Holand, Hjalmar Rued, 1872-1963 / Wisconsin's Belgian community : an account of the early events in the Belgian settlement in northeastern Wisconsin with particular reference to the Belgians in Door County
Chapter VI: A little church history, pp. -80 PDF (2.3 MB)
A LITTLE CHURCH HISTORY 77 among the Belgians of Door County. He told his hearers that the present Catholic Church had departed from the faith of the Fathers and was just as filled with error as were the professions of the Spiritualists. Being an able speaker and of very winning personal appearance, he gain- ed many supporters. He also preached regularly in Dyckes- ville, Red River and Duvall and obtained many converts, but not so many as in Gardner. In 1888 a large church, named The Church of the Precious Blood,was built in Gard- ner and also a large guild-hall and parsonage. These build- ings were at that time the most imposing in the entire Bel- gian settlement and were made possible by the generosity of Rev. Charles C. Grafton who later became the Episcopal bishop of Fond du Lac.2 Father Villatte did not believe the Spiritualists would remain long in the field, and with judi- cious circumspection located his church halfway between the two Catholic churches, feeling sure that the highway difficulty due to the swamp was a matter of only temporary inconvenience which would soon be remedied. This made four churches all within one mile. Mr. Villatte also conceived the ambition of creating an Episcopal college on the peninsula, and plans and prepara- tions were made for erecting it on a forty-acre tract of land adjoining the church property on the south side. As Vil- latte had remarkable success in solociting directions from outside friends of his enterprise, the out look for the pro- 2 The principal benefactor of the church was Mrs. Mary G. Waterbury as appears from an inscription on a brass tablet on the wall of the church near the altar. It reads: "A. D. 1886. To the Glory of God and in loving memory of Chauncey A. Waterbury-1817-1876 - The Glebe on which this church is built is given by his widow-Mary G. Waterbury."
Copyright, 1933, by H. R. Holand.| For information on re-use, see http://digital.library.wisc.edu/1711.dl/Copyright