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St. Louis, MO

St. Joseph Parish
(Shrine of St. Joseph)

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home.gif (868 bytes) .. Emslanders to the American Mid-West
 

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St Joseph Parish, St Louis, MO
http://www.shrineofstjoseph.org/history1.html

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Parish Church in 1875


A Brief History of St. Joseph Parish (written in 1875)

"St Joseph's Chruch (German)
is situated on the corner of Eleventh and Biddle Streets, and is attended exclusively by Germans. The formation of this parish dates back to 1845, and is consequently one of the oldest in the city. The old church, which still stands and forms the front portion of the present structure, was built this year by Rev. Father Cotting, who was the first pastor. The ground upon which it is built was donated by Mrs. Biddle, a lady whose municipal charities are well-known to the St. Louis public. This old structure was 110 by 55 feet, facing the west, and served as a place of adoration for the Germans in this section of the city until 1865, when their increased numbers called for a more capacious building. In 1865, Father Weber, the then parish priest of the parish, added what is known as the new portion of the church, running 130 feet on Eleventh Street by 85. It is a handsome brick structure of Romanesque order of architecture. This addition was built by Rev. Joseph Weber, S.J., who has been connected with this church for twenty-three years, and cost $93,000. The old church cost $30,000, making the entire cost $123,000. The interior has received the attention of the artist Pomerade, who has succeeded in making it one of the most attractive west of the Mississippi. The chancel, wherein is situated the main altar, is 30 feet deep, and this grand altar was erected at the a cost of $10,000. The parish priest is Rev. Peter Tschieder, S.J. He is assisted by Fathers Weber, Wippern, Hagerman and Jansenius, of the same order. This parish contains about 1,200 German Roman Catholics, who justly feel proud of their beautiful temple of worship.

St. Joseph's Parochial Schools. - The school for boys is situated on Eleventh Street, between Cass Avenue and O'Fallon, Street. There are three brick buildings, each three stories high, in which both male and female children are instructed, but always in separate apartments. Three classes for the younger boys taught by the sisters of Notre Dame, and two classes for higher scholars conducted by secular teachers. The school for girls consists of six classes, taught by fourteen sisters of Notre Dame. The average attendance of boys and girls is over 1,000. These schools were built by Father Weber, in the years 1857, 1858, 1863, and 1868. The cost of the building was about $36,000, the ground about $23,000."

This brief history was a direct quote from page 123 of Pictorial St. Louis 1875 which was originally published by Camille N. Dry in 1875 and reprinted by McGraw-Young Publishing in 1997. The illustration above of the parish church came from the same book, plate 44.
Pictorial St Louis can also be viewed online

St Joseph parish now has a website which includes an interesting history of the parish and also has some photos. http://www.shrineofstjoseph.org. *

St_Jos_1924interior.jpg (39442 bytes)

St Joseph church in 1924 on the occasion of Rev John B Gerst's first solemn high mass. Source:  http://www.usgennet.org/usa/mo/county/stlouis/historic/stjoeseph-1924.jpg which is a much larger image.

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St. Joseph Parish Records

St. Joseph Parish records on microfilm
are available at the St. Louis County Library Headquarters* and include:

baptisms starting in 1844
marriages starting in 1843
deaths starting in 1846. (Check Old Cathedral records if before 1846.)

Iinformation about parish records on microfilm at the St. Louis County Library can be found in the book Guide to St. Louis Catholic Archdiocesan Parish Records compiled by Christine Human Hughes and published in 2001 by Friends of the St. Louis County Library. Copies are for sale at the library in the Special Collections department. (St. Joseph parish is on p.223 of this book.) 

*I've been told that St. Louis parish records are also available on microfilm at the archdiocesan archives at Kenrick Seminary and through  LDS Family History Centers.

A list of St. Joseph Parish deaths (book)
can be found in the 4-volume series Old Cemeteries in St. Louis. St. Joseph parish burials are divided into two sections (1846-1864 and 1865-1877.) The Old Cemeteries books can be found at the St. Louis County Library on Lindbergh in the Special Collections department (currently on the shelf of books surrounding the stairwell.)

A list of St. Joseph Parish marriages (book)
covers the period Dec 1846 to Nov 1870. Each entry includes the bride's and the groom's parents' names but does not included names of witnesses. This list can be found at the St. Louis County Library on Lindbergh in a book in the St. Louis section of the Specal Collections department R977.865/S143.

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Comments or additional information concerning
emigrants listed on this website can be sent to Barbara Salibi.
Contact info is at the bottom of Home page.