“LITTLE FRAME CHURCH”
1) SCANLAN PAPERS p. 4
“The Garvey Settlement was visited (by a priest) and mass was said in a log house in 1855. A few years later a frame church was erected on an adjoining farm and near it a small cemetery of about an acre is fenced, and all around it a row of large evergreen trees. When Seneca built St. Patrick’s Church on the edge of the village and started a new cemetery, the church in the Garvey Settlement was torn down.”
2) SCANLAN PAPERS p. 4
“There were two centers in town (Seneca).
The little log church and burial place near the Lawler farm, known as Copper Creek Church;
the other located near Pine Creek close to the Robert Garvey home in sight of which is seen God’s acre enclosed with large evergreen trees. Near the cemetery stood a frame church until it was removed after St. Patrick’s church was built in 1874 in the village of Seneca. It was to this church Bishop Heiss brought confirmation the very year Lacrosse became a diocese. The Garvey Settlement known also as St. Mark’s attracted Irish settlers.”
3) CEMETERIES IN SENECA TOWNSHIP p.4
“The Kneeland Cemetery is located in Section 27; Town 9; Range 5 west. Records taken from the Register of deeds show that Thomas Kneeland deeded the land in Section 27,;Town 9; Range 5 to Milwaukee Diocese of the Catholic Church in 1870; and they in turn deeded the land to Lacrosse Diocese in 1872.
Apparently the cemetery and church site was in existence before 1862. As recorded on the tombstones still standing in the cemetery there were burials from 1863 to as late as1884. Many burials were reinterred in St. Patrick’s Cemetery in Seneca. Names appearing on the stones in this cemetery are Flanigan, Crowley, Smith, Mullaney, Kneeland, Lenehan and Brady.
There is apparently no perpetual care on the 20 odd burials and the site might well receive some attention. “
4) KICKAPOO CHIEF NEWSPAPER APRIL 11, 1901
“The little Catholic church in which services were held years ago was sold at auction. Fred Wall being the purchaser.
5) HISTORY OF CRAWFORD COUNTY BOOK p. 717
“There are, at the present time, (1884), six cemeteries within the town of Seneca; all of these, however, are not used now to much extent.
The principal burying places now are these:
-One situated on Section16; town 9;Range 5 West
-one on Section 13, Town 9; Range 6 West
The other cemeteries spoken of above , are described as follows:
-one on Section 27, near the “little frame church,”
-and another just across the line on Section 28.
-Also, one near Mr. Russell’s place on Section 18; Town 9, Range 5 West, and one on Section 6, Town 9, Range 5, near the log church.”
6) FIND-A-GRAVE-ST. PATRICK CEMETERY SENECA, WI ROBERT GARVEY PAGE
“Robert Garvey Home-Mass said here from 1855 to 1866.”
7) HISTORY OF ST. PATRICK’S CATHOLIC CHURCH p. 25
“The first catholic services held within the township of Seneca were in the home of Robert Garvey in November 1855 by the Rev. Lucien Gaultier, a French priest from Prairie du Chien. (Mary, daughter of Robert Garvey, was a housekeeper for Father Galtier.
A meeting to organize a Mission parish took place in the Robert Garvey home. A part of the stone foundation of the home can still be seen from County Trunk “E”, on the Mike Heisz farm.
In the same year another congregation was formed in Copper Creek where Services were held in the home of Thomas Dagnon, conducted by the same priest. A log church was built in this community during the year 1859. The site is in Section 31; Town 10; Range 5 West. The remains of a cemetery can still be seen. The land for the site was donated by Lawrence Bird from part of his farmland. This church was known as “St. Mark’s.”
In 1866 a frame building was built in the Garvey Settlement, on the ground now part of the Lawrence Kneeland farm. The site can still be pointed out by Mr. Kneeland, who is the great-grandson of Thomas Kneeland the donor of the three acres of ground for the church and the cemetery, southwest of southwest Section 27, Town 9 north;, Range 5 West. Part of the burial ground is still there. This church was called St. Peter’s.
8) HISTORY OF CRAWFORD COUNTY 1881: SENECA
“There are two church organizations in this town-the Roman Catholic and the Methodist Episcopal.
The first Catholic services were held within the limits of the town were held a the house of Robert Garvey, on Section 34, Town 9, Range 5 West in November, 1855, by the Rev. L. Gaultier, a French priest from Prairie du Chien. A congregation was organized and a mission was established at that date.
In the fall of the same year, another congregation was formed on Copper Creek, where services were held at the house of Thomas Degnan, conducted by the pries above mentioned. In 1859 this congregation erected a log house, in which they assembled for services. The building stood on section 31, Town 10, Range 5 West, on the farm of Lawrence Bird, who donated the land.
In 1866 a frame building was erected on the southwest quarter of Section 27, Town 9, Range 5.
Catholic services were held at both of these churches, till the erection of the church edifice near the village of Seneca, which was in 1875.
At this date the old log church was a abandoned, and the congregation united in attending the more central location; though services are still held occasionally at the “little Frame Church.”’
The Church at Seneca is known as St. Patrick’s Church, and the other as St. Peter’s. These two churches number 120 families.”
9) CRAWFORD COUNTY WI ARCHIVES CHURCH RECORDS...ST GABRIELS PARISH
From 1853 to 1856, Father Galtier made monthly visit to St. John the Baptist mission at Mifflin, Iowa County. Meanwhile (1855), at Utica, Crawford County, he was engaged in constricting a chapel. The same year, the home of a Mr. Finnegan at Risen Sun was given the privilege of being seen of the first mass offered in that locality. Later, a log house served for the chapel until1870, when Father O’Connor established his residence there and built the present church of St. James. Similarly, at Seneca, in 1855, Mass was said in the home of a Robert Garvey. A frame church was built later on the site, and a cemetery-part of the present Kneeland farm-was subsequently added. The church has since been removed and the cemetery abandoned. Perhaps, as early as 1859, on Lawler Ridge, in the western part of Seneca, a log chapel, known as the “Lost Church of Copper Creek” was erected. The cemetery-the only relic left to indicate the site of the lost church-contains but one lone marker. The Copper Creek and Garvey settlements were united in 1872, when Father Verwyst became pastor of Seneca.”
10) St PATRICK PARISH SENECA, WI. CENTENNIAL BOOK 1872-1972
“On May 10, 1872, the Most Reverend Michael Heiss, Bishop of Lacrosse, issued the decree that brought into existence the Saint Patrick parish of Seneca.
Almost twenty years before that time, the Catholic Church began to function throughout the immediate area. Father Lucien Galthier of Prairie du Chien preside at the first mass known to have e been celebrated within the township of Seneca, and the site was the home of Robert Garvey in November of 1855. (Mary Garvey, daughter of Robert, kept house for Father Galtier.)
Some time later, a meeting to organize a Mission Parish took place in the same Robert Garvey home. A part of the stone foundation can still be seen from County trunk E on the Mike Heiss farm.
Also in 1855, another congregation was formed in Copper Creek, where services were held in the home of Thomas Dagnon, again conducted by Father Galthier. A log church was built in this community during the year 1859 in section 31, Township 10, Range 5 West. The remains of the cemetery can still be seen. The property was donated by Lawrence Bird from part of his farmland, and the church was known as St. Mark’s.
In 1866 [a frame] building was built on the Garvey settlement, on ground now part of the Lawrence Kneeland farm. The site can still be pointed out by Lawrence who is the great grandson of Thomas Kneeland, donor of the three acres for the church and cemetery. The location is Southwest of Southwest Section 27, Township
9 North, Range 5 West. Efforts to restore this cemetery were begun in the fall of 1971. This church was known as St. Peter’s.
Though efforts of father Galtier and other Missionary priest who resided at Prairie du Chien from time to time, the spiritual needs of these people were cared for. Ina addition, father Flasch, Father Peter O’Connor and Father Patrick Murphy of Rising Sun also served the Catholics of the community.
In the meantime, plans were being made for the present church building, and it is said the Father Murphy was active in the plans for a new church. The southern portion of the present parish [St. Patrick, Seneca] was purchased by Bishop Heiss from Michael and Mary Huard, and the date of the transaction was November 4, 1867. However, work on the proposed new church was delayed because of Father Murphy’s poor health. Father Murphy died in Milwaukee on October 16, 1874, and, according to his wishes he was buried here in St. Patrick Cemetery.
11) 1855 GARVEY FARM LOCATION FROM HISTORY OF CRAWFORD AND RICHLAND COUNTIES 1881
“Section 34; Township 9; Range 5 West”
12) THOMAS KNEELAND FARM LOCATION
13) ST. PATRICK PARISH NEWSLETTER MARCH 8, 1956 BY FATHER JAMES E. NOONAN
SENECA: ST. PATRICK’S PARISH
St. Patrick’s Parish is located in the northwestern section of Crawford County. The first mass said in the area was offered by Father Lucien Galtier of Prairie du Chien in November, 1855. The home of Robert Garvey was the site of the Mass. It was also the scene where the parish organizing meeting took place.
In the same year, another mission was established in the Copper Creek area, and Mass was said in the home of Thomas Degnan. During the next three years, two log churches were built. The church near the Garvey home was called St. Peter’s, and that of Copper Creek was named after St. Mark. The land for the latter church was donated by Lawrence Bird, from part of his own farming land.
Father Chrysostom Veryst was appointed as the first resident pastor by Bishop Michael Heiss in May, 1872. He lived in the E. Garvey home, as there was no rectory. The present church was begun at that time and was completed and was dedicated Oct. 25, 1874. Father Verwyst remained until the year 1880.