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Home / Auglaize County / 8-6 Sts. Peter and Paul Church, Mother Church of the Petersburg Parishes [3]

  • Archibishop Dennis Schnurr blessing the marker at Petersburg Confirmation Mass 4-22-18 Archibishop Dennis Schnurr blessing the marker at Petersburg Confirmation Mass 4-22-18
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Title, side A
STS. PETER AND PAUL CHURCH, MOTHER CHURCH OF THE PETERSBURG PARISHES
Title, side B
STS. PETER AND PAUL CHURCH, MOTHER CHURCH OF THE PETERSBURG PARISHES
Text, side A
Saints Peter and Paul Church, Petersburg (1835), was the mother church for St. Joseph, Wapakoneta; St. John the Evangelist, Fryburg; St. Lawrence, Rhine; and Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception, Botkins. All were founded by German-Catholic immigrants to west-central Ohio. After the removal of the Wapakoneta Shawnee in 1832, the land became available for purchase. The 1830s and '40s saw a wave of devout German settlers who wished to practice their faith in their new home, a desire served by missionary priests such as Father Wilhelm Horstman. Father Horstman first visited the settlement at Petersburg on May 8, 1835, presiding at Mass, baptizing, and blessing a marriage. In April 1836, immigrants John and Anna Mary Ruppert sold 40 acres of land in Pusheta Township to the trustees of the Catholic Church and a log church was built at the Petersburg site. (Continued on other side
Text, side B
(Continued from other side) The parish was dedicated to Sts. Peter and Paul. It initially served the region, but often impassable roads prompted settlers to establish churches closer to home, first at Wapakoneta (1839), then Fryburg (1850), Rhine (1856), and Botkins (1865). The members of Sts. Peter and Paul fought for their church, even constructing a new building in 1869, but the parish dissolved by 1897. "Completely surrounded by her children – Wapakoneta, Fryburg, Rhine, and Botkins – the little log church at Petersburg was needed no longer.... Like the good seed: in giving life to new plants she loses her own. The ground where the mother church died is hallowed ground…It is our duty to keep it and respect it." Father Lawrence Tebbe, 1950
Address
Santa Fe-New Knoxville Road (County Road 100)
Wapakoneta, OH 45895
Location
Petersburg Cemetery on Santa Fe-New Knoxville Road (just east of Cemetery Road), Wapakoneta, OH 45895
Coordinates
Latitude: 40.497054, Longitude: -84.162996.
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