Saturday, January 15, 2022/Categories: History
In 1980, St. Mary’s Parish submitted an application to have the church listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Here is more information from the nomination form which was developed by Fr. Bartholomew Dacek, OSB and the Restoration Committee.
"In marked contrast to its rather simple exterior, what happens within this building is a superb example of spatial enrichment by decoration and ornamentation. Vaults in the center and side aisles are 52.5 and 35 feet high respectively. Eight cast iron, four-lobed, fluted columns made in nearby Seneca bear the roof and vault loads. The church's chromatic, figural and textural quality rests mainly in three areas: wall painting, plaster-of-paris sculpture, and leaded colored glazed glass."
The church cost approximately $40,000 and was paid for upon completion. Another $40,000 was gradually spent to finish the interior. In 1895 a used organ was bought in Atchison. Four bells weighing 3200, 1800, 900 and 500 pounds were bought in St. Louis and blessed on July 24, 1895 by Bishop Louis M. Fink, O.S.B. The same year a large cistern was built for the heating system. A greenhouse was also built. It later housed the electric power plant and was later used as a shop. (This building was removed in about 2010).
In 1899 the new main altar and its reredos, some forty feet high, was built and installed by William Bauhaus of Leavenworth, Kansas at a cost of $2,700. "From its white oak base rises a richly molded and gilded system of orders, niches and pediments." In two niches are larger-than-life statues of St. Boniface and St. Patrick, representing the German and Irish makeup of the parish. In 1899 there were 115 German families and 15 Irish families in the parish.
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