history.gif (1327 bytes) St. Marks Catholic Church


The early settlers of St. Mark's began to settle the thickly wooded hills and valleys about 1847. The first immigrants of this section were Henry Bockhold, Ferdinand Fromm and John G. Wessling in 1847.

In the year 1860, Father Michael Morendt, Pastor of Cannelton purchased a grocery store - a frame structure 30 x 30 with one acre of land for a Catholic school. The school is near where the present church is built. The school was taught by Catholic laymen. At this time, St. Mark's was a part of Troy Parish.

In June of 1863, Father Ferdinand Hunt of Troy offered the sacrifice of the Mass at St. Marks. He had service in the old school twice a month.

In 1863 John Hagedorn have the adjoining acre of land for the church. Anton Bruggeman was the first to be buried.

On June 5, 1867 the eighteen families decided to build a new church. The church was built under the direction of Father Morendt. The small parish began the task of building the church 36 x 65. They quarried the rock from a quarry nearby and moved it by oxen and sled. The timbers were hewed by hand from the forest nearby. The cornerstone was laid. On April 25, 1868 the new church was called to order by Dest. Palais - St. Marks.

Father Andrew completed the church. The Holy Mass of Christmas was the first mass said in the new church, April 25, 1869. Father Martin Marty blessed the new church and bell.

The mission grew to 33 families in 1877 and a resident pastor was named. Rev. John B. Unversaght was appointed the first resident pastor. Father Unversaght boarded with the neighboring families until the residence was built.

An acre of land across from the church was acquired from the Bruggeman family. The church was enlarged in 1887, adding sanctuary and sacristy, by Rev. J. M. Zoghman. In 1900 Rev. Peter Baron added a second story to the church.

Rev. M. J. Forve replaced the plain windows with art glass windows and replaced the side alters.

The school was built by Rev. Mathias Weiland in 1913-1914. The first floor was divided into two rooms, one for the first four grades and the other for the last four grades. Convent on the second floor, Parish Hall in the basement. Miss Josephine Ray was the first teacher. The sisters of St. Benedict became teachers. Sister Jerome was the first Sister Superior. It was a parochial school until 1924. In 1924 it began to receive state aid and was taught by the Sisters of St. Benedict until the school was closed and students sent to Perry Central School.

In 1938 St. Marks records showed a total of 866 baptisms, 276 marriages. The parish at present has 60 families and a total of 310 souls.

St. Marks pastors served four missions. St. Peters, 1877 - closed; old St. Johns, 1879, members are now a part of St. Isadore; St. Marys, 1888. Now a mission of St. Augustia, Leopold; St. Joseph's, 1891 Ranger, members go to St. Isadore.

A Historical Sketch of St. Marks's Parish