Dedication: 17 November 1891
Architect: Adophus Druiding (1838- 1899), Chicago, IL
Contractor: Anton DeCurtins (1829- 1895), Carthegena, OH
This historic parish was organized in 1835 by a group of German
immigrants, primarily from Oldenburg, who purchased 40 acres of land.
In 1836, the parish was established from St. Augustine, Minster and became
the first catholic parish in Marion Township and Mercer County. The
present church is the third one after log (1837) and brick (1850) buildings.
The plat for the village of St. John was recorded 24 September 1838.
On 5 May 1889 the cornerstone for the present church was blessed by
native son, Bishop Joseph Dwenger, C.P.P.S. (1837-1893). Two years later,
the church was dedicated at a cost of $40,133, much of the work was done
by parishioners. In Romanesque Revival style, the church measures
nearly 138 feet in length and 58 feet wide. The exterior was decorated
with sandstone trim, finials and cornices. but they were removed c. 1960.
The tower, rising 180 feet, contains three bells made by the Henry
Stucksted Bell Co., St. Louis in 1892. Ten Corinthian stone columns grace
he interior with painting by the Adolph Liebig Co., Milwaukee and three
glass windows were created by the Artistic Glass Co., Cincinnati.
Three altars, appropriate to the architecture of the church, were
purchased in 1913. A Pilcher organ, purchased in 1935, and restored in
1997, has 20 ranks and over 1500 pipes.
The church, because of its historic and architectural features, was
placed on the National Registry of Historic Places in 1979.
Presented to the St. John Parish by descendants of the Leon and Catherine (Klinker) Bernard
Family, immigrant parishioners from Rechesy, France, who arrived in Maria Stein in 1836; A.D. 2008.