Remarkable Ohio


Below is a complete listing of all Ohio Historical Markers. To find a detailed marker listing including text, photographs, and locations, click on a county below. Our listing is updated by the markers program as new markers are installed and older markers are reported damaged or missing.

7-75 Saint Remy Catholic Church / The Village of Russia

Side A: In 1839, Bishop John Baptist Purcell recruited European priests to minister to his Ohio flock. Father Louis Navarron, a young French missionary, was appointed to the French Catholic population of Darke and Shelby Counties in the area now marked by the villages of Russia, Versailles, and Frenchtown. St. Valbert, a centrally-located log church, was dedicated in December 1840 by Bishop Purcell to serve the region. In Russia, a log chapel was dedicated on Jean Jacques DeBrosse’s farm in 1846. Parish boundary lines were established in 1850, Precious Blood priests arrived, and a new church was dedicated to Saint Remigius in August 1852. As the congregation grew, so did the church buildings. The current Saint Remy Catholic Church, built between 1891-1892, was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1979.
Side B: The Village of Russia (pronounced ROO-she) began with the arrival of French Catholic immigrants from the region of France previously known as Alsace-Lorraine. Local lore attributes the name to early residents noting similarities in the area’s winter landscape to that of European Russia. Lewis Phillip purchased the land and sold plots where the village was later platted. In 1853, he built a house and established a store. Other businesses followed, including dry goods stores, a blacksmith shop, a sawmill, and grain elevators. A post office was established in September 1860 and Arsaine Pigney served as the first postmaster. The 1870 Federal Census was the first to officially reference “Russia.” Incorporated with the State of Ohio in 1967, the Village of Russia’s first mayor, Leo Herman Francis, was sworn in on June 12, 1968.
Sponsors: Village of Russia, Ohio History Connection
Address: 109 East Main Street, 
Location: Adjacent to the 1890 construction of present-day St. Remy Catholic Church.
Latitude: 40.2341817
Longitude: -84.408365