Beloved Landmark Closed

by

Mike Ohmann

 

In the early 1900's, St. Vincent was a booming town witha much larger population than of today. It had a bank, general stores,post office, liquor stores, and an enormous train depot. The customs portof entry was also in St. Vincent. A large dock for steamships made transportationeasier.

One very unusual feature of this town was that it had atleast seven different churches for seven different faiths. One of thesechurches was St. Ann's Catholic Church. It was originally located acrossfrom the old fire hall. Then in 1933, the parishioners decided the churchwas too small. It was very cold in the winter for all the heat it had wasa pot-bellied stove. So, the new church was built just south of the presentPost Office. The new building was ultra modern, heated with an oil furnace. A caretaker was needed to see that the church would be warm before Sundayservices. The man was John Friebohle who owned a service station acrossthe road. He took care of it until his death in 1969. The new church alsohad a new priest by the name of Father MacAleer. He was a very powerfulspeaker. MacAleer was a hot headed Irish man like most Irishmen. He servedthe parish for eight years.

Then a priest names Father Merth took over. He was a verysoft spoken man. He was our parish leader until 1957 when Father Sietzbecame the new priest. Father Sietz was a boisterous man with a powerfulspeaking voice.

During these years, the church was remodeled somewhat. The basement had suffered flood damage in 1948 and 1950. It wasn't fitfor a the social activities of the church.

In 1965, Father Felion replaced Father Sietz. He was asoft spoken, gentle type man. While he was here, the church underwent asecond remodeling. This time the upper part of the church had the wallsand ceiling plastered. The sanctuary was carpeted and the altar was reconstructed. At this time, there were no thoughts of the church's closing. But in 1970,the diocese was under the direction of a new Bishop who brought about agreat change over the priests in many parishes. And Father Felion was onewho was needed in a more populated area. As a result, St. Anne's Churchbeing a mission church of Hallock, Minnesota, was closed because the newHallock priest couldn't handle both parishes as the former priests had done. The parishioners were sad by the loss of their beloved church, but it couldnot be helped. The parish was split between the Assumption Church of Pembina,North Dakota, and the St. Patrick's Church of Hallock, Minnesota.

The church was later sold to Russell Cote who wanted tomake his home in St. Vincent. The Cote's remodeled the building into abeautiful home where they still live.

Bibliography

Ohmann, Mrs. Reuben, Noyes, Minnesota, Interview, February1974

Ohmann, Mrs. Reuben, Noyes, Minnesota, Interview, February1974ben, Noyes, Minnesota, Interview, February1974