St. Henry, Holy Roman Emperor

The History of Our Parish

A Story of God's Love - Page 2 of 20

The Early Years - Part I

The Right Reverend John Rothensteiner's History of the Archdiocese of St. Louis gives us an authentic account of the beginnings of the Church in this area.

"The first settlers of Texas Bend near the northern boundary of Mississippi County, were German Catholics from the vicinity of Cincinnati, Ohio.  The log church at Texas Bend was the successor of the log chapel built in 1839 by Father Brands at Tywappity Bottom, though not built on the same spot.  Both structures have disappeared; only the grave-yard of the second church of St. Francis deSales in Tywappity remains.

In 1873 Father Henry Willenbrink built the frame church in Charleston and named it St. Henry.  This was the parish church of all Mississippi County.

Father Bettels became its pastor in 1876, but resided and taught school at the Bend.  The present fine brick school building was erected by Father Francis Brand.  The ten years between Fathers Bettels and Brand are filled out by the rectorships of Father J. A. Connolly, Frederick Klein, Frederick Pommer, John A. Gadell, Hugh O'Reilly and Henry Thobe. Father Henry Hussmann, who became pastor of the parish in 1895, built the beautiful new church of St. Henry, which was dedicated by Archbishop Glennon on June 4, 1907.

On July 1st, 1909, Father Henry Petri succeeded Father Hussmann as pastor of Charleston; the latter having been appointed to St. Henry's Parish in St. Louis as successor to Father John A. Hoffman."

From St. Henry Parish 1873 - 1973.