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          The Germans and Bohemians were Roman Catholic and belonged to St. Vincent's Church until a second parish, Sacred Heart, was created in 1906 for people West of Ohio street. It was determined that St. Vincent's was too far a walk. The population had also increased substantially and a second church was necessary. 

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Original Church

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Post Card Image of church and school

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Current Church

     St. Vincent's Church was started in 1868 at the corner of Oregon Street and South Park Avenue. The current church was built in 1914. 

        The parish serves the southeast  side of Oshkosh. Members were primarily of German ancestry and the early immigrants from Bohemia were members of St. Vincent's before Sacred Heart Church was built in 1906. Because the parish was dominated by the Germans, the Irish of the south side petitioned the bishop, in 1893, for their own church and they built St. John The Evangelist church, on South Park Avenue, in 1896.

               Mary Pable, church historian has researched the archives and has more information. When I am able to contact her I will add to this page.


25th anniversary program of the St. Boniface Young Men's Society

 Sunday May 25, 1913

Overture          Orchestra
Song               St. Caecilia Choir
Willkommen     Anton G. Pable
March              Orchestra
The Catholic Young Me    Eugene H. Kaudy
Song           St. Caecilia Choir 
Our Society      Christian Grabner
Waltz         Orchestra
Unsere Ehren Mitgleider   Mathias J. Baier
Song           St Caecilia Choir
Unsere Verstorbene Mitgleider   Frank Kriz
March            Orchestra
The Catholic Church in America   John J. Baumgartner
Overture          Orchestra
Comedy Stunt      Christian Grabner
Song             St. Caecilia Choir
Comedy Farce    "Fun in the School Room" 
by the Messrs. Jacob Jungwirth, Teacher;
John Glaeser, Hebrew; Joseph Jungwirth, a sissy boy; Frank Neustifter, Rube.
America          By the audience.

A photocopy of this program is in my possession.

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Parish House with Original Church and School Building behind.

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Sacred Heart Church Interior. The first church in the original building.

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Church Board 1914.
See photo for names.
From Dan Radig.

Sacred Heart Parish was formed in 1906 by residents of Southwest Oshkosh, in the sixth and thirteenth wards, who were recent immigrants from what is now Germany, Austria and the Czech Republic. Most of these people were Germans that claimed Bohemia or Bavaria as their birthplace, although there are other nationalities represented in the parish such as Irish, Polish and other Germans. The parish was split off from St. Vincent's parish which was becoming too crowded and was too far a walk for Catholics west of Ohio Street. If you are looking to find genealogy records of family members determine the date and address so you will know if they became part of Sacred Heart Parish.

            The parish's first building was a church and school combination. It was built at the SW corner of Fifth and Knapp Streets. The first mass took place in the church December 8, 1906, even though the building was far from complete. The blessing of the new edifice was on May 10, 1907. Many members of the parish helped with the construction. About this time Father Schmitz acquired 40 acres of land south of town for a cemetery. 

             The school opened with an enrollment of 250 children. Six sisters from the Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity ran the school. The building soon proved too small for adequate school instruction and in 1913 an addition of six rooms was added to the rear of the school. The parish also acquired additional lots next to and behind the church for expansion and playground use. 

The final payment on the note of the church was in 1916 and now the parish was clear of debt. 

            The membership continued to grow and an assistant priest was hired, Rev. Joseph Rauch. Up to this time the German language was used in the sermons and now with the arrival of Rev. Rauch arrangements were made to conduct some services in English. By the late 1920's the parish was outgrowing the old church-school building and plans were made for a new church. The depression put those plans on hold however and by 1938 the parish was ready to move forward. The corner stone was laid Oct. 2, 1938 and the first mass was said Aug. 20, 1939 even though the alter and other furnishings were not yet installed. Formal dedication rites were conducted on the first Sunday in October, 1939 by Bishop Rhode. The new church was built just south of the old building at the corner of Sixth and Knapp streets.

            The rose window over the entrance to the new church was donated  by my grandmother, Mary Winkelbauer Kinderman, in memory of her sister, Therese Winkelbauer.  She also donated several of the statues in the church, including St. Therese.

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Statistics from the First 50 Years

Baptisms: 3,782

  • First: Albert J. Spanbauer, May 06, 1906

Marriages: 1,133

  • First: William Suess and Katherine Oberhansl, May 23, 1906

Funerals: 940

  • First: Elizabeth Nachtmann, May 23, 1906

First Communions: 2,838
Confirmations: 2,928

From Sacred Heart Golden Jubilee Book.

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Sacred Heart Interior. 
New Church.
From 1939 Calendar.

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Sacred Heart Interior.
New Church.
From 1940 Calendar.

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Sacred Heart Church and parish house.
From Dan Radig.

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New church dedication 
From Dan Radig.

Membership list of 1908

Sacred Heart School

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Sacred Heart remodeling 2002
from Dan Radig

Contact: Peter Kinderman
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