East of Road P and Road 50, South of Olpe, Elmendaro Twp, Lyon Co., KS
The first Catholic settlers to this community, about 1869, were the three Bechtel brothers - Philip, George and Alois, their parents (Fabian Bechtel and his wife), Joe Ponder and Christ Schafer. The nearest Catholic church was at Reading, Kansas, about fifty miles north. Once in a while a priest from Osage Mission, now St. Paul, Kansas, would travel through the country to offer the holy sacrifice of the Mass and to administer the sacraments to the faithful. Mass was celebrated in the farm houses and a table served as an altar. When Easter time came and there was no priest in the vicinity, a delegation of George Bechtel and Christ Schafer went to Emporia to secure the services of Father Perrier.
When the farm houses became too small to accomdate the faithful, they built a little church 20X30 feet, in 1875. The material was hauled from Emporia and erected by these same men. Joseph Wendel donated five acres of ground as a building site and planted a hdege around the church property. The cemetery was laid out as soon as the church was completed. Father Perrier came from Emporia about every three months. Father Domonic Meier was appointed first pastor. After this, Holy Mass was celebrated once a month. Father Alexius became pastor in September, 1885, and during his pastorate an addition of 20X30 feet was added to the original structure.
Several attempts at founding a parish school were unsuccessful. However, in 1907, two acres of ground was donated by Frank Bauer and a school was built. On the first floor were two classrooms, while the second floor was utilized as a residence for the Sisters, and two dormitories for the pupils.
On January 1, 1915, the church was destroyed by fire. Services were then held in the west wing of the school until funds were raised for a new church. Then, on December 26, 1917, this school building was also completely destroyed by fire. Benefit of church and school, the pastor, Father Martin Hoeft, called a meeting in the district school. It was decided at this meeting to build a brick combination building. This building, churcn on the second floor and two classrooms on the first floor, withe the residence for the Sisters in the rear, making the front of the building two stories and the reaf three stories, was completed in the spring of 1919. The plans were drawn by Henry Brinkman, of Emporia, and the general contract was let to August Markowitz, of Olpe, for $14,000. While the new building was under construction, services were held in the district school.
Services were held for the first time in the new St. Mary's church on March 23, 1919, and dedication was held May 7, 1919. It was then that the name of the church was changed from St. Boniface to St. Mary's and the name of the community was changed from Eagle Creek to Maydale.
Joseph Sturutzel and Mary Sterbenz were said to have been the first couple married in the Eagle Creek (Maydale) Church - February 12, 1882. Records show two couples married before them but they could have been married in homes where curhch was held. They were Patrick McCormick and Margaret Lyons and Joseph Shelkar and Mary Peshel.
Mrs. Paul Kuhlmann was the first baby baptized in the New Church.
At this time the sisters took over the district school, District #48, and taught it until it was consolidated with the Olpe school system.
As transportation improved it was thought feasible to disband this congregation and merge it with the Olpe and Madison churches. The building was later torn down.
Above photos from the book, Olpe Heritage.
St. Mary's Catholic (Maydale) Cemetery Transcriptions & Photos
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