Saint Alphonsus Parish
Attracted by fertile farmland, some forty German-speaking families from Rhineland-Westphalia settled in this area between 1825 and 1845. The community celebrated its first Catholic Mass in the home of Peter and Catharina Theisen Esper in 1851. The Espers donated four acres of land on the northeast corner of Warren and Schaeffer Avenues for the construction of a school, built in 1846, the first church, built in 1852; and a cemetery, founded in 1849. Father Anthony Buechsenmann, who served from 1897 to 1920, kept detailed records of the births, marriages and deaths of some two hundred families. He delivered his sermons in German until World War I.