The first Catholic Church in Manitowoc County

From various sources

This church was established in Manitowoc Rapids by Reverend Kasper REHRL. Reverend REHRL, had a circuit from Calumet County, through Sheboygan County, along the shores of Lake Michigan to Manitowoc County. Seeing the area was growing rapidly, he purchased two lots on November 17, 1848. Before this time services were held in the homes of the residents. Lumber and building materials were purchased for the building, but nothing was built until after the arrival of Reverend Joseph BRUNNER, S.J.

In 1850, Father BRUNNER announced at a mass, that he was preparing the young people for Holy Communion. At the end of the three week period that it took to prepare them, he wished to have the service in a church building. Carpenters volunteered their services for a reasonable price and the church was completed the Saturday before the Sunday of Services.

Father BRENNER stayed in Manitowoc Rapids for four years. During that time, he established, St. Luke's in Two Rivers, St. Isidore in Osman, St. James in Cooperstown, and St. Anne in Francis Creek. A sixth parish, the parish at Noonan's Corners, has long since disappeared. It was located on the Manitowoc-Menasha trail (now Hwy. 10). Not even a cemetery is present to mark the location. (more on Father Brenner)

From 1853-1857, Reverend H.S. NUYTS, a member of the Crozier Order, served The Maternity of Mary. In 1876, Reverend Gottfried NOEVERS assumed the pastorate. The parish was flourishing, but by this time, trade, government and population were shifting. Many moved east closer to Lake Michigan.

In Reverend Gottfried NOEVERS' parish notes he states a new parish house was purchased. In 1857 the old rectory was moved across the street for a school. A room was added as a home for the teacher. During his charge, a bell was added to the church. The little church had ten windows and seated 132 people. This school has the distinction of being the first Catholic school in the county.

In 1887 the church became a mission of St. Boniface in Manitowoc. Before then the church had it's own resident pastor. We do not know when the school stopped holding classes. By 1918, the rectory and the school were damaged by fire. The frame church was sold to the County for a sum of $405.00. Only the cemetery remained. Soon the days became years. The cemetery was neglected and became overgrown. It was restored in later years. The oldest remaining tombstone is that of "Anna Marie RIEF, Mutter von Mathias RIEF, geb. 1790, gest.1856".

The bell and collection basket were given to Holy Family Convent. The bell was used for about 40 years until it fell and broke. It is now kept in the memorabilia of the convent.

  From "A History of Manitowoc County"
by Ralph G. Plumb,
Brandt Printing and Binding Co., Manitowoc, Wis., copyright 1904.

The part played by the Roman Catholic Church in Manitowoc county has always been a large one and in membership the congregations professing that faith far outnumber all others. The parishes in the county are partly in the Milwaukee and partly in the Green Bay diocese, the latter having been founded in 1860 with the Manitowoc and Fox Rivers as the dividing lines.

Green Bay was the center of early activities along missionary lines in Wisconsin and thus it was that Rev. Joseph BRENNER was sent to Manitowoc county in 1850. An occasional visit from a Jesuit wanderer had been made before this time but it was not until Rev. Brenner's arrival that definite pastoral work began and perhaps no man better fitted could have been chosen for the work. Energetic and zealous at the end of his four years of service he had established congregations at Manitowoc Rapids, Two Rivers, Cooperstown, Meeme, Maple Grove and French Creek, holding services and building churches in each of these places.

This was a wonderful accomplishment considering the circumstances, the newness of the community and the poverty of the parishioners. The congregation at the Rapids included for some years the members of the faith at Manitowoc, the latter being obliged to go to the county seat to attend services, a church being erected at the Rapids in 1852. In the next year Father Brenner was called away from his duties and later left for the island of Java in the East Indies. A member of the Jesuit order the clergyman was forty-five years of age when he came to Manitowoc, having for some years previous resided at Green Bay where he gained a reputation as a linguist and writer. He died in the midst of his labors at Bombay, India in January 1885.

His successor, Rev. H.J. NUYTS had also been previously stationed at Green Bay and upon assuming charge decided that a church should be built at Manitowoc.



The Church of St. Boniface, Catholic Society was organized, as we are informed, in 1851, and church built in 1852. Father Brenner was the first pastor, and is represented as a very good man; he is now in the Island of Java, East Indies. The church is 40x70 feet, and will seat about 700. They also have a parsonage 30x50 feet, two stories. Their lot is on the corner of Main and Marshall streets, and is 40 x 150 feet. They also have five acres of land, used for a burying—ground, one and a half miles south of town. Rev. James Stehle is now the pastor. The members are principally Germans, Irish Poles and French.

From "A History of Manitowoc County"
by Ralph G. Plumb,
Brandt Printing and Binding Co., Manitowoc, Wis., copyright 1904.

Accordingly the first St. Boniface, a frame structure 40 by 70 feet, was erected on a lot on Marshall street, it being capable of seating seven hundred people and soon after a small parsonage was built and a five acre burial site purchased at a point some distance south of the city. Rev. Nuyts continued in service at Manitowoc and Rapids for three years, when he left for Grant County, from where soon after he returned to his native Holland, dying at a ripe age.

His successor was Rev. Michael BEITTNER, who came in 1856 and officiated for a year. Father BEITTNER was of Bavarian birth and was ordained by Bishop HENNI, officiating at New Coeln and Potosi before being sent to Manitowoc. After serving as pastor at Brighton, Jefferson and Racine for a time he returned to Bavaria, where he died May 28, 1895. From April to August 1857 Rev. Joseph MALY was the priest of St. Boniface. He was born in Bohemia in 1828 and graduated from the Budweis Theological School at the age of twenty—eight, coming to America a year later. After a short residence at Syracuse, N. Y. he came to Wisconsin and for many years was engaged in work in Manitowoc County and later in Kewaunee county. In the fullness of age he then retired to a farm in Dane County. On August 23, 1857 he was succeeded in Manitowoc by Rev. Mathew GERNBAUER, who remained until July 1859, being followed a year by Rev. Max de BECKE, both serving the Rapids church as well. During the earlier sixties Rev. J.M. PFEIFFER acted as priest, resigning to take a trip to Germany and dying at sea on his return voyage September 30, 1863. During his absence Rev. E.A. VAN STEENWYK of Two Rivers had officiated but the vacancy caused by the former’s death was filled by the appointment of Rev. James STAEHLE, who remained in Manitowoc until 1868. During the next ten years Rev. Joseph FESSLER was the resident priest. He was a German by birth and came to America in youth, studying at St. Francis Seminary. He was largely instrumental in the foundation of the convent at Alverno and after leaving Manitowoc went west, dying at Beaverton, Oregon June 20, 1896. On March 17, 1878 Rev. H. JACOBS assumed the duties of the parish and held the position until March three years later. He was born in Germany in 1841, came to America at the age of nineteen and soon graduated from St. Francis. After traveling in Europe he began his work in Fond du Lac County, where he returned to die after giving up his Manitowoc parish. For three months Rev. George FESSLER of Alverno filled the vacancy and in May Rev. W. J. PEIL the present incumbent assumed charge. Born in Racine October 3, 1849 he was ordained after a course at St. Francis, in 1872 and acted as assistant at St. Joseph’s in Milwaukee for some months, later being stationed at Caledonia. A man of indomitable energy he soon made his influence felt. At his arrival there were one hundred families connected with the parish while at present there are about four times that number. His first aim was the building of a church as the older structure was becoming too small. The cornerstone of the new St. Boniface was laid May 5, 1885 with due ceremony, addresses being delivered by Fathers WILLMES and CLEARY, while the consecration occurred Nov. 25, 1886, Bishop HEISS officiating. The total cost of the structure, which was 136 by 60 feet with a spire 136 feet high, was $30,000, the frescoing and other decorations being elaborate. The old church was used as a school for a time, Father FESSLER having started such an institution in his ministry. An important adjunct to the church has been the St. Joseph Benevolent Society formed May 15, 1874. The first officers were: President, T. MOHR; Vice President, Adam BLESER; Secretary, N. GENTGEN; Treasurer, C.M. PETERS. It was incorporated two years later and celebrated its twenty- fifth anniversary in 1899, the event being attended by many thousands. During its existence it has expended over $12,000 in benevolence. Branches of the Catholic Knights, Catholic Order of Foresters and Knights of Columbus are also connected with the church. The present constituency of the congregation is mainly German and Irish and the work has become so extensive that for several years it has been necessary to have an assistant, Revs. MUELLER and SALBREITER having filled the position.

Sisters of St. Boniface 1932

The picture was taken at Silver Creek in 1932. The researcher (see contributors page) was told they were the sisters that taught school at St Boniface in 1932. Sisters are unidentified.


From "A History of Manitowoc County"
by Ralph G. Plumb,
Brandt Printing and Binding Co., Manitowoc, Wis., copyright 1904.
(the picture below was taken abt. 1913)

Another of the oldest Catholic organizations of the county is St. Luke’s at Two Rivers. In 1851 R. M. EBERTS and wife donated three lots in Block 51 to Bishop HENNI for a church and accordingly Father BRENNER established a mission on July 16, a frame structure being built to accommodate the worshippers. A majority of these were French Canadians although many Germans and a few Irish were in the number, necessitating representation of the various nationalities among the priests. After Father BRENNER departed the following officiated:—Revs. W. DE YONGE 1856—1857, Peter MENARD 1857-1858, J. C. PERRODIN 1858-1860, S. SENNER 1860—1861, J.M. PFEIFFER 1861—1863, E. VAN STEENWYK 1863-1864, Bonaventura DE GOEY 1864— 1865, N. HENS 1866-1867, Jacob GAUCHE 1867-1870, J.F. ZAWISTOWSKI 1870- 1873, J. GAUCHE 1873—1877, A. BOGACKI 1877—1879. The next pastor, Rev. George J. VEITH, died suddenly October 1, 1881 while visiting in Green Bay and was succeeded by Rev. Mathias WELBES, who in 1891 was transferred to Kewaunee, being succeeded by Rev. J.A. GEISSLER. After two years Father GEISSLER departed and Rev. John G. DRIES became pastor. On March 16, 1898, however, he died and Rev. GEISSLER was recalled, having since served the congregation. Father DRIES was born in Luxemburg July 6, 1852 and came to America at the age of thirty, some years after entering the priesthood and at first ministering to congregations in Brown and Kewaunee counties. Father GEISSLER was born in Patterson, New Jersey April 4, 1854 and spent his early years at school in Belgium. His place in the hearts of his parishioners is high and he has done much for their advancement, the church now numbering 370 families. The cornerstone of a new church was laid July 12, 1891 and the structure, a fine stone one costing $25,000 was dedicated in October the year following. A benevolent society, taking the name of St. Joseph, was organized in 1872 and has done much good. A branch of the Catholic Knights also exists. ***********

History of St. Luke’s Catholic Congregation, Two Rivers, WI, from 1851 to 1926 (Transcribed from the St. Luke Diamond Jubilee, Dated 1926 by Eugene P. Schmitt 17 Mar 1999)

Among the early settlers in Two Rivers were Catholic families whose spiritual needs were supplied by pious self—sacrificing missionary fathers coming from Green Bay or Manitowoc Rapids. The first one, whose name is preserved to us is the Rev. H.J. NUYTS or NUYTEARDS, a member of the Congregation of the Holy Cross, who had charge of a parish at Manitowoc Rapids. The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass was celebrated in private houses and we can imagine the happiness of the pioneer Catholics on these rare occasions of grace. Houses thus honored were the EBERTS, NIQUETTE, BERNERS, STAHL, GAGNON and HOLLAND homes.

The first priest to be regularly appointed to care for the spiritual needs of what is now St. Luke’s Congregation was the Rev. Joseph BRUNNER. He made his home in Manitowoc Rapids and from there walked to Two Rivers, Mishicot and Cooperstown to care for the Catholic families of those places. A truly apostolic man, he was willing to make any sacrifice to promote God’s glory and the salvation of souls. His first entry in the baptismal record of the Congregation is dated July 19, 1851, on which day he baptized Casper HESSEL, son of Jacob HESSEL and Anna Mary EDEN HESSEL. The marriage of Anton NACHTWEY and Catherine PLATTEN was solemnized on July 20, 1851, so that Father Brunner’s labors in Two Rivers must have begun in July 1851. There was no Church, so services continued to be held in private buildings; no parsonage, so Father Brunner stayed at various homes of parishioners when he remained in Two Rivers any length of time. On December 23, 1851, Robert EBERTS and his wife then living in Detroit, Mich.; deeded over to the Rt. Rev. John Martin HENNI, Bishop of Milwaukee the land upon which the Church and the rectory have been built, for the sum of one cent in money, and upon condition “that the names of the parties, Robert EBERTS and wife, shall always remain upon a tablet which shall be placed on a side wall of a church to be erected and used for a Roman Catholic Church”. Mr. Robert EBERTS was known among the early Catholic settlers as a man of great faith and piety, who by word and example did much to keep alive and strengthen the faith of his fellow Catholics. In 1852 was begun the work of erecting the first church. Mr. Oliver LECLAIR, remarkable for his many accomplishments was the carpenter contractor. Father BRUNNER frequently gathered a band of men, and with them went to cut trees to secure the timbers for the building. The frame was erected in 1852, but it was not plastered and completed until the middle of 1853. In the meantime services were held in private houses during the winter months, and in summer time in the open air beside the church which was being built. Great must have been the sacrifices of Father Brunner and his parishioners to accomplish their purpose, and poor indeed was the finished church. It contained a table made by the parishioners to be used as an altar; rough benches made of planks took the place of pews; there was no communion railing - two boys holding the communion cloth. Yet what must have been the happiness of the Catholics of that day and how great their pride when for the first time Holy Mass was offered in their own church. Father BRUNNER departed from these missions in Sept. 1853.

The new Congregation continued to be under the care of the pastors of Manitowoc Rapids, of whom only the name of Father N. DE JONGHE has been preserved. He erected the first Way of the Cross. There are no entries in the records until March 1, 1857, on which date the Rev. Peter MENARD was the pastor. He was probably the first appointed pastor of St. Luke’s Congregation — the first priest to live in Two Rivers. There was no parsonage at the time, so he was obliged to stay at the home of a parishioner. Father MENARD remained less than a year from March to December 1857. For a year St. Luke’s was again a mission of Manitowoc Rapids, but on June 13, 1858 is found the first baptismal entry of the Rev. J.C. PERRODIN who remained as pastor until September 1860. The first financial record of any kind that is still to be found is the report of Father PERRODIN for contributions and expenditures made from June 1850 to July 1860. There were about 125 contributors during these years. It is interesting to read on that list many names familiar to us — family names still to be found in the Congregation. Father PERRODIN made many improvements during the years 1858-1860. He had new pews put in place of the benches at a cost of $55.15, had the communion railing installed and also had a new altar erected. He, too, built the first parsonage. Most of the labor on the parsonage was done by the parishioners’ evenings after their day’s work in the mills had been completed. Two rooms were finished at this time and it is told that Father PERRODIN placed his fur coat on the floor to sleep upon before the house was finished. The total cost of the improvements made by Father PERRODIN amounted to $491.00, of which $391.00 was paid. Two of the respective members of St. Luke’s Congregation still living, were instructed in the faith by Father Perrodin and received their First Holy Communion from him. They are Mrs. Elizabeth HARRIS, who was than a child of eleven years, having lived in Two Rivers in 1851 when the parish was organized, and Mr. Alfred LAFOND, Sr. who came to Two Rivers with his parents in 1853 before the first church was completed. Two members still living were joined in marriage by him. The records show that on August 30, 1859, Joseph SCHROEDER was united in marriage with Angeline ROLLINGER, and on October 18, 1859, Jacob CHRISTOFFEL married Helen SCHUSTER. Both Mrs. SCHROEDER and Mrs. CHRISTOFFEL are still living. Father PERRODIN was succeeded by the Rev. S. SANNER, who remained as pastor from October 1860 to February 1861. After a three months’ vacancy the Rev. M. PEIFFER became pastor but left the Congregation in July of the same year. Then there was no resident pastor for almost two years, during which time services were given the Congregation at regular intervals, usually once a month by the pastor of Manitowoc Rapids.

In April 1863 the Rev. E. VAN STEENWYK arrived as pastor to remain until the end of October 1864. On June 30, 1863 there was a meeting at the pastor’s house of a committee among whom were F. WALSH, Dr. John OSWALD, Joseph GAGNON, Oliver LECLAIR, N. BERNERS, and Tim HARRINGTON. It was unanimously voted to build an addition to the church 22 feet long and 60 feet wide, thus giving the old church its cross form. On August 3, 1863, the board met at the Nicholas BERNERS house, and gave the contract to build the church to the Rev. Father STEENWYK for the sum of $400.00. Oliver LECLAIR was again the carpenter contractor. Besides a subscription in money, every member of the Congregation was asked to give three days’ labor. There was 151 contributors to the fund raised. Martin HOLLAND acted as secretary of the committee.

The final cost of the addition was $493.06 of which $492.37 was paid, leaving a balance of 69 cents to be paid later. The old records show the sacrifices made by the early settlers to establish the Congregation and to make their church a fitting abode for their God. There were $60.00 paid by various citizens of Two Rivers, the records tell us for the honor of driving the first nails when the frame of the addition was raised. The last entry made by Rev. F. VAN STEENWYK is dated October 30, 1864. There was a vacancy then until December when the Rev. Bonaventure DE GOEY O.S.F. assumed charge. He was succeeded in June 1865 by the Rev. Nicholas STEHLE. Father STEHLE made the first inventory which plainly shows the poverty of the struggling Congregation. To enumerate some of the items best illustrating this, Father STEHLE'S inventory of June 16, 1865 records the following furnishings of the parish house: 6 large and 6 small plates, 2 large spoons, 2 small spoons, 2 deep dishes, 1 arm chair, 14 chairs, 6 tumblers, 1 lamp, 14 paper curtains and one oil curtain, 3 knives, 1 fork, 6 sheets, 2 bed—steads, 1 mattress, 1 tick, 1 table—cloth, 5 pillow—slips, 4 towels, 5 quilts.

The Rev. James STEHLE sometimes substituted for the Rev. Nick STEHLE. On April 5, 1866 the Rev. M. HENS arrived as pastor remaining until September 15, 1867. Father Hens is remembered as a very eloquent preacher and as the organizer of the first Altar Society.

In November 1867 the Rev. James GAUCHE was appointed pastor. He was the first priest to remain any length of time in the Congregation. During his first pastorate Father GAUCHE evidently made an attempt to open a Parish School in a building on 18th street, but this was unsuccessful. Father GAUCHE made some small improvements in the church and the rectory but in September 1870 was appointed pastor at St. James Congregation at Cooperstown, being succeeded by the Rev. J.J. ZAWOTOWSKI who was pastor from September 1870 to August 1873 when the Rev. Father GAUCHE returned remaining then until 1877 so that he was pastor six years altogether. It was during the second pastorate of Father GAUCHE that the Parochial School was successfully started. It was opened in a building still standing at 1511 - 17th street, the first teacher being Mr. Joseph MEYER, who the next year was succeeded by Mr. Franz STOFFEL who for many years of great personal sacrifice conducted the school. Some of his one time scholars tell how he labored often until 6 o’clock, using a candle light in order to finish his day’s task. He was also organist and choir director, sacristan and church janitor. For all this, the Congregation paid him $150.00 a year, and the amounts given as dues by the school children. In the year 1876 there were 251 contributors to the Congregation. It may be well to explain that for many years members of the Congregation were asked to contribute directly to the salary of the pastor in amounts varying from two to three dollars, as well as to pay pew rent for the support of the parish. It is interesting also to us to notice that a sharp distinction was made on racial lines - the contributions of the Germans, French and Polish members being kept separately, each nationality having its own collector.

On April 15, 1877 Father GAUCHE was succeeded by the Rev. A. BOGACKI who remained until 1879. He was a very eloquent priest and accomplished much both for the spiritual as well as the financial needs of the parish. Father BOGACKI left us a complete census of the Congregation for the year 1877, showing 103 German families, 63 French and 45 Polish, a total of 211 families. In 1877 the first school was built. It was a frame building situated on 19th street — back of the church. Only the first story was finished in 1877, the upper story being completed in 1878. The total cost of the building, including stoves, benches, and other furniture amounted to $1,041.15. To pay this, the members of the Congregation contributed $595.56; a collection taken up when the school was blessed amounted to $12.53; a picnic yielded $436.40 — a total of $1,044.49, so the rather unusual case is found of a balance of $3.34 remaining of a building fund after the improvement was entirely paid for, surely a real credit to the parishioners of that day. Mr. STOFFEL was soon given an assistant teacher. In Father BOGACKI's time the cemetery, now known as Calvary Cemetery, which had been purchased some years earlier was consecrated by the Rt. Rev. F. KRAUTBAUER, Bishop of Green Bay. Father BOGACKI too, was the first pastor to give the parish a regular secretary and treasurer.

In February 1879 Father BOGACKI was succeeded by the Rev. Geo. VEITH. He purchased the beautiful statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary, still in position on one of the side altars. Father VEITH died suddenly in October 1881, and was buried in Calvary Cemetery. For a few months there was a vacancy during which time a Father RHODE came on Sundays for Mass and services. In January 1882 the Rev. M. WELBES was appointed pastor and remained in charge for almost nine years. In 1882 additions were built to the church and other improvements made at a cost of $1,018.73. A new high altar was purchased for $300.00, a statue of St. Luke for $79.00 and a crucifix for the altar at $13.00. In January 1884 the trustees estimated the valuation of the parish property to be $4,000.00. In 1886 the parish bought lots 10 and 11 in block 51 for the sum of $392.00. On February 6, 1887 an important meeting of the Congregation was held in the school, at which it was decided to ask the Sisters of St. Francis of Alverno, (Silver Lake) to take charge of the school. The house opposite the rectory was bought for $1,130.00 to be used as the Sisters’ House. In September 1887 the Sisters began their labors - two Sisters teaching in the school and one in a room of the Sisters’ House. In 1888 a two-room addition was built to the school giving the same four rooms. About 1890 the Sisters of St. Francis from Greenfield Park took charge of the school. In the year 1889— 1890 there were 227 contributing members. In 1889 the Polish families separated to organize the Sacred Heart Congregation. Father WELBES was transferred to another charge in October 1890.

He was succeeded by the Rev. Joseph A. GEISSLER and with his coming a new era opened up for St. Luke’s Congregation. Father GEISSLER’s personality, his great eloquence, untiring labor and sacrifice remade the Congregation. Father GEISSLER’s first work was the building of a new church. On February 8, 1891 the parishioners at a meeting unanimously voted to start the great work that spring. The following were named as the building committee: P.H. NILES, B. MAYER, A. GEBLING, Henry FUNK, P. GAGNON, M. SANGER, U. NIQUETTE, J. SCHEUER, Peter SCHAFF and John HOFFMAN. P. GAGNON was secretary, Peter NILES treasurer of the committee, Peter SCHROEDER taking the place of P. NILES in 1892. On April 15, 1891 the contract was let and the work began, the corner stone being laid in August 1891. The building was completed in the fall of 1892. The Rt. Rev. S.G. MESSMER, then Bishop of Green Bay dedicated the church on October 23, 1892. The cost of the church including the cost of pews, bells, windows and decorating was $22,483.14. It was a proud and happy Congregation that attended the first services in the new St. Luke’s Church. Part of the old church had been moved across the street to be used as a Parish Hall meeting place and schoolroom. In the fall of 1891 the Sisters of the Congregation of St. Agnes, to whom the Congregation is so indebted for their labor of love and sacrifice in the education of its children and the making of its school, arrived. In July 1891 Father GEISSLER instituted the Sodality of the Blessed Virgin Mary for the Young Ladies of the Congregation. Much to the sorrow and regret of the Congregation, Father GEISSLER was in January 1893 transferred to St. Mary’s Congregation, South Kaukauna.

Rev. John A. DREES succeeded Father GEISSLER. On February 6, 1893 Father DREES erected and blessed the new Way of the Cross. The same year the trustees estimated the value of the Church Property at $25,000. In 1894 a new pulpit was placed in the church and two new side altars were donated by two societies. In 1895 the rectory was built at a cost of $4,464.38. The report of the pastor to the Rt. Rev. Bishop on January 1, 1895 gives the total number of souls in the Congregation as 1,635, the number of families 343, the number of teachers 5, the number of children attending school 237. Father DREES’ health failed and in January 1897 he was obliged to resign as pastor. He died in Sacred Heart Sanitarium, Milwaukee, March 16, 1897. To the great joy and happiness of the Congregation, Father GEISSLER was again appointed pastor at St. Luke’s Congregation, assuming charge on January 22, 1897. Zealously he renewed his labors for the spiritual and material developments of the Congregation. In January 1898 the value of the property of St. Luke’s was placed at $37, 000. There were at that time 349 families in the Congregation of which 216 were classed as German, 90 as French, 20 as Bohemian and 5 as English. There were at that time 325 children attending the parochial school in charge of 5 sisters. In 1900 the central heating plant was installed — a great improvement, which for many years served its purpose. On June 16, 1901 the Golden Jubilee of the Congregation was solemnly celebrated. The Rt. Rev. S.G. MESSMER, then Bishop of Green Bay delivered a very eloquent sermon. There was a great parade of all the societies, and the parishioners vied with one another in giving praise to God for the great progress made in fifty years, and to thank Him for His many blessings. In Sept. 1901 the lots upon which the Sisters’ home and the school were later erected were purchased for $2,500.00. The Ven. Sisters moved into the house standing on one of these lots and in October 1901 the former Sisters’ House was sold to Charles HERBERG for $1,220.00. In 1903 the new Sisters’ Home was built, costing $4,500.00.

The same year the pipe organ was purchased for $2,650.00 In 1904 an addition of two rooms was built to the school giving it six rooms. Classes were also conducted in the old church then used as a Parish Hall. On June 7, 1904 Father Geissler celebrated the Silver Jubilee of his ordination, an occasion that was eagerly seized upon by the Congregation to show their love and affection for their zealous pastor. A very successful Mission was held in the fall of 1904. From October 16, to October 23, a Mission was conducted in German by Rev. VAN DER ERDEN S.J. assisted by the Rev. S. HYNE S.J. had charge of the Mission in English. The Mission was indeed a revival of faith for the zealous parishioners - many of whom at that time commenced the practice of the monthly communion which was given way to more frequent reception of this Holy and Blessed Sacrament in the later years.

A very important change took place in 1905 when at a parish meeting it was unanimously decided that henceforth St. Luke’s School should be a free school. Up to this time the children had been obliged to pay tuition and a custom of twenty-seven years was hereby abrogated surely a demonstration of the spirit animating the Congregation; in fact interest in, and affection for its school has been a characteristic mark of the parishioners. In August 1905 the present pastor, the Rev. C.V. HUGO was appointed assistant pastor, the first thus to act to Father GEISSLER, who was then suffering from an inflammatory rheumatism. For several years Father GEISSLER and Father HUGO labored together caring for the ever increasing needs of the growing Congregation, sharing its burdens and rejoicing in its progress. In 1905 the value of the property belonging to the Congregation was estimated at $60,000.

During 1906 the St. Joseph’s Athletic Association, commonly called the Boy’s Club, had the present frescoing of the church done at a cost of $1.200.00, showing the interest of the young men in the Congregation. The same year the Altar Society and the Sodality of the Blessed Virgin expended $1,300.00 renovating the altars and pews and installing the beautiful Way of the Cross that so enhances the beauty of our church. During the same year Fathers GEISSLER and HUGO made a house to house visitation of the Congregation to take up an exact census. The results show that the parish at that time consisted of 496 families and had a total of 2234 souls. In 1907 it was decided to pay the entire indebtedness of the Congregation, an aim that was accomplished in 1907 and 1908. Upon Father GEISSLER’s return from an extended European trip the parish welcomed him back with a big celebration. In August of this year the assistant pastor, Father HUGO, was appointed pastor of Corpus Christi Congregation, at Sawyer, Wis. He was succeeded by the Rev. Martin JAECKELS. In 1908 the growth of the Congregation proved itself in the overcrowding of its school. In July of that year the Congregation rented a barrack from the city to use as a school room. In the same month Father Hugo returned to his former position as assistant pastor. In August a large meeting of the Congregation decided to build a new school in 1909. During 1909 the Congregation was busy erecting the new school. The building contained 12 school-rooms, club rooms, gymnasium and auditorium. Its cost completely furnished was $38,084.32 of which $22,452.32 was paid, leaving a debt of $15,632.00. It was a happy day when the school was opened and the parish felt repaid for its great sacrifices at the thought that the needs of their children were so well supplied. In the report of 1911 we find the first remark concerning frequent reception of Holy Communion, a practice which has grown so wonderfully within the Congregation. In that year it was estimated that there were 70 daily communicants. In 1914 the asbestos slate roof was put on the church at a cost of $1,600.00. In 1916 we find first mention made of a practice that has developed to a very prominent place in the special devotions of the parish namely the First Friday Communion. In 1916 also an addition was built to the Sisters’ House adding six rooms and a chapel at a cost of $4,172.00; and the present site of the Holy Cross Cemetery was purchased, the ten acres costing $900.00. St. Luke’s Congregation proved true to the teaching of Holy Mother Church, that we must love our country and be imbued with the spirit of true patriotism during the Great War. One hundred forty-two members of the Congregation served in the army, twenty in the navy, one in the Red Cross. The following made the supreme sacrifice: Eugene DUPAS, Isadore LESPERANCE, John NILES, Anton POLZAR, James ELLIOTT, Charles BUGLER, George SIMONIS, Adolph WONDRASH, Charles ALLIE, August WEIER, Albert KLINKENBERG. The Congregation bought Liberty Bonds for $3,000, while members of the Congregation purchased Liberty Bonds to the extent of $96,650.00 and 5837 War Saving Stamps. The contribution of the parish to the Red Cross was $2,493.15; to the K.C. fund $750.00 to other organizations $995.00 and the War Chest $2,171.75. The school children of those years bought $3,850.00 worth of Liberty Bonds, 321 War Saving Stamps and Thrift Stamps to the amount of $476.00. There was no work done in which the parish was not represented. Thousands and thousands of Holy Communions were offered up for our country and its defenders. Holy Masses were heard and prayers said daily for them.

At a parish meeting held January 5, 1919 it was decided that in the future all sermons should be in English. From April 18th to May 2nd, 1920 a very successful Mission was conducted by the Passionist Fathers during which the Holy Name Society was introduced in the parish. The parish continued to grow with the growth of the city and in 1921 it was decided to build an addition of four rooms to the school and to install the central heating plant in the basement of the new building. This was done at a cost of $37,000.00; $9,000.00 of which went into the heating plant for all the parish buildings; $25,565.65 was paid on this. The same year the Congregation pledged its quota to the Charity Drive of the diocese which was $27,000.00. In June 1921 a second assistant was given to the Congregation. Father GEISSLER’s health was poor and it became necessary with the increase of work and necessity of four Masses on Sunday to have another priest to assist. The Rev. Alfred PRITZL was appointed and labored with great zeal for one year.

In the year 1922, St. Joseph’s Society donated a new sanctuary lamp to the Congregation on the occasion of its Golden Jubilee. In July 1922 the present beloved assistant pastor, the Rev. H.A. LITTEL, was appointed to succeed Father PRITZL. In January 1922 the parish surprised its dearly beloved pastor in honor of the twenty—five continuous years that he had been pastor of the Congregation. However, to the deep regret of all, Father GEISSLER’s health failed rapidly. On Christmas Day, 1922 he for the last time spoke to his people in Church during High Mass. On February 27, 1923, he died. The affections and regard in which he was held was shown by the general sorrow and the universal participation in the funeral services. For thirty years he had guided the destinies of the parish.

On May 22, 1923 the Rev. C.V. HUGO, for seventeen years assistant to Father GEISSLER, was appointed pastor of St. Luke’s Congregation by the Rt. Rev. P.P. Rhode, Bishop of Green Bay. On June 7, he was solemnly installed into his office by the Rt. Rev. Msgr William PEIL, dean of Manitowoc County. The new pastor needed but to continue his labors of the past. In July 1923 the Catholic Cemetery Association of Two Rivers was incorporated to take charge of the cemeteries for the Catholic parishes of the city. In 1923 the St. Joseph’s Athletic Association celebrated its Silver Jubilee and in honor of the event presented the new confessional to the Congregation. In 1924 the parish finished paying its quota on the Diocesan Charities Campaign. In June 1924 one hundred and fifty families living south of the Nashota River were formed into the new St. Mark’s Congregation. Rev. P.J. NILLES, a son of St. Luke’s Congregation was appointed its first pastor. St. Luke’s Congregation donated the site of the new parish and including this has so far contributed $23,917.47 towards the building fund of the new parish. In 1925 the rectory was remodeled and an addition of three rooms built onto it.

This completes the history of the Congregation. A careful reading of this little work will show many reasons why the parishioners of 1926 should give thanks to God for His manifold blessings. The Congregation has grown most wonderfully. Today there are 808 families and 3,354 souls. The value of the parish property is $253,501.00, according to the estimate made by a duly authorized appraisal company. The spiritual development of the parish is even more astounding. No parish took the encyclical latter of the beloved Pontiff Pope Pius 10th, concerning frequent Communion more to heart. The number of the Communicants rose year by year until in 1925 it reached a total of almost 93,000. Well attended services has always been the rule. The true Catholic spirit of the Congregation is shown by the vocations with which it has been blessed. The Rev. Isaac GAGNON, deceased, Rev. P.J. NILLES, Pastor of St. Mark’s Congregation, Two Rivers; the Rev. Joseph AHEARN, Denmark, Wis.; the Rev. Roland ABEAM, Gillette, Wis.; the Rev Louis SHORN, Wausaukee, Wis., all came from St. Luke’s. The present nine young men of the parish are preparing for the priesthood at different seminaries. Brother Benno SANVILLE, a member of the Alexian Brothers is also a son of the parish. Thirty young ladies left their homes in Two Rivers to follow the Divine Vocation to serve their God in a more perfect manner. The following are members of the Congregation of St. Agnes of Fond du Lac, Wis.: Sr. M. Isabelle GAGNON, Sr. M. Esther KUMBALEK, Sr. M. Carina WIERZBACH, Sr. M. Clotilda SIMINO, Sr. M. Imelda GEIMER, Sr. M. Alfred BECKER, Sr. M. Acquinata GOELER, Sr. M. Innocence WINKEL, Sr. M. Margaret KUMBALEK, Sr. M. Angelus SCHROEDER, Sr. M. Walbuga WINKEL, Sr. N. Clarentine NEUMANN, Sr. M. Berneta STEFFES, Sr. M. Nataline SHEKOSKI, Sr. M. Joan of Arc DUPAS, Sr. M. Concordia RIBACEK, Sr. M. Frances Terese BELONGER, Sr. M. Victor KIMES, Sr. M. Eugene DUPAS, Sr. M. Anna KAISER, Sr. M. Gabrielle POLZAR; while the following candidates: Margaret FEUERSTEIN and Cecelia DEBRUIN. Girls of the parish who became members of the Convent of the Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity of Alverno, Wis. are: Sr. M. Candida GAGNON (deceased), Sr. M. Fidelis ADAM, Sr. M. Bernice GEIMER (deceased), Sr. M. Jeannette SANVILLE, Sr. M. Gerald ADAM, Sr. M. Candida GEIMER, Sr. M. Georgine BREY. Sr. M. Huberta SCHROEDER is a member of the Sisters of Charity of the B.V.M. of Dubuque, Iowa. Needless to say, St. Lukes Congregation takes real pride in the thought of these, her children, who have consecrated themselves to the special service of God.

The Congregation feels that special mention should be made of those who have faithfully served as officers of the Congregation. It is to be regretted that the list is not complete. But the following are those which were to be found. The first officer mentioned in the records is Felix WALSH, clerk in 1863. In the same year Martin HOLLAND was secretary. The following are mentioned as secretaries; John SCHMITT, 12 years; William F. ABEAM, 4 years; John J. SCHROEDER, 4 years; Henry SCHMITT, 8 years; and the present loyal secretary Joseph L. KLEIN with the record 14 years of most conscientious service. The office of treasurer has been filled by: Joseph GAGNON, 2 years; B. MAYER, 4 years; Michael RHEIN, 2 years; Urban NIQUETTE, 2 years; Jonas GAGNON, 4 years; Joseph SCHROEDER, 2 years; Albert PILON, 2 years; Louis NIQUETTE, 8 years; Ed. PILON, 4 years; and George PILON the present treasurer who with greatest fidelity has fulfilled the duties of the office for 14 years. The following have at different times been consulters: Henry WALSH, 1864—1865; Anton SEIBEL, 1864-1865; Urban NIQUETTE, 1864-1865; Michael MALOY, 1865; John Anton CHRISTMAN, 1865; Francis LONGEVIN, 1865; Oliver PILON, M. ETTRINGER, August KRANTZ and John SKORTZ, P.H. NILLES, John PETROSKI, Eli NIQUETTE, Peter LAFLEUR, Martin SANGER, Nelson CRAITE, Joseph GAGNON, Louis NIQUETTE, Roman RUTHMANSDORFER, John MIXA, Benedict MAYER, Edward PFEFFER, Peter BARTELME, John J. SCHROEDER, Peter GAGNON, Andrew WACHTEL, Aloysius REHRAUER, John HOFFMAN, John K. BETH, Dan BOYLE, Edward GOETZ and the present loyal board Henry SCHMITT, Frank SCHROEDER, Adolph FONTAINE, Henry NILLES, Chris. BECKER.

It is regretted that the records of the Congregation are evidently not complete, but the following is a tabulated record of what is given. There is a total of 5832 Baptisms and 1241 Marriages recorded which are divided as follows: By the Rev. Joseph BRUNNER, baptisms 186, marriages 44; Rev. Peter MONARD, baptisms, 105, marriages 44; Rev. J.C. PERRODIN, baptisms 231, marriages 43; Rev. S. SANNER, baptisms 20, marriages 2; Rev. M. PEIFFER, baptisms 19, marriages no record; Rev. E. VAN STEENWYK, baptisms 130, marriages 10; Rev. B. DEGOEY, baptisms 25, marriages, no record; Rev. N. STEHLE, baptisms 20, marriages, no record; Rev. M. HENS, baptisms 91, marriages 17; Rev. James GAUCHE, baptisms 483, marriages 58; Rev. J.J. ZAWITOWSKI, baptisms 122, marriages 10; Rev. A. BOGACKI, baptisms 141, marriages 22; Rev. Geo. VEITH, baptisms 229, marriages 86; Rev. J. RHODE, baptisms ——-, marriages 5; Rev. M. WELBES, baptisms 718, marriages 107; Rev J.A. DREES, baptisms 332, marriages 72; Rev. J.A. GEISSLER, baptisms 1071, marriages 284; Rev. E. GOERLICH, S.D.S. baptisms 24, marriages 5; Rev. Wm. MARTEL, baptisms 10, marriages 6; Rev. M. JAECKELS, baptisms 81, marriages 3; Rev. A. PRITZL, baptisms 73, marriages 11; Rev H.A. LITTEL, baptisms 298, marriages 52; Rev. C.V. HUGO baptisms 1417, marriages 435.

Information taken from Herald Times Reporter article
Jan. 19, 2001

The St. Luke School and Convent buildings were purchased from St. Luke Parish and the Green Bay Diocese by MetroPlains. MetroPlains has begun development on a 33-unit low to moderate-income senior housing complex. The complex will be named Marquette Manor.

The convent was leased to the Two Rivers Historical Society for continuing use as the Two Rivers History Museum.


From "A History of Manitowoc County"
by Ralph G. Plumb,
Brandt Printing and Binding Co., Manitowoc, Wis., copyright 1904.

On May 10, 1889 the Poles at Two Rivers, who were a part of the congregation of St. Luke’s, separated and established Sacred Heart Church. Rev. F. LUCZYCKI was the first priest, being succeeded by Revs. CHELKOCKI, BOZWIACKI, GERUSS, PODLICKI, MOZEJUSKI, KUBAZESKI, and POCIECHA. A new church was erected by the congregation in 1899.
SACRED HEART CHURCH. Sacred Heart church, of Manitowoc, Wisconsin, was organized by the Rev. J. T. O’Leary in 1902, the first informal meeting of the congregation of forty families being held in the assembly room of the Parks school, at which time F. A. Miller and W. E. Murphy were elected trustees and have since served as such. The church was also named at that time and occupied the old St. James Episcopal church, where the first services were held July 27, 1902, and continued to he held there until December 25, 1904. The land for the new church was purchased from William Richards for eight thousand. dollars, the church itself, without furnishings, costing twenty-two thousand dollars, and the cornerstone was laid September 18, 1904, by Archbishop Messner. The congregation now includes over two hundred families. The Sacred Heart school, which is conducted by the Sisters of St. Joseph, of St. Louis, was opened August 31, 1908, the first graduation exercises being held June 23, 1911, and now has a membership of one hundred and sixty children. Father O’Leary is a native of Wisconsin and a graduate of St. Francis Seminary. He was pastor at Osceola, Wisconsin, East Troy and later Franklin, and then came to Manitowoc. He is a great believer in the advantges to be gained by indulging in out-of-door sports. In his religious labors he has been earnest and faithful, and he is held in the sincerest affection by the members of his congregation, of whom he is friend as well as priest. Much of the credit for the present welfare of the church and its financial affairs, is due to the ladies of the congregation, who have been untiring in helping Father O’Leary in his work.
"The History of Manitowoc County, Wisconsin" by Dr. Louis Falge, 1912. p.80-81


From various sources

This church and cemetery no longer is present along the Manitowoc-Menasha trail.(now Hwy 10). The church was established in 1850 by Reverend BRUNNER, to serve 14 families. It is one of the oldest churches of Manitowoc County. The graves have long since been moved to the cemetery at St. Patrick's Maple Grove. Early reports and Diocese records report the church as being in Maple Grove. First services being held at the home of Mrs. B.S. LORRIGAN.

The facts of this church have become confused over time. The exact location of the church is unknown. Although it is believed to have been on the southeast corner of section five of the Township of Cato.

The official records state the church was in Maple Grove, the village of Maple Grove did not exist in 1850. Maple Grove township was large, making up what is presently Maple Grove, Franklin, Rockland, and Cato townships. These townships being split from Maple Grove in 1855, 1856, and 1857 respectively. Going by the present day township boundaries, this church would be located in the township of Cato.

Because of the confusion in boundaries, some have confused the establishment of this church with St. Patrick's in the village of Maple Grove. We believe that that church was dedicated to St. Paul from material obtained from Monsignor GEHL and notes on the deed for St. Patrick's church in Maple Grove. We find that the land dontated to St. Patrick's, Maple Grove is for the exclusive use of St. Paul's and for St. Augustine's. St. Paul's being in Cato and St. Augustine's in Reifs Mills.

Exactly how long St. Paul's was in existence we do not know. Between 1870 and 1874, during Reverend Andrew Seubert's charge at St. Patrick's of Maple Grove, the old St. Paul's Church of Cato was moved to Maple Grove for a school.

When St. Paul's in Manitowoc was established, it was named after St. Paul's in Cato, in order to keep the memory of the old church built in 1850.


From "A History of Manitowoc County"
by Ralph G. Plumb,
Brandt Printing and Binding Co., Manitowoc, Wis., copyright 1904.

NOTE: This information is taken from A History of Manitowoc County" by Ralph G. Plumb. Some of the information is not correct. Please see St. Paul's Church-Cato.

Another of the original churches of the county is that, known as St. Patrick’s, in the town of Maple Grove. Fourteen Catholics met at the home of B. S. LORIGAN in 1850 and formed a church, which was visited at first by Rev. BRENNER. A frame church was built and occasional services held by the priests in charge at Manitowoc until 1861 when Rev. SEBASTIAN was made a resident pastor. He was a sincere patriot and did much towards filling Maple Grove’s quota during the civil struggle.

(NOTE: This is where I believe the information becomes accurate.)

His successor in 1865 was Rev. Eugene Mcginnity now of Janesville and largely through his efforts the building of a new church was undertaken, the cornerstone being laid November 1, 1868, the structure when completed being 100 by 46 feet. The succeeding pastors having been Revs. James MAHONEY 1868—1870, Andrew SEUBERT 1870-1874, Louis CORNELIUS 1874—1875, C. LEMOGIE 1875—1879, Roman SCHOTTER 1879-1881, W. J. RICE 1881—1887, Conrad SEULE 1887—1893 and the present pastor Rev. T. J. RYAN. Father RYAN is of Irish birth and became a priest in 1884, ministering in Omro, Winneconne and Ripon for some time. A branch of the C. K. W. is in existence in connection with St. Luke’s.


From "A History of Manitowoc County"
by Ralph G. Plumb,
Brandt Printing and Binding Co., Manitowoc, Wis., copyright 1904.

A fourth church to be established by Father Brenner was St. James’ at Cooperstown. A building was erected in 1850, six years after the first permanent settlement in the township. Until 1865 it was visited by Father BRENNER of Manitowoc and Father MALY of Francis Creek but in that year Rev. Augustin LANG took up his duties at the parish, succeeded in two years by Rev. William MAHONEY. Rev. Eusebius HENZLE, who came to the church in 1868, died February 20, 1870 and was succeeded by Rev. James GAUCHE now of De Pere for three years. A new church was erected in 1871, made possible by the energetic efforts of the building committee. From 1876 to 1884 Rev. August ROSSOCHOWITZ, an exile from Germany officiated, being succeeded for a few months by Father STIRN of Francis Creek. The later priests have been Revs. J. A. DUEMEYER 1884—1887, John H. HOLZKNECHT 1887-1892, F. X. STEINBRECHER and F. W. GEIER 1892, John D. SCHWARTZMEYER 1892—1895. In 1895 Rev. G. J. PELLEGRIN assumed charge, a man of extraordinary attainments, of Belgian birth and a linguist of reputation. Born in 1846 he caine to America at the age of nineteen and is a graduate of St. Francis Seminary. His successor was the present pastor, Rev. F. W. GEIER. The congregation was incorporated in 1883 and now numbers one hundred and twenty-five families. Branch No. 101 C. K. W. is made up of members of St. James.


From "A History of Manitowoc County"
by Ralph G. Plumb,
Brandt Printing and Binding Co., Manitowoc, Wis., copyright 1904.

St. Isidore’s Church in the town of Meeme is another monument to the organizing ability of Father Brenner. In the fall of 1850 a few religionists gathered at the home of John MALTILOR and formed a church. Henry MULHOLLAND, Sr. donated a three acre plot upon which was constructed a chapel 50 by 30 feet, Bishop HENNI naming it. It was visited by priests from surrounding churches until 1862 when Rev. Lawrence KENNEY took charge. He induced his people to build a new structure; which was completed in 1864 and blessed by Bishop HENNI on his memorable trip through the county that year when a total of 910 were confirmed at the various churches. Rev. KENNEY died while at St. Isadore‘s and was buried under the new church. Rev. MCGINNITY of Maple Grove then looked after the parish for four years until the appointment of Rev. Thomas MCDONEELL who also died in the midst of his labors February 24, 1869. After a vacancy of a year the following pastors ofliciated in the order named:—Revs. E. R. GOSS 1870-1871, Dennis TIERNEY 1871-1874, J. R. BRILLER 1878-1879, Thomas CORRY 1879-1880, R. J. Roche 1880-1882, A. J. GERHARD 1882, J. J. Smith 1883-1885, E. E. GRAVES 1885-1886. E. F. PITT 1886-1890, M. B. Norton 1890-1894 and Rev. E. HENDERSON. The church numbers 500 families, largely of Irish descent. Branch No. 68 C. K. W. was established at Meeme April 14, 1887. **********

FLAG RAISING TO MARK DAY AT OSMAN CHURCH Church Will Also Have Diamond Jubilee Event on Day Osman's contribution to the Memorial Day observance this year will be a flag raising held Monday in connection with the memorial services at the church, which will have a triple celebration-the memorial ceremonies, a dedication of the new church home at St. Isidore's congregation and a diamond jubilee of the founding of the church and parish. The observance at Osman will carry over two days, opening Sunday with the dedication at which the Rt. Rev. Bishop Rhode will officiate, followed by a bazaar in the afternoon and evening and ceremonies of memorial on Monday. Monday morning requiem solemn mass will open the memorial day observance, the mass being sung by the Rev. Peter Holfeltz of Port Wahsington, a son of the parish and this will be followed by a service appropriate to Decoration day and the flag raising in front of the parochial school. The Rev. C.J. Hessel, S.J., of Campion college, Prairie du Chein, will deliver the dedication address. Many former members of the congregation will attend the ceremonies and other addresses will be given both Sunday and Monday. The event is anticipated as one of the most important in history of the parish. Manitowoc Herald News, Manitowoc, Wis. May 28, 1926 P. 1

From various sources

St. Wenceslaus is the oldest Bohemian formed church in the county. Today all that remains to mark the area is the cemetery and a tavern.

About 1854, Simon ZARUBA dontaed an acre of land for the church and Frank SIMBERSKY donated an acre to be used for the cemetery. It took a long time to build the church. The wanted a steeple like those in their homeland. St. Wenceslaus was the only church in the county with an onion steeple.

In 1859, two St. Wenceslaus parishioners donated land for a cemetery and church in Kellnersville (a few miles south of Greenstreet). The parish was divided and St. Wenceslaus became a mission of St. Joseph's Kellnersville.

Father Joseph MALY was the first pastor of the congregation. Father Adelbert CIPIN, an artist and talented musician, was pastor of St. Wenceslaus from 1908-1922.

On October 12, 1910 the church celebrated its Golden Jubilee. The history of the parish says:

The day was one of great rejoicing and festivity. In memory of the celebration a new cemetery cross of stone purchased from Mike KETTENHOVEN of Manitowoc, was erected. This beautiful cross still stand at Greenstreet cemetery. The morning Mass was offered by Father CIPIN for all deceased members of the parish...Twenty-three persons, all descendents of the original founders were present. They wore special badges and were given places of honor in church.

In 1914, there was talk of renovating the buildings. But nothing was ever done. Shortly after WWI it was decided to discontinue the parish.

In 1946, the church building was put up for sale. It was sold at auction for $678.00. (see St. Joseph's/St. Wenceslaus further down for more info on St. Wenceslaus)

 St. Wenceslaus To Be Sold

The following article is reprinted from the Herald Times, an early 1946
edition, with permission from the Herald Times Reporter.

        Greenstreet Catholic Church Soon to be Nostalgic Memory

               Log-Structure Built in 1859 To Be Sold

A spot dear to the childhood of many a man and woman in the area two miles
north of Kellnersville will soon be nothing but a nostalgic memory when the
little, once-brown church of Greenstreet is sold to the highest bidder.
Constructed in 1859 of logs cut from adjacent land by nearby settlers who
gave immediate thought to a place of  worship, the 47 foot by 25 foot
building has stood unused for the past 17 years since the erection of the
large St. Joseph's Catholic Church in Kellnersville. Greenstreet residents
now must travel those two miles for their masses and confessions and a few
of the oIdtimers sadly recall the days when it was necessary only to walk
across the street in the center of the tiny community for their religious
By-passed in a world that moves swiftly to ever bigger things, the
Greenstreet church will finally succumb completely to the trend toward
consolidation, its end hurried a little by the shortage of building
materials and present high prices for all structures.

                    Signs of Use Visible 
Sealed bids on the worshipping place of three generations will be accepted
by the board of directors of St. Joseph's until March 1, when the board
will make a choice of purchaser and the old building prohably will be torn
down and the logs and lumber hauled away.  It is estimated that the
original logs alone could be sawed into enough good lumber to build a
fair-sized structure. Added to these large timbers will be the white siding
with which the whole church was covered when parishioners, thought bare
logs were not fit attire for a house of God.
Although deserted since 1929, the building shows signs of many years' wear.
A half-dozen paintings of Christ depicting the way of the cross still hang
where they have hung since the last stations were said. One of two tiny
confessional booths in the rear of the single room contains an
old-fashioned, long-handled offering basket and a-large, black cross.
Only one pew remains in the church but three rows of kneelers, about four
inches off the floor, are still intact.

                  Bell Sent to Mission

The pulpit, a small turrent-like structure,. is built into the wall at the
left front of the church and the altar, propped up by homemade supports,
still stands in the front of the building. There was no evidence of an
organ stand although music may have been provided from a tiny choir loft
extending across the rear of the church.
On the inside of the front door, the only entrance, is a lock and latch
that would make an interesting addition to any antique collection or
museum. The bell that tolled rural residents to worship was taken down
several years ago by church members and presented to a mission in the west.
Greenstreet, church and village, were named after one of the first
settlers, according to a resident who recalled much of the almost-forgotten
history. It was a man named Zeleney, the neighborhood's first
tavern-keeper, whose memory was preserved for posterity. Zeleney was a
Bohemian, Zeleney means green, hence Zeleney's street or Greenstreet.

The article and pictures below were sent in by a researcher, see contributors page.
The original St. Wenceslaus Catholic church Greenstreet near Kellnersville built in 1859


From "A History of Manitowoc County"
by Ralph G. Plumb,
Brandt Printing and Binding Co., Manitowoc, Wis., copyright 1904.

The next church to be established in the county was St. Joseph’s at Kellnersville. In 1852 fifteen Bohemian families settled at that village, -originally all Catholics. For six years they were attended by Rev. Joseph MALY of Francis Creek and a log church was built in the town of Cooperstown, dedicated to St. Wenceslaus, there being 150 families in the parish. After various vicissitudes a dispute arose over the property and the church, led by Rev. Gideon MANAZEK, became schismatic, the pastor being suspended from the priesthood. Reverend MANAZEK died in 1873 and was followed for four years by Reverend Sadimir KLACEL, who continued the church in defiance of the diocesan authorities. Reverend A. CIPIN of Carlton at last brought about a reconciliation and a new church was then built, one mile south of St. Wenceslaus and dedicated to St. Joseph. Among the later priests have been Revs. Ignatz LAGER, J. MALY, F. PRIVOZNEK, W. KOERNER, J. JIRANEK, A. CIPIN, R. LAKOMEY and F. JUST. A division occurred during Rev. Koerner’s ministry, several families withdrawing. Reverend JUST is a Bohemian by birth and came to America at an early age. He also has a mission at Greenstreet under his charge. For more information on St. Wenceslaus in Greenstreet and St. Joseph's in Kellnersville please see our town history page.


From various sources

St. Peter's was located about a mile south of Vieban Street in Manitowoc, between the townships of Newton and Manitowoc. In 1887 the first log structure was destroyed by fire and a new frame structure was built.

According to the Official Catholic Directories list, St. Peter's never had a resident pastor. From 1857-1859 it was a mission of St. Mary's, Manitowoc Rapids. From 1859-1929 it was a mission of St. Boniface, Manitowoc. In 1929 the frame structure was sold for $125.00 and then torn down.

The bell from St. Peter's is on the grounds of St. Andrew's Manitowoc. There are still occasional burials in the cemetery. The cemetery is beautifully kept and is administered to by Calvary Cemetery in Manitowoc.


From "A History of Manitowoc County"
by Ralph G. Plumb,
Brandt Printing and Binding Co., Manitowoc, Wis., copyright 1904.

In no community in the county has religious and secular life been more closely allied than at the village of St. Nazianz. Rev. Ambrose OSCHWALD, a native of Baden, a man of high intellectual order with tastes tending somewhat toward asceticism, was responsible for the founding of a colony at that village, communistic and religious in character. Gathering around him one hundred and fourteen of his followers, mainly from his parish in the old world, he set out for a new country in order that he might found a Utopia. He arrived in Milwaukee in August 1854 and was there induced to purchase 3840 acres of land in the town of Eaton, paying $3.50 per acre. Arriving at their new home on the 26th of the month the settlers set at work hewing down the wilderness and among the first structures built was a church, St. Gregory’s. A convent for the women was soon constructed and in 1864 a monastery of the Franciscan order was added. The land was owned and worked in common and the whole domestic economy was under the guidance of Father OSCHWALD. The latter has been described as "intimate with the classics and history, learned in medicine and eloquent as a divine" and he was above all a consistent communist. A common treasury was established and certain rules and regulations adopted for the government of all. Father Oschwald was somewhat of an architect and his design of the settlement buildings were unique. The sisters’ convent was a large three story building situated on Main street, plastered on the outside and painted a delicate pink. One wing was used as a chapel, containing two galleries and was capable of seating a large number of persons. The brothers’ monastery was similar in construction and also contained a chapel. Around the grounds were various "stations," boxes on posts containing representations of sacred scenes and upon the summit of a little hill was erected a small chapel, resembling and named after the famous Mount Loretto, the interior decorations being quite elaborate. The first church soon became too small for the increasing number of the colonists and accordingly a larger one was built. The parishioners themselves engaged in different occupations, some tending in the fields while others made articles of straw, shoes, fancy work and a certain kind of cheese that became immensely popular in the market. All prospered until Father Oschwald’s death, which occurred on February 27, 1873, whereupon dissensions arose and many of the communal features were abandoned. The sarcophagus containing the remains of the dead priest still lies in the basement of the monastery always guarded by a lighted lamp. Rev. P. A. MUTZ was his successor, he having been ordained as one of the graduates of St. Francis some years before. The present pastor is Rev. DIEBL. The village is still full of the old world atmosphere and religious influences are great. A branch of the C. K. W., exists in connection with St. Gregory’s.


From "A History of Manitowoc County"
by Ralph G. Plumb,
Brandt Printing and Binding Co., Manitowoc, Wis., copyright 1904.

Among the older churches of the county is that of the Nativity at Tisch Mills. Founded by Rev. J. MALY it remained as a mission connected with Canton, Kewaunee county until 1893. Among its pastors have been Revs. August LANG, A. CIPIN, Joseph KIRPAL, A. VYCHODIL and E. KABAT. Since its separation from Canton Revs. F. SHIMONEK, F. WINDISCH, F. KOLEN and L. ULAUSCHEK have had charge of the parish in thc order named. The church numbers 150 families.


NOTE: The following historical resume was written as a family record by Frank W. Stangel about the year 1910. The title he gave it probably more closely associates with St. Mary's Catholic church then to the village itself. Many of the people and events took place during his lifetime. Frank was born in 1861 and died in 1924. He is buried in St. Mary's cemetery at Tisch Mills, WI.

This document was transcribed by Eugene P. Schmitt 19 April 1999


The first settler in the vicinity of Tisch Mills was Joseph STANGEL who arrived in 1854. The only things he found were the Indians and their horses.

Immediately he reclaimed the land from the government, which was about five sections and started on section five in the town of Mishicot. Shortly after, the other settlers came to this region. The new arrivals were Joseph SKLENAR, Tamas VOCADLO, Vaclav VERELY, Tamas KOZELKA, Joseph MALY, Kaspar LEGRO, Kretch and Vaclav SESTAK. A few months later others came. Among them were Vaclav FENCL, Vaclav MANCL, Vaclav SINKULA, LANGER, Vaclav SIML, Vaclav RIHA. The last names settled in the town of Carlton. In the year 1856 the following persons arrived: Vaclav STANGEL, Jan STANGEL, Jan MUDROCH, Vaclav SVOBODA, Vaclav SAUER, Joseph KAISER, Vogta LODL, Tamas REZACH, Peter LODEL, Joseph KOULALIK, M. SHEBESTA, Vaclav DOLEZAL and Vojtech HOLUB. Most of these last arrived in 1857 to 1862. The latest of these are, Jan ZAHORIK, Jiri AULIK, Stepan AULIK, M. MALACEK, Maty SLOUP, Jakob KONOP, Anton HALLADA, Jan DVORAK, Frank DVORAK, M. PARMA, Jacub NEMEC and Jan VAVRUNEK.

By the year 1862 the population had grown to sixty families. The little community decided to build a church. With the help of all the settlers the church began to take form. When it was finished it was named St, Mary's Church.

The church which they built in 1862 was a frame building fifty by thirty feet. The carpenters were Jan VAVRUNEK, KOZELKA and SVOBODA. The cost of the building is not known because the material and work were all donated by the people. During that time it was hard to get a preacher. The only Bohemian preacher was Father Joseph MALY who was one of the finest in his time.

His duties carried him to six counties and he came to Tisch Mills once every two months from Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Later on he came from Francis Creek.

Everything he needed he had to carry along, including books and clothing. The parish bought pictures, hymn books and other necessities when they could.

The altar was donated by Vaclav SINKULA, Monstrance by M. MALACEK and candle holders, Stepan and Jiri AULIK, VACADLO, Vaclav STANGEL, Joseph STANGEL, Jan STANGEL and Jacub NEMETZ. Vaclac SINKULA donated an acre and one half of land for the church and two and a half acres to be used as a cemetery. In 1862 there were 52 Catholic families in the community.

As pioneers before them and in other parts of the country these people had to clear their own land and carry all their provisions from twenty to thirty miles on their shoulders. There were no roads and no means of transportation.

There was an abundance of deer and rabbit and bear in the woods, but the settlers were too busy to take time to hunt. Most of the hunting was done by Ignatz VOJTA, Joseph STANGEL and Jacub REBIC.

In order to make a living and pay the mortgage on their farms the settlers had to work very hard. The main income was from bark, shingles, railroad ties and cord wood. The material was hauled to Two Creeks and Mishicot.

There were only two pair of oxen available and they were owned by Joseph SKLENAR and Tamas VOCADLO. The people were like one large family helping one another through their struggles. Vaclav SINKULA was the first to own a pair of horses. The settlers earned quite a bit of money selling bark. The logs were delivered to the sawmill in Sandy Bay.

In 1862, PFISTER from Milwaukee built a sawmill and tannery in Two Creeks where they sold their logs and bark for higher prices. Some of the farmers worked in the tannery, thereby earning enough money to pay off their mortgages. From the years 1854 to 1862, before the church was built the people met in the home of Vaclav SINKULA for prayer which was directed by Tamas REZAC and later Anton SLAIS.

The people worshipped as they would in church. Confessions were held once or twice a year, whenever Father Maly happened to be in the vicinity.

In 1863 when the church was finished there was no debt at all. Father Maly and August LANG and G. MAZANEC visited the parishioners as missionaries. In 1865 the tower was built on the church which cost $300.00. In the same year Vaclav SINKULA made a collection in the tannery in Two Creeks and received about $150. For that money he bought a church bell.

In 1868 they made the pews in the church. They were made by Jan and Jiri KARMAN for $44.00. In 1871 the neighboring township of Carlton had their own priest. In 1873 he served both communities every Sunday. He also served St. Joseph's Church in Pilsen. In the same year Rev. Vojtech CIPIN came to Carlton from Bohemia. He also served in Tisch Mills. Under his leadership the Order of St. Wencil was started. The members were from both congregations. After Fr. CIPIN left, both congregations were served by Fr. MALY.

In 1884 Father Joseph KIRPIL arrived from Bohemia. He stayed in the community until 1888. A new church was then being built and this church still stands. From Moravia, Father Alois VYCHODIL arrived to supervise the completion of the church. The congregation now had 140 members. The church was 80 by 44 feet, of brick veneer with a shingle roof. The tower was 80 feet high with a tin roof. The entire roof cost $4,500.00. Lawrence EBERL and Frank SIML did the carpenter work. The largest amount of credit should go to Jan SPORER, Jiri SLADKY, Jiri KARMAN, Jan STANGEL Sr., Matt ZAHORIK and Karel MARSALEK.

In the church there were three altars donated by members of the church. The main altar by STANGEL and MARSALEK, the altar on the right side by Joseph SKLENAR, the left altar by Jacub NEMETZ. The side altars were named for St. Joseph and St. Anne. The figures were placed under the direction of Father VYCHODIL. The stone cross in the center of the cemetery was donated by Jan STANGEL. The statue of St. Mary on the main altar was placed there during the time that Father CIPIN was there. In 1892 Emanuel KABAT was newly ordained and he took over the congregation. Under his leadership a new home was built for the Father. The congregations of Carlton and Tisch Mills were now separated and each went their own way. Under Father KABAT'S direction three new bells were placed in the church. One was donated by friends of the STANGEL family. New statues were those of St. Wencil, St. Ludmila, St. Jan Nepomuc, St. Vojtech, St. Anne, St. Filomeny, St. Aloisius, and St. Katherine.

In 1898 the congregation was taken over by Father KOLAR. He started the Catholic Order No. 40 with thirty-two members. The Order of Young Men belonged to the Central Organization of the State of Wisconsin. The Order of St. Wencil No. 7, under Father KOLAR'S leadership decorated the inside of the church. Rosary Orders bought the church banner and badges. They also purchased a chandelier and black pluvial, flowers and other items necessary to the church. The entire congregation donated toward a new organ and the small bells were donated by Joseph SKLENAR. The Bethlehem figures were donated by Jacub HALLADA. Marie and Frank PROCHAZKA donated four lanterns. Rosary Orders donated Evangelist figures for the altar.

In 1890 seventeen new members joined the church. These new members donated $94.50. The membership was now 170 members. November 12, 1890 Father Wladislay KLOUCEK succeeded Father KOLAR.

Members of the congregation leveled the ground around the church and home and made a cement sidewalk. Father KLOUCEK donated six new candle holders and Mrs. KRCMA donated twelve. Mrs. LODL from Two Creeks donated two, each holding six candles. Mrs. LODL made a collection with which she bought three new upholstered chairs. Rev. Father KLOUCEK and the secretary of the congregation made a collection and purchased a new altar rug. Improvements were made inside the church amounting to $636.00.

Eleven new members joined the church in 1902. They donated $48.50 toward the church. The membership was now 181. In 1903 alterations were made on the Fathers' house. Frank PROCHAZKA donated two angels, on each side of the main altar. The congregation bought two acres of land for the cemetery for which they paid $500.00. The new land and the old cemetery were leveled off and marked off into lots. Most of the members purchased their lot. Now every thing was in order.

Mr. Vaclav VOGELTANZ who died at the age of 26 years donated $500.00 and his mother Katherine VOGELTANZ also donated $50.00. For this money the congregation bought a beautiful stone cross which now stands in front of the church. Friends of the STANGEL family donated a statue of Jesus Christ which is now put on the old stone cross which was donated by Jan STANGEL. Father KLOUCEK donated one window.

A new fence was built around the old and new cemeteries. In the front a steel fence was placed. A beautiful iron wrought gate adorned the center. The Congregation of Tisch Mills has one of the best cemeteries in this territory.

On Nov. 8, 1908 Father A. MERGL took over the congregation. At the annual meeting it was decided to put new stained glass windows in the church. Most of the members were willing to donate toward the cause. It was also decided that the dedication of the new cross and the new cemetery be postponed to the month of Sept. Everything should be in order by that time . . . . . . .

Note: This is the end of the resume

From various sources

St. Fidelis was established about 1857. It was served by Father SEIF, who's home church was St. Joesph in Herman, Sheboygan County. The church consisted of a small chapel. Classes were held at the home of Mr. Adam SEIPEL until 1858 when a log school was built. After the school was built the OSHWALD Sisters took charge. A few years later the Silver Lake Sisters, followed by the Franciscan Sisters from Bay Settlement.

The church served the needs of the congregation until 1875. In 1875, Father H. KORPHAGE, of St. Wendel's, built a new church and school.

In 1949, the buildings were remodeled. The steeple was replaced by a tower, the church was given a new roof, and the exterior was covered with simulated lannon stone.

Because of the deteriorating condition of the buildings and the decrease in the size of the congregation, it was decided to merge St. Fidelis with St. Isidore in Osman. On May 13, 1960, the school was disbanned and the children began taking classes at a new Consolidated Catholic School in Osman.

The cemetery still remains.

From various sources

St. George was located in Hika, later named Centerville. It was organized in 1861 under the charge of Father C.A. SCHRAUDENBACH from Sheboygan. The small frame church was built on land donated by Captain LARSON, about one block from Lake Michigan.

Father Josaphat REIBLE, O.F.M. Cap was the first resident pastor of the congregation, followed by Rev. W. BERNARD. In 1866-67, St. George was served by Rev. X. ZUBER, St. Wendaline is listed as its mission.

In 1875, with the coming of the railroad, the population of the township shifted from the lakeshore inland. The pastor at St. George's moved into the new parish house at St. Wendel's. St. George then became a mission of St. Wendel.

In 1953, the church was razed. Only the cemetery remains.


From "A History of Manitowoc County"
by Ralph G. Plumb,
Brandt Printing and Binding Co., Manitowoc, Wis., copyright 1904.

In 1861 Father SCHRAUDERBACH of Sheboygan established St. Wendel’s in the town of Centerville. Rev. KLEIBER, a Bavarian, was the first resident priest, followed a year later by Rev. P. STUECKI of Sheboygan, who died Feb. 4, 1863 and was buried near the church. A log structure was erected at first, then a frame building in 1864, which burned down thirty years later and was replaced by an elegant new church in 1895. A mission at Centerville was established also in 1861 by Father SCHRAUDERBACH and another, St. Fidelis’, in the town of Meeme by Father KORFHAGE in 1872, both of which have since been under the care of the priests of St. Wendel. The pastors since Rev. Stuecki’s death have been:—Revs. J. WELTER 1863- 1864, BERNHARD 1864, M. WEISS 1864-1865, A. F. ZUBER 1865-1871, H. F. KORFHAGE 1871-1875, Thomas BREIKER 1875—1877, C. SCHILLING 1877-1880, J. P. VAN TREEK 1880-1882, H. HELFSTERN 1882-1893, Rudolph OLLIG 1893, William DEJALLE 1893-1899, and W. WOLF, the present pastor. About 100 families are under his charge.


From "A History of Manitowoc County"
by Ralph G. Plumb,
Brandt Printing and Binding Co., Manitowoc, Wis., copyright 1904.

St. Augustine’s congregation in the town of Kossuth, made up of the settlers of Bohemian nationality who early came to the town, was started in 1862. The church is attended by priests from Francis Creek and Kellnersville. The congregation numbers about one hundred families.


From "A History of Manitowoc County"
by Ralph G. Plumb,
Brandt Printing and Binding Co., Manitowoc, Wis., copyright 1904.

In 1865 Ira CLARK gave two acres for a church site at Clark’s Mills and upon it was built the Church of the Immaculate Conception. Before 1865 occasional services had been held by priests from Maple Grove but it was not until that year that a priest was assigned the locality regularly, Father FESSLER serving the congregation for some time. Then for some years it was a mission of St. Nazianz and Maple Grove until 1875 when Rev. John WERNERT was assigned the parish. A brick structure, 75 by 13 feet costing $4000, was then erected and a parsonage completed. The succeeding pastors were Revs. Gerhard HORNISH 1878, Clement LAU 1878—1879, Joseph RHODE 1879-1885, John HOLZKNECHT 1885-1887, J. A. DUERMEYER 1887-1810, George BRENNER 1890-1895, E. KABAT 1895-1899. The present pastor is Rev. ULRICH. Branch No. 146 C.K.W. is located at Clark’s Mills.


From "A History of Manitowoc County"
by Ralph G. Plumb,
Brandt Printing and Binding Co., Manitowoc, Wis., copyright 1904.

The Church of the Assumption was built by the Bohemian residents of Reedsville in 1866, there having been originally twenty-five families in the parish. It was first attended by priests from Francis Creek but in 1876 Rev. Julius STROEHLKE assumed charge, being succeeded the next year by Rev. MALY for a few months, he in turn being followed by Rev. T. SPUNKOR. During the latter’s pastorate the cornerstone of a new church was laid, it being completed by Rev. John VIDENKA, who died in the midst of his labors on May 29, 1885. During the term of his successor, Rev. William KRAEMER a branch of the Catholic Knights was established and a parochial school started and in 1896 Rev. Adelbert CIPIN assumed charge. Rev. CIPIN is a Bohemian by birth and entered the priesthood in 1873, serving at Ahnapee and Kellnersville before being transferred to Reedsville. Holy Trinity church at Kasson was established as a mission from the Assumption in 1875 and has since been so connected.

From various sources

A group of farmers established Holy Trinity in the village of Kasson, Township of Maple Grove in 1875. The church was a mission of Church of the Assumption, Reedsville, and had no resident pastor.

The congregation grew to over 80 families and soon outgrew it's facility. The building was enlarged and a steeple added. Soon the railroad came to the county. A new village, Brillion, was established along the tracks, just south of Kasson. St. Mary's Catholic church was established in Brillion. St. Mary's built a school, children of both St. Mary's and Holy Trinity attended the school.

In 1961, the congregations were consolidated and Holy Trinity was torn down. Today the cemetery is all that remains. Records are kept on file at St. Mary's in Brillion. Occasionally, a burial takes place in Holy Trinity Cemetery.


From "A History of Manitowoc County"
by Ralph G. Plumb,
Brandt Printing and Binding Co., Manitowoc, Wis., copyright 1904. (picture not from book)

St. Mary’s Polish Church was organized at Manitowoc February 24, 1870. The frame building used formerly by the German Lutherans of the city was purchased three years later and removed to "the Hill," being dedicated September 6, 1874. The congregation grew rapidly until now it embraces three hundred families. In 1888 an orphan asylum was founded and placed under the care of the Polish Felician Sisters and it has since become an important benevolent institution. In the same year it was decided to begin the construction of a new and costly church but after the foundation had been laid funds grew scarce and it was ten years before the structure could be completed, the dedication ceremonies occurring October 1, 1899. The list of pastors of the church is as follows:—Rev. F. X. KRALCZYWSKI 1872, Peter KONCZ 1872-1873, A. MICHNOWSKI 1873-1874, Simon WIECZORIK 1873-1876, Erasmus BARTKIEWICZ 1878, Joseph MUSYLWICZ 1879-1882, Felix ORZCECHORISK 1882-1884, Joseph DEITICWICZ 1884, Ladislaus ZUCZCKI 1886- 1890, C. MONCZYSK 1893, Henry CICHOCKI 1893-1894. As the chronology shows there hdve been frequent vacancies but a new era of prosperity was inaugurated upon the arrival of Rev. Wenceslaus KRZWONOS, the new priest, on October 1 1896. Born in Bouk, Galicia, September 28, 1852 he was educated at Rycszow and at the age of twenty entered the Cracow Military Academy, later graduating and becoming a lieutenant in the Fortieth Austrian Infantry for four years, at the expiration of which time he came to America. After entering a Benedictine Monastery in Missouri he was ordained a priest and served at St. Joseph, Missouri and later at South Chicago. He left the church on account of factional troubles in April 1903. There are connected with the church St. Adalbert’s Society and the Holy Rosary Society, both large in membership.


From "A History of Manitowoc County"
by Ralph G. Plumb,
Brandt Printing and Binding Co., Manitowoc, Wis., copyright 1904.

St. Michael’s at Whitelaw or Pine Grove was established in 1872, a church being built a year later. It was a mission of the Clark’s Mills congregation until 1876 when the first resident pastor, Rev. Godfrey NOEVER was transferred from the Rapids church, the latter at the time being discontinued and its congregation divided. Later Clark’s Mills priests again had St. Michael’s under their charge but Rev. Joseph HEMMER assumed the duties of priest at the place in 1896, being succeeded the next year by Rev. Joseph MACK. A branch of the C. K. W. was organized at Whitelaw in July 1894.


From "A History of Manitowoc County"
by Ralph G. Plumb,
Brandt Printing and Binding Co., Manitowoc, Wis., copyright 1904.

On November 9, 1869 Rev. Joseph FESSLER of Manitowoc induced four sisters to take the vows and steps were immediately taken towards the building of a convent at Alverno, the structure being completed in September of the following year. Sister Odelia was the first mother superior and the number of sisters gradually grew until it reached twenty five or thirty.

To accommodate these and also the inhabitants of that part of the county St. Joseph’s Church was constructed in 1874 and placed for a time under the care of Father FESSLER of Manitowoc. On his removal from the state in 1880 Rev. George FESSLER assumed charge, which he retained until 1885 when on May 28th he died at the age of thirty seven.

During his pastorate, on September 1, 1881, the convent burned, the loss being about $65,000 but by dint of great effort the structure was speedily rebuilt and continued its successful existence, many hundred young people receiving instruction. A chapel was built in 1890 to accommodate the sisters. The successors of Father FESSLER have been Revs. A. J. GERHARD 1885, I. P. VAN TRECK 1885-1887, H. NEIHAUS 1887-1888. P. H. WELBES 1888- 1890, M. OBERLINKELS 1890-1892, Rev. Norbert W. DIENINGER assumed charge in 1892.

From Wisconsin Histories, microfilm #18, Patron's Directory 1893, Two Rivers Library: Sister M. Hexia, Mother Superior of the Fransiscan Convent of Christian Charity. Located at Silver Lake, four miles west of Manitowoc. First established in 1868. Afterwards located on present grounds, when it was destroyed by fire in 1882 and rebuilt in 1888. The grounds contain 86 acres. The present building is of white brick, 140 by 240 fet in size, four stories and basement, heated throughout with steam heat. A large Worthington Pump supplies the water for the building, beside being ample protection against fire. There are at present 243 members, and it is incorporated under the laws of Wisconsin. Post Office, Alverno; Section 34, Manitowoc Rapids Township.


From "A History of Manitowoc County"
by Ralph G. Plumb,
Brandt Printing and Binding Co., Manitowoc, Wis., copyright 1904.

Among the churches later established was St. Peter’s and Paul’s at Kiel. During several years it was a mission of St. Anna’s in Sheboygan County but in 1892 Rev. G. WEISSE was appointed, followed in 1896 by Rev. M. J. SCHMITZ, who had just graduated from St. Francis.


From "A History of Manitowoc County"
by Ralph G. Plumb,
Brandt Printing and Binding Co., Manitowoc, Wis., copyright 1904.
A church at Mishicot which, since its foundation in 1866, had been connected with St. Luke’s also separated in 1898, Rev. A. BASTIAN and Rev. P. ST. LOUIS being the first priests.

From various books and resources(including notes from a researcher's family):

Holy Cross began as a mission church visited by priests that were serving the St. Luke's Congregation in Two Rivers. In 1854, a small chapel was built as a place of worship for the Catholics near Mishicot. Before that time, services were held in the homes of some of the area residents. In 1857, the church received it's first resident pastor Rev. A. B. RINKES.

In 1860-61, the diocese gave Mishicot it's own parish. The first Church was built by 1862. It was a frame structure with a pioneer Gothic Style tower. About seventy families were members of the parish at this time.

Between 1878-1880 Holy Cross was again a mission of St. Luke's Two Rivers. The parish was served by Father HELLWEGER, Father George VEITH, and Father H. REUTER. Holy Cross was without a pastor from 1880-1882. Rev. Sales BECK served from 1882-1885. Rev. A.N. BUSHCHE served in 1885 He was succeeded by Rev. W.F. VANROSSEMALEN who served from 1885-1886.

In 1894, the entire church was rebuilt. Soon after that it became a mission of St. Anne's Francis Creek. In 1897 the first parsonage was built under the charge of Rev. Aloysius BASTIAN. He served the church until 1899.

From 1899-1900 Rev. J.C. BOURGMEYER served the church. Father Phillip ST. LOUIS was assigned to the church in 1900. During Father ST. LOUIS's charge a school was built and became a reality with the help of the Franciscan Sistersof Bay Settlement.

By 1909, the parish grew to a size of 89 families. In 1913 the school was enlarged to two rooms with quarters upstairs for the sisters. In 1915, the altars were redecorated with paintings.

In 1926, Father Arthur BELLE, who had served the church from 1909, was succeeded by Rev. Michael GONNERING. During Rev. GONNERING'S charge a new pipe organ, new vestments, and remodeling to the rectory and church were done.

Father Alfred PRITZL served the church from 1932-1938. Under his charge the present cemetery was incorporated. Father Joseph VAN BOGART served from 1938-1946. He died of sudden death on January 9, 1946.

Rev. George BETH served from 1946-1958, when he was transfered to St. Mark's in Two Rivers. Rev. Anthony BENTLY served the church from 1958-1971, when Rev. Earl BROUCHOUD, became pastor. Father BROUCHOUD attended church at the parish as a child. Father BROUCHOUD left the congregation in June 1982 for a parish in DePere.


From "A History of Manitowoc County"
by Ralph G. Plumb,
Brandt Printing and Binding Co., Manitowoc, Wis., copyright 1904. Photo from 1921 Patron Directory

A Catholic hospital, named the Holy Family, was erected in Manitowoc in the latter nineties at a great expense and forms one of the most important public institutions in the county, having been designated as a marine hospital by the United States Government.


From "A History of Manitowoc County"
by Ralph G. Plumb,
Brandt Printing and Binding Co., Manitowoc, Wis., copyright 1904.

Sacred Heart Congregation composed of English speaking Catholics was organized in 1902 in Manitowoc under Father O’LEARY’s guidance. The building formerly known as St. James’ Episcopal was purchased but efforts were immediately put forth to secure a site for a larger church, land being purchased at the corner of State and North Seventh streets.


From "A History of Manitowoc County"
by Ralph G. Plumb,
Brandt Printing and Binding Co., Manitowoc, Wis., copyright 1904.

Father BRENNER also organized St. Ann’s(sic) at Francis Creek, the first church being built by his successor, Rev. Joseph MALY. Rev. F. X. STEINBRECHER became the pastor in 1877 serving until 1885. Later Rev. William H. DE HAAN, a native of Amsterdam, Holland assumed charge, removing to Aniwa in 1896 and being succeeded by Rev. LAKONEY, who in turn gave way to the present priest, Rev. J. VORLICHEK. The congregation numbers seventy families.

The following is a picture of the inside of St. Anne's Catholic Church taken in 1940.

This is a picture taken in 2000. The picture originally had phone wires
running in front of the church, they were removed to get a clearer picture.


St. Mary's Clarks Mills was established in the 1860's. I am still researching this church, but I have been able to find that St. Mary's School was established in 1866 by the founders of the Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity in Manitowoc. As of 2001 the church is still in existence.