Wyandot Co., OH

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St. Mary's History-Kirby

Last update 29-Dec-2005 10:58 AM

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"THE HISTORY OF ST. MARY'S CATHOLIC CHURCH, KIRBY, OH. >From the History of Wyandot County, Volume 1. The history of St. Mary's Catholic congregation, Kirby, dates back to 1860, at which time a number of Catholic families had located at Kirby and vicinity. These first settlers were visited at intervals by the Rev. Father P. Henneberry of New Riegel, Ohio, religious services being held in private houses. In 1863, the building of a church was planned by the little congregation. Mr. Frees donated six lots bounded by Main and Jackson streets, and Mr. George Thiel, one of the church trustees, collected the necessary funds. The church, a little frame structure, was built in 1865 and dedicated June 14, 1873, by the Rt. Rev. Bishop Gilmour of Cleveland. The Kirby congregation was first attended as a mission from New Riegel, and later on from Upper Sandusky and Bucyrus. The following pastors were successively in charge: The Rev. G. Spierings, Rev. Jos. Reinhardt, Rev. A. Gerardin, Rev. G. Peter, Rev. Chas. Braschler, Rev. D. Zinsmayer. In July, 1875, The Rev. Father Jos. Rosenberg was appointed first resident pastor of St. Mary's congregation. He enlarged the church and made a number of improvements. Under his successor, the Rev. Father John G. Mizer, St. Mary's school was opened in September, 1880. In April, 1882, were bought three acres of land outside the town of Kirby in Mifflin township, to serve as a cemetery, thus ending the use of the burying ground in the rear of the church. With the growth of the Catholic population the want of a larger church was felt. In 1888, Mr. Paul Bricker donated three lots immediately north of the original parish property, on which the new church was to be erected. The Rev. Father Fr. L. Hultgen assumed the pastorate of St. Mary's congregation in January, 1890. In April of the same year the foundation for the new church was commenced. The cornerstone was laid June 15, 1890, and the church was completed in the fall of 1891. The building committee was composed of Mr. G. Thiel, Mr. Nich. Miller, Mr. Chas. Riedlinger, Mr. John Muller, Mr. E. Bremeyer, Mr. L. Wagner, Mr. J. Rall, Mr. J. Peiffer. Architect and builder is Mr. B. Kokence. The church is built of brick and generously trimmed with sandstone. Its dimensions are, width, fifty-six feet, length, one hundred and four feet. Great was the joy of pastor and congregation on the day of its dedication for religious services, Nov. 22, 1891. They had indeed erected a beautiful temple to Almighty God. In 1903 the Rev. Father Hultgen was transferred to Tiffin and succeeded by the Rev. Father Jos. Gerz. During his pastorate a neat frame school and pastoral residence were built, thus making the building outfit of the congregation complete. In October, 1909, the Rev. Father Jos. Gerz was succeeded by the Rev. Father J. B. Heinen in the pastoral charge. For a number of years the Kirby pastors had attended St. Joseph's Catholic mission, Salem township. In September, 1912, however, the mission was detached from Kirby by the Rt. Rev. Bishop Jos. Schrembs of Toledo, who thus gave again to St. Mary's congregation the privilege of having regular religious services on all Sundays and Holy Days. No Debt encumbers at present the beautiful parish property, the last obligation having been paid off in the fall of 1912. The families that make up St. Mary's congregation number seventy-five, living in the town of Kirby, and in Salem, Mifflin, Jackson and Richland townships."