Chapter XXII
The Churches - continued 

The Catholic Church - John Dougherty the Pioneer of the Catholic Faith in the County - The Coming of Belgian and German Families - The Early Priest - Building of the First Church in Brookville - The Fiscus Church - St. Ann’s Academy - Building of the New Church at Brookville - Parochial School and Residence - The Reynoldsville Church - The New Church at Punxsutawney - Membership - Societies - Statistics.


The first practical Catholic in Brookville, and, likely in the county, was John Dougherty, who, June 14, 1830, bought a number of lots in the newly-laid out county-seat and moved there in the autumn of 1831, with his wife nee Grace Annette Kerr. His only daughter, Kate, born April 18, 1832 (since September 4, 1854, wife of Colonel S.J. Marlin), was three months old, when in Dougherty’s popular hostelry "Peace and Poverty," she was baptized by the Rev. John O’Neil of Freeport, and she was no doubt the first Catholic baptized in the limits of the new county. The next Catholic was John Gallagher, afterwards justice of the peace, who came to Brookville either in 1832 or 1833. Soon after came George McLaughlin, afterwards high sheriff of the county; Michael Woods, mail-carrier, later court-crier; October 4, 1842, Jacob Hoffman; in 1846, Edmund English (father of the Hon. Edmund, Daniel, William, and Morgan English). About 1850 came Dennis Grein (father of Mrs. Ephraim Lyle and Mrs. Emanuel J. Zonger), and Andrew Bridge to Clover township, John Montgomery to Rose township, Patrick, McTaffe, John Coyle, Jacob Schriever, Bernard Klein, R.J. Baxter, Jacob Mineweaser, Andrew Loch, Ferdinand Wanner (later his brother John), Henry Heber, John (Wollen) Snyder, John Voinchet, Leonard Singer, Zitzelsperger, Beach, Arnold, Honadle and others. Some years previous had come a Belgian, Benedict Angels, who returned to Belgium in 1846 or 1847 and induced a number of his countrymen to seek a new home in and about Brookville. Among this number were Peter D. Van Milders, Dominic De Smet, John Baptiste Levis, De Vilder and Sadler. Soon after came the greater part of a Belgian colony (between 1851 and ‘59) who under an agent (of the Belgian government), De Ham, had tried to start in Elk county a Belgian colony, New Flanders. To these belonged Charles Van Overbeck, B. Verstine, Frederick Brooks, Charles Verbeck, Jacob Osselaer, Doubles. Some time before this a few Catholics by name of Arons, Cypherts and Rentsels, besides Cuddy and Clark, had settled down in Union township; old Mr. John Fiscus and his sons Paul and James, later William Bender, Andrew Rufner, Joseph and Abram Greenwalt and John Zonger, and James Carroll in Eldred township. Almost all of these had moved up from the neighborhood of the so-called Redbank Church in Limestone township (at the present Crate P.O.), Clarion county. Besides the above a few men of Catholic parentage had settled in the remoter parts of this county. Such are the O’Haras on the Clarion River, a Feely above Reynoldsville, James Murphy along the pike, Anthony McKinna and Cavanora in the Beechwoods, the Haney brothers near Punxsutawney, Jerry Topper, Smith (the father of Patrick Smith), Quinton O’Kane, and others. Want of religious instruction, complete separation from Catholic society and Catholic clergy, besides other reasons which the last day shall reveal to the world, caused the faith to die out in almost all of these men or at least their children. Interesting is the fact that the father of the late Judge Taylor (Schneider) was of Catholic origin, as an old family heir-loom, an old German prayer-book most distinctly Catholic, proves beyond doubt. The building up of Brookville and the county, and the construction of the Low Grade Railroad drew here quite a number of new Catholic families, so that at present there are belonging to the Brookville Catholic congregation a little over one hundred families, of whom at least three-fourths are practical Catholics. But after mentioning the pioneer Catholics of the county I must not forget the pioneer priests, who for the most part had left more comfortable homes and civilized countries to become the voice of "one crying in the wilderness." Brookville was for several years only visited as a station by the priests of the older Catholic settlements in Butler, Armstrong, and Clarion counties. The first priest who attended Brookville was Rev. John O’Neil, of Freeport, since 1832. The same, afterwards, when in trouble with his ecclesiastical superiors, bought a tract of land in Millstone Creek (on the Clarion River) and lumbered there, being still called "Priest O’Neil." Next came Rev. Father John Coady from Sugar Creek, Butler county (four times a year); next Father Hoy, from Clarion, Father Andrew Skopez from Fryburg, Clarion county (looked particularly after the Germans at irregular visits from 1846), when he arrived at Fryburg till about 1860; Father Slattery, from Clarion; Father Dela Roque from Frenchtown, Crawford county; and Father Berbigier, from Frenchville, Clearfield county (now both in Warren, Pa.). Ever since St. Mary’s, Elk county, was started, the priests from there would occasionally come through Brookville and then minister to the spiritual wants of the Catholics. Particular mention deserves Father Alexander the Redemptionist, and the Benedictine Fathers: Rupert (Seidenbusch, now Bishop), Amandus, Celestine, Giles, also the Rt. Rev. Albot Wimmer, from St. Vincent’s, mostly on their way between St. Vincent’s and St. Mary’s. In 1841 Rt. Rev. Bishop Patrick Francis Kenrick, of Philadelphia, was in Brookville, accompanied by Dr. Michael O’Connor, afterwards Bishop of Pittsburgh. He delivered at that time in the old Brookville court-house a temperance lecture (most likely the first in the county), which was quite generally attended and admired. After that he walked all the way to the Redbank Church (fourteen miles), leaving the carriage to Dr. O’Connor and the Dougherty family. The first priest stationed here was Father Dean in 1847; he stayed but a short time, as he, coming from Boston, found people and town not congenial. After him Brookville was attended by Father Slattery, from Clarion county, till 1851. After that by Rev. Thomas Ledewith who resided in Corsica and partly in Redbank, Clarion county. He had gathered the above-named Catholics of Union and Clover townships into the nucleus of a small congregation at Corsica, and also commenced to organize a congregation in Brookville. In the summer of 1852, the corner-stone of the old church was laid on the lot given by John Dougherty (lot No. 1, north of Water street); the same season the foundation walls were finished. The following year, 1853, the brick work was completed and the church and (unfinished) tower were put under roof. The church was not dedicated until a raw, early summer day in 1854, and even then the church was unplastered, and boards and planks serving as temporary seats. But worse trouble was ahead; the church was, for less than $300, sold September, 1855, on a mechanic’s lien (of the bricklayer), and bought in by Dougherty and Gallagher, who held the deed till reimbursed by the congregation. The church was plastered and seated about 1856. Up till 1853 services were always held in private houses, generally at the residence of John Dougherty, sometimes at the houses of Edmund English, of Andrew Loch, and Jacob Hoffman.

In 1855 and 1856, the same Father Ledewith built at Corsica St. Ann’s Academy, a good sized two-story brick building with basement, one room to serve as chapel for the Catholics around Corsica, the rest as boarding-school for young ladies. It was given in charge to the Sisters of St. Joseph from Erie, and under the careful management of Mother Agnes, for a while bid fairly to succeed; but the distance from a sufficient number of well-to-do Catholic families, and from the highways of travel, besides the strong dislike and opposition of the following pastor (Father Mollinger), to both the place and the sisters, compelled Bishop Young, of Erie, to allow the sisters to abandon the place early in the sixties, and the building, now nearly past repairing because of crumbling away of the foundation walls, has since only served as chapel for the neighboring Catholics. Father Ledewith had considerable trouble with the very mixed Catholic congregation of Brookville, consisting, as it did, of Irishmen, Americans, Germans, and Belgians. Likely in 1858 Father Suibert G. Mollinger came here as Father Ledewith’s assistant, and soon after succeeded him as pastor (at least as early as June, 1859). He was very zealous, pushing and energetic, and on the whole quite well liked, and quite successful. He took up his home in Brookville in the present Farley house, then George McLaughlin’s, northeast corner of Water and Barnett streets. He remained in Brookville, attending from there Corsica, Redbank, Sligo Furnace, and in general the southeastern part of Clarion, besides the whole of Jefferson county. A disagreement with his bishop (Rt. Rev. Joshua M. Young, of Erie), chiefly about St. Ann’s Academy at Corsica, caused him to leave Brookville and the diocese of Erie. He was received into the Pittsburgh diocese where he has for years been famous as Father Mollinger of Troy Hill. A sad time of confusion and misunderstanding between priests and people, not free from scandals above and below, followed for the Brookville Catholic congregation. The names of the priests who in rapid succession had charge of Brookville were: Father John (J.J. Zanitowsky, January and February 1866), Father Lemagie (till September, 1866), Fathers Snively, Schneider, Daley and Lamarque (1868-Aug. 1869). Of these Father Snively (a well-meaning priest and sincere convert to the church, but endowed with more knowledge of books than of the world), encouraged and partly completed the little (40 by 30) frame church of St. Dominic, called "Fiscus," a mile south of Sigel post-office, near the Olean road, for the Catholics of Eldred township. Father Snyder had a basement built to the old church, in the rooms of which he intended and for a while tried to live; in his time also the gallery was put into the old church. Though Brookville had so many pastors at that period, yet there was several times an interregnum, when Father Koch, from Vogelbachers (Lucinda P.O., Clarion county), attended to the spiritual wants of the Brookville Catholics. On the 3d of September, 1869, Father Wienker** (then only a little over twenty-three years of age), arrived in Brookville as assistant to Father Stumpe, who, however, came only six weeks later himself. Said Father Wienker was then but a few days over five months in the country, spoke hardly any English, and knew but little of the country, its ways and laws. When Father Stumpe came, about the middle of October, 1869, he soon became very popular among all classes. A house (the old Corley house, above Kirkman’s brick house on the Corsica pike) was rented, and quite nicely furnished by the congregation. Everything seemed to move along very happily for a while until Father Stumpe, used to city life and ways, grew quite tired of the place; then still thirty-two miles from the next railroad station, and in September, 1870, he left the congregation and the diocese of Erie, about a year later. Father Wienker who in the mean time had learnt considerable about the English language and the Brookville people was, though afraid of and averse to the charge, made to stay in Brookville as pastor of Jefferson county, (including besides Brookville, Corsica, and Fiscus), and of the Redbank (Clarion county) Church of St. Nicholas Tolentino.

The building of the Low Grade Railroad in 1871 brought so many Catholic railroad men into his district and charge that the same had to be divided, Father McGivney taking in August, 1871, charge of Redbank, Corsica, and New Bethlehem (also until then attended from Brookville.) In 1871 the building of a new church in Brookville was considered and fully determined upon. After some dispute whether to build on the Gallagher (McFarland) lots northwest corner of Water and Barnett streets, offered at $4,500, and one or two acres on the brow of the hill South of Redbank Creek, (where the church is now situated, offered them at $1,250 or $2,500 respectively), it was with a small majority - including however most of the oldest, most substantial members - decided to buy the first-named property, which accordingly was done, and the house on these lots served as pastoral residence from April 1, 1872, to April 1, 1874. But when B. Verstine - who, with C. Endres, late with S.S. Jackson, owned a number of acres of said land, south of the Creek - saw that the Catholics would not pay for a site for the church on his land, he offered an acre and two hundred and sixty dollars towards the new church, if it would be built on the south side, on any of the land he had the year previous laid out in town lots. The people then reconsidered their action of the previous year, and in the spring of 1872 after two meetings (a week apart, and each announced the Sunday previous from the altar, so as not to proceed too rashly), and voted anew on the church site. At this time forty-two voted for an acre on the south side, and seven for retaining the two lots (116 by 150) on Water street. Thus the decision of 1871 was overruled and set aside by an overwhelming majority, to the great discomfiture and displeasure of several of the oldest, the most respectable and substantial members of the congregation. That very year, July the 21st, 1872, the corner-stone of the new church was laid by Rt. Rev. Tobias Mullen, who had succeeded Bishop Young as bishop of Erie in 1868. The plan of the new church, then contemplated and fully approved of by the building committee, (R.J. Baxter, Bernard Klein, and Jacob Minneweaser), was drawn by a Catholic man, then the most prominent builder and contractor in Brookville, Coleman R. O’Loughlin, (died June, 1884.) The size was to be sixty feet wide, one hundred and twenty feet long, tower thirty feet square. Father Wienker, pretty much on his own responsibility, afterwards engaged plans to be drawn by P.C. Keely, of Brooklyn. N.Y., and ordered him to cut the size down to 100 by 50 inside, the present dimensions. The corner-stone was laid July 21, 1872.

In 1872-73-74 a brickyard on John H. Crate’s farm was run in the interest of the congregation (making over 1,000,000, selling about 500,000 bricks), and stone and other materials were prepared, money was gathered to pay the balance due on the above Gallagher property. Very happily, just at the very eve of the great panic of 1873, said property was sold again at cost ($4,500); the same property has changed hands since at $1,650. What at the time seemed a great drawback - so much money tied up in a property which was no longer wanted proved a great blessing - and likely saved pastor and people from financial ruin. For the money was unavailable during the years of inflation and exorbitant prices before the panic - it became again available and was used to best advantage during the low prices of a severe panic. Had the money not thus been tied up, the panic would most likely have found a more expensive church completed, but covered with a heavy debt, which, however apparently safe in Brookville’s prosperous days, would have meant bankruptcy during the long and terrible panic commencing 1873. In January, 1874, a new priest’s house was commenced on the hill (the cottage since September, 1882, occupied by the sisters), and was ready to move into, though not quite completed, by April 1, 1874. In the fall of 1884 the foundation was laid of the two-story brick school-house and in the summer of 1875 the same was completed. In September, 1873, the contract for the stone-work of the new church was let to Nollen and Schultze and they worked at it until the autumn of 1875, when it was completed. All the window and door-frames for the new church had been made in 1874, by Michael Kilroy, of Union City, Pa. In the spring of 1876, the contract of the brickwork was given to Patrick P. Donnelly, of Erie, and was finished (except nineteen feet of brickwork of tower, still unfinished 1887) in September, 1876. On the Centennial first of July, 1876, a terrible hurricane swept over Brookville, and blew down almost the whole west side wall of the main building, which had just been completed a few days previous, involving an extra cost of at least $500. P.S. Crate had the contract of the carpenter work and finished his work that same autumn. In September, 1877, the plastering was commenced (contract given to John G. Cougher, of Sligo, Pa.), and on the 8th of December, 1877, for the first time mass was said in the new church; the main portion of the building being free of scaffolding and fully showing for the first time the handiwork of J.J. Hoffman, son of the above Jacob Hoffman, who had the contract of frescoing the church. Early the next year John W. Osborne, of Clarion county, had finished his contract of the pews, and February 24, 1878, saw the large and beautiful Gothic building solemnly dedicated by Rt. Rev. Bishop Tobias Mullen, assisted by twelve priests, among them the above Fathers Skopez and Koch. The old brick church on Water street, unsafe with its cracked and leaning walls, had been torn down in August, 1876, and part of its brick are still easily discernible in the upper part of the new tower. The school-house, with the rear recess closed by two large sliding blackboards, serving as sanctuary, was used as a place of worship from August, 1876, until December, 1877. When the church was completed a debt of fully $4,000 rested on the congregation for all these buildings, costing as they did all of $15,000. To save the people all unnecessary expenses, and to lighten their burden, Father Wienker commenced in the fall of 1877 to teach school himself without any extra charge to the congregation, and continued this severe, difficult, and trying task, besides his pastoral duties, for full five years. A Catholic school had been commenced toward the close of 1869, by Father Stumpe, Alphonse Roehner, from Buffalo, N.Y., teaching in the basement of the old church, until July, 1870. After six months intermission it was reopened by Father Wienker in the spring of 1871, with Lucy Hoffman, daughter of Jacob Hoffman, as teacher. She was succeeded during the next scholastic year by Anna Gildea, from Pittsburgh; John Senger, from Erie; and Sarah Gilfoyle (now Mrs. John Brennan, of Reynoldsville); the last from early summer of 1872, until June, 1874. Her successor from September, 1874, until June, 1877, was Sylvester J. Burgoon, since then for two terms register and recorder of Clarion county. In the winter session of 1875-76 the school was graded, Father Wienker taking the higher classes. The school, in which particularly at the beginning and at most times ever since, some German was taught, was pretty generally attended by the Catholic children living within reasonable reach. They there received a fairer instruction in their religious belief and duties than most of their parents, and were thus better enabled to appreciate and practice the faith and morals of their church for their own good and that of society in general. Besides this they received a very fair secular education, as the number of young men now holding positions that require skill and scholarship, who were in no other common school, prove to the satisfaction of all unprejudiced people.

In the mean time Corsica had been attended by the succeeding pastors of the Redbank Church (now Crate P.O.), ever since August, 1871, except from the spring of 1872 till the spring of 1874, when it again was attached to Brookville; at first by Rev. Bernard McGivney, up to October, 1875, when the new frame church of Reynoldsville, until then attended from Brookville, was dedicated, and besides the new Bethlehem Church given into his charge; he residing for about six months with Father Wienker in Brookville, and then moving to New Bethlehem in the spring of 1876 where he has remained ever since. He was as pastor of Redbank and Corsica succeeded in 1875 by Father Patrick Cosgrove, he by Father Michael Flood in October, 1877, and he by the zealous, efficient, and well-liked Father J.P. McCloskey, October, 1880, the present pastor of those churches. In Reynoldsville, where Father Wienker had said the first mass in the spring of 1871, Father McGivney was succeeded by his cousin, Rev. Father Terence Brady, (in 1880) who since then has built a very handsome 38 by 80 skeleton brick church on Main street, and in general has proven himself a very successful pastor. Right here we will mention Rev. Father James Brennan, who from early summer 1872, until the spring of 1874, as assistant relieved Father Wienker of a good part of the labors of his charge, which then included besides Fiscus, Corsica, and the growing congregation of Reynoldsville. Punxsutawney, a station on Pine Run (near Ringgold, since then abandoned) and the attendance of the very many Catholic railroad hands, working along the Low Grade Railroad, which was built in the years 1872-73. The same Father Brennan endeared himself to many Brookville people, particularly the Irish element, who were sorry, when the stringency of the times, and the completion of the railroad no longer warranted his labor and support in Brookville, and he was transferred as pastor at first to Driftwood, and later to Du Bois, where he still resides as popular pastor of a large congregation. (He is, by the way, one of the very few Catholic priests that ever, without any solicitation or expectation on his part, was elected justice of the peace by his principally Protestant fellow-citizens, while residing in Driftwood, Cameron county Pa.)

About 1881 the small number of Catholics, at Punxsutawney commenced to grow by the building of the Rochester and Pittsburgh, now Buffalo, Rochester and Pittsburgh railroad. In this place, where the older inhabitants had the most absurd ideas of the Catholic Church, religion and priests, a prominent citizen of Clayville, Mr. J.U. Gillespie, (since then in 1876 elected a member of the Pennsylvania, Legislature) had, principally by reading the oral discussion between Archbishop Hughes and Breckinridge, (of the Presbyterian denomination) become fully convinced of the truth of the Catholic Church. He then had himself by a Catholic bookseller - George Quigley - for the first time in his life - introduced to a priest - at the Pittsburgh Cathedral, and in that place after due instruction was received into the Catholic Church about the close of the inter-state war. When on his return home the fact became known to his family and the neighboring community, it not only surprised, it alarmed and even shocked many of them. But his religious convictions, though up till 1870 only at his occasional visits to Indiana or Pittsburgh, encouraged by the sight of either a Catholic priest or church, remained unshaken, and were even strong enough to cause his brother and partner in business, William E. Gillespie, to join the same church but a few years later. In the house of the latter the first mass was said, by Father Wienker, accompanied by Father Stumpe, when in 1870, the cherry trees were in blossom. Ever after that the same Father Wienker said mass once a month on a week-day in Punxsutawney. At first in the house of William E. Gillespie, then in a little building attached to an old store building, across from the Clayville foundry; later in a room above Gillespie and Parsons’ store, and since the spring of 1883 in the hall above the store building of G.W. Porter, (west of the Clayville foundry) until March 13, 1887, when for the first time mass was said in the new Catholic Church near the Clayville depot.

An event of some importance was the funeral of William E. Gillespie, on a Sunday afternoon in the May of 1873, when a very large multitude of Protestants for the first time heard a Catholic priest, vested in the garments of his office, perform the Catholic funeral rites, and preach a funeral sermon. This congregation of Punxsutawney in 1882 had become so swelled by the influx of railroad men (principally Hungarians) and miners who commenced their operations at Walston, that Father Wienker had to give up the Catholic school at Brookville, giving it in charge of the Sisters of Mercy, (from Titusville, Pa.), and to devote much of his attention to the interests of the future Catholic congregation of that place. In order to do so he had to try to learn the Hungarian and Italian languages, and succeeded in this to such an extent as to partially make himself understood by them, and hear their confessions in their native tongue. May the 18th, 1885, the present church lots north of Main street, on the small rise northwest of B.R. and P. depot at Clayville, was bought, after a majority of the people in a meeting at their regular church, Sunday, May 10, 1885, had selected that place. The foundation was laid in the summer and autumn of 1885 by two Scotchmen, Stotthard and Hoggan, and soon after the general strikes of the spring of 1886 had been settled, the contract of the brickwork was given to C.C. Van Riper, of Punxsutawney; that of the carpenter work to Hughes and Spencer, of Clayville. August 26, at six o’clock in the morning, Father Wienker blessed and laid the corner-stone. November, 1886, saw the brickwork, and December saw the outside carpenter work finished. The stained glass windows were put in before the close of the year, and in February, 1887, the church was plastered by John Winslow, of Punxsutawney. Immediately after P.S. Crate went to work on the pews, and J.J. Hoffman on the frescoing of the church. In April, 1887, the church will no doubt be completed - a solid, neat, complete building, erected in the Roman style, 40 by 72-1/2 feet in size, 29 feet high to the ceiling, spire 90 feet high - costing little, if any, over $4,000. Before the end of this year, 1887, Punxsutawney will, no doubt, have her own resident pastor.

Now let us return to Brookville. The intention in 1882 was to have the Sisters of Mercy then coming from Titusville to take charge of the schools, reside in the little cottage house east of the church lots. But just at that juncture J.R. Burgoon, offered and paid $800 for said property, though it had been offered at $600 for years without finding a purchaser. (Father Wienker had bought the so-called Proctor lots at (K.L. Blood’s) Sheriff’s sale (in 1885) to secure a direct eastern connection with South Pickering street - had built the house referred to principally out of scaffolding and materials left over from the old and new church; he sold the lower part to J.J. Nyland, the upper to J.R. Burgoon, turning the money realized - besides a sixteen foot alley at $450 - over to the church treasury). This sale compelled Father Wienker to turn the parochial residence, built in 1874, over to the Sisters, and to rent a couple of rooms - at Mrs. Thomas Gooder’s - where he lived, boarding at the American House until such time as a new house could be built. The foundation for this house was built at once, during the autumn of 1882, on the acre of land situate in front of the church lots, bought of S.S. Jackson early in 1881, by M. Allgeier, B. Klein, and Mrs. Sarah Shannon, with the agreement that the congregation should have ten years time to buy the ground of them at cost and five per cent. interest. As hardly any brick were to be had and could not be manufactured till the following season, and the pastor was anxious to live again in his own house, a solid stone building was determined upon, and erected the following spring (1883) with such dispatch as to have it completed and ready to move into by the beginning of July, 1883. The corners and the segment arches over the windows and doors are built of brick, partly to create a pleasing contrast, a red trimming for the white main body of the pebble-dashed "or rough-cast walls," but principally to dispense with the too expensive cut-stone trimmings. The house 28 by 45 feet, two stories and basement, the upper story serving as a hall for exhibitions, society meetings, etc., cost about $2,600 - and was all built in days’ work. Ever since July, 1883, Father Wienker has occupied this house, and from there attended the Fiscus and Punxsutawney congregations, besides Brookville. If he is not transferred to Punxsutawney (principally because of his acquaintance with the various languages spoken in that very mixed congregation), he may for many years continue to labor as pastor of Brookville, and may long before the close of this century see the spire of the new church completed, hear a beautiful chime of bells invite his people to their church, see not a cent of debt left on all the buildings and property, last, but not least, see a large and devout congregation worshiping at the altar, and all their children raised up true Christians, true men and women in a regularly attended, effective Catholic school, taught by religious teachers.

In conclusion a few words on the school, societies, and finances. The school has since the sisters took charge become more popular, has been more generally attended, and particularly since September, 1886, more successful in teaching and training the children. At that time (Sept. ‘86), a more strict discipline was adopted, also the plan of weekly school reports, which enabled and almost compelled parents to constantly watch the conduct and progress of their children. The schools were from 1882 to 1884, in charge of Mother Celestine; since then in charge of Mother Austine, who besides superintending, assisted in teaching the schools. They were enabled to give in February and June, 1886, very interesting public entertainments in the Parochial Hall, which were quite freely attended, and by the press as well as by the general public very highly appreciated. The Sister’s salary ($400) is raised principally by a school-tax, levied by the pastor on all the people of the congregation according to their financial standing, regardless of the number of children they send.

There are connected with the church three societies. The Married Ladies Rosary and Altar Society, who receive the sacraments (many monthly), and meet in the afternoon of the third Sunday; the Young Ladies’ Sodality of Immaculate Conception, who approach (most of them monthly) the sacraments, and meet on the afternoon of the first Sunday of every month at a conference in the church; while the St. Joseph’s Beneficial Society, Branch 494, of the Irish Catholic Benevolent Union (I.C.B.U.) of the United States, approach the sacraments at least four times a year, many monthly, and meet in the Hall of the parochial residence on the fourth Sunday of each month. The St. Joseph’s Society has a circulating library containing two hundred and four volumes for its own use and that of the congregation in general. It has at present a membership of thirty-one men, partly married, partly single. Some of its members formed last year a St. Joseph’s Dramatic Association, which performed several farces in a very creditable manner, together with the above mentioned children’s entertainments. The whole of the buildings, church, school-house, sisters’ house, and the new parochial residence with all equipments such as fourteen stations of the Cross, oil paintings just bought at $325, furnaces bought December, 1878, at over $700, etc., cost by careful management less than $20,000. Except about $2,000 collected in the Brookville district, on the Low Grade during its construction, possibly $300 to $500, at two picnics in 1876 and at four fairs (in 1875-76-77-79) contributed by Protestants, about $100 collected in St. Mary’s, the whole amount was raised by collections, pew-rents, and regular ordinary receipts within the congregation itself which all that time supported a Catholic school, besides supporting, however aided by the outside stations, the residing pastor. No outside financial help was sought or received; nor even has till now (March ‘87), the congregation received any testamentary bequests. Brookville has at present over 100 Catholic families, Fiscus fully 20, Punxsutawney about 40 Irish, 10 German and American born Catholic families, besides fully 250 Hungarian, and 125 Italian laborers, almost all of whom believe in the Catholic Church.

* By Rev. C. Wienker.

** This full baptismal name is Hermann Clement Wienker; is found as such in official lists and documents, though he generally simply signs himself C. Wienker.

Source:  Page(s) 293-303, History of Jefferson County by Kate M. Scott. Syracuse, N.Y., D. Mason & Co., 1888.

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