St. James Church in Highwood is in the Chicago Archdiocese. Highwood is in Deerfield Township in Lake County.
Early Catholic settlers in Highwood attended church at nearby Fort Sheridan. In 1907 masses were started in Highwood by a pastor from Immaculate Conception Church in Highland Park. A frame church was built and dedicated in 1912. This became St. James Church. A colonial style church and school were later built. That church was dedicated in 1926. The church membership grew after WWII and in 1956 and 1958 more construction took place. The old frame church was torn down at that time.
The earliest settlers in Highwood were Scandinavian. They were followed by Irish Catholics. After the turn of the century Highwood saw an influx of Italian settlers. By 1980 it was estimated that 80% of the parishioners at St. James were of Italian descent.
The Family History Library in Salt Lake City has microfilmed baptisms from St. James Church for 1912-1915. The film is available for rental through your local Family History Center. Click here for St. James film notes. Be sure to look for item 4 on the film to find the St. James records.
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