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Cole County, MO

Parishes with Emslanders

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St Francis Xavier Parish, Taos, Cole County, MO

7319 Route M, Taos, MO 65101
Tel: 573 395 4401
The webpage also contains some historical information and a brief description of the Father Helias Museum located on the lower level of the church building.
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St. Francis XavierParish

Founded by Father Helias in 1838

The photo at the left is of of the present-day St. Francis Xavier parish church in Taos. It is the third church building for this parish and was dedicated in 1883. The early emigrants from Emsland who were members of this parish attended services in much more modest structures.

The Belgian Jesuit missionary priest Father Helias celebrated the first mass in Cole County, MO, on May 28, 1838 in the home of Emslander Herman Nieters who had emigrated from Meppen just two years earlier. Services for the newly-formed congragation of 20 families in NE Cole County continued to be held in the Nieters home until the first parish church was built.

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The first church (pictured in the drawing to the left) was built on 10 acres of land purchased from Henry and Gertrude Haar in Taos (first known as Haarville) in the late 1830s. In 1840 the simple log building was completed and dedicated to St Francis Xavier. Father Helias resided in Westphalia, Osage County, from 1838 until 1842 but during that time he regularly visited the little congregation across the Osage River in Taos. Then in 1842 he transferred his residence to Taos and kept it there until his death in 1874.

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In 1844 the building of a more permanent church made of stone was begun and that building was dedicated the following year. Father Helias' mother in Belgium paid most of the costs of its construction. This would have been the building where many of the early emigrants from Emsland saw their children get married and their children and grandchildren be christened. This was the church where Father Helias said Mass for the rest of his life. The new one (pictured at the top) was built almost 10 years after his death.

The photo at the top of the page of the present-day church was taken by Barbara Salibi in 2002. The drawing of the first church and the photo of the second church were taken from the parish history (details below). The same book was the source of information for the text found on this page and is available for purchase through the parish.

History of St. Francis Xavier Church, Taos, Missouri, Illustrated 1838-1988, St. Francis Xavier Sesquicentennial Committee, Taos, Cole County, MO, Library of Congress No. 88-061208

Catholic parish records transcribed
St Francis Xavier marriages and baptisms and cemetery records for a limited number of years have been transcribed (in book form) and are available at the MO State Archives in Jefferson City.

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St Peter Parish, Jefferson City, Cole County, MO

216 Broadway, Jefferson City, MO 65101
Tel: 573 636-8159

Parish History


Cemetery transcription

online at http://ftp.rootsweb.com/pub/usgenweb/mo/cole/

(also transcribed in book form at the MO State Archives in Jefferson City)

Parish records transcribed in book form

Marriage Records at St Peter (Catholic) Church in Jefferson City, MO 1846-1980 (transcribed from originals on microfilm MS 21) is available at the MO State Archives in Jefferson City, MO.

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St Stanislaus Parish, Wardsville, Cole County, MO

6418 Rte W, Wardsville, MO
Tel: 573 636-4925
located in Roman Catholic Diocese of Jefferson City, MO

Cemetery transcription


Book - St. Stanislaus Parish Wardsville, Missouri 1880-1980

Parish publication containing marriage information (couple's names, year of marriage and some photos) and death information (name and year of death.)

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[Cole County] [Missouri] [Mid-West]
[Emigrants & Emigration] [Emsland] [Sources Used]

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.