St. Joseph Neier History of St Joseph Neier

The Rich and Spiritual History

The rich and spiritual history of St. Joseph's began with the Jesuit Fathers in 1834. The first church, a wooden structure built between 1846 and 1848 served as a combination church, school and lodging for visiting missionaries. In 1868 it was decided a new church was needed and the present structure was built. The church remained the same for nearly 30 years and in 1897 the upper part of the tower and the steeple was completed. Later the slate roof was added. In 1961 a sacristy with storage underneath was added a complete renovationn was done to the church. In the 1970's carpeting and air conditioning were a welcome addition. The church today has had a recent renovation started in 1998 and is now complete. We hope to enter the future with the same faith and dedication our ancestors had for St Joseph's so many years ago.

St. Joseph School was built in 1892. Each parish family hauled 300 bricks from Washington, Missouri, to be used in the two-room school building. In 1951 the school auditorium was added to the back of the school. In 2006, the school building was razed and today the St. Joseph Parish Center continues the tradition of providing parishioners with a gathering place and classrooms for the parish school of religion.

Parts of the old school were saved to be added to the new parish center: the concrete cross above the doors, the hand-made metal letters that spell out St. Joseph’s School, the Blessed Virgin’s statue shown in front of school, and some of the bricks.

A groundbreaking ceremony was held on April 25, 2007. Fr Kevin blessed the ground for the new hall then joined the Building Committee in breaking ground. Fr. Kevin used the historical shovel previously used for the school auditorium groundbreaking.

Lithuanian Folk Cross, made by Fr. Anthony Bukaskus, was placed on the lawn in front of church in 1974.

St Joseph NeierSt. Joseph’s Pastors:
1841 – 1881 The Jesuit Missionaries
1881 – 1882 Fr. William Boden
1882 – 1882 Fr. Sosthenes Kleiser
1882 – 1892 Fr. Michael Groscholz
1892 – 1895 Fr. Herman Nieters
1895 – 1897 Fr. Gerhard Brand
1897 – 1911 Fr. George Koop
1911 – 1933 Fr. Conrad Brockmeier
1933 – 1948 Fr. Michael Schaller
1948 – 1954 Fr. Aloys. J. Marschner
1954 – 1961 Fr. Charles Frey
1961 – 1964 Fr. Charles Hofer
1964 – 1984 Fr. Anthony Bukauskas
1984 – 1998 Fr. Gerald Simpson
1998 – 2016 Fr. Kevin Schmittgens
2016 - Present Fr. Donald E. Henke

Sons of the Parish:
First parishioner/priest--Fr. Hyacinth Schroeder ordained 1888
Second parishioner/priest—Fr. John Walde, ordained 1922, became a Monsignor
Third parishioner/priest—Fr. Donald Molitor, ordained 1963
Fourth parishioner/priest-Fr. Tim Noelker, ordained 2010