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St. Cecilia's Catholic Church

The First Catholic People of Sheldon

"These families are listed on a chart currently hanging                          Photographed by Barb Durfee

at the back of the church. The information probably 

comes from a detailed parish census book compiled                        

in about 1850 (it can be found on the St. Cecilia's 

FHL microfilm #1292997). Those families that said 

they came to Sheldon before 1840 are listed on the 

chart. Any families that helped establish the Sheldon 

mission in 1840 but left the area before 1850 are, sadly, 

lost to history." - Scott Barvian

Name and Birthdate From   Family Year They Came
Altmayer, Michael b. 1814
Althausen, St. Wendel, Lux. Bel.   1833
     
Balkey (Baicki). Jacob b. 1789
Niederlauterbach at Strassbourg wife Ottilia Illig, 10 children 1833
Bartz, Nicolaus b. 1804
Offen Fouch Lux. Bel.   1833
Keem, Martin, b. 1811
Gunstadt, Ellsaz wife Catherine Kornprobst, 2 children 1833
Conrad, Nicolaus b. 1783
thelay, St. Wendel wife Maria Deves, 10 children 1834
Gaebel, Peter b. 1777
Thelay at Trier wife Maria Learm, 10 children 1834
George, Hubbard b. 1788
Toernick, Lux. Bel. wife Elizabeth Hass, 8 children 1834
George, Peter b. 1777
Offen Bel. wife Anna Cattel, 9 children 1834
Schlacter, Herrich b. 1804
Rhemshausen wife Anna Maria Metzger, 2 children 1834
Brauner, Nicolaus b. 1803
Ritzels, Ellsaz. wife Magdelena Huebsch, 5 children 1835
Geier, William b. 1804
hanover, Goettingen wife Frances Backi 1835
Hans, Leonard b. 1796
Niederlauterbach at Strassbourg wife Maria Cresencia Wagner, 8 children 1835
Heiman (Hyman) Conrad b. 1787
Longencande, Germany wife Barbara Hammerschmidt, 9 children 1835
Louchel, John b. 1809
Gunstadt, Ellsaz.   1835
Louchel, Joseph b. 1801
Gunstadt, Ellsaz. wife Anna Maria Kornprobst, 5 children 1835
Paschel, Edward b. 1800
Buccarat, France wife Catherine Loreaux, 3 children 1835
Reding, Heinrich b.1795
Victen, Lux. Ritzels, Ellsaz. wife Maria Catherine Weber, 5 children 1835
Stephan, Michael b. 1796
Ritzels, Ellsaz. wife Catherine Heudier, 5 children 1835
Ziegler, John b. 1773
Kuttalsheim, Ellsaz. wife Anna Maria Kiefer, 5 children 1835
Ziegler, Michael b. 1791
  wife Maria Geier, 3 children 1835
Engel, Nicolaus b. 1813
Breiten, St. Wendel   1836
Hesselschwart, Geo. Philip b. 1797 Lemmersheim, Lux. Bel. wife Barbara Loesch, 10 children 1836
Nassoeis, John b. 1822 Froispaque, France   1836
Pabst, Frederick b. 1808 Gosmarsdorf, Wuersburg wife Ouilia Hoffman, 3 children 1836
Schwab, Philip Jacob b. 1799 Lemmersheim, Lux. Bel. wife Elizabeth Loesch, 7 children 1836
Gassel, Dominick b. 1813 Adinger, Lux. Bel.   1837
George, Nicolaus b. 1809 Offen, Bel.   1837
George, Peter b. 1812 Offen, Bel. wife Barbara Welter, 2 children 1837
Glaeser, Franz b. 1800 Enweiler, Oldensburg wife Anna Maria Bekker, 8 children 1837
Glaeser, John b. 1805 Enweiler, Oldensburg wife Elizabeth Barvain, 3 children 1837
Wagner, Heinrich b. 1801 Lingren, Lux. Holland wife Margaret Kraemer, 1 child 1837
Bruell, Theodore b. 1805 Revingen, Lux. Bel wife Elizabeth Lord, 5 children 1838
George, J. Nicolaus b. 1787 Offen Fouch Lux. Bel. wife Elizabeth Arndt 1838
Hahn, Nicolaus b. 1783 Perris wife Elizabeth schuhl, 3 children 1838
Knoph, Joseph b. 1813 Wehhalt, Marheim, Baden   1838
Kuster, Andrew b. 1807 Offershafen Hessen Damstadt   1838
Schlund, Joseph b. 1779 Wistestadt at Baden wife Elizabeth Kern, 7 children 1838
Schmied, Michael b. 1796 Halstadt, Wuersburg 2nd wife Elizabeth Eckert, 5 children 1839

During Rev. John Neuman's visits to these people in Sheldon, a plot of land 18 rods X 6 rods was bought for $1.00 from Edward and Catherine Loreaux, 1/2 mile south of Sheldonville, on April 18, 1839.  Shortly thereafter Father Neuman truned the first spadeful of ground for the building of a log chapel, 32 ft X 28 ft, boasting a small tower with a cross thereon. 

On November 3, 1839, the male members above listed, held a meeting in the completed chapel, after due notice of two weeks.  Joseph Sloane and Heinrich Reding were elected to preside over deliberations, and Peter George the elder, Hubbard George, Conrad Heiman, and Jacob Balkey were duly elected trustees.  The chapel was designated as "The First Roman Catholic Church of Sheldon."

By 1848 a second frame church, 100 ft X 40 ft. was erected at Sheldonville, now called Straubs Corners.  Trustees elected to serve in this church were: Nicolaus George II, Pierre George, Martin Keem and Peter Meiers.  Bishop Timon, first bishop of the Buffalo Diocese, sent Rev. John Schaefer to the now "St. Cecelia's Roman Catholic Church", as our first resident pastor, in October 1848.

Our present stone church, built whild Father Theodore Vass was pastor, had Peter Kehl and Alphonse George as first trustees.  Since a great part of the materials and labor was donated by parishioners, it cost only $13,000 to build this church.