Warren County Iowa Genealogical Society




    Rosemount St. Mary's of Perpetual Help Catholic Church

    Rosemount Saint Mary's of Perpetual Help Catholic Church, “Rosemount Church,” 133 E. Franklin St. Lacona, IA 50139, (641) 534-4691 The church was dedicated in 1911. In December 2004 the Rosemount church burned down.


    History Of St. Mary's Of Rosemount Parish, by the Rev. A. L. DAVIDSAVER, copied from the the History of Warren County, Iowa, by Gerard SCHULTZ and Don L. BERRY, The Record and Tribune Company, Indianola, Iowa, 1953, pages 119-151

    The Church of St. Mary's of Perpetual Help, better known as Rosemount church, traces its origin to the year 1871 when a number of the families who lived in the Rosemount community decided another church closer than St. Joseph's church at Bauer (Lacona post office) would more conveniently fulfill their needs.

    With a spirit of enthusiasm and cooperation they erected a wooden frame building at the junction of Belmont and White Breast townships four miles north and a mile east of Lacona. In those days it was directly across the road from the Rosemount post office, which no longer exists. Until 1909, when the first resident pastor came to Rosemount, the parish was under the care of the pastor of Bauer. This would include the Rev. John BAUMANN (1871-1875), the Rev. S. F. WIELAND (1875-1884), the Rev. John H. FEDLER (1884-1887), Father ALBAN, O.S.B. (1887-1890), the Rev. John TEGELER (1890-1902), the Rev. J. F. KEMPKER (1902-1903), the Rev. Joseph A. RANGGER (1903-1908) and the Rev. B. KUEPPENBENDER (1908-1909).

    The Rev. Joseph L. HELLER, born in the community in 1875 and the first child to be baptized in the Rosemount church, was the first resident pastor. Until the Rev. Joseph STEIGER (now deceased) was appointed to the pastorate during the year 1915, three priests had succeeded Father HELLER; namely, the Rev. Charles F. WALDRON, the Rev. John MAYER and the Rev. Vitus STOLL (now pastor of the Immaculate Conception church in Creston). Under Father STEIGER, a new brick church was built to replace the wooden frame structure. It was completed in 1916. The following year saw the arrival of the Rev. B. KUEPPENBENDER as pastor. He was succeeded in turn by the Rev. V. D. CASHMAN (1925-1927), the Rev. J. J. JUDGE (1927-1935), the Rev. M. P. CORCORAN (1935-1937), the Rev. M. J. FLOOD (1937-1944), the Rev. Carl A. MEIER (1944-1949). The present pastor is the Rev. A. L. DAVIDSAVER.

    The parish has had a parochial school, the only one in Warren County, since 1904. This was taught at first by a Catholic lay teacher. After a few years the school was taken over by the School Sisters of St. Francis, whose Motherhouse is in Milwaukee, Wis. The many Sisters of that Order who have taught here continuously since that time have been a source of inspiration and untold good to the people of Rosemount by their teaching, self-sacrifice and example. In 1951 there was an enrollment of sixty pupils in the eight grades being taught. Sister M. ROSINS, O.S.F., is the present superior and teaches from the fifth through the eighth grades; Sister M. ROBERTYLLE, O.S.F., is the teacher for the first four grades; Sister M. VICTUARIA serves as the house sister. The combination two-story wooden frame building built in 1910 serves as both school and convent for the Sisters.

    Rosemount proper consists of the church, cemetery, school and convent, parish rectory (built in 1908), and the Albert ENDRES farm directly across the road east of the rectory. The church property comprises about ten acres. The parish numbers approximately forty-five families.

    “Church Still Stands; People, not wood and bricks, make up Rosemount’s True Strength,” The Record-Herald and Indianola Tribune, December 15, 2004

    On Dec. 9, flames destroyed a building near Milo known locally as the Rosemount Church. What the fire did not do, however, is destroy the true foundation of the church, the congregation The church burned throughout the night. Many members of the congregation that met weekly there kept a vigil for much of the evening. The following morning, church members pulled the bell from the ruble. The metal was still too hot to touch with a bare hand. Other items had been saved by church members and firefighters the previous day. Church members seemed dedicated to preserving the history of their once beautiful house of worship.

    State fire officials are still investigating the cause of the fire. Their efforts so far have been hampered by the amount of damage done to the building. One can only hope the fire was an accident. If the blaze was intentionally set, the arsonist robbed the congregation at Rosemount and the rest of Warren County of a valuable piece of history. But the faith of the people who worshiped within Rosemount’s walls is entirely unshaken and stands whole.

    Centennial Yearbook 1871-1971; St Mary’s of Perpetual Help, Rosemount, Warren County, P.O. Milo, Iowa, booklet is at the Warren County Historical Society Library