St. Philip's Church - Columbiana County, Oh.

St. Philip's Church. - The congregation of Dungannon was the first organized within the present limits of the diocese of Cleveland. Its history dates back to the year 1817, when the Rev. Edward Fenwick, a Dominican Father, known as "The Apostle of Ohio," paid his first visit to the Catholic settlers in Columbiana County.

For nearly three years a log cabin, the home of Daniel McAllister, served as a place of worship, Fr. N. D. Young, visiting the settlement at regular intervals for nearly three years. In 1820 the Catholic settlement was composed of about 15 families. About 1824 a number of German families from Western Pennsylvania, settled at Dungannon. In 1820 a brick church, 30 x 40 feet, was built under the direction of Father Fenwick. It was the first Catholic Church erected in Northern Ohio, since 1751, when the Jesuit Fathers De la Richardie had a log chapel, or church, built for the Wyandot Indians located in the vicinity of Fort Sandusky. About 1827 the seating capacity was considerably enlarged. This was done under the direction of the Rev. T. H. Martin, O. P., who succeeded Father Young.

The church was dedicated to the Apostle St. Paul. The Dominican Father, John H. M. McGrady, had charge of the Mission from November, 1830, until February, 1834, by the Rev. J. M. Henni, of Canton, and a few times by the Rev. E. T. Collins, of Cincinnati; and then from Somerset, Perry county, by the Dominican Fathers, among whom were the Revs. V. De Raymacher, J. S. Alemany, T. H. Martin and A. Fahey. Their attendance ceased in August, 1835, with the appointment of the Rev. James Conlon as pastor of Steubenville, with charge of Dungannon, which he visited monthly. In 1842 he was appointed resident pastor of Dungannon, and filled that position until 1849, when he was called to Cleveland, to assist in pastoral work at the Cathedral. During Father Conlon's time St. Paul's church again became too small to accommodate the growing congregation. The village of Dungannon was platted in 1833, about one mile west of St. Paul's church. The congregation having determined to build a new and larger church, a site was chosen on an elevation in the village. Philip Ehrhart donated the land for that purpose; it comprised one acre. The church was commenced in 1846, the Rev. J. H. Luhr, of Canton, laying its cornerstone on August 15. Before the building was completed Father Conlon was removed to Cleveland, in 1849. For nearly one year (1847-48) the Rev. J. Vincent Conlon assisted his cousin, Father James Conlon, in attending Dungannon and its missions. In 1849 the Rev. James Monahan succeeded Father Conlon in the pastorate of Dungannon. He brought the church to completion the following spring, when it was dedicated by Bishop Rappe, who placed it under the patronage of St. Philip Neri. At that time the Rev. Jacob Ringeli, a Sanguinist Father, attended to the spiritual wants of the parish for some months.

As before stated, the first church (St. Paul's) was built in 1820. It was located on a two acre plot of land, donated by Daniel McAllister, Sr. The cemetery was laid out in the rear of the church, near which the first pastoral residence also stood.

Father James Conlon's pastorate covered a period of about 14 years, exceeding in duration that of any other resident pastor of Dungannon.

With the opening of the new church the use of St. Paul's ceased. For a few months in 1852, Father Monahan had the Rev. Michael Kennedy as his assistant in attending the missions attached to Dungannon, viz., Summitville, East Liverpool, Youngstown, etc. Father Monahan was transferred to another charge in October, 1852, and Father Kennedy became his successor. In December, 1853, the Rev. William O'Connor succeeded Father Kennedy and shortly after received as his assistant the Rev. Francis Stroker, who attended the above mentioned missions. In July, 1855, the Rev. Philip Flum was appointed their successor. During his pastorate, which lasted until February, 1858 (when ill health forced him to resign), a house was bought in the village of Dungannon, near the church, to serve as the priest's residence; the purchase was made in 1856. The Rev. W. Fehlings was the next resident pastor. His stay was very short from February till May, 1858. Following is a list of resident pastors from that time to the present: The Revs. Peter ICreusch, June, 1858, to April, 1859; Micholas Moes, April, 1859, to July, 1861; G. Peter, July, 1861, to June, 1864; F. C. Ludwig, October, 1864, to February, 1867; G. A. Spierings, April, 1867, to September, 1869; Edward J. Vattrnann, September, 1869, to October, 1877; J. G. Vogt, October, 1877, to January, 1888; A. Langevin, February, 1888; Edmund F. Rohan, March, 1888. to February, 1889; J. P. O'Connor, February to August, 1891; E. W. J. Lindesmith, August, 1891, to November, 1893; John Baumgartner, November, 1893, to August, 1898. Rev. Albert Andlauer succeeded Father Baumgartner.

The church has three bells; the largest of them was donated by Father Lindesmith; the next in size was presented by Mr. E. R. Woods, of Pittsburg, and the third is the one in use since the church was built - the three making a sweet toned chime.

History of Columbiana County, Ohio
By: Harold B. Barth
Historical Publishing Company
Topeka-Indianapolis 1926

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