Marshall County

Catholic Church of Henry

The Catholics of Henry had no regular place of worship or established priest until about 1850. Up to that time priests from abroad came occasionally to say Mass, visit the sick, bury the dead and perform like offices.

In 1852 the foundation of a church building was laid, now known as the German Catholic Church, and after a rest of two years a fine brick structure arose thereon. It is 35x56 feet and 22 feet to the ceiling. A graceful steeple adorns it, and its interior is tastefully ornamented. It has a gallery and is well and comfortably seated; it has a good organ, bell and altars. Near by is a still larger building, devoted to the sister's school. It was erected not many years ago.

The different priests who from time to time officiated at Henry for the Catholics before and since the church was built, were in the order named: Father Montori, 1848; Father Joseph Staley, 1849, who came pretty regularly till about 1851, when Father Kramer came. There being no bishop at Chicago, when the Catholics of Henry wanted clerical help they had to apply to St. Louis.

Other priests came here occasionally, among them Fathers Lynch and Powers, of Lacon. The resident priests were: Father O'Garry, Louis Cartaville, Lightner, Koehne, Reck, Schreiber, Albrecht, Von Schwerdler, and Schamoni, the present clergyman.

In 1874 the congregation becoming too large for the building, and many of them being Germans, an arrangement was made by which the two people separated, the Germans retaining the building and paying $4,000. The Irish portion then built St. Mary's Church, a very fine structure, arid a priest of their own nationality was given them. The congregation has since largely increased and the Society is in a flourishing condition.

The priests who have ministered to them are: Fathers Heafy, Murtaugh, Corcoran, and the present Rev. Father Thos. Quigley.

Extracted 23 Feb 2014 from Records of the Olden Time

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