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
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!