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St Joseph-St Lawrence Parish
211 West Riley
Easton, KS 66020
According to the Herbert C. Jones book, "The Trail to Progress", published in 1956: "The St. Lawrence Church was organized in the year 1878 by the Rev. G. M. Kelly, with the aid of the committee composed by Michael Hennessey, Peter Boyle, John Warren, and Thos. Sullivan; the church costing twelve hundred dollars. Dr. T.C. Craig was the secretary of the church form the year 1879 until the year 1914, during which years Dr. Craig aided the Rev. pastors morally and financially in establishing the church.
The following pastors took charge of St. Lawrence church: 1855-1879, Rev. B. J. Hayden; 1885-1887, Rev. S. Meehan; 1887-1888, Rev. B. F. Hudson; 1888-1895, Rev. Francis Taton; 1895-1896, Rev. F. Lydecker; 1896-1903, Rev. A. Grootaers; 1903-1914 Rev. Ernest Fisher; July and Sept. 1915, Rev. H.C. Leherke; Sept. 1915, Jan 1916, Rev. J. Laczhiak; and from Jan 1916 for several years, Rev. Kozlowski.
During the month of March, 1916, the members of the congregation, seeing the need of a new church, took steps to build a new edifice. The plans of the church were drawn by H. Brinkman of
Emporia, Kansas, according to Roman architecture, and Mont J. Green of Manhattan, Kansas, was given the contract. The church proper cost the congregation $20,717.22, not counting the labor that
was donated by the members. The furnishing of the church cost $4,000. Many donations were given in furnishing parts of the interior.
The new church was dedicated on April 18, 1917, by the Rev. John Ward, D.D., bishop of Leavenworth, Kansas. The Rev. A. Grootaers, former pastor, sang Solemn High Mass, assisted by Rev. Fr. Goldman of Nortonville, and Rev. B. S. Kelly, pastor of Leavenworth Cathedral preached the dedication sermon."
In Kathryn M. Seber's book, "A Unique Leavenworth Catholic View", published 2005, Viriginia Beying Mowery said that at the dedication of the new church, it was free from all debt and "the first church building was then converted into a parish hall. In 1972, a new parish hall was built and the old original structure was torn down."
In the book "The Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas, 150 Years of Faith 1850-2000", it states "St. Lawrence Parish was founded in 1878. The first Mass, offered by Father William Smith, was said in a railroad section house. Soon after that first Mass, Father Smith made plans to build a church. On horseback he visited the scattered families in the area seeking funds. Within a year, a church was built. Over time, the parish began to grow and by 1916, a larger church was needed. Support for the new church was great and by summer of 1916, the cornerstone was laid. The following spring, the Roman style church was completed and dedicated."
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