
to 1898 no regular services were held. The chalice, vestments, candle-
sticks, etc.. were kept at the Ready residence.

In June, 1903, during the high water in the Little Blue river, a pretended
Dominican priest, or brother, arrived in Waterville, and stayed a few days
at the home of Mrs. Ready. On leaving', he asked Mrs. Ready for the mis-
sion articles, and she having full confidence in his being a priest, let him
have them. This supposed Dominican w-as never heard of again, and thus
every vestige of the earliest missionary life at Waterville disappeared.

On February 10, 1908, a meeting was called by Rev. August Redeker,
of Marysville, to consider the proposition of erecting a church. At this
meeting there were present : Isidor Schmieder, R. Ready, Henry Mentgen,
George Casey, Joseph and Phil. Tommer, John Stengelmeier, James Real,
Mrs. Kiefer and Mr. and Mrs. George Swanson. Three hundred and seventy-
five dollars was subscribed and three building lots were bought.

On August 3, 1908, mass w^as celebrated at the George Casey home, and
a meeting was held for the consideration of plans for the new church. About
forty members were present at this meeting, a subscription list was headed
by Isidore Schmieder with five hundred dollars, and one thousand six hun-
dred and sevent\-fi\e dollars was subscriljed at this meeting.



The plans of Architect Wilson Hunt, of Kansas City, Missouri, for a
frame structure, thirty-five by seventy-five feet, were adopted ; the contract
for the foundation was let to George Casey for four hundred and twenty-
eight dollars, for the framework to Orin Ivers, of Axtell, for three thousand
one hundred dollars. The building was completed in 1909, and on August
1st of that year Rev. P"rancis Elast was appointed the first parish priest
for Waterville and missions, who soon raised money enough to build a parish
house, which was completed in the fall of 1909.

The church and parish house were not dedicated until May 2, 191 1, by
the Rt. Rev. John Ward. The church was given the name of St. Monica.
Monica was the name of the mother of Isidore Schmieder, whose generosity
made it possible to build the church. Next to Mr. Schmieder, Mrs. Eliza-
beth Gleason deserves special recognition for her untiring efforts in behalf
of this church.

In Septeml>er, 19 12, Father Elast was succeeded by Father M. O'Leary,
who was followed in July, 1913, by Father David Hall, and in April, 191 5,
Father Hall was succeeded by the present pastor, Rev. P. Mclnerney.


The Catholic congregation at Irving is the youngest of all the Catholic
congregations in the county. When the Catholic church in Waterville was
being built in 1909, the Rt. Rev. Thomas Lillis requested the Rev. A.
Redeker, of Marysville, to organize or build or buy a church at Irving and
unite the Catholics at Springside in Pottawatomie county and those near
Irving. The time for this work did not arrive until 19 12.

On August 28th, 19 1 2, Rev. August Redeker conducted services at
the Bohemian settlement, eight miles southwest of Irving, in place of Rev.
F. Elast, their regular pastor. Rev. A. Redeker spoke to the members of
St. Wenceslaus parish about moving the church to Irving or to build a new
church at that place. Two weeks later he conducted the services again and
a vote was taken by the members upon the cjuestion; it was voted not to
move St. Wenceslaus church. Thereupon, the plan to build a new church
at Irving was taken up. Two lots were generously donated by the late
James Denton and two lots by a lady at Irving. The lots selected were
those on Main street, one block from the business section. The subscription


list was headed by Herman Fegner, with five hundred dollars, and more
than two thousand four hundred dollars was subscribed in a short time.

At a meeting in the residence of John Forest, it was decided to adopt
the Waterville church plan with some modifications, and Herman Fegner,
Tohn Forest, and Mr. Wacek were appointed a committee. In October
and November, 191 2, the members hauled the sand gratis from the river
and dug the basement and built the foundation of the new church. In the
meantime. Father M. O'Leary had been appointed pastor and took charge
of the building of the church.


The church was to be a frame structure, thirty-six by seventy-five feet,
and the contract was let to Mr. Skillen, of Frankfort, Kansas. The church
was built in the winter and spring of 191 3.

On Thursday, June 5, 191 3, in the presence of a large gathering of
people, the Rt. Rev. Bishop Ward, D. D., assisted by a dozen priests, dedi-
cated the church to the service of God. The church was given the name of
St. Elizabeth, in compliment to H. Fegner's mother, whose name was Eliza-
beth. This privilege was granted him because of his being the largest donor
to the new church. The congregation consists of twenty-five families,
attended regularly from Waterville.

In the fall of 1913, Father O'Leary was succeeded by Rev. David Hall.
In April, 1916, Father Patrick Mclnerney took charge of the congregation,
paid off the debt and put the congregation on a solid financial basis.

ST. malachy's, beattie.


In the pioneer days the Catholics who lived in and near Beattie attended
services at St. Bridget and Irish creek in this county. In the year 1879,
Father William Fitzgerald, pastor at Irish creek, organized the Beattie con-
gregation. At that time the following Catholics lived in or near Beattie;
Mrs. A. Wuster, P. Smith, Nicholas Orr, P. O'Niel, D. R. Cottrell, J. O'Neil,
P. Pitsch, P. Finnigan, J. Gardner, Thomas Koenig, Thomas McMahon,
James McDonald, James Fitzgerald, P. AIcMahon, John Kraemer, G. Koch,
Mr. Renger, R. Cosgrove and O. Heandley.

In 1879 a ten-acre tract of land was bought for a cemetery, north of
Beattie. The next year Father William Fitzgerald, with the aid of the
above mentioned persons and their families, began the erection of St. Alal-


achy's church. The lots on which the church was erected were donated by
Mr. and Mrs. James Fitzgerald, the brother of Father William Fitzgerald.
The building cost about three thousand dollars. Before the church was com-
pleted, Father Fitzgerald died on November 29, 1881. Father Bernard
Hudson completed the church and took charge of the congregation for a
short time after the death of Father Fitzgerald. Father Daily succeeded
Father Hudson in 1882 and had charge of the congregation until 1883,
when Beattie was attached to Marysville and Father M. A. Meile took
hold of affairs. In September, 1885, Father Meile, on account of ill
health, resigned, and Father John Hartman succeeded him. From August
14, 1886, until 1895, Rev. M. J. Schmickler attended Beattie twice a month
from Marysville. In Septemljer, 1895. Beattie was attached to Axtell, as a
mission in charge of Father F. S. Hawelka until January, 1898, when Beat-
tie was attended by Father P. R. O'Sullivan, of St. Bridget, for several

From May, 1898, until 1903, Father M. Burk, of Axtell, had charge of
the congregation. In August, 1903, Father Francis Taton began the erec-
tion of the parish house and upon its completion Beattie was given its first
resident pastor, Father M. J. Galvin, October 12, 1907. August 4, 1910,
Father Galvin was succeeded by Father J. J. Ryan, who was compelled to
leave on account of ill health and was followed by Father H. A. McDevitt,
March 13, 1914. He labored as pastor of Beattie until March 8, 1916, when
the present pastor, Father Theol. P. Schwam, took charge.


The first settlement of St. Bridget parish was made in 1857, when
Philip Coffey, Owen Reilly, Elizabeth Hoffman, Eli Tripp and Jacob Straub
headed westward in search of homes, and like all early settlers, the one
thing most necessary was timber to build their dwellings, shelter for stock
and for fuel. Hence, the first settlements are found in the timbered sections
of the county.

In 1858 the following persons and their families settled in St. Bridget:
John Coughlin, Michael Shaughnessy, Peter Lynch, John Smith, Michael
Murray, Patrick Hughes, Thomas Loob, Michael Maddigan. Between 1858
and 1 86 1 came Patrick McGrath, James Carroll, John Gossin. Sylvester
Creevan, John Clark and Bernard Gallagher and formed the nucleus around
which gathered the present Catholic community.


The hardships endured by these pioneers were many and severe, but
the truly charitable spirit and the indissoluble bond of brotherhood had so
united them in their efforts, that the burden of one was the burden of all
and no sacrifice was too great in their efforts to alleviate the suft'ering of
a neighbor in sickness or distress.


The one great hope of this Irish colony had not as yet been realized.
They had no church and no priest to preach to them the gospel of truth,
so firmly planted in their minds and hearts in the land of their birth. But
their hopes were brightened when in May, 1859, Father Edmond, a mission-
ary, said the first mass in St. Bridget in the home of John Coughlin, and
it is generally believed that was the first time the holy sacrifice of the mass
was offered up in Marshall county.

As each new settler arrived, the homes of those who came before were
thrown open and he and his family were invited to share their humble abode
imtil such time as he could provide a shelter, which was done by the neigh-
bors gathering together, cutting and hauling the logs and helping build the
house. Another family, another home, was added to the little colony, and
as one old settler remarked, "How the people of St. Bridget should love
each other for the kindness of those days."

In 1862 the first church organization was affected under the direction
of Father John, O. S. B., who made his home at St. Benedict, and visited
the parish from time to time. A charter was taken out with the following
charter members : John Gossin, John Clark, Peter Lynch, Michael Maddi-
gan, Michael Murray, William P. Madden and James Carroll. A log
church was built, but before it was completed it was burned, supposed to
have been done by incendiaries.


In 1863-64 the first frame church was built on the site where the ceme-
tery now is, but afterwards moved to where the present church stands. This
building also served as a school house for many years. The first resident
priests in St. Bridget were : Father William Fitgerald and Father Fogerty.

Online LibraryEmma Elizabeth Calderhead FosterHistory of Marshall County, Kansas : its people, industries, and institutions → online text (page 30 of 104)