Racine County ALHN

St. Mary's Catholic Church

As published in "The History of Racine and Kenosha Counties" (Chicago: 1879), p. 392-393

The German and English speaking Catholics of Racine worshiped in the same church, a small frame building, until the year 1862, when the German portion bought a lot upon which to erect a brick church. The corner-stone was laid in August, 1852, and on August 21, of the following year, it was dedicated by the Rt. Rev. Bishop Henni. The congregation was small, and the members poor, but they made many sacrifices to, have a church of their own. They succeeded in paying off the debts, and, in the year 1869, they were able to build a large brick schoolhouse, free of debt, under the supervision of Rev. Uhlmeyer. Rev. Birkhauser bought an additional lot of Hon. Judge Dyer, and in 1878 the congregation voted unanimously to build a spacious and elegant pastoral residence on said lot, which was done. The congregation is steadily increasing, and has now a membership of about 1,200. The school is conducted by the Dominican Sisters, and has an average attendance of 200 children. The Rev. Father P. De Berge is the present Pastor. Connected with this Church is the German Catholic Young Men's Association, which was organized March 3, 1868. The first officers of the Society were: H. Broecker, President ; Jos. Rebhan, Vice President; Jos. Broecker, Secretary; Michael Soens, Treasurer. The present officers are: Henry Broecker, President; Adolph Weber, Vice President; J. P. Hegner, Corresponding Secretary; Peter Zirbes, Recording Secretary; Geo. Zirbes, Secretary. The Society has a present membership of 115, meets in Utley's Block, and owns property valued at $2,000.

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