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ST. MARY'S CHURCH HISTORY
The Catholic Church of David City had its beginning with pioneers who came from other states and settled on the unbroken prairies lying immediately to the south of the Platte River. Around the year 1869, a colony from Luxembourg settled in the place now know as the Valley. They were all Catholics so they strove to keep alive the faith they had brought with them from far off Luxembourg.
Father Kelly was the first priest to say Mass in Butler County in June, 1871. He returned a few times in the following years to minister to the spiritual needs of the scattered Catholics. St. Mary's Parish was organized following services held by Rev. Ambrose Jansen on September 19, 1877, at which time it was unanimous by all present to build a church. By the third Sunday of January in 1878, the building was far enough advanced to be used for the celebration of the Eucharist. The building measuring 45 x 28 feet was not plastered until 1881, when more funds were available.
The Franciscans had charge of the parish until December of 1882, when Father Fred A. Rheindorff was appointed pastor. He built a room adjoining the church at David City which served as his residence. He became ill and had to leave in 1893. Father John Mueller was appointed pastor from 1883-1886.
In 1886 Father Henry Bex was appointed pastor. During his stay, an addition was built to the church and a parochial residence was erected. Father Bex was in charge of St. Francis in Center as well as St. Mary's. In order to keep both congregations satisfied, he resided a half year in each parish.
The successors of Fr. Bex were Fathers John English 1894-1895, L.J. Harrington 1895-1901, Thomas Barden and John Caraher 1902-1913.
In 1910, Father Caraher and the parishioners decided that after worshiping for more than thirty years in a small frame church, they were capable of providing a larger more beautiful house of worship. Moreover, their growing congregation demanded a larger building. With the approval of Bishop Bonacum they proceeded to make plans for a new church.
Under the leadership of the pastor, a building committee was elected and a building fund initiated. The non-Catholics of the area requested the privilege of donating the large bell and clock in the main tower of the church. The inscription on the bell reads: "Kindly donated by the non-Catholic professional and business men of David City, September 1, 1911."
The successors at St. Mary's were: Fathers D.B. O'Connor 1913-1914, Gerard Boll 1914-1919, A. Petrasch 1919-1920, Bernard Sproll 1920-1932, Raymond Wageman 1932-1933, Adolph Mosier 1933, William Murphy 1933-1952, Msgr. A.J.Lisko 1952-1990, Msgr. Adrian Herbek 1990-2009, Fr. Bernard Kimminau 2009-2018, Fr. Jay Buhman 2018-2022, and Fr. Brian Connor 2022 - present.
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