Carroll County IAGenWeb
Church History

1994 Directory of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Catholic Church

Founding of Mt. Carmel

It begins:

In 1868 Lambert Kniest of Dubuque became interested in organizing a German Catholic Community in Carroll County, Iowa. Bishop Hennessey of Dubuque favored this enterprise. The I. Blair Land and Townlot Co. appointed Mr. Kniest exclusive agent for an entire township (23,000 acres) of wild prairie and empowered him to sell land to people of his own selection, that is, the actual settlers were to be Catholics in good standing and of German origin. A lease was to run 5 years, provided at least 50 settlers would farm the land within the first year.

In 1868 Lambert Kniest, Henry Baumhover, John Guthrie and others left Dubuque to choose their new settlement. They were driving about from place to place, unable to decide just where to locate. reaching an elevated plateau, here they stopped and admired the beautiful scenery and the long grasses waving in the rich valley. "This place", they agreed " will be our future home" ......

Looking up the date in the Catholic Calendar, they found it to be July 16th, the feast of "Our Lady of Mt. Carmel". This name was chosen as the name of their parish church.

I'm not sure that this tells us if the date was actually, 1868 or 1869. But, the historical events calendar shows Building of first church begins in 1868. Country store, blacksmith and wagon maker locate here.

1869 - Father Henry J. Heimbucher, first pastor, arrives. Three room cottage built for Father H. Mass offered on new church. Founded 1869. Henry Baumhover has occupied his house by March 16, 1869 when Lambert called after his visit to Dubuque. ( From L. Kniest Diary)

I would conclude that 1868 is the correct date for the founding, but that the first dwellings began in 1869. This included the Church.

My grandparents settled in Carroll, and their daughter married Henry Baumhover II.( Mary Walz) in 1892.

Bruce Collier
San Luis Obispo, CA


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