Knox County
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St. Joseph Catholic Church

St. Joseph Catholic Church
Rhineland, Texas

The beginning of Rhineland and St. Joseph's was in 1895 when Father Reisdorff and Hugo Herchenbach contracted to purchase a tract of land from J.C. League and George E. Mann of Galveston, TX for the purpose of a colony. One hundred acres was designated as a townsite and ten acres selected to be in one block to be donated to the Catholic Church and to be deeded to the Catholic Bishop. In 1927 the original church suffered a fire and was partially destoryed. Plans were started for the new structure. The building was designed by Rev. Boniface Spanke, O.S.B and is German-Gothic architecture. Labor on the building was done by the parishioners. Much of the materials were donated. The building contains more than 80,000 handmade bricks made in a small hand-operated machine that only made six bricks at a time. The machine is now on display at the church site. The interior of the church is the same Gothic design and has a beautiful Gothic alter which was hand carved The building was begun in 1927 but due to the depression and World War II, it was not completed until 1951. It is an extremely beautiful building and an active, well attended church. It is also the center of social activity for the area.

Thank you to Maxine Miller of Haskell for providing the clippings from Haskell Free Press and Abilene Reporter-News, from which this information was derived. 

Thank you to Wanda Irby for the photograph.


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