Friday, February 23, 2018

Casparis Stone, France Stone, France Park

1835-1841

Limestone was first removed from the "lime quarry" at France Park around 1835. It was used in the construction of buildings and bridges. With the opening of the Wabash & Erie Canal in 1840, limestone was boated up and down the canal as far as Fort Wayne and Lafayette. The stone from this quarry was known for its fine quality. In 1841, stone was boated to Logansport to build the foundation of the courthouse. Stone was taken to Delphi for the building of the piers of the Pittsburg Bridge.

1892

In 1892, an Ohio company named Casparis bought land that included the quarry from Dr. Graham Fitch. The Casparis Stone Company opened in 1893 and operated until 1927.



Dr. Fitch sold the quarry land to Casparis Company
Limestone was shipped to Gary and South Chicago for use in the steel-making process. The stone was used as a flux. It was mixed with iron ore and coke. The company shipped 750,000 tons of crushed stone annually. The Casparis Company employed between 250 and 300 workers who were paid 40 cents to 45 cents per hour. They worked 12 to 14 hour days, seven days a week.


June 9, 1899 Logansport news article


Community Oven used by Italians and others living at "Kenneth".


During this lime, the community of Kenneth developed and flourished. Approximately 30 stone homes were built Quarry workers could live in one of the homes for $5 a month. A general store was built and operated, enabling workers and their families to buy goods and supplies without having to travel to Logansport Community stone ovens were fired to bake large quantities of bread for the workers and their families. Families from Italy and Macedonia were among the many who comprised the community of Kenneth.

Some of the names of the quarry workers in the 1920s and 1930s were DePaw, Marocco, Butch, Fazoli, Sabatini, Parkevich, Laveta, Rossi, Reeser, Shelhart, Gordon and Scagnoli.



Casparis Stone Co. postcard image.

1927-1943

George France bought the quarry in 1927. Limestone removal continued but the supply of quality stone was being depleted. The quarry was closed in 1937 and much of the equipment was moved to Keeport east of Logansport The quarry reopened in 1941-42 because the market for smaller stone had increased. The stock piles that had been left were now being used in the production of ag-lime or 10-F stone which was used for roads and waterways.


Decreasing labor supplies caused by World War II, the short supply of quality stone and the fact that quarries were filling with water contributed to the closing of the quarry in 1943.






Quarry began filling with water in the early 1940s.

In 1947, the large crusher was dismantled and sent to Panama where it was reassembled and used.


A photo of the crusher that was dismantled and moved to Panama.


After 1947, the quarries became known for their clear blue water and scenic limestone cliffs.


Cliffs at France Park quarry - photo dated 1967.


Although they were not open to the public, the quarry lakes were popular fishing and swimming attractions for many. In 1966, the first Cass County Park and Recreation Board was formed. It was believed that Cass County needed a park and recreation area and the France Stone quarries would be suitable for development The land was leased, then purchased from France Stone. The official dedication and opening of France Park was in 1969.


This photo is from around the 1970s. Sand was hauled in to make a beach.

The quarry has been a major attraction within France Park since it opened in 1969.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Calvary Presbyterian Church

Calvary Presbyterian Church at 7th and Spencer Streets - Logansport, Indiana


Clergy Arrives In The Logansport Settlement
The first Christian service in Logansport was led by a Presbyterian missionary Rev. Martin M. Post. Dr. Post had arrived on Christmas day and on Dec. 31, 1829 he held a prayer meeting in the Seminary building at 4th and Market streets. 

Rev. Martin M. Post



Building A Church
The First Presbyterian Church met in rooms in Logansport’s downtown. In 1842 the small congregation of about 43 members agreed that they needed their own building. Williamson Wright, son of the Rev. E. W. Wright, donated a lot for the church at Seventh and Spencer Streets, with a couple of restrictions: it was to be a stone church costing at least $3,000, Wright was to be given the first choice of pew and they could use the land “as long as they remained in connection with the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church of the United States of America”.

Rodgers and Bemislaffee were the contractors. William Brown & Son agreed to furnish them with goods from their store and take a lien for the contract after the amount raised by the congregation.
Building a $3,000 stone building in 1842 was quite an undertaking. The subscription list, surprisingly, contained 85 names. Some people not on the rolls attended the church and even bought pews. For example, Williamson Wright did not become a member until 1866. Most did not give cash; many donated goods and services.

A drawing of the stone church 1842

Addition To The Church 1854


By April 1853 the church membership had grown to130 people. The Sunday School roll had 100 names and the average attendance was 80. In 1854 they decided to extend the church 20 feet to the south at a cost of $2,500

William Brown and John W. Wright were given the power to remodel “as they wanted”. “Venetian blinds were installed instead of curtains and the inside of the church was painted oak color.” – February 17, 1854 Democratic Pharos


Major Additions 1877

The 20 feet added to the little stone church brought only temporary relief from the crowded conditions. The basement was redone and used for Sunday School, but by 1871 the sanctuary was also needed for Sunday School students.

In 1877 the First Presbyterian Church announced in the local newspaper that it proposed to expend about "$10,000 in repairing and rebuilding". They moved out of the building for the duration of the work, meeting in private homes and sometimes at Dolan's Opera house.

The completion date was June of 1878 and the cost was about $16,000. But the results were spectacular - a true Gothic Revival structure - with transepts and chancel, two towers and a steeple reaching to the sky. There were buttresses and arched windows; the roof was raised and the ceiling vaulted.

Fire And Rebuilding

In January 1893 a fire started from a gas jet that had been kept burning in the basement under the organ in order to keep the water motor from freezing up. Passers-by reported seeing a glowing light in the building. When the fire department arrived the whole interior was a mass of flames. In an hour and a half fire had totally wrecked the church; the roof falling in at intervals.

Even before the debris was cleared, it was apparent that the stone walls of the 1842 church would remain.

Logansport artist, Wils Berry's sketch.

Rebuilding
Rebuilding began promptly with John E. and Charles Barnes as general contractors and Dennis Uhl and J. B. Riepinger to install a steam heating system. Meanwhile the congregation accepted an offer of the German Lutheran Church for the use of their church and their school for services and for Sunday School. By fall the congregation was able to occupy their own new building.

Side view of the 1894 church including new addition in the back.

Second Fire November 1901
On Sunday night, midnight, November 10, 1901 a fire in the Logan Milling Company on Erie Avenue at the rear of the church spread to the First Church building and virtually destroyed both. (The story was reported in detail in the Logansport Pharos of November 11, 1901.) 





Examination of the photos of the church after the 1901 fire showed a two story roofless section at the back of the church, but the tall steeple on the west tower at the front and the walls of the church remained intact even though the entire roof had collapsed.

The dedication ceremony for this next rebuild effort was held November 23, 1902.

Steeple Removed June 13, 1917
After trouble with heavy winds it was finally decided that the pencil point steeple must be removed. Engineer Harry Coleman was given the contract to do so. He sawed it into two sections. The upper section buckled and crashed to the ground, immediately followed by the second section. (Want more? See the Logansport Pharos Reporter, June 13, 1917.)






In the history of this church buildings congregations have made three major additions of education facilities: 1894, the south wing; 1930, adding the upper floor to that wing, and in 1967  the Bigler wing. Paul Bigler, son of Rev. B. B. Bigler, who had served the church from 1905 to 1910, gave the church a deed on a small farm and house, the proceeds to be used for the expansion of Calvary Presbyterian Church only. 

The congregation planned for a Christian education addition to include a fellowship hall, church school rooms, choir rooms, kitchen, board room and church school office. They selected Medland and Bowman architectural firm.

Because Paul Bigler of New York City gave a considerable amount for the new fellowship hall, plans were made to call the new hall Bigler Hall in memory of Bigler's parents, the Rev. and Mrs. Barton Bigler.

A stage and folding curtain to divide the room were added. Air conditioning was added in 1991.




The church and Bigler Hall 2017



Tuesday, November 14, 2017

St. Joseph Catholic Church


St. Joseph Catholic Church, Logansport Indiana

In 1868 about 50 German families, at the time members of St. Vincent’s parish in Logansport, obtained permission from their Ecclesiastical Superiors to organize a parish for German speaking Catholics. They were aided by Father George Hamilton, pastor of St. Vincent’s.


The men met for the first time with Father Jacob Meyers, then acting pastor of St. Vincent’s, who was very much in sympathy with the idea of establishing a parish for German speaking people. Several meetings later it was decided to definitely organize a new parish under the patronage of St. Joseph, patron of the Universal Church.


Some of the family names on the newly organized congregation were: Grusenmeyer, Leffert, Bubel, Mitschell, Schafer, Tussing, Higley, Graf, Helms, Schneider, Gleitz, Petri, Schlosser, Baker, Hoffman, Eckert, Weigand, Spitznagle, Bergman, Mutschler, Klein and Brockman.

This first St. Joseph church was torn down in 1891.

Father Meyers of St. Vincent saw to the building of a brick church, 80'x40'. This was accomplished at the low price of $4,000 thanks to donated labor such as excavating and hauling of material. This was no easy task when we consider that almost all of the new members were immigrants who worked for a dollar or so per day and were building their homes at the same time.
In August of 1872 Bishop Joseph Dwenger appointed Rev. Henry Koehne pastor of St. Joseph's.

Cullen House - The School

The old Cullen house had been purchased years before, in 1862, with the idea of one day placing a parish there. It had been in use as a Catholic school (for the parishioners of St. Vincent's), and as a parsonage and as a home for the Sisters. It stood on 2nd and Market Streets.

 In 1877 Father Koehne secured the services of the Sisters of Notre Dame from Milwaukee, Wisconsin to teach. The Ven. Sister M. Aloysia was the first superior.

Within ten years the parish had grown to the point of needing to build a larger church, which was done in 1884-85. The first collection taken up for this project amounted to nearly $4,000! Excavations began in 1884 and the corner stone was laid on July 12, 1885. By the end of December 1885 the entire edifice was under roof.


The "new" St. Joseph church and Cullen House, 1886 during the pastorate of Rev. Henry Koehne.

This new church, 145'x64', Gothic Romanesque in style, was designed by architect Adam Boos from Chicago.



Plans for a New School

Shortly after the dedication of the new church, October 23, 1887, it was evident that steps had to be taken for building a new school. The more than 200 children were being taught partly in the old Cullen House and partly in the old church.

In 1891 the old church was torn down and the foundation laid for a modern 80'x60' three-story structure. In a little over a year the school was completed at a cost of about $27,000.00. 

St. Joseph School built in 1891-92
At the time of its Golden Jubilee, 50 year anniversary, St Joseph School was teaching 8 grades. There were 7 teachers. It had been made a free school in 1926, maintained from the general revenues of the church, aided by the activities of the St. Joseph Parent-Teacher Association. In 1936 the enrollment number was 236 students.

St. Joseph's Parsonage

Now the congregation possessed a magnificent church and modern school but still lacked a parish house aka "rectory". The old Cullen House had yet to serve as residence for the Sisters as well as a dwelling for the Pastor. Being aware of this inadequacy, the good Father Koehne purchased - with his own money - the two lots immediately west of the church. He was not privileged to see his plans through. Father Koehne passed away on November 12, 1906. 

Rev. Anthony Kroeger succeeded Koehne. Kroeger's appointment went into effect on January 1, 1907. Within a year a modern parsonage was built at a cost of about $10,000. 


Sister’s Convent Erected in 1927

The Sister's Covent was across the street from the church, on the south side of E. Market.
The house still stands as of 2017.

The School Was Replaced in 1957
Ground was broken for the school building, which still stands as of 2017, behind what is now "All Saints" Church (formerly St. Joseph; a consolidation of St. Vincent, St. Bridget and St. Joseph parishes).

The new St. Joseph Catholic School was dedicated on September 9, 1957.
Henry C. Wolf was the architect and Ed Medland and Son were the general contractors. The school is of lift slab construction and consists of two floors. The first floor had a recreation room, kitchen, restrooms, Principal's office, two classrooms and a covered play area. The second floor contains six classrooms and restrooms. 

St. Bridget Catholic Church

St. Bridget Catholic Church, Logansport, Indiana

St. Bridget Church on Wheatland Avenue.
Bishop Joseph Dwenger was ordained the Bishop of Fort Wayne Diocese in 1872. He was the first Bishop in Indiana to be born in the United States. It was Bishop Dwenger who saw to the building of St. Bridget Church in Logansport. He realized that many Catholics were living on Logansport's west side.


In 1873 Bishop Dwenger bought a city block from Judge David Dykeman for $5,000. The area was the 700 block of Wheatland and Linden Avenues.

The next event was the arrival of Father Bernard Kroeger, who was sent to Logansport to form that church on the west side - for about 45 Irish families. He saw to it that a church was erected on Wheatland Avenue at a cost of $12,000.

This structure would serve as a church, school, residence for the Sisters of Holy Cross and his own residence. This church was dedicated August 15, 1876.

The early St. Bridget Church building is described: "the building had a church on the top floor. The Priest's residence, sister's residence and two classrooms were on the lower floor."

In 1877 the Rosary and Alter Society was organized at St. Bridget.

In 1878 Fr. Anthony J. H. Kroeger was appointed as assistant to Fr. Bernard Kroeger at St. Bridget.

In 1891 A brick social building was built on Heath Street behind the parsonage.

In 1893 Fr. Kroeger built the St. Bridget parsonage at 700 Wheatland Avenue.



In 1896 the Sisters of St. Francis came to teach at St. Bridget School replacing the Sisters of St. Joseph.



Fr. Peter Quinn began a financial drive to build a new St. Bridget Church. The cornerstone was laid August 15, 1916. By October 21, 1917, the church was completed. Carl Horn was the architect and Frank Medland was the general contractor. The church cost $50,000.



St. Bridget Gets A New School
When the old St. Bridget school had become completely inadequate as a school and structurally unsafe Bishop Carberry instructed that a new school be built on the St. Bridget grounds. This was 1961. A building campaign was begun and funds were donated.





January 19, 1962, Logansport Press, page 1:


Construction of a new school at St. Bridget's parish is slated to begin this spring, according to the Reverend Father Francis Meehan, pastor.

Preliminary approval has been given plans for the building which will be located at Wilkinson and West Linden. Maximum dimensions of the one-story structure, according to Medland and Bowman, architects, are 138 by 163 feet. It will have masonry block walls, with brick and stone facing on the exterior.

The entrance will be on Wilkinson street. Plans call for six classrooms, a meeting room, a multi-purpose room, office, teachers room, library, supply room, shower and locker rooms, kitchen and food storage room and boiler room.

Bids will be received and contracts let in early March. It is anticipated that the new building will be completed by the start of the school year in the fall. The remainder of the ground extending to Heath street will be prepared to be used as a combination major playground and parking lot.

Another playground for smaller Children will be located at the northeast corner of Wheatland

and Wilkinson, site of the present school.

Two existing buildings will be razed. First to go will be the one story brick building facing Linden avenue ,which was used for many decades as a parish hall, for commencement exercises, music recitals and later as a gymnasium. It has not been in use for some years.

Shortly after this term of school closes the present school building at Wheatland and Wilkinson will be torn down. This red brick building was erected in 1875 and housed both the school and church until 1918 when the present church was built.

The upper floor of the two-story structure has been used for meetings and bazaars. These will be held in the multi-purpose room of the new school. Church councilmen, assisting the pastor in the long-range program, include: Joe Moritz, Harry Castaldi, Thomas Medland and Pete Conroy.


In 1985 All Saints Parish was formed in an administrative unit. The school system became known as All Saints Catholic School with Sister Mary Faith as principal. In 1986 ST. Joseph Church was selected as the worship site for the Catholic Community of Logansport. All Saints Church was created.

In April of 2000 a notice under "building permits" in the local paper indicated that the church, 700 Wheatland Avenue, was to be razed.

Thursday, November 9, 2017

St. Vincent De Paul Catholic Church

St. Vincent Church, Rectory and first School
805 Spencer Street, Logansport, Indiana

Priest Residence, Church and School St. Vincent Spencer Street
Logansport, Indiana.

The early Wabash valley settlers and founders of St. Vincent’s were the French followers of Robert de la Salle who was accompanied by Father Gabrielle Rebourde, Father Zenobe Membre, French priests. One of the first white settlers among the area Indians was Jacques LaSalle in 1778. Then his son Hyacinthe LaSalle moved his family here from Vincennes in 1833. Hyacinthe and his wife were charter members of St. Vincent’s. They were also publishers of the local newspaper the “Canal Telegraph”.

Julia and Hyacinth Lasalle/LaSelle, charter members


Irish names began to appear with the arrival of such families as the Leamys, the Murphys, and then the Quigleys; in fact the first Catholic marriage recorded was on October 11, 1836 between Mary Murphy and Joseph B. Quigley.


It was the building of the Wabash and Erie Canal, during the years 1827 to 1838, that brought the Irish to St. Vincent’s. The first church structure was a stone building on Duret Street, which is long gone but would’ve been in the general area, a bit west of the present church structure location.

In 1860 lots were purchased to build the present day church. The first construction of the present church had a southwest door opening to the canal. The Irish families were the predominating ethnic group for many years.

The following is from the Logansport Journal of May 19, 1860: “the Catholic congregation is erecting a fine building near the old graveyard which will be creditable to the church and an ornament to the town.” (The old graveyard referred to is the historic Ninth Street Cemetery.)
On Saturday, July 14, 1860 the Logansport Journal stated: “The corner stone of the new Catholic church will be laid with imposing ceremonies tomorrow at 3 o’clock. Services will be conducted by Bishop Luers of Fort Wayne and others. Bishop Spalding of Louisville is also expected. Sermons in English and German will be preached.”
Later on Saturday, July 18, 1863 the Logansport Journal stated: “St. Vincent’s church will be dedicated tomorrow, the 19th.”

The church then constructed as it stands today is of the Gothic style of architecture.

Father George Hamilton, Pastor of St. Vincent from 1859 to 1864.


Italian names appear in both the parish records, but the first at St. Vincent’s seems to have been noticed when railroaders and limestone workers arrived in Cass County. Names such as Ricci, Buccigrossi, Perfetto, Vitelli, Scagnoli, Mittica, Appolonio, Rozzi and Pasquale were Italian pioneers at St. Vincents.

The first black family to enter the records at St. Vincent was that of Aloysius and Viola Dunn who came to Logansport in the 1930s from the Bardstown KY diocese. Their oldest son, Al Jr., became the president of the first parish council in 1968.

Al Dunn Jr. and family. He became president of the first parish council in 1968.



Above: St. Joseph Catholic Church is All Saints Church as of 2017.


St. Joseph Church comes along in 1869
In 1869 an offshoot of St. Vincent’s developed at the corner of 2nd and E. Market streets named in honor of St. Joseph. (This Catholic Church is the only one that remains in Logansport Indiana as of 2017, it is called All Saints. It is the consolidation of what had been three Catholic churches in Logansport: St. Vincent’s, St. Joseph, and St. Bridget.) At the time St. Joseph’s congregation was mostly of German descent.

The Bell of St. Vincent Church

During the pastorate of Rev. Maurice de St. Palais, who later became the Bishop of Vincennes, a bell was presented by the French. (circa 1845) The French bell was originally put in place in the old stone church, then moved to the new church in the vestibule. Later the bell became a resident of the belfry of the school (next door to the church). Again it was moved due to an aging tower. In the 1940s the silver bell with the French inscription to St. Vincent’s was swung down and donated to a church in northern Indiana. (No, we do not know what church that was.)

In 1885 a new bell was donated by the parishioners and placed in the belfry of the present stone church. This genuine bronze bell tuned to the key of “d” was cast in Baltimore, Maryland and contained the names of Father Matthew Campion (pictured below), pastor and Bishop Dwenger, C.P.P.S., then Bishop of Fort Wayne.



Eventually, usage of the bell had to stop. One reason, the wooden structure in the belfry had rotted with age and couldn’t be trusted to withstand the vibrations of the 300 pounds being swung in rhythm. The other was the lack of young lads who could be counted on to rise at 6 a.m. to ring it, return at 12 noon and again at 6 p.m.

By Christmastime 1981 the bell had been renovated and reset and could once again be heard. (In 1982 the bell – a “bronze masterpiece” was estimated to be worth around $42,000.00)

First Communion class pose in front of St. Vincent with the Priest and Nuns.

St. Vincent School

For a while and previous to 1850 the children of St. Vincent parish were taught in an old frame building that stood near 4th and Railroad streets, just east of the Pennsylvania Depot. There was one teacher – Professor Bradley – a lay instructor. Beginning in 1850 school was held in the old stone church on Duret Street. The teachers were Prof. Bradley and Jacob Rech.

The Sisters of the Holy Cross came to Logansport in 1863 at the request of Rev. George Hamilton and taught here for decades. At first Father Hamilton secured a large brick building that had been used for a hotel. It was quite a distance from the church, situated on Market Street near the Eel River. (The Cullen house.) It was here that four of the sisters assembled the children and began their work. Records for 1865 showed an enrollment of 100 pupils.

In 1869 Father Mayer erected a brick school on the parish property, a short distance west of the church. The school opened in September 1870. The Sisters of the Holy Cross were in charge.

1894 photograph of the brick St. Vincent school building. This was razed
in 1895. The new school was built in its place that same year, 1895.





In 1879 a cottage near St. Vincent church was secured for the sisters. This was used as a convent until the Walker property at 9th and E. Broadway was purchased a year later. (Holy Angels Academy, which was a school until 1925 and strictly a convent until 1936,)

The "new" school was built in 1895.
In 1895 the school building, which still stands as of 2017 - a “new, larger and more modern” school -was built and dedicated. Dedication ceremonies took place on September 17, 1895. John Medland was awarded the contract to build at $12,935. Ground was broken April 4, 1895. Father Campion supervised every detail.

The church and school are now Emmaus Mission Center a homeless shelter.
The house which had been the Priest's home is a private residence.


In 1954 the parking lot – playground was constructed behind the school. Two wooden goal posts were torn down. The paved lot with the fence, lights and basketball hoops became quite a playground.

Parish Priest Residence
The residence was built in 1879 by Father Walters. The small frame house that formerly stood on the site was moved up to 13th Street. Father Crosson later repaired and  and somewhat enlarged the parish residence and also added a hot water heating plant at a cost of about $4,700.

Vatican II
In 1962 the directives of the Vatican Council II filtered into the parish level, Monsignor Schall, who was the Vicar General of the Diocese during the Bishop’s absence, guided St. Vincents into this new era. The altar was turned around; the Priest faced the people; the Communion railing disappeared; English replaced Latin at Mass. All kinds of experimental music resounded and “High Mass” disappeared. The organ was sometimes replaced with guitars and clanging cymbals. Some parishioners were horrified, bewildered and disgusted, while others were exuberant and excited.

Probably the ultimate in lay activity came to St. Vincent in 1980 when extra-ordinary ministers were invested, allowing both men and women to distribute the Body and Blood of Christ, during the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. These lay ministers distributed wine, while the Priest distributed the host, on most occasions.


Photo taken of St. Vincent interior for 1970 directory.

Photo above is from the 1971 church directory.





A pipe organ was added and an announcement appeared in the church bulletin on September 27, 1975.

The End of St. Vincent de Paul Church in Logansport, Indiana.
The Logansport Pharos Tribune covered a story about the suggested closing of both St. Vincent and St. Bridget churches in Logansport. The story ran June 4, 1986. Around 200 Catholic parishioners were told that the a renovation of St. Joseph church and the closing of St. Bridget and St. Vincent's would be the best financial move for the local parish. The presentation was made by Bishop William Higi who was joined by Robert Gloyeske of Walker Scholer Associates, who explained that it would not be realistic to keep all three church buildings open. The church was facing serious weekly deficit situations involved with heating church buildings during the coming winter.

Ultimately both St. Vincent and St. Bridget churches were closed. St. Vincent's buildings sold and in 1994 became Emmaus Mission - a homeless shelter operation.

St. Bridget church was razed.



New Beginning for an old building.

Mary Williams, president of Emmaus Corporation, of Medaryville, Indiana entered into a contract to purchase the former St. Vincent church, rectory and school for $75,000.  With a payment of $30,000 the contract between Emmaus Corporation and the Diocese of Lafayette was signed in the law offices of Starr, Austen and Tribbett, Logansport. 

Twenty-five thousand of the payment came from a grant to Emmaus from Brunnerdale  Tithing Fund of the Society of the Precious Blood – a religious community, according to Clarence Williams C.C. P.S. of St Anthony Catholic church in Detroit and chairperson of the BTF Committee of the society. The remaining $5,000 came from donations from individuals and businesses.
Williams’ planned for a three-phase project to shelter, feed and provide Christian based counseling to homeless girls in the former rectory, to provide a soup kitchen and banquet hall facilities in the former church, and for conversion of the former school building into a temporary home for displaced families. (This information came from an article in the Pharos Tribune, May 1, 1994.)