Francis Church and
Cemetery is situated southwest of
Texas, on FM 521 in an
area originally known as the "Polish
Village." Many of the
early settlers in this section of
came from Lagiewvnik,
District of Lublinitz
St. Francisville residents' love for religion was so great that they
requested visiting priests from
to hold services at
the home of Mrs. Frank Seerden (Mary Jadwiga Petrucha Seerden).
Frank Seerden, a native of
Prussia, gave 1.55 acres of
land for a church and cemetery. The deed dated
December 21, 1895, was recorded in the
Matagorda County Deed Records Volume 3, Page 506-507. Various citizens
were appointed to take up collections for the materials and
construction of the first church.
The first church was built in 1895 by contractors from
. Mrs. Seerden
ordered an altar from
and had it shipped to
, the altar was
brought by wagon to St. Francisville. This first church was
destroyed by a storm in 1896. The men of the community rebuilt
the church that same year. The second church was not as tall as the
first, and the altar had to be shortened six inches.
first burials in
were in 1899.
Barbara Herreth Petrucha, originally from
August 25, 1899
. Maria Petrucha
Butter, sister of Mary Petrucha Seerden, died
October 6, 1899
, and was the second
person buried in the cemetery.
1930, Zefflick Butter, a nephew of Mary Jadwiga Seerden,
donated an acre to the church and cemetery to bring it to its
current size. The 2.55 acres are enclosed with a chain link fence.
1965 St. Francis Catholic Church was designated as a Texas Historic
Landmark. The marker reads:
Catholic Church, 1895. First Euro-American Roman Catholic Church in
county. Land a gift of Mrs. Frank Seerden and Mr. and Mrs. Lawrence
following 1896 hurricane destruction.
A correction was added to the marker in 1985:
research showed original land donors were Mrs. Frank Seerden and her
nephew, Zeflick "Z" Butter.