Formerly St. Joseph Catholic Church (1853)
Bramble, IN

St. Joseph Church, Bramble, IN
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A Brief Church History
In the 1840's a few pioneers from Kentucky and Maryland of Irish and English descent settled into the hilly area of Martin County, Indiana known as Miles Settlement, about two miles east from Bramble. In 1848, Fr. Patrick Murphy was assigned by Bishop John Stephen Bazin of Vincennes as pastor of St. Mary's Church in Daviess County and St. Rose of Lima, Mt. Pleasant in Martin County. In addition to these parishes, Fr. Murphy began having Mass in the homes of people in the locality known as Miles Settlement. Thus began the start of St. Joseph Parish. The charter families listed were Ash, Carrico, Clements, Kidwell, Miles, Queen, and Strange.

In 1853, Fr. Murphy began collecting funds for the erection of a new church. As was customary in such missions, the land immediately around the church was used for a cemetery. The original site of St. Joseph's Church is now located within the Crane Naval Surface Warfare Center. During Fr. Murphy's time, St. Joseph remained a mission of St. Mary's Church in Daviess County. As the population began to grow with the railroad and canals, by the 1870's the original building became to small and discussion arose about a new location. On February 27, 1875, Thomas E. Bramble and his wife gave a little over an acre to build a new church. A census taken in 1878 showed 85 families registered in St. Joseph's Parish.

In 1887, two more acres were bought from Patrick Hynes which was plotted out for a new cemetery (our present one). The first interment was Hilary Ash's wife. A number of remains at the Miles Settlement were eventually transferred over to the new cemetery.

St. Joseph Parish continued as a mission until September 25, 1892 when Bishop Chatard appointed Fr. John P. Bergen as their first resident pastor. In 1894, a new rectory was built. In 1896, Fr. Bergen left and St. Joseph's became once again a mission. Fr. Theodore Mattingly became the second resident pastor, but the parish was deeply in debt and Fr. Mattingly resigned in 1899. So once more, St. Joseph became a mission parish. In 1900, Fr. John Stanton arrived as new pastor and remained until 1913, when a fire destroyed the original rectory. Fr. John McShane followed and like his predecessors, he was faced with a debt on the new building of a rectory. On March 19, 1915 (the feast of St. Joseph) a new hall was erected at a cost of $220. In 1916, Fr. Mattingly was reappointed as pastor until 1920.

Other priests who served St. Joseph Parish were: Frs. John Moungin, Louis Gueguen, Joseph Matthews, John McCabe, John Doyle, Leopold Burkhardt, James Bolin, Joseph Honningford, Timothy O'Donoghue, John Gallagher, Edward Zirkelbach, Clement Hunger, Adam Baron, John Shaughnessy, Howard Murphy, Cornelius Hall, William McLaughlin, Thomas Mindrup, Carl Shetler, Walden Schiffer, Firmus Dick, Joseph Terstegge, Bob Wannemuehler, Victor Kunkler, Carl Roos, Albertus Lutterbach, Gregory Spencer and Thomas Kessler. Native sons to become priests include: Frs. Guy Fields, Bernard Stange, Flavian Strange, Robert Strange, Raymond Strange. Native daughters to become sisters: Srs. Veronica Summers, Margaret Ann Williams, and Mary Montgomery.

Updated History description needs to go here.

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!

Online Records
St. Joseph Baptismal Records
St. Joseph Cemetery Records
St. Joseph Obituary Records
Oituary/Cemetery Compilations by Natalie Baker


Last Updated: 15 Mar 2016