St. Joseph's Church, Preston
HENNESSY, KENNY, MAHER, REILLY, CORBITT, BOWEN, HAYES, CURRAN, MALLOY, ORMSBY, HEHIR, PATNODE
Posted By: Anne Hermann (email)
Date: 6/24/2008 at 15:05:12
CENTENNIAL HISTORY OF THE ARCHDIOCESE OF DUBUQUE,
Rev. M. M. Hoffmann, 1938
ST. JOSEPH’S CHURCH, PRESTON
Fifty-six years ago Bishop John Hennessy appointed Father Kenny to take spiritual charge of the Catholic people of Preston and the surrounding territory. This was in 1881. There was no church building in the town and so Mass was offered for the first time in the home of Mr. Maher. This constituted the first Catholic service to be held in the confines of what is now St. Joseph’s parish. The house is still standing diagonally across from the present church and is still owned by the son of Mr. Maher. Mass was later offered in the home of Mr. Matthew Reilly, and in the public school building. Later the congregation rented the building at present occupied by the Hanold Store, and which was then owned by Col. Wyckoff. The faith of the new parish bloomed brightly and in 1882 a suitable frame church was built to accommodate the growing congregation. Father James Corbitt succeeded Father Kenny as pastor. After Father Corbitt came Father John Bowen who served the entire surrounding community and who did much by his apostolic zeal to build the faith in these parts. It was he who built the present fine rectory.
Following Father Bowen came Father M. Curran, and after him Father A. Hayes the present pastor of New Albin, whose appointment came in 1902 and who remained as pastor of Preston until 1920. Under the efficient and genial pastorate of Father Hayes the parish enjoyed a steady growth. Father Patrick Malloy succeeded as pastor in 1920, and in that year work was begun on the present fine brick church which serves the parish. The present edifice is a fine monument to his untiring zeal. Father John Byrne, present pastor of Winthrop, was the next pastor, succeeding Father Malloy in 1925. In 1929 Father Robert Ormsby, present pastor of Rockwell, was appointed to succeed Father Byrne. Father Ormsby did much to improve the property of the parish by acquiring additional land which was extended to include the cemetery. In March of 1936, Father John Hehir was appointed to the pastorate, but was taken in death when here only a few months. In September of the same year the present pastor, Father J. I. Patnode, was appointed. In the last year the parish has finished the basement of the church providing a fine hall, filling a need that the parish has felt for many years.
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