St. Andrew Catholic Church (Abt 1845-Present)
Officially recognized as a parish in 1857
From Goodspeed's 1889 History of Cole, Moniteau, etc Counties, Missouri:
St. Andrew's Catholic Church of Tipton dates back almost to the beginning of the village, when the Catholics of the district were attended by priests from Boonville and Jefferson City. Among the leading heads of families were Peter and Andrew Bestgen, William Claas, Peter Kockner, the Sullivans, G. Weber, J. Mueller, the Hechts, Gus. and Ed. Dueber, the Fischers, the Wolfs, the Schrecks, J. Lutz, G. Vogebacker, Peter Hainen, the Schmidts and the Dicks, a number of English-speaking families. Father Meister was here in 1858. The old church building now used as the Sisters' School stood one and one-half miles just west, where is now the Catholic cemetery, but was moved to the town in 1865-66, during Father Colmer's pastorate, who also erected a frame church building here that year. Father Hillner came in 1869, and was succeeded by Rev. F. R. Kuper in 1877, who at once began work on the collection of funds for the present church building. The cornerstone was placed May 3, 1883, by Bishop Hogan, and dedicated May 24, 1884. The building cost $18,000, and the parochial house, built in 1886, cost $3,500. John Lambert, who donated $1,500, died on the same day that the cornerstone of the building was placed. The early priests of the mission were Revs. Walshe, then of Jefferson City; Father Meller, of that town, and Father Hillner of Boonville. The congregation numbers 140 families, or 840 members.
The Sisters of the Precious Blood established a house here in 1877, and have since conducted the elementary classes of the boys’ schools and all classes of the girls' schools. The number of pupils attending is 100.
From Ford's 1936 History of Moniteau County:
St. Andrew's Catholic Church of Tipton dates back almost to the beginning of the village, when the Catholics of the district were attended by priests from Boonville and Jefferson City. Among the leading heads of families were Peter and Andrew Bestgen, William Claas, Peter Koechner, the Sullivans, G. Weber, J. Mueller, the Hechts, Gus and Ed. Dueber, the Fishers, the Wolfs, the Schrecks, J. Lutz G. Vogebacker, Peter Hainen, the Schmidts and the Dicks, a number of English speaking families.
Father Meister was here in 1858. The old frame church building was used as the Sisters' School that was later razed and the present school building erected. The old frame church building stood one and a half miles just west, where is now the Catholic cemetery, but was moved to town in 1865-66 during Father Kalmer's pastorate, who also erected a frame church here that year. Father Hillner came in 1869, and was succeeded by Rev. F. R. Kueper in 1877 who at once began work on the collection fund for the present church-building.
The corner-stone was placed May 3, 1883, by Bishop Hogan, and the church was dedicated May 24, 1884. The building cost $18,000 and the Parochial house, built in 1886 cost $3,500. John Lambert, who donated $1,500 died on the same day that the comer-stone of the building was laid.
The early priests of the mission were Reverends Walshe, then of Jefferson City, Father Meller of that town, and Father Hillner, of Boonville. The congregation numbers 153 families, or 700 members.
The Sisters of the Precious Blood established a house in 1877, and have since conducted the elementary classes of the boys' school and all classes of the girls' school. The number of pupils attending is 100.
Father Kueper was succeeded by Father Metzdorf in November 15, 1929.
Father Francis Kueper, September 27, 1921, celebrated the fiftieth anniversary of his ordination to the priesthood. He was born in Westphalia, Germany July 20. 1848. Spent the four months following September 24, 1871 at St. Charles, Mo. In January 1872 Father Kueper assumed the pastoral duties at California, Mo. He was transferred to other fields in November of that year, returning to Moniteau County in May 1877 when he took charge of St. Andrews parish in Tipton.
From the 1980 History of Moniteau County:
Five acres from their farm was donated by Mrs Andreas Bestgen, Sr. and her children for erecting the first log church about 1845 at the present site of the Catholic Church cemetery.
The church was named “St. Andrew” in memory of the donors' husband and father who had died five years before in Germany.
In the early 1840's (before the log church was built), Mass and other services were held about once a month at the John Veulemans home at Round Hill, Mo.
A frame church was constructed in the town of Tipton about 1866. The present brick structure was completed in 1883/84 at a cost of $19.000 (furnishings being added later). Most of the work was done in 1882 and 1883. Albert, Matthias and John A. Becky and F. Finn, building contractors, were instrumental in the construction and 400,000 bricks were purchased in Jefferson City. Dedication was June 12, 1884; headed by a silver cornet band, the congregation and friends marched to the Fair Grounds where a dinner was served. This was a big event for the city of Tipton.
In 1895/96, four bells, weighing 5,400 pounds and costing $1,000, were installed. Shortly after 1900 stained glass windows ($3.000) and a tower clock were added.
A parish school was begun in the log church at the cemetery site. School was discontinued for a year or two, reopened the fall of 1877 and has continued in operation since then, Beginning in 1890, nuns started the school until recent years; two school buildings have been erected and a separate convent for the nuns. Twice, over the years, a home for the pastor has been built.
Renovation and remodeling of the church has been done several times the past thirty-five years. In 1957 a Parish Centennial was celebrated.
Fr. Francis Kueper served the parish as pastor for 52 years (1877-1929); Frs. Metzdorf and Breif served nine years and twenty-seven years, respectively, followed by Frs. Kramer and Weigel.
Present parish membership is about 285 families. The congregation has a School Board and a Church Committee. The pastor is Fr. Bernard J. Mullen, C.PP.S.
From 2000 History of Moniteau County:
Five acres from their farm was donated by Mrs. Andreas Bestgen, Sr. and her children for erecting the first log church, about 1845 at the present site of the Catholic Church cemetery. The church was named "St. Andrew" in memory of the donor's husband and father who had died five years before in Germany.
In the early 1840's (before the log church was built), Mass and other services were held about once a month at the John F. Veulemans home at Round Hill, Mo.
A frame church was contructed in the town of Tipton about 1866. The present brick structure was completed in 1883/84 at a cost of $19,000 (furnishings being added later). Most of the work was done in 1882 and 1883. Albert, Matthias and John A. Becky and F. Finn, building contractors, were insturmental in the construction and 400,000 bricks were purchased in Jefferson City. Dedication was June 12, 1884; headed by a silber cornet band, the congregation and friends marched to the Fair Grounds where a dinner was served. This was a big event for the city of Tipton.
In 1895/96 four bells, weighing 5,400 pounds and costing $1,000 were installed. Shortly after 1900 stained glass windows ($3,000) and a tower clock were added.
A parish school was begun in the log church at the cemetery site. School was discontinued for a year or two, reopened in the fall of 1877 and has continued in operation since then. Beginning in 1890, nuns staffed the school until recent years; two school buildings have been erected and a separate convent for the nuns. Twice, over the years, a home for the pastor has been built.
Renovation and remodeling of the church has been done several times the past thirty-five years. In 1957 a Parish Centennial was celebrated.
Fr. Frances Kueper served the parish as pastor for 52 years (1877-1929); Frs. Metzdorf and Breit served nine years and twenty-seven years, respectively, followed by Frs. Kramer and Weigel.
Present (1980) parish membership is about 285 families. The congregation has a School Board and a Church Committee. The pastor (in1980) is Fr. Bernard J. Mullen, C.PP.S.
From The Illustrated History of Tipton, Missouri 1858-2008:
About 1845, a small group of Catholics from the Rhine Province in Germany settled south and west of the area that would become the town of Tipton. Three acres of land were donated for a church by Peter and Andrew Bestgen and Joseph Weiland. That land is now the site of the St. Andrew's Cemetery. The name St. Andrew was chosen to honor the father of the Bestgens, Andreas Bestgen. Shcool classes for children were also held there.
Most accounts say that a log structure was erected for a church. However, L. F. Wood, in a series of articles titled "True Stories of Moniteau County" in 1908 issues of the Moniteau County Herald stated that the seminary building for the community of Lancaster became the first church building. "The seminary building was moved to a point about one and a half miles west of Tipton and became the first Catholic church in the county ... and was afterward moved to Tipton, and used as a parochial school by the Sisters." Lancaster no longer exists, but was located three miles south and one mile west of the current city of Clarksburg.
In the early years, the church was served by visiting priests from Boonville and later, after the completion of the railroad to Tipton, by priests from Jefferson City. Even when no priests were available, the settlers met at the church for worship with prayers and songs.
The first recorded baptism took place on June 15, 1849 at the William Class home. The baby was Godfried Felder, son of Herbert and Anna Mary Watersheid Felder. The first wedding recorded was that of John Henry Hartman and Josephine Veulemans at a church meeting on the Moniteau Prairie at the St. Andrew settlement on June 1, 1851. It was witnessed by "Andrew Bestgen, William Class, and many others." Rev. George Puerk, a missionary priest, performed the ceremony. The oldest burial record for the cemetery is for the grave of Elizabeth Bestgen, who died September 16, 1851.
The Archbishop of St. Louis recognized St. Andrews as a parish in 1857.
By the end of the Civil War, the parish had grown enough to ask for their own priest. Father H. V. Kalmer came to Tipton and served from 1865 to 1869. During his tenure, five acres of land, where the parish is now located, were purchased from Isaac Snorgrass. several parishioners bitterly opposed the move into town, causing a rift in the parish. A temporary frame building was erected for a church and the former Lancaster Seminary building was moved into town where it was used once again as a school.
Plans were made to build a more substantial structure, but that didn't happen, possibly due to the rival factions in the church. According to an article in the November 10, 1871 Tipton Weekly Advance, the "Catholics have a foundation already completed on which they anticipate erecting a fine brick edifice." Father Francis Kueper arrived in the spring of 1877 and set about rebuilding the unity of the parish and working to replace the frame church building which was too small for the growing congregation. A building society was established in 1879. Some church histories say that the contract for the building was awarded to Mr. B. Alben.
The March 14, 1883 issue of The Tipton Times contained an interview with Father Kueper. The following information came from that interview: "Most of the material for the construction of the edifice is already on the ground, and operations are to begin this week. The specifications, draft, etc. by Mr. A. Druiding, an accomplished architect of St. Louis, are already completed, and were seen by your reporter in Father Kueper's library. The building will be a substantial brick structure, 120 feet long, 52 feet wide and 28 feet to the eaves, with a seating capacity of nearly 500. The spire will be at least 125 feet high, with roof of Pennsylvania slate. There will be 17 beautiful stained glass windows, the ceiling will be groined and the expense of building is estimated at $14,000, $12,000 of which amount is already raised ... Becky & Finn have a contract for the foundation and the cornerstone will be laid with due ceremony some time in May next, Right Rev. Bishop Hogan, of Kansas City officiating." The article expresses Father Kueper's gratitude for the assistance received from "generous non-communicants."
The Times advertised a "Grand Picnic and Church Fair" to be held on the Fairgrounds on Monday, May 14, 1883 "for the benefit of the New Catholic Church." The advertisement stated "1,000 different articles, many of which are of considerable value, will be raffled on the following day at 50 cents a chance." Some of the prizes listed were a set of harness, saddle, quilts, stove, fine oil paintings, lamps, articles of wearing apparel, ornamental fabrics, jewelry, furniture, etc. It also stated "Every Chance Draws a Prize." Other events of the church fair were harness sports, races, swings, target shooting, and "all styles of athletic trials of strength and skill." It was promised that a band would be on hand to provide "beautiful strains of music."
A later edition of The Times reported that the picnic was a success with about 1,000 people in attendance. Mr. Robert Robertson won the slow mule race and received a saddle as his prize. "A beautiful feast was spread by the ladies consisting of everything that the appetite could desire. . . The net proceeds of the entertainment are about $915.00, including the receipts from the raffle." The paper reported "some dissatisfaction" with the raffle, but stated "the management was perfectly fair, there can be no question." The Tipton band provided music during the day. A strawberry supper and dance for the young people was held in the evening with that music furnished by the Harrow string band.
The August 2, 1883 Times reported that "Albert Becky, of Iowa, brother of John A. Becky is here engaged in the construction of the new Catholic church." An ad asking for workers was published in August 1883: "Carpenters wanted at the Catholic church. Address: S. C. Teets." The church building was completed at a cost of $19,000.
According to The Tipton Times dated June 19, 1884, the building was dedicated on June 12, 1884. "The dedication of the Catholic Church at this place last Thursday, was the grandest and most imposing event that ever transpired in the city of Tipton. The ceremonies were in keeping with the dignity, grandeur and solemnity of the occasion. ... our Catholic friends may congratulate themselves upon the dedication of the finest edifice in Central Missouri."
Originally, the church building was furnished only with a main altar, communion rail, and a few pews. As funds allowed, more furnishings were added and the interior of the church was decorated. Two side altars, a pulpit, and two confessionals were added in 1895. H. Schenk of Quincy, Illinois made almost all of the church altars and furnishings, from white walnut.
In 1896 four bells were hung in the tower dedicated to St. Andrew, St. Elizabeth, St. Blase, and St. Francis. Stations of the Cross, a baptismal font, more pews, a manual pipe organ, and two stained glass windows in the sanctuary were added between 1898 and 1912. According to church histories, the 10 stained glass windows depicting the Glorious and Joyful mysteries were installed in October 1904 at a cost of $3,000. [It is believed that they were ordered from Germany after the Tipton priest saw similar windows at a church in St. Louis] "An excellent" furnace system was installed during the winter of 1905-06 at a cost of $2,000 "for maintaining a comfortable degree of temperature in the large room during the winter." The tower clock was installed in the fall of 1906, according to an article in the November 8, 1906 Times. The clock cost $1,000 and was installed by Pollhans Clock Company of St. Louis. That same article stated, "Fresco painting making the edifice second to none between St. Louis and Kansas City for beauty, cost $1,400."
The wooden fence in front of the "extensive church grounds" was taken down in 1907 and replaced with "an elegant iron fence" along the north side. The fence rested on a concrete base 12 inches high and 8 inches thick. The July 11, 1907 Missouri Mail reported, "At regular distances are set posts of concrete 2 1/2 feet square and 5 feet high, the posts appear like rough hewn stone. Several large iron gates similar in design to the fence are set up at the entrances to the grounds. The fence will be 430 feet in length and will cost when in place eight hundred dollars ... Joe Pope of Jefferson City is the contrator."
In 1910, a brief note appeared in The Times, "Alexander and Acherman are making improvements on ceiling and different parts of the interior at St. Andrews."
The installation of electric lights was described in a Tipton Times article dated October 27, 1912: "A visitor to St. Andrew's catholic church in this city when the lights are on, who will condemn them, should be given hours in which to leaved town. The illumination of that church edifice is simply grand, and no one is better pleased than Rev. Father Kueper, who favored this proposition from the beginning to the end."
The interior of the church was renovated in 1945. Side entrances were added in 1953 and a new cross was installed on top of the steeple. Concrete walks and steps were added in time for the parish centennial in 1957 and the church was repainted as well. The elaborate Gothic altars were removed in July 1968 following liturgical changes initiated by the Second Vatican Council of 1962-65. A fire on Mother's Day 1985 caused damage to the walls in the southwest corner of the church. The ceiling and carpets sustained smoke damage. New sanctuary furniture was added and the church was repainted following the repair work. In 1999, the church was totally repainted with trope d' oliel work, ornate borders, and other decorative painting by Max Autenrieb Church Interior Decorating of Edwardsville, Illinois.
In 1886 a 10-room rectory was built on the east side of the church and a combined school and convent was built on the west side in 1890. A new school with auditorium was begun in 1939 and dedicated in the spring of 1940. In 1952, the former school and convent was razed and a new $35,000 rectory was built on the west side of the church. The 36' X 61 1/2' rectory was built of brick with a full basement. It contained 12 rooms, including four bathrooms, sleeping and sun porches.
The former rectory then became the convent. Following renovation and redecoration, an open house was held on December 14, 1953. Refreshments were served to those touring the "entirely modern" convent which was described as "containing nine rooms, sun porch, bath, two large halls and laundry." After tornado damage in the spring of 1963, the convent was replaced with a new building dedicated in November 1964. In the late 1990's, the convent was converted into classrooms for the school and a breezeway was built to connect the two structures.
Beginning in 1940 annual dinners have been held on Thanksgiving Day. According to a story in the November 20, 1953 Tipton Times, an article titled "A Thankful Thanksgiving," published in The Family Circle magazine gave the beginning of the annual Thanksgiving dinners as later in the 1940s. According to that article, a group of quilters whose sons were serving in World War II dreaded spending Thanksgiving Day at home without their family members. They decided that it would be better to spend the day together and "make Thanksgiving our church bazaar day with a dinner for all, games for the children, and whatever else we want to plan to show we're glad to be alive." Regardless of exactly how the festival began, it continues as a successful annual fund-raising event.
The Altar Society was formed in 1877, the Knights of Columbus in 1908, and the Daughters of Isabella in 1922. The Benevolent Society was formed in 1895 and was active for 50 years.
The first St. Andrew's parishioner to be ordained to the priesthood was Father William Vogel in 1904. Seven men of the parish have become ordained priests and at least 70 women have become sisters. Three men have become permanent deacons. The current (2008) pastor is Father Henry Reichert. The Rev. Paul Poulter serves the parish as a permanent deacon. In 2007, there were 387 families registered in the parish. One hundred and twenty-one students were enrolled in grades 1-8 at the school.
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