St. Joseph's Catholic Church, originated by a separation, from St. Mary's Church, of those
members living on the north side of the river. The church became too small for the large
congregation, and the distance too far for the members of the North Side. The building of the
present magnificent church edifice was commenced in 1875, and dedicated May 12, 1878, by
Most Rev. Archbishop J. N. Henni, of Milwaukee. The first services were held in the present
schoolhouse in 1876. The Church was regularly organized in December, 1875, when Rev.
Father M. Beiter was appointed the first Priest of this congregation. He was succeeded by
Rev. Father Hugo Victor, who remained only three months, when Rev. Father Anthony
Foeckler took charge of the congregation. The building of the church was under the
supervision of Rev. Father Geo. Strickner, and completed under Rev. Father Anthony Foeckler.
The plans were drawn by Frank Fisher, who also constructed the altar and pulpit, executed in
the most beautiful and elaborate Gothic style, a credit and a monument to his skill as a
carpenter and carver. John Lichter was the contractor of the brick and mason work. The stained
windows were manufactured by McCully & Myles, of Chicago. The immense and excellent
organ was built in Baltimore, by Pomplitz. Some sixteen years ago a Catholic school was
conducted in a frame schoolhouse, standing on the site of the present fine two-story brick building.
The building was destroyed by fire, and the new one erected, in 1872, under directions of Rev.
Father J. A. Birkhueser. This school is divided into two classes, including only children from
6 to 13 years of age. The term is eleven months in the year. The various branches are taught
by three Dominican Sisters. The average attendance is 180. The school is superintended by
the Rev. Father Foeckler. The congregation has a present membership of about 190 families.
The church property, including the house of worship, the schoolhouse and the Priest's
residence, is valued at $35,000. The property is all located on the southeast corner of St. Patrick
and N. Erie streets.
St. Joseph's Literary and Benevolent Society, connected with St. Joseph's Catholic Church,
was organized in January, 1876. Its first officers were: John Brown, President; Theodore
Schweitzer, Vice President; Jacob Hettrich, Treasurer; Charles Bettray, Corresponding Secretary,
Charles Albert, Recording Secretary. The present officers are: Max Osius, President; Leonard Kampf,
Vice President; Charles Salbreiter, Recording Secretary; Paul Bohn, Corresponding Secretary.