Finding Ancestors wherever their trails led with Genealogy Trails History Group

Illinois Genealogy Trails

 Jefferson County Illinois
St. Barbara Catholic Church


Source: "Centennial St. Barbara Catholic Church, 1898 - 1998"
Submitted By: Jo House

St. Barbara Catholic Church

The Old St. Barbara Church of Scheller
In the vicinity of Scheller Lakes, there stood a small building that served as a chapel to the congregation under the Franciscan Fathers, as the first founders that came her from Radom to have Mass and preach sermons.

The bishop then decided to seek a new location at Scheller on which to build a church. He chose a spot at the present location at Scheller. The ground at that time belonged to the late Scheller family, after whom the village was named. Barbara, Lazzey, Mary, Gertrude, Julia, and John Scheller donated two acres of land on which the Church was to be built. The family migrated to Illinois from Indiana, being one of the Pioneer families settling here.

At that time people were willing to donate time and effort, but the number of parishioners was small, only about 25 families. Ed Reidelberger set up his saw mill. The nearby farmers donated the timber. The men of the parish got together and made logs. So the work began, and the church was built in the year of 1898. A large St. Barbara statue, donated by Joseph Bok, was erected on the new altar, and the church was named St. Barbara Church. Joseph and his wife Mary, also donated the two bells for the church. In 1908, the bishop assigned a newly ordained priest, Rev. Stanislaus Berent as a first resident pastor.

In 1956, word spread again about building a new church. Sister M. Humilianna of the Franciscan Order, seeing the crowded surroundings, made an appeal for more ground to one of the Scheller descendants.

Again the parish was fortunate to get the plot of land on the north side of the convent from Mr. and Mrs. Harry Dodds of Mt. Vernon.

The old school that served, at first as a chapel, was moved. The new school and church were built. Mr. and Mrs. Max Skortz and son donated more land adjoining the parrish grounds. The dedication of the new church was March 25, 1958.

In 1996, SSt. Barbara Sodality paid for the bell tower to be constructed. Dedication of the bell tower was on St. Barbara's day, December 4, 1996.

"Firsts" in the St. Barbara Church in Scheller
Pastor - Rev. Remigius Bereudt O.F.M.

Baptism - February 18, 1900
John Milloshewski

Wedding - June 12, 1900
Emil Berg and Henrietta Reidelberger

Communion - August 11, 1901
Leo Mamel, Augustinus VanHoarebeke, Joannes VanHoarebeke, Anna Gajewski, and Attilia Dressler

Conformation - October 28, 1903 Bishop John Janssen
Joseph Bubuda, Dominick Milloshewski, Leon Mamel, Augustyn VanHoarebeke, John VanHoarebeke, Justin Jennette, Thomas Jennette, Patrick Jennette, Anna Gajewski, Martha Gajewski, Pelagia Jurkiewicz, Helen Mamel, and Eva VanHoarebeke.

Franciscan Sisters of St. Barbara Church
Sister Humilianna was the first nun that came to St. Barbara to start a parochial school. She came in 1919. That is the only record before 1928. The sisters to serve the Parish are as follows (The * indicates the sister is deceased, ( ) indicates a sister's name)

1928-1929 Srs. Humilian*, Hedwig*, Seraphica*
1929-1931 Srs. Petronella*, Benedicta*, Athanasia*
1931-1932 Srs. Petronella*, Benedicta*, Valeria*
1932-1933 Srs. Angela*, Benedicta*, Walburga*
1933-1934 Srs. Angela*, Benedicta*, Felicita*
1934-1935 Srs. Aurelia*, Benedicta*, Grace*, Balbina*
1935-1936 Srs. Louis*, Aurelia*, Benedicta*, Elizabeth*
1936-1937 Srs. Petronella*, Boniface, Aurelia*, Honorata*
1937-1938 Srs. Petronella*, Boniface, Honorata*
1938-1939 Srs. Raymond*, Boniface, Honorata*
1939-1940 Srs. Agnes*, Apolonia*, Bertranda
1940-1941 Srs. Agnes*, Carmelita*, Carina
1941-1942 Srs. Agnes*, Monica*, Annette
1942-1943 Srs. Louis*, Mildred*, Eulatia*
1943-1944 Srs. Louis*, Albina*, Ignatius
1944-1945 Srs. Ignatius, Johanna*, Pancratia
1945-1949 Srs. Ignatius, Basilla*, Huberta (Mary Helen)
1949-1950 Srs. Ignatius, Basilla*, Barbara*
1950-1953 Srs. Basilla*, Barbara* Philip
1953-1954 Srs. Aloysius*, Philip, Felicitas*
1954-1955 Srs. Alexia*, Bertha*, Josephine
1955-1956 Srs. Alexia*, Josephine
1956-1957 Srs. Alexia*, Josephine, Nothburga*
1957-1958 Srs. Alexia*, Josephine, Pelagia*
1958-1959 Srs. Alexia*, Josephine, Germaine*
1959-1960 Srs. Alexia*, Honorata*, Josephine,
1960-1961 Srs. Josephine, Alberta*
1961-1962 Srs. Josephine, Edwin
1962-1963 Srs. Josephine, DeSales
1963-1964 Srs. Josephine, Simplicia
1964-1965 Srs. Cornelia*, Doreen (Shirley Zych)
1965-1968 Srs. Imelda, Doreen

Sister Ignatius taught at St. Barbara for seven years. She left in 1950. She is now living in St. Louis at the Mother House. The school closed in 1968.

Priests Who Have Served Our Parish
There were nine priests to serve the Parish during the years:
1898-1908 - Rev. Remigius Bereudt OFM
1908-1914 - Rev. Stanislaus Berent
1914-1929 - Rev. Leo Panicki
1929-1940 - Rev. Michael Klimas
1940-1942 - Rev. John Putas
1942-1955 - Rev. Stanislaus Ksycki
1955-1984 - Rev. Joseph Wieczorek, FDP
1984 - Rev. Jerome Hibner, FDP
1987-1995 - Rev. Hyacinth Mazuchowski, FDP
1995 - present - Rev. Jerome Hibner, FDP

Submited by Sophia Skortz

The first St. Barbara's church was built in 1896 on a plot of land donated by the late Gertrude Scheller and children. They migrated to Illinois from Indiana being one of the pioneer families settling here. It served as church and school until the new building was completed. Dedication ceremonies for the present St. Barbara's church and school were held March 25, 1958. The following information was taken from the leaflet distributed during the dedication ceremony.
"The new St. Barbara's Church and School has been built to replace the frame church built in 1896 and the first Church built here. The new Church is of contemporary Gothic Design and contains the Santuary, mave, narthex, baptistry, mother's room, shriner, two sacristies and the choir. The choir is located on the balcony which is of antilever, "island" design. The exterior material include brick walls with stone trim and asphalt tile roof. A beautiful rose window is located over the double entrance doors which are surmounted by a soone canopy on laminated arched beams, an innovation in roof contruction, decked with natural Hemlock timber. Floors are of ashphalt and rubber tile laid over a concrete sub-floor. Interior walls are of haydite masonary units laid in stacked bond and painted. The alter rises a reredos of St. Genevieve marble which is topped with a baldachino of marble whith a baldachino of wood with bronze symbols ornamintation and with recessed light for illumincation the alter table.
The communion rail is wrought iron with a marble top. This and the crusifix have been provided through the liberality of two of the many faithful families in the parish.
The beautiful stained glass windows manifest the generosity of St. Barbara Ladies Society, the school children of 1957 and 1958 and the several parishioners.
The organ, a Wicks pipe organ, has been donated by the Parish of OUr Lady of Czenstochowa and has been completely rebuilt by the Wicks Organ Co.
The school unit included two classrooms, a sister's office, boiler room and snitary facilites. Construction is completely fireproof with painted block walls, plastered ceiling and concrete roof. Classrooms feature steel chalkboards and clothing hanging facilities.
The entire structure is heated with forced hot water radiation which is zone controlled so that any or all of the seperate units are heated independently as desired.
The New Church and School is a fitting tribute to the unceasing effort and the charity of pastors and faithful parisioners who have worked side by side for many years to see their dreams realized.

Source: "The Prairie Historian"
June 1973, Volume 3, Number 2
Transcribed By: Abby Newell


Genealogy Trails History Group

©Genealogy Trails

©2010 and prior, Cindy Ford (all rights reserved)