History: Second Church

Second All Saints ChurchAfter nine years, the parish had grown from 40 to 125 families.  This continually expanding congregation necessitated the erection of a new house of worship.  The original building was sold to a local hardware dealer who moved it to the southeast corner of Tenth Street and Minnesota Avenue.  A new church was built at what is now the junction of Michigan Avenue and Thirteenth Street, during the pastorate of Fr. Joseph Neumaier.

The total cost of $4,572 was raised by subscriptions, socials, Altar Society donations, suppers, special collections, and loans from private individuals, at interest rates ranging from 6% to no interest at all.  As an added means of fund raising, the story is told, that those present at the dedication exercises were given the opportunity to pull the bell rope for a one dollar contribution.  One muscular parishioner, wishing to impress his friends, grasped the rope and gave it a tremendous pull with the result that the clapper swung wildly.  An alert trustee counted nine strokes and held out his hand.  Much chagrined, the well muscled one had to borrow from his friends in order to meet his obligation.On November 6, 1898, the growing parish, led by Father Neumaier, dedicated the new frame church, with the Most Rev. Bishop Vertin again officiating.  It was at this time that St. Fidelis Church became All Saints.  Gregory Schram, son of Louis and Natalie Schram, was the first child baptized in this church.

The Delta ran the following items regarding All Saints activities:

  • September 1, 1911 -- A dinner was served to 600 by the ladies of All Saints Church in Mr. Hammel's garage at the corner of Wisconsin and Tenth.
  • July 6, 1912 -- A four-day Fair was organized by the Guild Ladies: St. Mary's, St. Elizabeth's, St. Catherine's, and St. Margaret's.  There were many booths, a children's afternoon, a Japanese tea-room, a musical evening, an auction, and a supper.  The net product exceeded $2000.
  • August 24, 1912 -- "All Saints Won Game" proclaims a victory over Perkins.  Batteries for All Saints, Gagnon and LaFond; Perkins, Sharkey and Richards; feature of the game, fielding of Boulet.

On September 2, 1911, a foreclosure sale of the Hawarden Inn on Eighth Street and Wisconsin Avenue was advertised.  Due to the foresight of Fr. Owen J. Bennett, pastor from 1907 to 1923, the parish, on September 23, 1911, acquired the Hawarden Inn and block of land on which it stood for $9,500.  In order to convert the building into a parochial school as planned, an additional $2,000 was required for repairs and remodeling.In September of 1912 eight Sisters of St. Joseph of Concordia, Kansas, came to staff the school.  Four schoolrooms were in use, and a fifth was being prepared for the unexpectedly high enrollment of 300 students.  The conversion of the inn into a school was accomplished without incurring a large debt, due not only to the efforts of Father Bennett's flock, but also to help received from the merchants and people of the city.  This school would graduate over 1500 students.

The All Saints Church on Michigan, still remembered by some of our senior members, served the parish until March 4, 1920.  A meeting was scheduled for that evening to discuss the possibility of replacing the frame building with a large church of more permanent material to house the expanding population.

Second Church Fire

On the morning of March 5, after the 8:30 Mass, smoke was seen issuing from the doors and windows; a call was sent to the fire department, but because of the dense smoke no one could enter the building.  Time was lost due to a frozen hydrant, and the fire gained such a headway that all hope of saving the church was abandoned.  A strong north wind carried burning shingles several blocks south, so the fireman devoted their time to keeping the flames confined to the church.  Nothing was saved except a few vestments;  the congregation suffered a loss of ten thousand dollars, a considerable sum at that time.

Second Church Fire