St. Mary's Catholic Church
Shade Valley, Cromwell Township
Information for this web page was taken from the Sesqui-Centennial of St. Mary's Catholic Church, Shade Valley, Pennsylvania 1798-1948.
A Brief History of St. Mary's Catholic Church
There is some doubt about the actual year in which St. Mary's Catholic Church was built. According to Rev. Francis Reed Hoy in his "Mountain Comment" (September 28, 1947), he has an item from "The Pittsburgh Catholic" (September 11, 1947) that says: "The dedication of St. Mary's Catholic Church there (Shade Valley) by Bishop Michael O'Conner of Pittsburgh, was held September 1847.
Taken from the paper's files of a century ago, the notice seems to clarify a debated point regarding the erection of the little stone church which serves the congregation to the present day. The late Rev. John A. Kerkoska, pastor of Mt. Union, (1922-1942), reported in the Cathedral dedication volume that the church had been built in 1840, though the more or less official lists of parishes and pastors of the diocese carried in "The Register" of March 18, 1945, set 1848 as the time of the founding of the church.
The Catholic item also quotes that a "Catholic colony has existed there for 60 years, with Mass offered occasionally in private homes." That goes back to 1787, the year the federal constitution was drawn up in Philadelphia, two years before George Washington was inaugurated President, and 22 years before Prince Gallitzin became the first resident pastor of the diocese.
Bishop O'Connor, a well educated man, showed his knowledge of Latin by giving the new church the title of "Our Lady of Vallambrosa" (Literal translation of Shade Valley), but we have never heard it called anything but St. Mary's.
Since 1787, Shade Valley has been in Huntingdon County, PA.
The following history of St. Mary's was written May 26, 1948 by Father John Canova, of St. John the Baptist Church, Monaca, Pennsylvania: "It is very hard to reconstrue the history of Shade Valley as documents and facts are lacking. Tradition has it that a small number of Catholics settled there between 1790 and 1800. The turmoil then existing further West (?) in the Catholic settlement of Sportman's Hall - now St. Vincent's, Latrobe have restrained them from joining that group. This may equally be said of the other settlers who remained at Frankstown, Sinking Valley and others. You may rightly claim that Shade Valley is, after Sportsman Hall, at least, contemperaneous with Sugar Creek, Waynesburg, etc. in the present Pittsburgh Diocese. It may also be true that Prince Gallitzin visited the place from Tanneytown in 1796 and afterwards on his occasional journeys from Loretto to Baltimore. It has been said that the Archbishop Hughes preached there when but a deacon."
We are certain that in 1820, Rev. Thomas Heyden was sent to the Bedford Mission, of which Shade Valley was one being visited once a month, or once every two months. Perhaps Father John O'Reilly attended it for a while in 1831 from Newry and Father Bradley from Huntingdon after 1835. A diocesan document of 1839 seems to indicate that Father Heyden was asked to take charge again of Shade Valley. A note in Bishop Kendrick's diary tells us: "July the seventh day (1842) I confirmed sixteen in a place called Shade Valley in Huntingdon County . . . Eighteen Catholic families are living in the vicinity. Rev. J. A. Miller visits them four times a year." This priest must have taken care of the place for a short time. According to the Catholic Directories, Shade Valley was again attended by Father Heyden from 1846 to 1848; then from Path Valley 1849-1850; from Hollidaysburg by Father Thomas Farrel 1851-1853; then from Huntingdon 1854-1884 by Father P. Doyle 1855-1860, Father T. Wall 1863-1864, Father O'Gallagher in 1865, etc. According to some authority the small stone church was built by Father Heyden about 1848.
For the Pittsburgh Catholic - Shade Valley, PA, Tuesday, September 9, 1845.
Mr. Editor - As the Progress of our Religion brings joy to the bosoms of our Catholic Brethren, it will be most gratifying for them to learn that on Sunday, August 31st the Corner Stone of a new church was laid (with the Bishop's permission) by Rev. John C. Brady in Shade Valley, Huntingdon County. A ceremony so novel in this part of the county and a desire of hearing the Reverend Clergy man who officiated and preached, brought a large concourse of people together. The day was beautiful, everything in fact, conspired to make it a day of happiness to the Catholics of Shade Valley. It is now 58 years since the first Catholic Missionary visited this place. At that time there were only two or three Catholic families located here. Since they have increased, amounting to 23 families at present. The Holy Sacrifice of Mass was offered, during the above period beneath the roof of a humble dwelling. We looked forward with hope to the day when the first Stone of a Church would be laid, and on last Sunday that hope was realized. After the ceremony of laying the corner stone was performed, Rev. Brady ascended a platform erected for the occasion and taking his text from the 11th Chapter of St. Paul's Epistle to the Hebrews, 6th verse "But without Faith it is impossible to please God." He proved in the most clear, forcible, and eloquent manner, that faith was ours, and without our faith, it was impossible to please God, except a person through invincible ignorance. He was listened to throughout with marked attention, and it is to be hoped his eloquent discourse made favorable impressions upon the minds of his hearers. Our Church, I trust, will be ready for Consecration next summer and then we shall have the happiness of Worshipping God is his holy temple.
Editor's Note - Since the Logans lived next to
the present church and Mass was said in their home, my guess is that Mary
Logan wrote the above letter.
In this section of the book a description of several
of the early families of the Parish is presented. Some of the prominent
families listed are Logan, Laird, Hegie, McMath, Crouse, Starr, McMullen,
Krugh, and McGarvey. Send me e-mail if you are interested in more about
Names found in the Present St. Mary's Cemetery
Samuel Adams. Died October 22, 1886. Aged 63 yrs., 9 mo., 27 days.Mary M. Daughter of S. and M. J. Adams. Died December 21, 1879. Aged 13 yrs. 19 days.
Mary J. Wife of Samuel Adams. Died September 25, 1874. Aged 42 yrs., 8 mo., and 26 days.Thomas S. Son of S. and M. J. Adams. Died July 27, 1862. Aged 1 yr., 2 mo., and 12 days.
David McG. Son of S. and M.J. Adams. Died July 25, 1859. Aged 8 mo. and 27 days.Nancy H. Malone. Died January 16, 1888. Aged 44 yrs., 10 mo., and 11 days.
Mother - Catharine A. Malone. Died December 19, 1884. Aged 82 yrs., 2 mo., and 7 days.William Malone. Died December 26, 1852. Aged 64 years.
Martha. Wife of J.S. McKinstry. Died December 26, 1870. Aged 35 yrs., 3 mo., and 7 days.Joseph W. Fogal. Born January 8, 1835. Died May 24, 1901.
Laura P. Fogal. Born January 24, 1835. Died July 21, 1904.Michael Fogal. Died February 17, 1859. Aged 78 yrs. and 3 days.
Mary A. Daughter of M. and J. Fogal. Died June 12, 1855. Aged 17 yrs., 9 mo. and 16 days.Philip. Son of M. and J. Fogal. Died March 27, 1857. Aged 5 yrs., 5 mo. and 20 days.
Catherine. Daughter of M. and J. Fogal. Died April 3, 1857. Aged 10 yrs., 11 mo. and 23 days.Dominic. Son of M. and J. Fogal. Died April 9, 1857. Aged 7 yrs., 10 mo. and 27 days.
Anna M. Daughter of M. and J. Fogal. Died April 24, 1857. Aged 1 yr., 8 mo. and 24 days.William Logan. Died February 10, 1858. Aged 35 yrs., 6 mo. and 8 days.
Eleanor. Wife of William A. Logan. Died September 25, 1864. Aged 40 years.Mary A. Daughter of Eleanor and William Logan. Died March 11, 1857 aged 4 mo. and 11 days.
William. Son of Eleanor and William Logan. Died June 6, 1863. Aged 9 yrs., 9 mo. and 11 days.Ellie. Daughter of Eleanor and William Logan. Died August 14, 1867. Aged 14 yrs., 11 mo. and 20 days.
William A. Son of William A. and Elenaor Logan. Died May 28, 1869. Aged 22 yrs., 9 mo and 2 days.
William S. 1838-1916
Anna Mary. Wife of Michael Krugh. Died June 6, 1859. Aged 50 yrs, 2 mo. and 24 days.Ellen. Wife of Michael Krugh. Died December 5, 1881.
Jacob M. Krugh. Born December 20, 1849. Died December 8, 1890.Infant son of A. and E. Krugh. Died May 22, 1869. Aged 2 mo. and 5 days.
Catherine A. Krugh. September 21, 1840. February 3, 1899.Martha J. Krugh. 1849-1925.
Parisse Cupillari. May 3, 1879 - August 4, 1947. FatherElena Cupillari. October 3, 1882. Mother
Nancy Rebecca 1867-1918
Albert McMullen 1851-1935
Mary Ellen Kirwin 1888-1944. Wife of Arthur Hagie.
Freddie Kerstetter, 1944. Son of Albert and Rita Hegie Kerstetter.William McGarvey. Died August 31, 1862.
Joseph Krugh. Died March 19, 1903. Aged 60 yrs., 4
mo. and 8 days.
Ambrose McMullen 1879 - 1907
William L. August 27, 1870 - December 8, 1942
Jacob William, Son - November 1, 1898 - February 20, 1920Joseph Patrick, March 18, 1939 - May 29, 1939
Margaret Mary Fleming, April 13, 1932 - January 20, 1933. Daughter of J. Carl and Marcella McMath Fleming.James B. Fleming. July 28, 1925 - January 16, 1945. Cpl. A.A.F. Mail Sec. WW II. Son of J. Carl and Marcella McMath Fleming
Henry Augustine, 1860 - 1935
Regina May McGarvey, (wife) 1862 - 1895Anna May Ryan Starr, 1887 - 1943
Frances Starr Jones, 1858 - 1940Samuel H. 1868 - 1929
Mary E. Crouse, 1873 - 19__Martha A., daughter of S.H. and Mary Starr. Sept 12, 1899 - Sept. 13, 1900.
SPECKJohn D., (son) 1884 - 18__
Matilda Laird, (mother) 1843 - 18__John E., (father) 1843 - 1922
Laura Speck. Died Nov. 14, 1931.
Joseph Repper. Born Nov. 2, 1841. Died Sept. 11, 1899Elizabeth Laird. His wife. Died Sept. 26, 1915. Aged 76 years.
Harry J. Their son. Born March 31, 1877. Died April 5, 1899.Edward M. Repper. 1881 - 1929.
Helen Repper. Daughter of Art and Annie Repper. 1897 - 1899.Elizabeth Repper. (daughter) 1918 -1919.
Philip Repper. (son) 1922-1923.Mary Repper Mitchell, 1897 - 1924.
Emma Madden Repper, 1876 - 1929.Helen Repper
Dr. William T. James, 1866 - 1937.Clarence Joseph James, 1894 - 1947. Son of Dr. W. T. and Minnie Repper James. Served in WW I and WW II.
Sylvester A. Doyle. Born Oct. 1, 1859. Died Aug. 1, 1908.Augustine W. Doyle. Died Feb. 27, 1878. Aged 21 yrs., 7 mo., 8 days.
Gussie, Daughter of A. W. and A. M. Doyle. Died Dec. 12, 1878. Aged 1 yr., 2 mo., and 16 days.
David E. 1846 - 1928
Annastatia McMullen, (wife) 1842 - 1919
Rudolph M. 1877 - 1945
Margaret McMullen, (wife) 1874-19__Charley, (son) 1905 - 1905
William, (son) 1909-1910Annie, (daughter) 1914 - 1914
Cecelia, (daughter) 1917 - 1917James McGrain, 1917 - 1917. Son of Arthur and Amanda McMullen McGrain.
John A. 1852 - 1937
Mary E. Laird, (wife) 1848 - 1932Thomas B. Son of John and Mary Piper, 1887 - 1923
Jerome Piper. 1925 - 1933. Son of C.J. and Julia Starr Piper.Ralph J. Carothers, 1888 - 1942
L. Edmund 1894 - 1943
Grace E. Repper 1899 - 19__Joseph T. Treimer 1869 - 1941
Margaret L. Daughter of Clarence and Dorothy Ergler. Nov. 21, 1934 - March 19, 1936Mary Rosalie Doyle. Born Aug. 7, 1913. Died Apr. 8, 1914. Daughter of Herbert and Hilda Starr Doyle.
William J. Doyle. Born Nov. 15, 1918. Died Jan. 14, 1921. Son of Herbert and Hilda Starr Doyle.Catherine. Died Dec. 23, 1882. Aged 7 yrs. and 22 days.
Annd F. Died July 15, 1881. Aged 1 yr., and 21 days. Daughters of M. and R. J. Breen.James L. Devenney. Died Sept. 6, 1920. Aged 57 years.
NAMES FOUND IN THE OLD CEMETERY
Arthur Repper. 1871 - 1944
Annie Miller Repper, (wife) 1875 - 1929William Laird. Born Nov. 10, 1812. Died Nov. 15, 1886.
Bridget Laird. (Wife) Born June 11, 1811. Died April 10, 1902.Charles Laird 1845 - 1929. Co. 17, Penna. Infantry
Ellen Laird (wife) 1846 - 1927Frederick S. Laird. Penna Pvt. 154 Depot Brig. Died March 22, 1938. Aged about 46 years.
Michael Starr (Stair). Died June 12, 1888. Aged 85 years.Mary Hegie, wife of Michael Starr. Died March 10, 1855. Aged 58 years, 8 mo., and 25 days.
John M. Starr. Son of Michael and Mary Hegie Starr. Born Dec. 13, 1840. Died Dec. 28, 1864. Aged 24 yrs. 15 days.Simon P. Starr. Son of Michael and Mary Hegie Starr. Died Dec. 12, 1867. Aged 37 yrs., 1 mo., 15 days.
Clara Krugh, wife of Michael Starr. March 21, 1836 - October 4, 1910.John Galik. Died July 31, 1904. Aged 11 mo. 14 days.
Hugh L. Cook. Died June 19, 1867. Aged 59 yrs., 8 mo., 29 days.Joseph Hagie. Born Nov. 29, 1812. Died July 5, 1864. Aged 51 yrs., 7 mo., 6 days. Civil War.
Jacob Hegie. Revolutionary Soldier. 1763-1842.Margaret Hegie. Wife of Jacob Hegie. Died 1837, 68 yrs. old.
John Hagie. Died April 21, 1863. Aged 64 yrs., 4 mo., 19 days.John A. Son of William and Margaret McMullen. Died May 4, 1854. Aged 2 mo. and 20 days.
Martha Daugherty. Died Jan. 8, 1851. Aged 7 yrs., 11 mo.James Doyle. Died Nov. 10, 1853. Aged 14 yrs., 4 mo.
John B. Logan. Who departed this life April 16 ,1854. In the 45th year of his age.Nancy Logan. Died Oct. 5, 1853. Aged 73 yrs., 1 mo., 25 days.
Daniel Logan. Died April 14, 1868. Aged about 54 years.Hannah. Consort of Dennis B. Conner. Died Sept. 15, 1815. Aged 44 yrs., 10 mo., and 14 days.
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