SACRED HEART CATHOLIC CHURCH

 

13954 SH 60     Wadsworth, Texas

2849'56.64"N      9556'7.63"W



 


Sacred Heart Catholic Church
By Kathleen Tatum




The town of Wadsworth, in the County of Matagorda was established and laid out in 1909, by the Colonial Land Company, consisting of A. A. Plottner and J. W. Stoddard, monied men from Dayton, Ohio, who organized the company in 1908.


One of the first families to move to Wadsworth in 1909, was John H. and Anna (Lodes) Ottis, practicing Catholics from Okarche, Oklahoma.


Finding it quite a task to take their ten children three miles from home to St. Francis Catholic Church, in the Polish Village to mass, they were very instrumental in building a new church in Wadsworth.


With the help of Rev. George Montreuil, who was pastor in 1910 and through the help of Bishop Nicholas A. Gallagher of Galveston, the Catholic Extension Society, as well as the Wadsworth Catholics, they obtained financing in 1912 to erect a frame two-story building, 75 foot long and 60 foot wide at Wadsworth, on the corner of First Street and Avenue H. The town of Wadsworth had a lumber yard, the Alamo Lumber Company, where it was very convenient to buy lumber to build the church. They named the new church and school building Sacred Heart and it was consecrated in November of 1913.


The lower floor of the Sacred Heart building consisted of one large room and was used for a school. The upper floor, in addition to the Chapel, consisted of several rooms. Some of the rooms were used as a dormitory for the Sisters that taught school. The school lasted only two years because of bad crop harvests. Much to their disappointment, the community could not afford to continue the school.


At first, church services were alternated every other Sunday with St. Francis. Later, they held services only once a month at St. Francis and three times a month at Sacred Heart. In 1995, Sacred Heart Catholic Church services are held every Sunday with the priests coming from Bay City.


When the highway department shelled the road from Bay City to Matagorda, they changed the thoroughfare through the town of Wadsworth, from the east side to the west side of the railroad tracts. In 1995 that road is Highway 60.


Father M. J. O'Regan, with the help of the Wadsworth Catholics, very carefully dismantled the Sacred Heart Church and School and rebuilt only the church at its present site, at the corner of Highway 60 and Avenue F, in 1924. Highway 60 was made into a concrete highway through Wadsworth in 1932.


The present Sacred Heart Mission Catholic Church is 28 feet wide and 62 feet long. It originally had steps leading to the choir area and organ, upstairs in the back of the church, but due to needed space the choir area and steps have been removed. It is now a mission of Bay City, with the priests traveling to Wadsworth each Sunday for mass.


Other priests who served in addition to Father Montreuil and Father O'Regan, were: Fathers Duda, O'Reilly, Coffey, Elmendorf and Martin. In 1995 all were deceased but not forgotten.

 


SACRED HEART CATHOLIC CHURCH
 

EARLY RESIDENTS OF WADSWORTH (EST. 1909) JOHN H. AND ANNA OTTIS RECEIVED HELP FROM GALVESTON BISHOP N. A. GALLAGHER, THE REV. GEORGE MONTREUIL, AND OTHER CATHOLICS IN THE AREA TO ERECT THE 2-STORY SACRED HEART CATHOLIC CHURCH/SCHOOL BUILDING IN 1912 AT THE CORNER OF 1ST AND AVE. H.  THOUGH THE SCHOOL CLOSED AFTER 2 YEARS CATHOLIC SERVICES WERE CONTINUED.  ROAD CONSTRUCTION PROMPTED THE REV. M. J. O'REGAN AND THE CONGREGATION TO REASSEMBLE THE ORIGINAL SANCTUARY HERE IN 1924.  SACRED HEART CONTINUES TO SERVE THE COMMUNITY AS A MISSION OF BAY CITY'S HOLY CROSS CATHOLIC CHURCH.                 (1993)
 

 

 

Copyright 2004 - Present by Carol Sue Gibbs
All rights reserved

Created
Jan. 14, 2005
Updated
Sep. 10, 2011
   

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