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All Saints Catholic Church – Liberty

Location Class:
Built: 1929 | Abandoned: 1991
Status: Abandoned
Photojournalist: Emily Cowan
ca. 1939

The history of the All Saints Catholic Church in Liberty, Kansas dates back to the 1880s when the church was first organized. Services were held in members’ houses, most of the time in the house of Billy Maher. The first church building was built in 1888 but locals can not remember where it stood. It was a small frame church and by 1928 a new church was needed for the growing congregation. A brick gothic church of amazing construction was constructed and the altar used in the first church was brought into the new building. The dedication was conducted by Rev. August J. Schwertner on November 21, 1929 with the first pastor being Rev. Joseph Oenbrink.

Margaret & Francis Cillessen Wedding September 8, 1941

Ten years later six new pews were added to accommodate a still-growing following and a new pump organ was donated by Maggie Miller and just a year later electricity was added to the church. So many weddings, baptisms, confirmations, funerals and community events were held in the building over the next 70 years. On May 16, 1977, during a terrible storm, a bolt of lightning struck the tall slender steeple that stood atop of the church. It brought the whole thing and the crowning cross to the ground, it was replaced by the current steeple which was shorter and more practical. At the end of the year in 1991, the All Saints Catholic Church came to a close. There was a Mass celebrating over sixty years’ worth of history. Fr. Dennis Trayers was the last to serve the parish before its closing. The organ continued to be used up until the church’s closing with Mrs. Paul Willham playing it for a majority of its final years.

Article by AKS Photojournalist Emily Cowan.

Gallery Below


“14 Dec 1929, Page 1 – The Catholic Advance at Newspapers.com.” Newspapers.com, www.newspapers.com/image/179542083/?terms=all%20saints%20catholic%20church%20liberty&match=1.

“20 Feb 1992, Page 4 – The Catholic Advance at Newspapers.com.” Newspapers.com, www.newspapers.com/image/176092651/?terms=all%20saints%20catholic%20church%20liberty&match=1.

“25 Nov 1939, Page 4 – The Catholic Advance at Newspapers.com.” Newspapers.com, www.newspapers.com/image/182184252/?terms=all%20saints%20catholic%20church%20liberty&match=1.

“8 Sep 1982, 5 – Village Vanguard at Newspapers.com.” Newspapers.com, www.newspapers.com/image/367232844/?terms=All%20Saints%20Catholic%20Church%20liberty&match=1.

“C. 1900 Church – Liberty, KS.” Old House Dreams, 12 Apr. 2020, www.oldhousedreams.com/2018/05/27/c-1900-church-liberty-ks/?fbclid=IwAR1LRexZyv2Iq0rIgb3fEHmqeMSyIsZN4j8mRUg7la4WZ-5FN6fftgzhEJs.

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Emily Cowan
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