St. Lawrence Catholic Church, New Hamburg, MO

St. Lawrence Church, New Hamburg, Missouri


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The History of St. Lawrence Church, New Hamburg, Scott County, Missouri
Source: "The History of Scott County "  and "Pioneer Families of Scott County" by Edison Shrum.

The first catholic church in Scott County was dedicated at Benton on September 15, 1839 in time for the arrival of German settlers from Alsace-Lorraine via Massillon, Ohio.

The first four families from the communities of Schirrhein/Schirrhoffen arrived at Price's Landing, Scott County, MO in the spring of 1840--those of John Glaus, Louis Pfefferkorn, John Martin and Martin Bischer.  The following year, 1841, four more families arrived--those of Christian and Matthias Halter, Joseph Stuppe and Wendolin Bucher.  Throughout the following years, many more families arrived.

In 1847, church activities were transfered from Benton to the present site of New Hamburg. Here, services were held in a renovated poultry house on the Wendolin Bucher farm until a new log church was built in 1848 on 3 acres donated by Mr. Bucher.  In 1849, more land was obtained adjacent to the new church property and soon a school was functioning as part of the yet unnamed church.

As more new immigrants arrived, the church became too small and in 1857, plans were drawn for a larger and better church which was to be built of stone, 80 feet long ,"excluding the choir" , and 50 feet wide. The new church, modeled after St. Nicolas Church in Schirrhein (where Anton Heisserer and Katharina Hahn were married in , was completed in September, 1858 and it was time to name the church.  The parishioners had many different ideas for a name which resulted in violent arguments.

Finally, Mr. Bucher settled the arguing by stating "...enough of this quarreling! Are you not ashamed of yourselves? Now I will put a stop to this. I gave the land, and I shall name the church in honour of the patron saint of my son, St. Lawrence."  So, the church was named St. Lawrence.

On May 25, 1860, Mr. Bucher, who owned land north and east of St. Lawrence Church, surveyed and filed a village plat at the County Recorder's Office.  Streets were to be 20 feet wide, except for Main Street ,which was to be 50 feet wide.  The town was to contain 14 lots and was  named St. Lawrence.

The plat for the village of New Hamburg was filed at the start of the Civil War and lay south of St. Lawrence. New Hamburg originated with 48 lots.  Confederate raiders struck the village of New Hamburg several times and in 1864, destroyed the church.