St. Mary Church in Fremont Center is in the Chicago Archdiocese.
In 1864 a frame church was built near where Fremont Center Road once met Highway 176. The land was donated by John and Mary Meier. The founding of St. Mary Church was 1864, although they had no resident priest. A bell was cast for the church in 1867. Early Catholic directories (1876-1889) list the church as St. James. The name was changed to St. Mary by 1892. In 1888 the parish got its first resident priest.
The priest bought four acres of land for $400 from George Diebold and his wife. A new church building was constructed in 1889 near Erhart and Rte. 60. The older church building was taken down and rebuilt near the new church. It was used as a school. The cemetery that had grown around the old church was moved to the area of the new church.
St. Peter Church in Volo was a mission of St. Mary from 1889-1904.
A new church bulding was built recently. It is on Fremont Center Road within sight of the old wooden building. The newer church building is a large structure with a glass facade.
Most of the earliest parishioners of St. Mary Church were German.
The Family History Library has microfilmed early records from St. Mary Church. The records are available for rent through a local Family History Center. Click here for film notes- FHL #1561665. The filmed records include baptisms, 1868-1916; marriages, 1868-1888 and 1890-1914; communions, 1891-1911; confirmations 1894, 1912; and deaths, 1869-1889 and 1890-1915. Be sure to check items 10-14 on this roll in order to be viewing the St. Mary records.
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