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Parish History

St. Joseph erected its first school in 1870, while the corner stone for our church is not laid until May 12,1875. Under the direction of Rev. Beiter, the church is completed and dedicated on Christmas Day with the celebration of its First Holy Mass in 1876.

1877: Rev. S Victor becomes Pastor on April 17, 1877. He is succeded by Fr. Anthony Foeckler in August of the same year. Four Sisters of St. Dominic are appointed to St. Joe's

1885: A sacristy is added to the church and the rectory is built

1890: The parish reports 111 members and steam heating is added to the church and school. Rev. Charles Fessler succeds Rev. Foeckler.

1892: Rev. Fessler resigns the pastorate in October because of ill health. Rev. John Friedl is appointed on December 15.

1894: Rev. William Joseph Frantz is appointed to the pastorate on August 1st after Fr. Friedl became ill.

1897: The school is expanded to includ an "entertainment" auditorium on the second floor at a cost of $8,000

1899: Modern gas lighting replaces kerosene lamps in the church, school and rectory

1900: City water and hot water heating are introduced into the rectory

1903: A pew rent system is submitted to the Chancery. Those who rent pews but intrude the pews of others are fined 10 cents.

1906: A new house for the sisters in erected.

1908: Fr. Frantz resigns because of ill health and is succeeded by Fr. Norbert Kersten as Pastor with Fr. Anthony C. Biwer as the first assistant at St. Joseph's.

1915: Fr. Wendelin J. Heder is appointed by Archbishop Sebastian G. Messmer as Pastor of St. Joseph's after Fr. Kessler's sudden death on December 7, 1914. Stations of the cross are installed in the church.

1916: September 30, Fr. Helder resigns becasue of ill health. Fr. Bach becomes pastor October 1.

1917: Holy Name Society is organized and English becomes the official language of St. Joseph's Electric lighting is introduced to the church, the altars are regilded and statues redecorated.

1920: The present playground is purchased for $23,000 with the intention of building a much needed high school. In 1924, the Dominican Sisters opened St. Catherine's High School and this became unnecessary.

1922: The old pew rent system was abolished. A new finance system and democratic seating are introduced.

1924: A carrara marble altar is installed in the church

1925: St. Joseph's celebrates its Golden Jubilee. The church is now 280 families strong.

1926: An envelope system and school fund are introduced.

1928: Receipts for 1928 totaled $18,668

1929: The current school is built at a cost of $135,000

1934: Rev. Henry J. Schmitt is appointed Pastor on April 11 by Archbishop Samuel Stritch.

1940: Fr. Schmitt celebrates his Silver Jubilee on June 23.

1945: St. Joseph's is out of debt. this was incurred by building the new school.

1946: Blacktopping and fencing of the playground is complete.

1948: St. Joseph's Ushers Club is formed.

1949: New loudspeakers are installed in the church. Confessionals are recessed into the walls.

1950; St. Joseph's church celebrates it's Diamond Jubilee and major renovations are made to the church.

1951: Fr. Schmitt is elevated to rank of Monsignor.

1959: St. Joseph's School enrollment reaches record 544 students.

1967: Monsignor Schmitt passes away on August 27. Archbishop William E. Cousins appoints Fr. James Schlaffer to the pastorate of St. Joseph.

1968: Sisters are given option to retain habits or wear civilian clothing.

1969: Fr. Erwin Moglika is appointed in June to the pastorate of St. Joseph's by Archbishop Cousins, replacing Fr. Schlaffer who is assigned resident chaplain at St. Monica's Home. Fr. Gerald Brittain is appointed Associate Pastor. The Sister's convent and school classrooms are remodeled.