Emma Elizabeth Calderhead Foster.

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

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During their stay, from 1865 to 1869, they built a parish house, which was
destroyed by fire in 1869.

From 1869 to 1871 the parish was attended by missionaries. In 1871

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Father Stiitberth, O. S. B., from Atchison, became resident priest and began
the erection of the stone church, thirty by sixty feet, which was completed
in 1875. Patrick Hughes donated the stone used in the church, each mem-
ber hauHng one cord; Philhp Coffey donated the plastering, James Carroll
and John Stohl did the mason work.

In 1876 and 1877 the parish was attended by Fathers Eugene, Theo-
docis and Boniface. In 1877 Father Timothy took charge of the
parish, remained until 1883 and during his stay erected a twelve-room
parish house at a cost of three thousand dollars, which is now used for a
sisters' house. Too much could not be said in praise of this pious, zealous
man, who was ever striving for the moral and social uplift of his parish.
Brother Lambert served as his housekeeper and spent much of his time in
the care of the grounds, which he converted into a veritable flower garden.
From 1883 to 1884 Father William Bettele was in charge and in August,
1884, Rev. John Hurley took charge, remaining until February, 1896, a
period of twelve years. Then came Father Patrick R. O'Sullivan, in 1896,
and remained until 1908.


Father O' Sullivan was an earnest and faithful worker. By his efforts
he succeeded in building the present handsome brick church, fifty by one
hundred feet, at a cost of twenty-five thousand dollars, the pride of the
parish and a monument to the self-sacrificing pioneers of St. Bridget.

Before the church was cjuite complete Father O'Sullivan was moved
to Lillis and Rev. P. R. McNamara was sent to take up the work where
Father O'Sullivan left off, which he did by plastering the church, installing
beautiful stained glass windows and interior furnishings. The new church
was dedicated by Rt. Rev. Bishop Lillis, September 3, 1909. Father
McNamara remained until 19 10, when Father Geinetz was appointed, serv-
ing one year. In 191 1 Father McManus was appointed and during his
stay he established the sisters' school in St. Bridget, which is giving the
children the advantage of a two-teacher school, also the opportunity of a
musical education, which is not easily obtained in a rural community.

In 1913 Rev. Michael O'Leary took charge, serving until 1916. Dur-
ing his stay in St. Bridget he erected a modern parish house at a cost of
four thousand dollars. In 19 16 Father Murphy took charge and is now the
resident priest.



This sketch of St. Bridi^et woiikl be incomplete \vith<iut mention of
that patriotic Irishman, Thomas Hynes, who came to St. iiridi^et a^)out
1865. Mr. Hynes was a graduate of St. Benedict College, Atchison, and
served as teacher in our schools for several years. He was foremost in
everv public enterprise and had charge of the mail route in this section of
the country for several years. About 1877 ^^^ moved to Axtell and engaged
in the drug business.

]\Iichael Murray, one of the charter members of the church, conducted
a general store in St. Bridget from 1865 to 1877, when he moved to Axtell
to continue the business there. Murray township was named for Michael

One of the pioneers w^orthy of mention is Michael Maddigan, who
before his death wdlled one hundred and sixty acres of land to St. Bridget
parish, to be used for the benefit of the church.


The history of Annunciation parish dates back to the early days of
1880, when the first humble church was erected by Rev. Father William
Fitzgerald, then resident pastor of St. Joseph's church on Irish creek. The
parish then numbered about seventeen families. The church was attended
by the priests from St. Joseph's church up to the year 1888, when Rev.
Father P. Kloss was placed in charge of the Frankfort parish. In the year
1889, Father Kloss erected a parish house, but in the year 1890 the Frank-
fort and Irish creek parishes w-ere again united, the priest residing at Frank-

The priests who have had charge of the parish at various times are the
following : Fathers William Fitzgerald, Bernard Hudson, J. Daly, A. M.
Meile, William Stack, John Begley, John Ward (now bishop), P. Kloss,
T. Butler, Sylvester Meehan, A. W. Jennings, William Michel, F. Kulicek,
Francis Orr and C. A. Bradley.

In the year 1900, Rev. Father Michel being pastor, the first church
building w'as disposed of, and a larger church erected on a site east of the
original location. The corner stone of this building was laid on Sunday,
July 15, 1900, by the pastor. Father Michel. The church committeemen
then in office were Matt Peril, Thomas Ryan, James Gregg and Daniel Sulli-
van. The building committee was William Gregg and C. T. Hessel. The
estimated cost of this second church was three thousand six hundred and
fifty-four dollars. The parish then numbered about forty families. Rev.


Father Francis Ktilicek was appointed rector of Annunciation parish in the
year 1902, and while in charge, also tended the Bohemian mission church,
seven miles south of Irving.


On November 4th. 1905, the church erected in 1900 was destroyed by
fire, together with all equipment and furniture, not even the Blessed Sacra-
ment being saved. The parish house built in 1889 was also destroyed in
this same fire. Father Kulicek was then transferred to Kansas City, Kansas,
and Father Michel was instructed by the bishop to erect another church
and residence, while services were to be conducted by a Benedictine Father,
from Atchison, for the time being. The contract price of the new church
was four thousand three hundred dollars, and the amount for the residence
was two thousand six hundred and seventy dollars. The four thousand three
hundred dollars did not include the foundation of the church, which was to
be a duplicate of the one built in 1900. The corner stone of this third church
was laid on the 30th of March, 1906, by Rev. William Michel, and on the
building committee were C. T. Hessel, William Gregg, Michael Griffin and
John A'Hern. Alfred Meier, of St. Joseph, Missouri, was the architect in
charge and Joseph Trompeter, of Effingham, Kansas, had the contract for
all work. Immediately upon completion of the two buildings, which was
about September, 19CJ6, Rev. Francis ]M. Orr was appointed by Rt. Rev.
Bishop Lillis. as pastor of the parish.


, At 7:30 o'clock, on the evening of Sunday, May 3, 1908, the church
was struck by lightning, and church and residence were burned to the ground
— a complete loss. Disaster and misfortune had blighted the hopes of the
brave, good people of the parish for the second time within two years, but
far, indeed, from destroying them. Plans were immediately prepared, and
funds raised to rebuild better and safer and more beautiful than ever. The
buildings were to cost eleven thousand dollars with an additional cost of
from four to five thousand dollars to complete them in every respect. The
corner stone of this fourth church was laid in August, 1908, Rev. Father
Orr presiding at the ceremony. The church committee at this time was
James Gregg, Jeremiah O'Leary and James Kennedy, and the building com-
mittee consisted of the rector. Father Orr, William Gregg and Henry Ken-


nedy. The construction work progressed without interruption, and on the
morning of February 22. 1909, the beautiful church was solemnly dedicated
by Rt. Rev. Thomas F. Lillis, bishop of the diocese.

The present edifice is a magnificent ])uilding of clearest white lime-
stone, designed in the Roman style of architecture, with slate roof, orna-
mental stained glass windows and stately bell tower. The interior and its
appointments are complete, rich and tasteful, yet withal, calculated to inspire
religious fervor and devotion. In every respect the church stands a model
of beauty and strength, and reflects greatest credit on both the builder.
Father Orr, and the noble, generous-hearted parishioners, who sacrificed
much to insure its completion.

Father Orr continued in charge of the parish until June, 191 1, when he
was appointed as pastor of St. Peter's parish in Kansas City, Kansas. Rev.
Father C. A. Bradley was then appointed by Rt. Rev. Bishop Ward, as
pastor, and entered ujwn his duties on the last Sunday of June, 191 1. Since
that time various improvements have been made, most important of which
was the frescoing of the church during the summer of 1912. The base-
ment of the church has also been fitted up into an assembly room. Despite
the fact that many of the early pioneer members of the parish have passed
away, and the parish roster contains a changed order of names, its strength
and vigor have increased, and the membership now numbers seventy-five
families. There is no debt or incumbrance on the property or buildings..

ST. Gregory's parish^ marysville.

The two localities where Catholics settled in early days and formed
colonies were Irish creek in the southeast and St. Bridget in the northeast
of the county. However, there were Catholic families located in every
township in the county. Some of the first Catholic families who came in
early days, and located within the present limits of St. Gregory's parish
were: Nic Koppes, Jacob Morbacher, Sr., with thirteen children; Patrick
Haynes, John Reiter, Thomas McCoy, Louis and Frank Hanke, John Joerg,
Sr., John Kirch, ]\Iathias Schmitt. James Grey, Peter Koppes, Joseph Ellen-
becker and others.

The first Catholic priest that held divine service among the scattered
Catholics around Marysville, was Rev. Father Thomas Bartel, O: S. B. His
presence was hailed with joy by the handful of Catholics. Father Bartel
was succeeded bv Rev. Theodore Heinemann, of St. Mary's, Kansas, in 1862.

During the Civil ^^'ar many men joined the army, the farms were


neglected, crops failed and business was poor. The good priest made his
appearance about every two or three months. In 1863 and 1864 service was
conducted several times by Father Jones, of St. Mary's, Kansas. Father
Suitbert De Marteau, of Atchison, had charge of Marysville in 1865. From
1865-67, Marysville was regularly visited by Fathers Fitzgerald and Fogarty,
both being stationed at St. Bridget and Irish creek in Marshall county.


In 1867 Rev. Father Riemele took charge of this locality and services
were conducted more frequently. Traveling on horseback from St. Mary's,
the good priest would halt at every pioneer's cabin door to ask if any Catho-
lic lived there. If he found any, he would tell them when and where mass
would be said the next morning. Sometimes, Catholics living fifteen miles
away would be notified and summoned to come to service. For nine or ten
years the Jacob Mohrbacher home, south of Marysville, was the resting
place of the poor priest in the days of pioneer life, and mass was generally
celebrated there. Rev. Father Riemele was again succeeded by Father Suit-
bert, who attended this mission from St. Bridget for more than two years,
until 1874. Father Suitbert tried hard to build a church and had several
meetings to bring the Catholics together, but failed. He collected some
money in 1871 and 1872, but when the farmers even charged for hauling
rock, he felt disappointed and dropped the undertaking. The "salary" of
the priest in those days consisted of the few nickels that were thrown into
the collection box; many a time the amount did not reach the sum of fifty


Services were now held in the town of Marysville in a vacant carpenter
shop, at the west end of Broadway. Rev. A. M. Weikmann was next in
charge of the place. He was stationed at Parsons creek, now Palmer,
Washington county. He made an attempt to build a church and laid a part
of the foundation, when he was succeeded by Rev. John Pichler, of Hanover,
in 1875. During Father Weikmann's time, a mission was given by Father
Timothy Luber and Father Peter Kassens, at the close of which a class
of ten received their first holy communion. The mission lasted four days —
the first day at the public school house, the three following days over Wat-
terson's store.

Perry Hutchison offered to give three acres of ground on the west


side of the river near the mill for the building- of a Catholic church, Ijut
the offer was not accepted. Had a church been built there and the postoffice
removed to the west side, the town of Marysville might be today on the
west bank of the Big BUie. Mr. Schmidt and Charles F. Koester gave a
block of ground east of the present standpipe to the Catholics for the loca-
tion of a church. The location, however, did not suit the membership, as
it was too far out of town. The foundation was started but never finished,
and a more suitable location was picked out by the consultors. About eighty
dollars had been spent on the foundation, when the idea to build a church
there was given up.

The place chosen for the new church was block 36 in Ballard's & Mor,-
rall's Addition, in the town of Marysville. Father Pichler now set to work
and built a neat little brick church, twenty- four by fifty feet, on the new
site. The building was never plastered inside, and was used only a few years
for services. The altar pf the church was made out of a dry goods box. No
pews were set up in the church and the farmers used to bring their chairs
along to church service. On account of the steep bank of Spring creek,
nearby, many were dissatisfied with this location. As the building and lots
could be sold at an advantage, the property was disposed of and another site,
near the present depot, where the Hartwick lumber yard now stands, was
selected by Father Pichler. A new frame church was erected on these lots
in the year 1877-78. Here services were conducted until 1886, when the
building and lots were sold.

From 1870 to 1880 the number of Catholic families increased greatly.
The newcomers, however, were poor, and drought, hot winds and the grass-
hoppers in 1874 were calamities that befell them and gave the state a bad
name. "Ad Astra per Aspera" is the Kansas motto, and those settlers who
went through the hardships and stayed on their farms are today wealthy.

On December i, 1883, Rev. John Pichler was followed by Father Meile,
who became the first resident pastor of St. Gregory's congregation. A
house was rented for the pastor near the church. Father Meile stayed until
the end of August, 1885. He was a noble priest, loved by all the Catholics
and non-Catholics of Marysville. Being a convert to the Catholic church, he
knew how to handle both classes. He occupied his time in instructing the
children and looking after the spiritual welfare of the flock. The church
being again too small to accommodate the growing congregation, the build-
ing of a new church was again considered. Many were of the opinion that
the present location was not a suitable place for the new church. The com-

First Resident Priest at Marysville.

■'-Lie lIBHARti



mittee, consisting of Jacob Ring, W. Dougherty, Nic Schmitt, Jacob Mohr-
bacher and John Tracy, headed by Father Meile, selected the present beauti-
ful site.


On the 30th of August, 1885, Rev. Father Meile gave place to Father
Hartmann, during whose administration the foundation of the present church
was laid, but not quite completed. On November 16. 1885, Father Hart-
mann held the first Catholic fair in Marysville ; proceeds, one thousand five
hundred and twelve dollars, of which one thousand two hundred and forty-
six was net. The account books of Father Hartmann, on August 15, 1886,
show a cash balance on hand of six hundred and eight dollars and four
cents; notes from pew rent, thirty-seven dollars and fifty cents; notes from
new church building, seven hundred and fifty-six dollars and seventy-four
cents; in all, one thousand four hundred and two dollars and twenty-eight
cents. This statement was signed by the pastor and the following committee-
men : Jacob Mohrbacher, Nic Koppes, Jacob Ring. The records of baptism
go back to December 23, 1883. Previous records are found at Atchison,
St. Mary's, St. Bridget. Irish creek and Hanover.

On August 15, 1886, Father F. J. Hartmann was replaced by Rev. M.
J. Schmickler, who completed the foundation of the new church. The
corner stone was laid by Rt. Rev. Bishop Fink on October 9, 1886. The
great ambition of Father Schmickler was to see the church completed and
to erect a building that would be a credit to himself and to the good people
of Marysville. The dimensions of the church are fifty by one hundred feet,
with a ten- foot projection of the tower. The foundation and basement of
the church cost four thousand nine hundred dollars. As the crops failed
for several years, the church could not be built as soon as the pastor would
have liked, but, in the meantime, money was collected and fairs were held,
so that on January i, 1892, about four thousand dollars was on hand. From
the sale of the old church, near the depot, one thousand eight hundred dol-
lars were realized. With this money, together with a new subscription,
the church could be brought under roof and almost free of debt. From
the year 1892-93, eight thousand forty-eight dollars and sixty cents were
expended for the new church. W. Dougherty got the contract for all the
brick work for three thousand nine hundred and twenty-nine dollars; M.
Treinen. the. carpenter work for three thousand eight hundred dollars. The
church was, however, not completed until the year 1894. The contract to


plaster it was given to J. F. Webb at one thousand and twenty-five dollars;
the finishing carpenter work, to M. Treinen at three hundred and thirty-six


All these years divine services were held in the basement of the church.
There was as yet no furniture in the church, no pews, no altars, no com-
munion railing. Mr. Bauhaus, of Leavenworth, agreed to furnish pews,
altars and railing for the sum of one thousand four hundred dollars, excluding
the statue of St. Gregory, which cost eighty-five dollars; St. James, sixty-
eight dollars ; St. Barbara, sixty-eight dollars. The two vestment cases in
the sacristy cost sixty dollars. Many beautiful vestments, albs, candlesticks,
etc., were then bought. The day of the dedication, for which the pastor and
people had so earnestly longed, at last came. October 24, 1898, was a gala
day for Marysville, and for St. Gregory's parish especially — one that will
long be remembered by the young and the old who took part. The Rt. Rev.
Bishop Fink, of Leavenworth, dedicated the church and administered the
sacrament of confirmation. Rev. John Hurley, of St. Bridget, delivered
the dedication sermon in English, and Rev. W. Schellberg of Hanover, in
German, whereupon the Rt. Rev. Bishop congratulated the pastor and
the people upon the completion of the beautiful church. The following
assisted at the ceremonies: Rev. W. Schellberg, Rev. J. Hurley. Reverend
Schwamm, Reverend Groener, Reverend Grootaers, Reverend Kamp, Rev-
erend Leidecker and Reverend Cihal. At two o'clock p. m., some one hundred
persons were confirmed by the bishop, after which the day's festivities closed,
with vespers and benediction. A special train from Hanover and Seneca
conveyed many visitors to the dedication services. More than four hundred
and fifty people came from Hanover.


In early days the lodging place of the priest was generally some pio-
neer's cabin, but he was often obliged to sleep outside, with nothing but the
canopy above him. Conditions became better the more the country was
settled. The first resident priest. Father Meile, had rented a house near
the church ; afterward he lived in the old stone house south of the present
parsonage, which was torn down in July, 1906. Father Hartmann and
Father Schmickler also lived in the same quarters in the old stone house on
the hill. When the basement was built in 1886, Father Schmickler reserved


two rooms in the southwest part of the church, where he hved until the year
1898. In the year 1891 he bought the south half of block loi, on which the
parsonage now stands, together with the old stone house, for the sum of
one thousand four hundred and twenty dollars. On March 6, 1895, Mr.
Michael Kimmish died, leaving to the church about four thousand dollars.
It was no more than right that the pastor who had completed the church,
should now consider the erection of a new parsonage. Hence, plans were
drawn up by Mr. Grant, of Beatrice, Nebraska, and the contract was let
in the spring of 1898. The brick and stone work was awarded to W. Dough-
erty for one thousand three hundred and seventy-five dollars. Hayward
& Ivers, of Axtell, agreed to complete the building, including all the material,
for two thousand one hundred and forty-five dolars. The beautiful Catho-
lic parsonage is one of the finest dwellings in the city of Marysville, a
credit to the town and to the Catholic people.

In May, 1903. Rev. Aug. Redeker succeeded Father Schmickler. A debt
of two thousand four hundred and fifty-four dollars resting on the church
was paid off. The same year he procured three sisters from Atchison to
teach the parochial school.

In 1904 three new bells were bought for the church and blessed by
Rt. Rev. Bishop Fink on February 28th. On August 8, 1905, the first
ground was broken for the foundation of a new parochial school and society
hall. The school house was built at a cost of nine thousand dollars all
complete. It was dedicated by Rt. Rev. Bishop Lillis, October 20, 1906.
The sidewalks to the west were laid in 1895, but those to the southeast and
north not until 1913. In 191 1 lightning had struck the tower and it was
decided to finish the spire of the church, which was done in that year. At
present a new addition to the church is talked of and will be finished during
the year 191 7.

The congregation is out of debt and has a membership of one hundred
and twenty-five families, and all the usual auxiliary societies.

ST, Gregory's aid society.

St. Gregory's Aid Society was founded on April 9, 1893, by Father
Sclimickler. Tlie membership at the present time is fifty. It is an organ-
ization of men of the church and i^ slightly beneficiary. The present officers
are: President, Ferd. Viering; \'ice-president, Flenry Bramlage ; financial
■secretary, Frank xVIeier; treasurer, B W^assenberg : recording secretary, James



This is a tratenia] insurance society, and St. Gregory's liranch. Xo. 18,
was instituted im October 13, iS^jB. The ])rcscnt officers are: President,
l'\ \'ierin<4 ; linancial secrotarw J. luirlow ; rccorchng- secretary, Frank Meier;
treasurer, 15. \\'assenl)cr_u : trustees, J. Dwerlkotte, Clement Voet and John



This society was organized on Alarch 10, 1884, by Father Meile, with
a membership of forty-two ladies. The present officers are: President,
Mrs. James Barlow; vice-president, Mrs. Frank Nieberding; secretary, Mrs.
Jnlm Cooper: treasurer, Mrs. John Cavanaugh.


This society was organized by Rev. Father Redeker, December 8, 1903.
The present officers are: President, Nora Reiter; secretary, Helene Klein;
treasurer. Minnie Wassenberg: sacristan. Romona Meier.


Eight miles southwest of Irving, on the Riley county line, stands a neat
little church dedicated to St. Wenceslaus, the great Bohemian saint. The
congregation was organized and a frame church, twenty by thirty feet,
erected by Father Klaus in the year 1884. Father Klaus was at that time
stationed at Frankfort. The church grounds and cemetery, on the south-
east corner of section 32 in Blue Rapids township, consisting of two acres,
^vere donated by the Frank Forst family.

The early Catholic settlers of this section were the Katopish. Forst,
Osner, Smutny, Duchek, Zeleny. Nedvid, Kropacek, Karek, Kratochvil,

Online LibraryEmma Elizabeth Calderhead FosterHistory of Marshall County, Kansas : its people, industries, and institutions → online text (page 31 of 104)