St. Anthony's Cemetery
Located in Cedar Creek Township, on Section 24, Town 11 North, Range 15 West
Address sometimes given as Bayne Road and other times Obenauf Road
ST. ANTHONY'S CHURCH AN
EARLY CATHOLIC LANDMAK
IN CEDAR CREEK TOWNSHIP IS NO MORE
Little St. Anthony Catholic Church located on Obenauf road in Section 24 of Cedar Creek Township was a familiar and loved landmark to the families of the community who once worshipped within its walls.
Now the little church is no more. It was torn down because of its dilapidated and forlorn look.
The little church did look the worse for wear as it had been closed for use since 1933.
Early in 1880 when a little group of Catholic people earnestly desired a place of worship nearer to them, John Schmitt, know as "Little Honess" donated 40 acres of land for the project. A little wooden structure built with donated wood and that taken from the land it was erected with pine benches, kerosene lamps and a little potbellied stove at the back of the church.
The bell in the belfry was donated by Sears Roebuck Company when one of the early members of the little church saw a church bell in the catalog and wrote to ask for it.
During those early years, the parishioners had no Sunday morning Mass. Rev. N. J. Irmane, a Priest, who had a church in town, came out by train on Saturdays to conduct services.
Some of the earliest members included the families of Dagen, Schmitt, Resthouse, Obenauf, Bayne (Bean), Glasen, Miller, and Sweeter. Many names remain today as road names in the area
In 1912, the first, tiny wooden church was torn down to make way for a cement block edifice. Men of the parish chopped timber into rail ties to raise funds and their wives conducted baked good sales to do their part.
For nearly 12 years, the little church was the center of social life for a handful of families in the area but the Automobile age sounded the death knell of tiny St. Anthony's.
In 1925, even though many regretted transferring from their own little church, Cedar Creek residents motored the short distance for Sunday Mass to Brunswick , only 8 miles away which had a priest assigned.
For more than eight years, from 1925 to 1933, when it was opened briefly for an Obenauf wedding, the little St. Anthony Church remained closed.
Vandalism, the ravages of time and weather, created an eyesore of the small edifice. Razing of the old building was ordered.
A number of scattered tombstones are left in the church cemetery, which contains the mortal remains of about 100 persons. The earliest known interment, that of Eva Glasen, took place in 1879. There may have been others prior to that but records have not been discovered to prove that. Burials have continued into the 2000's.
Researched compiled and written using a number of sources by Anthony W. Clemente, Jr,. a descendant of the pioneer, John and Catherine Dagen.
GPS Coordinates: 43.3258, -86.0442
- Added: 2 Jan 2000
- Find A Grave Cemetery: #1581
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