Gold Cross

Part II







The first settlers in this district were John Elder (at Thomas Mill) and Peter Woodley (on Thaddeus Kibler's farm) who subscribed to the building of St. Joseph's church at Hart's Sleeping Place, in 1829. Their names are also to be found on the subscription list of St. Benedict's church at Carrolltown with those of George, Jacob and Francis Glasser, Francis Anna, Peter Denny and Anthony Yeager.

Jacob Glasser with his three sons Jacob, George and Francis came from the Rhine Palatinate of Bavaria to America in 1837, lived first at Easton, N. J., then came here in 1844. Each of the sons bought, on the installment plan, 250 acres of land at $1.50 per acre from James Fisher of Philadelphia. Later a cousin, George Glasser, the tailor, also came here and the place was called the Glasser Settlement. There were no highways here in those days and to secure the necessaries of life they were obliged to walk to Hollidaysburg or to Johnstown, which usually took several days. The first road, laid out from Glasser's Settlement to Carrolltown, was made in 1848 and connected with the road to Glen Connell. When the church was built some wished to call the place Neuberg. The Very Rev. Celestine Englbrecht, O. S. B., who was the first to see the posibility of a village and a church in this district, visited George Glasser's house in 1856, said Mass there and gathered the children for catechetical instruction. From that time on occasional visits were made and Mass celebrated. In 1858 he called a meeting and urged the people to unite and build a church, which he proposed to name in honor of Saint Boniface, Martyr, the Patron Saint of the Germans. The subscription list will show that the people responded to the appeal.

June 8, 1858.

We the undersigned members of St. Boniface congregation in Chest Township, Cambria County, Pa., oblige ourselves to pay the following sums in cash money. The first payment is to be made within one year, or on the first day


of June 1859. The second payment within one year there-after. The third and last payment at the end of 1860. The lumber and shingles must be delivered before May 1859.

Cash Labor Shingles Lumber
Francis Glasser $25.00 $15.00 1000
George Glasser 10.00 10.00
Augustine Rhoe 10.00 2500
John Rhoe 8.00 4.00 2000
Frederich Rhoe 6.00 6.00
Casper Rhoe 7.00 3.00 2000
Charles Kline 8.00 5.00 2000
Francis Yaeger 6.00 6.00
George Hahn 5.00 5.00
Anthony Anstadt 9.00 8.00
John Helfrich 5.00 2.25 3000
Charles Helfrich 2000
William Gooderham 10.00
Anthony Anna 5.00 10.00 1000
Martin Rosenhammer 5000
Valentine Yahner 5.00 3.00
James Delozier 5.00
Peter Denny 20.00 20.00
Anthony Yaeger 20.00 20.00
Henry Able 8.00 1.50 1800
Philip Miller 5.00 3.00 1000
Baltasser Helfrich 5.00 5.00 1000
Louis Hartman 5.00 900
Peter Woodly, Sr. 20.00 20.00 1000
Peter Woodly, Jr. 5.00 10.00
Francis Barbrich 10.00
George Hipsh 5.00 10.00
Peter Bertram 5.00
John Elder 25.00
John Heil 10.00
William Noel 10.00 10.00
Frederich Eisenberg 5.00
George Crook 8.00
Washington Douglas 5.00
Nicholas Helfrick 10.00 40.00 750
Charles Huber 15.00 630
Francis Sheitel 5.00 15.00
Francis Baker 3.00 3000 835
Matthias Denny 5.00 10.00


John Nagle 5.00 2.00 4000  
Martin Woodley 2.00 5000
Francis Huber 15.00
John Huber 15.00
Francis Anna 10.00
Sebastian Holtz 5.00 6.00 2000

A day laborer was paid .75 cents a day.

Jacob Glasser donated two acres of land in August 1858, where the church now stands as the most suitable place on his farm, the best sheltered from the cold blast of the west winds. Mason work on the foundation was begun by Peter Woodly, Sr., on November 10, 1858. He was assisted by George Hahn and Peter Denny, stone masons. Cold weather put an end to their mason work on December 12, but the digging of the foundation by Fred Rohe was stopped on December 21, 1858. In the spring the work was again taken up and completed on May 20.

Corner Stone Blessed.

The Very Rev. Prior Celestine Englbrecht, O. S. B., solemnly blessed the Corner Stone on Sunday afternoon, May 22, 1859, assisted by the Rev. Benedictine Fathers, Charles Geyerstanger and Chilian Bernetzeder. On May 25 the raising of the frame of the church took place but further work was slowly advanced as Prior Celestine left in midsummer. Father Magnus Mayer, O. S. B., said Mass in Glasser's house on September 18 and urged the workmen to put the building under roof as soon as possible for next month they would be attending the mission.

During the last week of October Father Magnus brought the Rev. F. X. Weninger, S. J., here to hold a three day mission. The missionary stopped with Anthony Yaeger and Father Magnus with George Glasser. Father Weninger held the services and the mission in the church which had a roof only over the sanctuary. On the last day of the mission the missionary blessed the cemetery and the cemetery cross, baptized Sara Abel, wife of Nicholas Helfrich, Dorothy Miller wife of Baltasser Helfrich, Elizabeth Abel wife of Charles Helfrich, Mrs. Clement Shulte and Mrs. Ferdinand Shulte. The sponsors were George Glasser and Adaline Frances, his wife. The first interment in the new cemetery was that of Anthony Yaeger who died March 1 and was buried on March 2, 1859.


Saint Boniface Church, 1930
Saint Boniface Church, 1930
First Church, Saint Boniface
First Church, Saint Boniface


On Christmas day Father Magnus celebrated Mass at St. Lawrence and on the following day left for St. Boniface where he said Mass on the 27. After Mass he called a meeting where at it was shown that so far $325.00 had been expended on the building. He then appointed collectors to solicit money elsewhere to complete the building. The altar and rosary society bought and furnished the altar.

The Church Is Dedicated.

On Tuesday, June 5, 1860, the Very Rev. Utho Huber, O. S, B., Prior at Carrolltown, dedicated the church, with the usual solemnities of the Roman Ritual assisted by the Benedictine Fathers of Carrolltown and Johnstown, and Father Otto of Bellefont. The next pastor was Father Otto Kopf, O. S. B., who celebrated his first Mass here in October 1860. On that occasion he appointed collectors to solicit money for a stove in the church. The Rev. D. A. Gallitzin never allowed a stove in the church at Loretto, neither was there a stove in the Carrolltown church until he placed two in it during this year. In December Father Placidus Pilz, O. S. B., was in charge and before the end of the year saw the stove set up in the church. From October 1861 to November 1863 the Rev. Isidore Walter, O. S. B., was here and gave the contract of lining the walls and cealing to Henry Koch on June 14, 1862, and to Paul Ellwanger of painting the interior. On December 8, 1863, Father Edmund,, O. S. B., let the contract of building the gallery according to the style of the one at Carrolltown to Henry Koch, John Helfrich and Baltasser Helfrich and also made the arrangements to add a sacristy to the church, but the superintending of it fell to the lot of Father Agatho Stuebinger, O. S. B., who succeeded in April 1867. During the months of July and August Father Aemillian Wendel visited here. Father Michael Hofmayr who bought the bell remained until August 22, 1869. In November Father Suitbert DeMarteau, O. S. B., entered his first baptismal registry, had the church repainted, bought the lot adjoining the church property from Anthony Semelsberger on November 9, 1870 for the purpose of building a rectory, but Father Michael, who returned in February, 1871, completed the building.

Father Edmund was again in charge from the first of March, 1877. His Holiness, Pope Leo XIII, had promulgated the glad tidings of a World Jubilee for the year 1879. "The Jubilee Triduum was concluded on Wednesday, June


25, 1879. Father Edmund and Father Denis Stolz, O. S. B. officiating. The sermons both in English and German were forcible and convincing. The church was daily crowded to its daily capacity by pious and attentive worshippers." The Northern Cambria News, Carrolltown, June 28, 1879. The Rev. Pius Preiser, O. S. B., arrived in December and was followed by the Rev. Alto Herr, O. S. B., who had plans drawn for a tower and had just finished the collection to pay for its building when he was succeeded by the Rev. Alban Rudroff, O. S. B., who placed the new side altars in the church and gave John Lantzy the contract to erect the tower. The Rev. Maximillian Herr, O. S. B., was here from January 27, 1885 to November 1886.

The Rev. Anthony Wirtner, O. S. B., the first resident pastor, changed the summer order of Sunday Mass, having services here and at St. Lawrence every Sunday, beginning on Easter Sunday and ending on All Saints Day. Father Anthony remained until September 2, 1889.


February 23, 1890, the first Sunday in Lent, Father Anselm Soehnler, O. S. B., announced from the pulpit that Father Edwin Pierron, O. S. B., of Carrolltown, had been given orders to form a congregation at Hastings, a town, founded two years ago, one and a half miles from here. The congregation here lost about one third of its farmers. During the year a new roof was placed on the church, another story added to the sacristy, and the church frescoed by Nicholas Mangold.

Father Maximillian Herr, O. S. B., now in charge, celebrated Mass on July 26, 1891, placed a beautiful sanctuary lamp in the church, blessed the large statue of St. Benedict and the two adoring Angles on February 13, 1892. By the will of George Hahn who died on February 13, 1892, age 89 years, the church received a donation of $30.00.


In 1892 Father Edwin was requested to organize a congregation at Patton, four miles from here. The first Mass celebrated there was on Sunday, October 7, 1893, with the choir of St. Boniface assisting at the services. A few years later the Coal Company extended their operations farther north and opened a mine about one half of a mile from St.


Boniface on the road to Thomas Mill, thus somewhat improving the situation here. However, in 1928, the coal of the two mines having been removed, the mines were closed and the number of families was reduced to 40 with every prospect of more leaving in the near future. The Rev. Philip Kretz, O. S. B., S. T. D., came here during the last week of May, 1894, and, the winter being too severe, left for Baltimore, Md., on August 27, 1895.


On a very cold morning, the snow being deep, Tuesday, February 25, 1896, St. Boniface church was totally destroyed by fire. When the alarm was given at the pastoral residence, shortly after 7 o'clock A. M., Father Constantine at once hastened to the church. Upon entering the sacristy he found the interior of the structure burning fircely, and so filled with suffocating smoke, that further advance became impossible. The chalice, vestments and a few minor articles in the sacristy were saved. It was with extreme difficulty that the flames were prevented from spreading to the rectory. The church with contents including a magnificent pipe organ, costly stations of the cross and several artistic statues, was valued at $3500.00. Insurance $1550.00. A temporary church, Mr. Thomas Ott's new unused store building, was blessed and furnished with altar, pews, etc.

Father Constantine, the zealous pastor, at once set to work to build a new and larger house of worship, and with the generous assistance of benovelent friends succeeded. On Thursday, May 14, the Feast of the Ascension of our Lord, the corner stone of the new church was blessed by Father Michael, Prior at Carrolltown, assisted by the clergy of the neighborhood.

The Redemptorist Fathers gave a mission, that was well attended, beginning on June 7th and ending on the 14th Sunday, July 19, Father Maurus Hartman held the services. The decorators arrived on September 18 and began frescoeing the church. Mr. Charles Mangold painted a large picture of St. Boniface on the ceiling. Seen from the rear of the church, St. Boniface baptizing the Frisian King, pours the water with his left hand, seen, from the altar railing he uses his right hand.


Blessing of the Church.

The Rev. Archabbot Leander Schnerr, O. S. B., having been delegated by the Rt. Rev. Bishop Phelan, DP. D., solemnly blessed the church on November 17, 1896, assisted by the priests of Carrolltown and of the neighboring towns. Father Cyril Rettger, O. S. B., delivered the sermon. The new Gothic church cost $4265.00.

The two large bells arrived on November 12 and were blessed by Father Constantine, who had been delegated by the Rt. Rev. Bishop. The ceremony took place on the fourth Sunday of Advent, December 20. The sponsors of the large bell were men who had contributed to the buying of it. The smaller bell was sponsored by the women who had paid for it. On this Sunday Father Alto Herr, O. S. B., the new pastor celebrated Mass at St. Lawrence. Father Constantine left on Monday for St. Barbara's church, Brooklyn, N. Y.

The first baptism in the new church is recorded thus: "On January 7, 1897, I baptized Mary Catharine Kronauer, born on January 5, 1897, legitimate daughter of Francis Michael Kronauer and Mary Susanna nee Schaeffer. The sponsors were Patrick Kelly and Mary A. Ott. P. Alto Herr, O. S. B." The first marriage: "January 25, 1898, three publications of the banns having been made, I united in the holy banns of marriage Patrick Kinny of Hastings and Rose Hartman, legitimate daughter of James Hartman and Barbara nee Angele. The witnesses were Francis Hartman and Elizabeth Hobart. P. Alto Herr, O. S. B." On account of the large debt on the church Father Alto sought relief from the "Leopoldinen Missions Verein of Vienna, Austria" and received $606.95. This should be an incentive for the members of the congregation to be liberal in their contributions to the foreign missions.

Mass Every Sunday.

The Rev. Alphonse Heimler, O. S. B., came here for his health in May, 1897, and remained until his death August 13, 1909. Mass was now celebrated here on each Sunday of the year. Father Alto, receiving a beautiful canopy, again held the Corpus Christi procession in the cemetery. He placed statues of St. Boniface, St. John the Baptist, and Mary Magdalin upon the high altar, bought the two side altars with the statues of the Regina Coeli and St. Joseph.


The Rev. Father Maximillian here again from July 28, 1901, had the church repainted and the tower repaired. The Rev. Raphael Wieland, O. S. B., who began his work on August 20, 1904, placed a cement walk around the church and rectory, planted the maple trees around the cemetery, bought the picnic grounds, erected buildings thereon, enlarged the rectory, put steam heating into the church, a hot water plant into the rectory and made other improvements. When Faher Alphonse died in 1909, the charge of St. Lawrence was placed into the hands of the pastor of St. George, Patton, Pa.

The Golden Jubilee.

The celebration of the Golden Jubilee was transferred to the feast of the Holy Redeemer, Sunday, July 18, 1909. A Pontifical High Mass was the chief celebration.

The celebrant: the Rt. Rev. D. D. Leander Schnerr, O. S. B., Archabbot of St. Vincent Archabbey, Latrobe, Pa.

The Presbyter Assistant: the Rev. Alban Rudroff, O. S. B., of Nebraska City, Nebraska.

The Deacon: the Rev. Henry Becker, O. S. B., of St. Anselm College, Manchester, New Hampshire.

Th Subdeacon: the Rev. Stephan Wieland, O. S. B., of St. Vincent College, Latrobe, Pa.

The I Master of Ceremonies: the Rev. Luke Eichenlaub, O. S. B., of St. Vincent Archabbey, Latrobe, Pa.

The II Master of Ceremonies: the Pastor, Father Raphael.

The orator of the day was the Rev. Maurus Hartman, O. S. B., of St. Vincent Archabbey.

At four o'clock in the afternoon there was Solemn Vespers.

The Celebrant was Father Maurus Hartman, O. S. B.

The Assistants were the Rev. Henry and Rev. Luke.

The Master of Ceremonies was the Rev. Stephen.


On the following day Solemn Requiem High Mass was celebrated by Father Raphael with Fathers Maurus and Henry, Deacon and Subdeacon, Father Luke Master of Ceremonies, Father Alban the orator. Present in the sanctuary were the Benedictine Fathers Alphonse Heimler, Maximillian Herr, of Nicktown, Francis Xavier Traxler, of Spangler, Marcellus Rettger of Hastings, Thomas Wolf and Herman Schorer, of Carrolltown.

The Rev. Suitbert Rickert, O. S. B., was here one year and was succeeded by Father Rupert Tragesser, O. S. B., on August 3, 1919. On February 13, 1920, he suffered from an attack of apoplexy and died four days later. His remains were lovingly laid to rest in the cemetery at the St. Vincent Archabbey, Latrobe, Pa. The Rev. Clarence Kaiser, O. S. B., attended him in his last moments and remained until his successor arrived.

The Rev. Modestus Wirtner, O. S. B., entered upon his duties here on March 6, 1920. Four wells having been dug without supplying the house with water the pastor had a roof built on the hill at the rear of the lot for the purpose of catching the rain water which then flowed into a cistern and from there into the house. The experiment proved a success. The tower had been three times repaired and each time there remained a leakage of water. In 1925 Father Modestus discovered that a brace in the tower was badly damaged by rot, in fact the whole west side of the belfry showed rotton sheating as well as siding. The spire and the roof were covered with asbestos shingles and the sides of the tower with asphaltum shingles. In 1923 the pastor urged the members of the congregation to and make greater efforts in having a beautiful cemetery. The people kindly responded and formed a society whose duty is to take care of the cemetery. At the present time the beauty spot of St. Boniface is its well cared for cemetery. In 1928 the John Wegman property was bought and added to the cemetery.

On account of the St. Boniface mines closing their works about one half of the people have left so that at present there are only 40 families left, about 181 of a population. The treasurer of the Rosary Society is Charles Becker, Sr., with six bands.

The Promoters of the Apostleship of Prayer are Mrs. Cecilia Thomas, Mrs. Catherine Quinn and Miss Lucy Kibler.


The officers of the Children of Mary:

President Loretto Washington
Vice-President Mary Ruth Entler
Secretary Elenore Washington

The Holy Name Society organized in 1928:

President John G. Ott
Vice-President Denis Westrick
Secretary Donatus Quinn

There are 16 senior and 21 junior members.

The Catholic Knights of St. George were organized September 17, 1908 with 15 members. At present there are 15 members.

   1903 1930   
John G. Ott Director John G. Ott
Theodore Huber President Edward Yaeger
Terrence McDermott Vice-President Charles Thomas
Frederich Entler Rec. Sec'y Carl Ott
Frederich Entler Treasurer Michael Entler
Adam Haas Marshal Henry Ott

The Young Men's Institute was organized in 1901 with 22 members. At present there are 15 members in the Y. M. I. Officers:

   1901 1930   
Benjamin Thomas President Carl Ott
Patrick Kelly I Vice-Pres. Frank Hahn
Francis Ott II Vice-Pres.
Albert Yeager Rec.-Sec'y. Theodore Ott
Theodore Huber Fin. Sec'y. Wilfred Anna
Lewis Yeager Treasurer Thomas Burkhart
James Lynn Marshal
Denis Bolger Inside Sent.
Thomas Entler Outside Sent.
Francis Garrity Francis Garrity
Jacob Semelsberger Executive Henry Anna
Peter Eckenrode Committee John Scorodinsky
Rev. F. Alto Chaplain
Signal John Hahn


The first school house built in this district was located on the present farm of Alvin Thomas. Mrs. F. X. Ott, Mrs. John Nagle and John Hahn were pupils of this 14X16 log schoolhouse. When the St. Lawrence road was changed it was rebuilt on Frank L. Kline's farm, south of the present picnic grounds. Then it was rebuilt as the little red school house in the village of St. Boniface and finally it made room for the large two story school building. Another school was built in the early days on the opposite side of the dam at Lantzy Mill, later rebuilt on the Able farm then replaced by the Libby school. The Kirk school on the Carrolltown road was built about 18 years ago.

The first meat market, 1884, was in the hands of Philip Yaeger in Charles Becker's house and on the corner of the Y. M. I. property, later it went up in the flames. Frank L. Kline built a stone building and rented it to Ed. Weakland for a meat market; later he himself was in the business with Mr. Simon Gutwalt of Altoona as his butcher.

The pop factory in the house of Charles Henry Becker was operated by Gregory Miller, the blacksmith.

The first postmaster was Jake Glasser, then Anthony Anna; Baltasar Helfrich, 1871; Thomas Ott, for 23 years; Ben. Carter; Adam T. Miller; Mary A. Huber, 1928.

The first blacksmith, Andreas Miller, living in the house now occupied by Charles H. Becker, had his shop below the house. Miller moved to St. Lawrence, and later his son Gregory ran an independent shop. Charles Becker, Sr., bought out Andrew Miller, 1871-1884, and worked in a shop where now stands the Hall of The Knights of St. George. Wash. Douglas in the early fifties had a shop where now stands F. X. Ott's house, later before the Civil War, it was worked by Charles Dillon. Frank Yahner operated a shop 1860-70 on the St. Lawrence road at his farm, now that of Henry Holtz.

John Fritzinger built his small building torn down by Jacob Semelsberger in July 1930, and made his living at the shoemaker trade. Jacob Kline bought the place, built a large addition to the front and for several years worked at the shoemaker trade. Anthony Nickel built the present John Nagle house and also made shoes for the public. One day in company with a table-cloth trader he carrying $30-$40 with him intending to buy leather from the tanner, Benjamin Wirtner; Nickel bought a roll of sole leather, left


for home but never arrived there. In later years a skeleton was found in Sunset Park that was thought to be Nickel's. Simon Bortman rented from Carson a room in the priest's house and worked at the shoemaker trade in 1885.

Squire Baltasser Helfrich erected a building opposite the rectory and conducted a general store until about 1870. John Tate also was for a short time in the store business. Thomas Ott converted his tavern about 1882 or 83 into a store, the house now occupied by Fred. Boyle. In 1885 he built a large store and in the following year sold his business and the new building to David Johnman, who is still using the store. John Carson rented the new unused rectory in 1884, and vacated his store there in 1886. Parletz and Barlow, Jews, rented the frame part of Louis F. Klein's store and were in the clothing business for a short time. Frank Farabaugh built an addition to the front of the house now belonging to John Hahn and opened a general store which he gave up several years later. At present Jacob Semelsberger conducts a small grocery store and pool room, while Thomas Quinn also has a small grocery store and ice cream parlor. Mrs. W. Lenhart has a small store. Ben Carter should not be forgotten for he built the Lenhart building, had a store there for several years and had the post office.

George Glasser, the tailor, built the house on the later cemetery plot and made his living there as the tailor. Peter Bertram on the farm now the Henry Holtz farm worked as a tailor.

Jacob Glasser, in the now F X. Kruis house, had the first tavern. Henry Koch also sold liquor in the burnt down house opposite Jacob Semelsberger's store. Previous to that Thomas Ott bought H. Koch's former house in 1871, made an addition to it and opened a tavern which was in operation for eleven years. Francis X. Ott also bought a parcel of land from Henry Koch, the cabinet maker, erected a building on the spot of the Douglas blacksmith shop, opened a tavern which remained open until closed by the XVIIIth Amendment. Jacob Kline converted his shoemaker shop into a tavrn and later sold it to Jacob W. Anna who remodeled the building; then came the renters or leasers Jake Leonard, George H. Bearlein, Lawrence Lantzy, Joseph Shields, Louis Entler and finally Henry Washington.

Some time after Jacob Glasser started a tavern Baltasser Helfrich quit his store business and opened a tavern and in 1872 sold it to Carl Entler, who again sold it to


Anthony Anna and finally it was bought by Peter Glasser with whom the tavern business there came to an end.

Elder township, erected 1878, is named after John Elder the first resident. Ruth McConnell of Glen Connell, sold 113 acres of land to John Elder and Thomas Lilly "on the condition that they put up a house fit for a family to live in and reside in it within six months of date of contract and to erect a good and sufficient grist and saw mill with necessary buildings and continue to reside thereon until paid for in the following manner, viz: Elder and Lilly did covenant and agree to pay for the said 113 acres-$113,00 by paying all taxes on the residence on the whole tract of which the 113 acres is a part until the taxes paid shall amount to the said $113,00." There were only 107 acres in the tract at Elder's Mill later called Thomas Mill. Elder received his deed on Sept. 29, 1855, from John G. Miles, executor of the will of Ruth McConnell, Lilly having in the mean time sold his interest to Elder. In 1920 Elder township had a population of 2013 which declined in 1930 to 1656.

Anthony Yaeger was advised by John G. Miler of Hart's Sleeping Place, St. Joseph's church, to take up a tract of land 1/2 mile north of St. Boniface. Tramping the forest for a location, they came upon a clear field and Yaeger told Miller: "This will make a good potato patch and a fine field for wheat or rye." Mr. Yaeger received his deed Sept. 29, 1852. The Indian graveyard has not beeen located.

Frank Yahner, digging for a foundation for his blacksmith shop, found a large cache of finished, unfinished flint points. Many more of a bluish and a half dozen of a yellowish tint were found at the large rock below the spring house. The next owner, Andrew Emery Weakland, and beside arrow heads found a clay pipe, the present owner Henry Holtz found two carved stone harts. Tradition states that the Indian cemetery was located on the Pennsylvania Coal and Coak Co. land below Holtz's house.

In 1871 John Thomas bought the Adam Leiden (now the Henry Kibler) farm. In 1872 while excavating the ground for a wall under the barn there came to light, about three feet under one corner of the barn, an Indian peaceably sitting in his grave.




This place was called, in early days, the Blacklick settlement, so called because it was situated on the head-waters of the Blacklick run; after the church was built it was named St Nicholas; when Nicholas Lambour applied for a post office, the postal authorities answered the petition for a post office at Nicktown, there being already a St. Nicholas post office in Lancaster County.

The first Catholic settler in this district, Bernard Lambour of Alsace-Loraine, worked for some time on a farm of the Rev. Father Lemke at Carrolltown. In lieu of paying the cash for his wages Father Lemke, on November 3, 1846, sold him a tract of 226 acres of land at what is now called Nicktown. Mr. Lambour then sent for his family who were still in the old country. The Venerable Sister Martha Soisson, O. S. F., (died October 1928) a grand daughter of Mr. Lambour, stated that Father Lemke reserved about 15 acres of this land for a church, as he believed at some future date a church would be built there. This does not appear in the deed but was an agreement made between gentlemen.

In 1861 the Rev. Otto Kopf, O. S. B., celebrated the first Mass in the western district of St. Benedict's congregation, Carrolltown, at the residence of Mr. Anthony Schnabel (the farm of Francis Reber at the present time) to give the old people of the Blacklick district a more convenient opportunity for fulfilling their Easter duty.

During the year of 1863 the Ven. Brother Martin Beck, O. S. B., visited Mr. Henry Hopple's house (now Joseph H. Webber's) and gave catechetical instructions to the first communicants. On Thursday, June 25th, Father Isidore Walter, 0. S. B., finished the instructions in this house and then baptized Joseph Leo Soisson, born on June 13th, 1863, legitimate son of John Soisson and Mary Magdalin nee Lambour; the sponsors were Henry Hoppel and Christina Soisson. The children received their first communion at Carrolltown.

In the fall of 1836 the Rev. Edmund Langenfelder, O. S. B., changed the location of celebrating Mass to the resi-


Saint Nicholas' Church, Nicktown
Saint Nicholas' Church, Nicktown


dence of John Kirsch. Here, once a month, he celebrated Mass on Sundays for a few months; then, on account of sickness in the house, he celebrated the Mass in the house of Mr. John Soisson. As Soisson's house had a larger room and being more centrally located, Mass was celebrated here during the next three years. Father Edmund left in February 1867.

The Very Rev. Giles (Aegidius) Christoph, O. S. B., Prior at Carrolltown, called a meeting for the 7th day of June, 1864. Thirty-eight members were present, who talked over the matter of building a church and, if possible, of having Mass on Sunday twice a month. Mr. Nicholas Lambour, son of Bernard Lambour, generously offered to donate the present site for the church. After the matter had been debated, whether the church should be built on the John Kirsch farm, on the Blacklick road, or on the Lambour farm, on the Indiana road, the consensus of opinions was in favor of the present location. Prior Giles then announced that the present site would be the place where the church would be built. Mr. Lambour then donated 14 acres of land to the Rt. Rev. Michael Domenec, D. D., the Roman Catholic Bishop of Diocese of Pittsburgh, in trust for the use of the St. Nicholas congregation. The site was a forest and Mr. Lambour offered the congregation all the timber needed for the construction of the church, the balance he then removed.

Prior Giles presented the petition of forming a new parish and of building a church to the Rt. Rev. Bishop, who granted the permission. A plan was made for the new building and Prior Giles superintended the building of the same. He appointed Jacob Schirf as the foreman of the work of clearing the forest, excavating the foundation, hauling the stone and the lumber. John and Nicholas Soisson hauled the stone. Jacob Schirf was nobly assisted by Nicholas Lambour, Adam Lieb, Sr.; Leonard Hiller, John Liester, John Soisson, Francis Peters, Michael Farabaugh, Jacob Weis, John Kirsch, Frederich Pichel, Jacob Wieland, Anthony Reger, Henry Krumenacker, George Duman, Ambrose Lantzy. The foundation was built by Peter Springer and John Keefer.

Blessing of the Corner-Stone.

Thursday, June 21st, 1866, the vestments, etc., were taken from John Soisson's residence to Nicholas Lambour's


house, where Mass was celebrated at 10 o'clock, A. M., in the presence of the Rt. Rev. Bishop Michael Domenec, D. D. After Mass the people in procession proceded to the site of the church, where the Bishop then solemnly blessed the corner stone according to the Roman Ritual, delivered a short address of encouragement and perseverance in the work of God, and gave the blessing. The Very Rev. Prior Giles, the Fathers Edmund, Langenfelder, Bruno Riess and Matthias Binder were present.

The contract of erecting the frame building was given to Mr. Peter Strittmatter, who with his sons completed the building in January 1867. The church was a neat frame building containing elements of the Romanesque style of architecture and was 70x50 feet wide and 35 feet in height to the center of the ceiling, and was surmounted by a belfry.

The church was privately blessed by the Very Rev. Prior Giles on the 7th of February, 1867, and after the Mass the following were baptized:

Nicholas Ferdinand Lambour, born on the 22nd of January, 1867, was baptized on the 7th of February, 1867, legitimate son of Nicholas Lambour and Louisa nee Sier. Sponsors: Ferdinand Sier and Christina Soisson.

Francis Denis Luther, born on the 3d of January, 1867, was baptized on the 7th of February, 1867, legitimate son of George Luther and Susanna nee McGee. The sponsors were Nicholas Lambour and Rose Ann McGee.

Catherine Amelia Wieland, born on the 11th of January, 1867, was baptized on the 7th of February, 1867, legitimate daughter of Jacob Wieland and Mary nee Lieb. The sponsors were Adam and Catharine Lieb.

Francisca Amelia Luther, born on the 16th of December, 1866, was baptized on the 7th of February, 1867, legitimate daughter of John S. Luther and Catharine nee Weakland. The sponsors were Francis and Margaret Luther.

P. Giles Christoph, O. S. B.

The first marriage ceremony in the new church was that of Michael Keefer and Bertha Farabaugh on the 4th of October, 1867. The witnesses were Leonard Farabaugh and Barbara Rubly. The Rev. Agatho Stubinger, O. S. B., performed the ceremony. He had charge here from April 1867 to January 1868.


In preparing for the dedication of the church Adam Lieb presented a red vestment; Henry Krumenacker a green one; Peter Nealen a white vestment; Matthias Webber six large candlesticks; the Altar Society a velum, altar cloths, and six small candlesticks; John Soisson a chalice and ciborium; Nicholas Lambour the sanctuary lamp, a carpet valued at $55.75; John Wieland an ostensorium; Jacob Weis made and presented the pulpit, and Michael Farabaugh the altar; the reed organ was bought in 1869.

The Dedication.

The Rt. Rev. Bishop Domenec, D. D., blessed the addition to the church at St. Augustine on August the 28th, 1868. On the next day, Saturday, 29th of August, 1868, the Rt. Rev. Bishop Domenec dedicated the church here in honor of St. Nicholas, Bishop and Martyr. The Very Rev. Prior Giles, the Rev. Paul Behrens, the Rev. Edward Burns and Rev. Sheehan were present. (Note by Father Paul, 0. S. B., the pastor.) After the High Mass the Bishop administered the sacrament of confirmation.

The Rev. Urban Bayer, O. S. B., recorded his last baptism in the Register of the Holy Trinity church, Pittsburgh on the 15th of November, 1868. His next record was made at New Germany on November 29, 1868. Father Urban had been sent to Carrolltown to take charge of St. Nicholas church, Nicktown, and of the church at New Germany. Each church had now Mass twice a month on Sundays. Father Urban's records for interments for the year 1869 are:

Michael Mohler died March 1, was buried March 3. Age 66 years. John Leister died March 23, was buried March 27. Age 55 years. Mary A. Ottenberger died March 27, was buried March 29. Age 53 years. Bernard Lambour died Nov. 18, was buried November 20. Age 77 years.

The Rev. Wendelin Mayer, O. S. B., gave the first mission during the month of February, 1871. Father Urban left during the week following August 6, 1871. The Rev. Anselm Schmidt, O. S. B., then visited the church during August and September, and the Rev. Matthias Binder, O. S. B., was here in October. With the advent of the Rev. Valentine Lobmayer, O. S. B., services were held on each Sunday of the year. The church was now plastered and painted and otherwise improved. Side altars and statues were placed in the church in 1871. It was painted again


during the month of August, 1879, by Joseph Belie, but the inside work was given an oak finish. The Rev. Alto Herr, O. S. B., made his first registry of baptisms on the 24th of January, 1880.

The Rev. Pius Preiser, O. S. B., began his work as pastor on the second Sunday (the 12th) of November, 1882. At this time the Rt. Rev. Bishop Phelan, D. D., Bishop of Pittsburgh, placed Cammeron's Bottom and Strongstown in charge of the pastor of St. Nicholas. On Sundays Father Pius celebrated Mass twice each month in both of those places and twice here. During the summer of 1883, and ever after, St. Nicholas congregation had Mass again every Sunday. On the Sundays when the pastor was at Cameron's Bottom, the following priest of Carrolltown assisted here until the pastor was relieved of Cammeron's Bottom: The Rev. Anthony Wirtner, O. S. B., to 1884; the Rev. Anselm Soehnler, O. S. B., to November, 1886; The Rev. Maximillian Herr, O. S. B., to 1891; the Rev. Leonard Schlim, O. S. B., the Rev. Thomas Wolf, O. S. B., and the Rev. Amandus Reitmeier, O. S. B., to end of 1901; the Rev. Stanislaus Messmer, O. S. B., 1902; the Rev. Othmar Knoll, O. S. B., 1903; the Rev. Boniface Wirtner, O. S. B., to November 1905. Father Pius built the rectory in 1886 but before the building was completed he was called to another field of labor. The Rev. Theodore Schmidt, O. S. B., succeeded in March, 1887, finished the house, became the first resident pastor, remained until the end of January, 1889, and was followed by the Rev. Constantine Leber, O. S. B., who left about the 30th of November, 1890.

The Rev. Rupert Tragesser, O. S. B., the next pastor made a host of friends, who respected and highly esteemd him for his many good qualities. In 1895 the old frame church was moved about a hundred feet south and a good strong foundation was built on the old site for a new church to be built according to the Gothic style of architecture. The corner stone was blessed and laid on the twenty-sixth day of May, 1895.

The Church Is Blessed.

On November 18, 1897, the church was blessed by the Rt. Rev. Richard Phelan, D. D., Bishop of Pittsburgh. The Very Rev. Michael Hofmayer, 0 S. B., Prior at Carrolltown, celebrated the solemn High Mass, assisted by the Rev. Innocent Andelfinger, O. S. B., and Rev. Augustine Minkel,


O. S. B., as deacon and subdeacon with the Rev. Isidore Fuessel, O. S. B., master of the ceremonies. The sermon was preached by the Rev. Edward Andelfinger, O. S. B., of St. Vincent College, in which he congratulated the pastor and the congregation on the zeal manifested in the erection of so handsome a church. It was a brick-cased, 54x100 feet building with a pine shingle roof, costing $15,000, and it spoke well for the generosity of the congregation that there remained a debt of only $3,500. Father Rupert is reported as having said: "Had I known before that the people would have been so liberal with their contributions, I would have built a brick church." On the following day, November 19, Father Rupert baptized George Leo Soisson, and Mary Soisson, both born November 10, 1897, legitimate children of Anthony Soisson and Margaret nee Hoffman. Father Rupert was a zealous priest, and the people were sorry to see him leave in August, 1904.

The Rev. Maximillian Herr, O. S. B., recorded his first baptism, August 20, 1904. The coal in the vicinity of Cammeron's Bottom, now being mined, the new town of Heilwood, two miles distant, arose. On November 2, 1905, The Rt. Rev. Regis Canivin, D. D., Bishop of Pittsburgh, sent a secular priest to Cammeron's Bottom to take charge with Strongstown and Heilwood as missions.

A First Mass.

On Sunday, June 27, 1909, the Rev. Francis A. Pearns celebrated his first holy Mass in St. Nicholas church. He was an orphan boy, taken care of by Margaret Smith of Cammeron's Bottom and sent to St. Vincent College, where he made all of his studies for the priesthood. Bishop Canivin ordained him for the diocese of Pittsburgh and he is now in charge of St. Joseph's church at Roscoe, Washington County, Pa.

The Golden Jubilee.

The Rev. Modestus Wirtner, O. S. B., arrived in Nicktown, September 9, 1910. The Golden Jubilee of the formation of this mission, or rather of the first Mass, celebrated by the Very Rev. Otto Kopf, O. S. B., in this district was held on the 8th of August, 1911, when a solemn High Mass of Thanksgiving was celebrated by the Rev. pastor, assisted by the Rev. Raphael Wieland, O. S. B., as deacon, who delivered the sermon, and the Rev. Herman Schorer, O. S. B.,


as deacon with the Rev. James Spalding, O. S. B., the master of the ceremonies. On the following day a solemn Requiem High Mass was celebrated for the deceased members of the congregation. Many clergy of the neighboring parishes were present in the sanctuary on both days. The occasion was a grand reunion of the former members of the congregation, who were entertained at dinner and supper on the picnic grounds.

A branch of the Catholic Knights of St. George was organized, June 6, 1912, with a membership of 20 young men. George Lieb was chosen as President. The Branch held their meetings in the Picnic Grove Hall, until 19.., when a large, well equipped Knights of St. George Hall was built. The present membership is 80 men.


On August 18, 1914, Mrs. Francis Fresh, living opposite the church, noticed about 3:39 A. M., that the Church Hall was on fire, gave the alarm. The bells in the church tower were at once rung and word sent to the Spangler Fire Company. The high wind blew the sparks of the burning building upon the shingle roof of the brick veneer church and when the fire company arrived it was too late to save the church; the firemen then confined their attention to save a number of frame structures on the opposite side of the street. The loss was estimated at about $35,000. The pastor with the assistance of the church committee, N. F. Lambour, Lewis Kirsch, John Duman and Joseph Parrish immediately began the work of reconstruction. A brick church, covered with asbestos shingles, modeled after the former church with a few changes, was built upon the old foundation. The rectory was also covered with asbestos shingles.

On Sunday, October 17, 1915, the Rt. Rev. Eugene A. Garvey, D. D., Bishop of Altoona, blessed the church at 10:30 A. M. The Rev. Callistus Stehle, O. S. B., of St. Vincent Archabbey, celebrated the solemn High Mass and delivered the sermon. The Benedictine Fathers Method Shestek, of Patton, and Urban Schnitzhofer assisted as deacon and subdeacon with Sylvester Schwab as the master of the ceremonies. Assistants to the Rt. Rev. Bishop in the sanctuary were the Rev. F. Ilich, the Assyrian priest of Barnesboro, and the pastor, Father Modestus. After the Mass the Bishop gave an address to the confirmation class and administered the sacrament of Confirmation. The


ceremonies were closed with the Solemn Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament given by the Bishop.

Rev. Marinus Ferg, O. S. B., took charge on September 3, 1916. He commissioned Joseph Mangold of Pittsburgh to decorate the interior of the church. The artistic work done upholds Mangold's reputation in the eyes of all lovers of true art. During the administration of Father Marinus the coal under the church property was sold, the debt of the church paid and there remained a balance on hand for the building of a parochial school. The Rev. Wilfrid Frins, O. S. B., October 3, 1918 to July 30, 1922, installed a Seth Thomas clock in the tower. Father Marinus returned on July 31, 1922.

During the month of June, 1922, preparations were made to build the parochial school and the foundation was finished on August the first, the frame erected with a temporary roof over the same; during 1923 the exterior of the school was finished, and in 1924 was opened for the children. The Rt. Rev. John J. McCort, D. D., Bishop of Altoona, blessed the school on Sunday, September 7, 1924, at 3:30 P. M. The Rev. Adrian Krakowski, O. S. B., of Patton, preached the sermon. Monday, September 8, the parochial school opened with 86 pupils under the charge of the Venerable Sisters M. Mercedes, Superior, M. Stanislaus, M. Loyola and M. Columba, Sisters of Mercy of Cresson, Pa. In 1929 the parsonage was brick- veneered conforming in style with the church and school.

The Rosary Society has a membership of 40 members, the Sodality of the Blessed Virgin 30, the Sacred Heart League 25, the Holy Name Society 100 and the Propagation of the Faith ___.

The Catholic Knights of St. George were organized in June 1913 with 18 members; now there are 79 members. The original officers and the presiding officers today are:

    1913 1930    
George Lieb Director George Lieb
Peter Lieb President John Nealen
Andrew Smith Vice-President Josephh V. Lieb
Clement Kirsch Recorder George Lieb
George Lieb Secretary-Treasurer George Lieb
James Parrish Marshal Anacletus Reger
John Kuntzelman Trustee Peter Lieb


James Smith Trustee Valentine Wyland
Fred. Nealen Trustee Herman Rager

A person making a will should not forget his church. The following may be added to the same: "I also give and bequeath to the Rt. Rev. John J. McCort, D. D., or successor, Bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Altoona in trust for the St. Nicholas Roman Catholic Congregation of Nicktown, Barr Township, Cambria County, Pa., the sum of _____ Dollars."

The Indian.

Francis H. Bearer of Carrolltown, formerly of Spangler, states that on the Griffith farm, one and a half miles west of Nicktown on the Indiana road there was an Indian deposit of lead found in former days. Ed. Burns relates in the field, on the road leading south of the Indiana road, belonging to his father, he when a small boy found a cache of arrow points as his father plowed the field; also not far from it another one had been uncovered by the plow. The Indian village must be sought between these two points. The late William Plummer related that on his farm there had been an Indian encampment; there was also another on the John Nealen farm formerly owned by Nicholas Lambour.

For years a barbershop has been open to the public under the management of Boliver (Wendelin) Pfister. The blacksmith shop was first opened by Adam Lieb, continued by his son, Adam Lieb, Jr., and finally abandoned by his grandson William Lieb. The present blacksmith is Urban Kline. The only cabinet maker in the village was George F. Fresh, likewise the undertaker and later he worked at the wagon-maker trade. His son Francis Fresh is a carpenter and painter.

Dr. Adelbert Maucher was the first physician and druggist, after his death Dr. Thomas Orlando Helfrich, M. D., opened his first office here and later removed to the new promising town of Spangler where he died in May, 1929.

Nicholas Lambour was appointed the first postmaster in Nicktown, followed by Simon P. Kirsch, Joseph Houck (died at Hastings, 1930), then Nicholas Lambour again,


then for the last 34 years N. Fred. Lambour has been holding the office.

Caspar Lieb opened the first store in the house now occupied by Mrs. Margaret Ager. After a few years he built a large two-story building and continued the business for some years when he finally sold the building and business to John B. Kline under whose management the business came to an end. John Soisson conducted a store for a time in the house now owned by Mrs. Hopple. Some time after the church was built Nicholas Lambour opened a store which has served the public ever since under the ownership of N. Fred Lambour.

The first tavern was built by Nicholas Lambour but soon after the church had been built he sold it to Eberhard Gessler. Later Harry Luther bought the building and business and in 1903 sold out to Philip Geus. Mr. Geus built a large two-story building in which he has served the public until the XVIII Amendment ruined his business. In 1889 Anthony Reber opened a tavern in the building now owned by Peter Wyland. In 1920 Barr Township had a population of 2956 that declined in 1930 to 2943.



A facsimilie copy of the agreement between Prince Gallitzin and the Rev. Henry Lemke is given. The German translated reads as follows:

"Demetrius Augustine Gallitzin, pastor of St. Michael's church binds himself to permit the German priest who resides at Ebensburg to come to Loretto every month on a Sunday in order to hold devine service in St. Michael's church, to hear confessions and to preach in the German language and binds himself also to pay yearly to the said priest $100.00 for his service.

Furthermore D. A. Gallitzin binds himself personally to preach at least on one Sunday of each month in German, perhaps oftener if it is possible.

We the German members of the congregation of the Reverend Demetrius Augustine Gallitzin bind ourselves to annually pay the following sum of money to this our respective Reverend Pastor." The names here follow:




General James Addams Beaver, General Dan H. Hastings and Colonel J. L. Spangler, all of Bellefonte, held options on virgin coal lands in Northern Cambria County. It was not difficult to secure options from land owners, especially the farmers, who clung to the surface soil, but had little hopes of large profits out of minerals while the Railroad, like General Sheridan, was "forty miles away." In 1886 they formed the Bluebaker Coal Company, bought up some 14,000 acres of coal land in Elder, Susquehanna, Barr and Carroll Townships, and began to develop the coal in the Hastings district along the Brubaker creek in Elder Township. General Beaver was then the Governor of Pennsylvania, and General Hastings was his Adjutant General and later also Governor; Colonel Spangler was a member of the Governor's military staff. On January 13, 1887, the Cambria and Clearfield R. R. was chartered for the purpose of hauling this coal to market, and the first track was completed from La Jose to Hastings on September 24, 1888. It jonied the Pennsylvania and Northwestern R. R. at La Jose and the Pennsylvania R. R. at Bells Mill.

In 1880 the Company laid out a town on Brubaker creek in honor of General Hastings. The town taken from Elder Township by a decree of the Court dated April 16, 1894, was made a Borough. The new town increased rapidly in population and as all the farmers with one exception—within a radius of three miles—were Catholics, the need of a church was keenly felt already the following year, 1889. Late in the fall of 1889 the Rt. Rev. Archabbot Andrew Hintenach, O. S. B., made a visit to the mountains and asked the Rev. Edwin Pierron, O. S. B., whether in his opinion a Catholic church was needed at Hastings, upon answering in the affirmative, he replied: "Very well, I will call the attention of the Bishop to this state of affairs."

The Rev. Anselm Soehnler, O. S. B., rector of St. Boniface church, St. Boniface, one mile distant from Hastings made the following announcement on the first Sunday of Lent, February 23, 1890: "Those living in the new town of


Hastings are informed that Father Edwin of Carrolltown has been appointed pastor of Hastings. For the time being, until he can reside there permanently, the following arrangement has been made in regard to sick-calls. Unless there is an immediate danger of death, from an accident, the people should call on Father Edwin, otherwise on me as the nearest priest."

Early in March, 1890, Father Edwin called a meeting in the Town Hall of all citizens (irrespective of their church affiliations) who were interested in the building of the prospective church, freely discussed the various available sites, and as a strong preponderance of opinion favored the location previously reserved for building a Company Club House. A building committee was appointed and Father Edwin instructed to obtain if possible possession of the plot of ground. On the first Sunday of April, F. Edwin went to Bellefonte, attended a meeting of Beaver, Spangler and Hastings, at the latter's residence, and for a consideration of $400.00 secured a one half block 50x150 feet, being the equivalent of six lots 50x150. The same week plans and specifications for a new Gothic church, a modest frame structure 40x110 feet with a seating capacity of 700, were made, the construction let, and the church completed and furnished by the end of December 1890, at a cost of $9,000.

On January 18, 1891, the Rt. Rev. Archabbot Andrew dedicated the church in honor of St. Bernard, O. S. B., Abbot and Doctor of the church whose feast is celebrated on August 20. Father Edwin then celebrated the first Mass in Hastings and Father Edward Andelfinger, O. S. B., preached the sermon. The following week Father Edwin removed from Carrolltown to Hastings and roomed with Paul Strittmatter. On the following Sunday, January 25, all the seats were rented to more than 175 families—60 families from the Carrolltown parish and 30 from the St. Boniface congregation having meanwhile joined the new "St. Bernard congregation."

In April, 1891, ground was broken for a $3,000.00 rectory, a 10-room frame building, which was completed and furnished by the end of August of the same year and occupied by Fr. Edwin the first week of September until September 1897 when he was succeeded by the Rev. Innocent Andelfinger, O. S. B., and replaced August, 1905, by the Rev. Germain Ball, O. S. B., who resigned his office on account of sickness in August, 1910.


The Rev. Marcellus Retger, O. S. B., proceeded at once with the erection of a parochial school. Father Marcellus experienced considerable opposition from a faction of his parishioners who insisted that a new stone or brick church be built and the old frame church be transformed into a school. The first plan finally prevailed and specifications were agreed upon for a seven-room brick school and a nine-room convent on a plot previously purchased by Father Germain and separated from the first property by Spangler street. The contract was let to F. X. Bauman of Carrolltown and both buildings were completed by fall 1914. Father Marcellus then requested to be removed. His successor, the Rev. Gabriel Schaller, O. S. B., September 2, 1915, all arrangements being now completed, opened the school with an attendance of about 300 children in charge of seven sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary from Scranton, Pa.

In July, 1918, Father Gabriel received an assistant in the person of Rev. Eugene Korneides, O. S. B., who fell a martyr to duty, November 2, during the dreadful flu that decimated Hastings in 1918. The Rev. Clarence Kaiser, O. S. B., then assisted from that date to August, 1920.

The Rev. Stephen Wieland, O. S. B., arriving in July, 1919, found a well organized congregation which increased in membership from year to year so that the church was thrice filled to overflow on Sundays. The building of a larger church was the sincere wish of the members of the congregation. With the approval of the Rt. Rev. Bishop Garvey the old public school property situated below the Catholic school was purchased in 1922. The ground was staked out on Monday, March 12, 1923, and on March 15, the old foundation of the school was removed. Tuesday, March 30, excavating for footing was started. Monday, April 4, the masons began their work.

On Sunday, May 6, the ceremony of the Laying of the Corner Stone was held at three o'clock P. M. The Rt. Rev. John J. McCort, D. D., Bishop of Altoona, officiated with the Benedictine Fathers Very Rev. Thomas Wolf of Carrolltown and Marinus Ferg of Nicktown assisting, the Rev. Frederick Strittmatter and Denis Strittmatter as Masters of the ceremonies. About twenty-five priests assisted in reciting the prayers in the presence of about 1500 of the laity. Monday, May 7, footing poured for the new Rectory; May 21, brick laying began on the church; Friday, November 23, the bell arrived; November 28, the pews and


New St. Bernard's Church, Hastings
New St. Bernard's Church, Hastings
St. Bernard's Church, Hastings
St. Bernard's Church, Hastings


confessionals were here; Tuesday, December 11, the old bell was removed from the old church tower and on the next day all bells were placed in the tower. On account of the inclement weather beginning with Sunday, February 10, 1924, Sunday services were held in the new church, on week days in the old church.

The particulars of building the church were given to show that, where there was a priest to personally oversee the work, speed was accomplished as compared to the building of the first church at Summit (p. ____) Wilmore (p. ____) St. Lawrence (p. ____), St. Boniface (p. ____), where no priest was stationed.

St. Bernard's New Church Dedicated.

With impressive ceremonies in the presence of about 1500 people St. Bernard's new church was dedicated Quinquagesima Sunday, March 2, 1924. Highly pleased with the completion of their handsome new edifice, the members of St. Bernard's congregation turned out en masse to witness the event. Even the weather man was kindly disposed, as the day was a lovely one for this time of the year, and the solemn ceremonies revelant to the occasion will long live in the hearts of the faithful who were present.

Th Rt. Rev. John J. McCort, D. D., Bishop of Altoona, officiated, being assisted by a number of visiting clergy. The pastor Father Stephen, was in charge with his curate, Father Peter Zupan ably assisting.

The dedication services began at 11 a. m. followed by a Solemn Pontifical High Mass and benediction of with the most Blessed Sacrament. At the Mass, Bishop McCort was the celebrant assisted by the Benedictine Fathers: the Arch Priest, Father Daniel, Prior of St. Vincent Archabbey; deacons of honor, Father Modestus of St. Boniface, and Father Gerard, Dean of St. Vincent College; deacon of the Mass, Father Frederic of St. Vincent; subdeacon, Father Peter; master of ceremonies, Father Denis, of St. Vincent College; book bearer, Innocent Strittmatter of St. Francis College, Loretto. In the sanctuary were the following clergy: the Rt. Rev. Msgr. Bernard Conley, Chancellor of the diocese; Father John O'Connor, of Barnesboro; Father Corcoran, of Spangler, and Father Hugh Gallagher, of Cresson.

Father Gerard delivered the dedicatory sermon, choosing as his subject, "This is a holy place, the dwelling place


of God," emphasizing three particular points, viz., "A holy place first, because it has been consecrated, second, the holy Sacrifice of the Mass is offered up here, and thirdly, because it is the dwelling place of Christ."

"The sanctuary lamp of the Catholic church reminds those present that God is present. This is no longer a mere building of brick and mortar, but it is the dwelling place of the Most High." The sermon was a wonderful piece of oratory and was forcibly and concisely delivered.

In anticipation of the Silver Jubilee of the Rev. Stephen the children of St. Bernard's school presented a very pleasing program of recitations and songs the afternoon of May 22, 1930 in the school hall. The children, anxious to express to their beloved pastor congratulations on this happy occasion, acted their parts admirably well. The twenty fifth anniversary of his first Mass was celebrated on July 9, 1930, on which a Solemn High Mass was celebrated by Father Stephen who was assisted by Rev. Joseph Farran, of Our Lady of Lourds, Altoona, and the Rev. Anthony Goebel, O. S. B., of the Most Blessed Sacrament church, Elizabeth, N. J., class mates of Father Stephen. Among those present for the services were a sister and a cousin of the celebrant, Sr. Veronica, O. S. B., and Sr. Bernadette, O. S. B., of St. Scholastica's Academy, (Rodgers Park) Chicago, Ill. In the sanctuary were the Rt. Rev. Msgr. Bernard Conley, ordained with Father Stephen on July 7, 1905; the Rt. Rev. Msgr. James P. Saase, of Loretto, and about 25 clerical friends.

The population of Hastings in 1920 was 2292, which declined in 1930 to 2011.

There are 345 families belonging to the church with 412 children in the parochial school. There are 452 members belonging to the Apostilship of Prayer.

The membership of the Children of Mary is 680, and the present officers are:

Prefect Rose Anna
First Assistant Beatrice Lantzy
Second Assistant Winifreda Dillon
Secretary Mary Yaeger
Treasurer Frances Bernard


Ancient Order of Hibernians.

Division No. 1, Hastings.


President Patrick Kelly
Vice-President John Reardon
Secretary John B. Dillon
Treasurer John Ryan

Ladies Auxiliary A. O. H.


President Mrs. Blair Weakland
Vice-President Mrs. James Ryan
Financial Secretary Mrs. Clement Jordan
Treasurer Mrs. Harry Murphy

The Ladies Auxiliary of the A. O. H. have a membership of 43 members.

(See page 278 for additional Hastings societies)


The Last Indian In North Cambria County.

Brubaker Creek, the largest tributary of Chest Creek, rises in the south western part of Elder Township, passes through the town of Hastings to its junction with the Little Brubaker Creek, and four miles beyond unites with Chest Creek, just a short distance before the latter enters Clearfield County.

Mr. Frank A. Westrick was the first to call my attention to the following fact. Behind his barn there is a strong flow of water arising from a spring which is the source of the Brubaker Creek. Here lived Brubaker, the last Indian in the northern part of Cambria County. With him lived several other Indians who were accused of killing a white man. They were all arrested, but at the hearing or trial were found innocent and acquitted.


Joseph Bender attended the hearing or trial and re-ported that the Indians were found not guilty, but the charge of murder was placed to the credit of several white renegades. Anselm Weakland, Jake Kirkpatrick and Squire Paul Yahner knew the Indians and always spoke well of them. On account of the ill will shown on this occasion the Indians left the mountains; however Joseph Bender claimed that Brubaker remained and died in his wigwam at the Brubaker spring.

Part 1 -  St. Joseph's Church, "Hart's Sleeping Place"
Father Henry Lemke
John Hart
St. Lawrence, Pa. - Glen Connell, Pa.
Part 2 -  Saint Boniface
Saint Nicholas' Church, Nicktown, Penna.
Saint Bernard's Church, Hastings, Penna.
Part 3 -  Patton, Pa.
Holy Cross Church, Spangler, Pa.
Religious Clergy
Sisters of the Parishes
The Diamond Jubilee, St. Benedict's Church
Hastings, Penna.
World War Service Men
Soldiers Buried in Northern Cambria Cemeteries

Contributed to the PAGenWeb Archives by Romayne Shay McMahon, 2005.
OCRed and proofread by Judy Banja

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