Our History

Saint Mary’s & Sacred Heart Catholic Church History

In 1869, Chariton saw the formation of the local Catholic community then known as Saint Mary’s Catholic Church. It was through the efforts of Father Bernard McMenomy of Georgetown that Saint Mary’s Catholic Church was built in the 1300 block of Brookdale Avenue. Among the parishioners who were involved in its organization were John Welch, N. Leinen, James Supple, James Gallagher, James Sullivan, Patrick Carey, Timothy Lyons, James and William Crosby, Patrick Kinney, Mr. Reynolds, Mr. Mullen and Mr. Maniette.1

Father Edmund Hayes was the first Catholic pastor to reside in Chariton. In 1878, he purchased a house and three lots on Orchard Avenue, near seventh street, for use as a rectory and, eventually, on the empty lots were to be erected a church and an academy. In 1881, the church building was jacked up, placed on skids and moved by horses to the empty lot near the rectory on Orchard Avenue.

Herman J. Steinbach purchased land on the corner of Main Street and Auburn Avenue from the Mallory Estate in 1910. He donated the land to the parish in 1914 with the condition that the congregation raise $10,000 to build a church. Other families were equally generous and those who could not afford to pledge money donated days of labor. Under the guidance of Father McGillan, the cornerstone to Sacred Heart Catholic Church was laid in 1915.