Monday, February 23, 2015

Family History Writing Challenge Day 23

St. Michael's Church 1897
The Shrewsbury Park Land and Improvement Company sold off a portion of what was once Murdoch Farm on May 31, 1895 to Henry Muehlsiepen, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of St. Louis. The sale included seventeen and a half 50' x 150' lots, including the land where Murdoch mansion was located. The price of the sale was $10,000. On this land St. Michael the Archangel parish was established for the German immigrants who wanted a church where Mass would be said in German. The mansion was used for services and a residence for the priest, and the first Mass was said on July 28, 1895. Construction on a church began immediately, and a new frame church was dedicated by Monsignor Muehlsiepen on October 17, 1897. The church, which sat 160 people, cost $1,800 to build.

Ursuline nuns started a parochial school and on September 2, 1895, the first classes were conducted for 46 students in the old slave quarters and wash house. Kindergarten and first grades took place at one end of the wash house while the nuns did laundry at the other end.  A rectory was built for the priest in 1909, and the nuns (by this time Notre Dame Sisters) moved into the mansion. Attendance at the parochial school was now 75 students, and classes were conducted in two rooms, one located in the mansion and the other in one of the slave quarters. A brick building containing four classrooms was built in 1915. Unfortunately, on June 21, 1920, lightning struck and destroyed the old stone Sisters' house. Murdoch mansion - circa 1855 - was no more.

Murdoch mansion 1895

1 comment:

Mrs. Wryly said...

Wow, you are great at digging up these facts! $1,800 to build a church; couldn't even buy a pew for that now.....