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St. Peter's Church, Sabula


Posted By: Anne Hermann (email)
Date: 6/23/2008 at 18:59:19

Rev. M. M. Hoffmann, 1938


In the Catholic Almanac for 1843, Sabula, then known as Charleston, was listed as a church “station” and it was stated that it was visited by priests from Dubuque. In the 1840s and 1850s, the parish in Charleston, now called Sabula, was listed in the directories as St. James. It was attended in the earlier years by the pastors of Garryowen, and also for many years by the pastors of Bellevue.

The baptismal records of St. Irenaeus Church, Clinton, show that Catholic children of Sabula were baptized by the Rev. F. C. Jean between 1851 and 1873. Father Jean was pastor of St. Irenaeus, Clinton. As examples of the names of the early Catholics in the parish we find mention in the baptismal record just referred to of Emilia Keller, Thomas Kennedy, and John Sherlock. It appears that the first Catholics of Sabula were of mixed German and Irish origin, very much as the Catholics of Sabula were of mixed German and Irish origin, very much as the Catholics of today are.

James McCabe and his wife, Fidelia McCabe, owned a considerable section of land north and west of Sabula. On June 23, 1855, they deeded to Bishop Mathias Loras of Dubuque, for one dollar, one acre of land for the purpose of erecting a church and burial ground. The church, called St. Peter’s, was erected for about $2,000.00, and was a frame structure 61 by 130 feet, according to the Jackson County History. There were then about forty families in the parish. The first Mass, according to the same record, was offered in the new church in 1870 by Father T. Schiffmacher, of Bellevue. From then until 1880 the parish was in charge of a resident priest only part of the time. Father William Dunn of Lyons held services at stated periods.

The Rev. E. A. Kenney was pastor in 1880 and 1881. In his time the move was started to transfer the church to the town. The original site of the church, where the cemetery now stands, is one and one-half miles northwest of town. During the pastorate of the Rev. James F. Corbett (1882-1887), the church was moved to its present location in town. On March 4, 1883, the parish purchased two lots in Sabula from James Grand at a cost of $500.00. It was on this land that the church was placed, and there it stands to this day.

The Rev. John F. Bowen was pastor of Sabula from 1888-1900, except in 1891 and 1892 when the Rev. Sheehy had charge. In February, 1892, land next to the church was purchased for a rectory to be constructed later. The Rev. P. J. Leddy was in charge of Sabula in 1900; and the Rev. John F. O’Doherty in 1901 and 1902.

On January 18, 1903, Father M. F. Eardley was appointed to Sabula, and continued as pastor there until the spring of 1912. During his term the present brick rectory was constructed. On January 18, 1912, the parish property was incorporated. Soon after this the Rev. T. N. Tibeau relieved Father Eardley at Sabula. Father Tibeau remained until the fall of 1918.

Successive pastors since then have been the Rev. Fathers E. J. McDonald, 1918-1921; P. J. Friedmann, 1921-1926; Albin Landolt, 1926-1929; B. J. Denvir, 1931-1932, and Albert J. Forster, 1932-1933. The Rev. Stephan Tushak, the present pastor, has been serving St. Peter’s since 1933.


Jackson Documents maintained by Lynn McCleary.
WebBBS 4.33 Genealogy Modification Package by WebJourneymen

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