The history of the Catholic Church
in Martin County dates back to the year of 1819 when the first
Catholics - the O'Briens and Raneys - settled near Mount Pleasant. It
is definitely known that in 1837 the visits of the priest were made
monthly. Reverend Patrick O'Bryne offered Mass on these occasions in
various homes, while taking care of churches in Logansport and
Saint Rose was attached to Saint Simon's,
Washington, as a regular Mission in 1844. In 1848, Father Patrick
Murphy, residing at St. Mary's Barr Township, Daviess County,
erected a church at Mount Pleasant. A "land craze" had led
to the establishment of St. Rose.
The people came from far and near to avail
themselves of the farm lands that were being sold at unusually low
prices. The poor farm lands were the first cause of the decline of
the Parish, and another was the beginning of the construction of the
line of Ohio and Mississippi Railroad through Loogootee.
The Parish was finally dissolved in 1857,
and the members north of Mount Pleasant were attached to the new
Parish at Loogootee, while those living south were attached to the
newly established Parish of St. Martin's. St.
John's, Loogootee, became the largest Parish in the county after a
very humble beginning in a small room above the Campbell - Breen
Store. Mass was offered there in 1857 by a visiting priest from St
Mary's, Barr Township, Daviess County, and later in a frame building
belonging to a Mr. Gootee.
In 1858, Father John Mougin' who resided at
St. Mary's, undertook the building of a church in Loogootee. The
work was completed in 1860 and Father Mougin took charge of St.
Mary's as a Mission. A one room school was added to the Parish in
1862, and a Rectory built for the priest in 1866. It was not many
years until the rapid growth of the town and the increase in the
number of Catholics necessitated the needs for larger buildings.
Thus, in 1880, a new church was erected on
the present site, and to this original building there have been many
additions and numerous improvements. A new school, with two rooms on
the first floor and a large auditorium for Parish activities on the
second floor, was erected across the street from the present church.
The building was destroyed by fire in 1968. In 1969, St John School
consolidated with the Loogootee School System after 107 years of
Updated History description needs to go
As of July 1st, 2014, St. John the
Evangelist Parish in Loogootee was formed out of the extinctive
union of the following four Parishes and one Chapel:
St. John the Baptist in Loogootee, IN
St. Joseph in Bramble, IN
St. Martin in Whitfield, IN
St. Mary in Shoals, IN
St. Mary Chapel in Barr Township, IN
Through this extinctive union we are moving forward with a larger,
more vibrant, and refreshed Catholic Church family in Martin County!