I thought I had already run these photos of Kelso’s St. Augustine Catholic Church, but I must have held them to keep from overdosing on church pictures when I ran the church photos earlier in the year.
About the only quick information I could find online about the church was that it was founded in 1878.
St. Augustine Catholic Church photo gallery
Click on any photo to make it larger, then click on the left or right side of the image to move through the gallery. (If the gallery looks different than what you’re used to seeing, it’s because the old program quit working.)
Seeing all of the religious pictures on Facebook this week go me to thinking of how many photos of crosses I have taken in the area over the years. Here are just a few, with links to the original stories. You may click on any photo to make it larger. This is an aerial of the Bald Knob Cross taken not long after it was built.
This concrete cross has a plaque: “In 1699, Fathers Montigny, Davion and St. Cosme, French missionaries, erected a cross where this stream entered the Mississippi and prayed that this might be the beginning of Christianity among the Indians. The stream has ever since been known as Cape La Croix Creek.” The cross, which had been at the intersection of Kingshighway and Kingsway from 1947 to 2009, when it was moved so a commercial building could be built on the site. Ironically, the marker has never been located close to where the Mississippi River and Cape LaCroix Creek intersect.
This small church at 1507 South Sprigg Street has served many denominations over the years. Currently it is the Joyful Noise C.O.G.I.C.
New Bethel Baptist Church
The 1968 City Directory and Missourian Church Directories as late as 1986 listed it as either New Bethel Church or New Bethel Missionary Baptist Church. I think it may have been a Catholic Church at some point, but I could be thinking of another building.
Shy Reader, who says she visited there practically every other weekend when she was growing up, shared an interesting tidbit: “The story I heard was that at the time the Catholic church was stripping its churches of statues, altars, etc., the folks at Hamburg took down the statues and hid them in barns, etc. Then, when the parish decided to restore the church, these idolic “geegaws” made their way back. Nice story, but not sure it’s true.”
Sign outlines history
I like the part where it says the congregants were required to donate $5, or deliver eight wagonloads of stone, or take off every tenth day to work on building the church.
In 1847, church activities were transferred from Benton to the present site of New Hamburg. Here, services were held in a renovated poultry house on the Wendolin Bucher farm until a new log church was built in 1848 on 3 acres donated by Mr. Bucher. In 1849, more land was obtained adjacent to the new church property and soon a school was functioning as part of the yet unnamed church.
As more new immigrants arrived, the church became too small and in 1857, plans were drawn for a larger and better church which was to be built of stone, 80 feet long ,”excluding the choir” , and 50 feet wide. The new church, modeled after St. Nicolas Church in Schirrhein was completed in September, 1858, and it was time to name the church. The parishioners had many different ideas for a name which resulted in violent arguments.
Finally, Mr. Bucher settled the arguing by stating “…enough of this quarreling! Are you not ashamed of yourselves? Now I will put a stop to this. I gave the land, and I shall name the church in honor of the patron saint of my son, St. Lawrence.” So, the church was named St. Lawrence.
The graveyard behind the church contains many old and impressive stones. I’ve always had a weakness for ones that contain photographs of the deceased.