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Waukesha World War I Heritage Trail

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This is a contributing entry for Waukesha World War I Heritage Trail and only appears as part of that tour.Learn More.

The Reverend Martin Kundic was the first priest to hold regular services in Waukesha. Mass was celebrated in the house of John Gaspar on Main Street and the current gothic stone church was completed in 1888 under the guidance of Father Wm. G. Miller. Solomon Juneau of Milwaukee donated the land to St. Joseph's Church in 1843. There was a log house built by Mr. Juneau on the property and it was converted to a church.

St. Joseph's Catholic Church

Sky, Building, Window, Cloud

In 1844, Rev. Kundic was appointed pastor of St. Joseph's Church, and that year, the corner stone for the little stone church was laid out and completed in 1848. In 1883 St. Joseph's was incorporated under the laws of the state of Wisconsin. One month later, the Reverend G. Miller arrived and stayed for 47 years. The present gothic stone church was built in 1888. Architect Adolphus Druidlng of Chicago designed it in High Victorian Gothic Style with its emphasis on the vertical. The exterior is rock raced, randomly coursed limestone, with multiple rose windows, lancet windows, and multiple gables and spires. Each gable is topped with a cross. The layout is asymmetric, with a large tower on one side of the main entrance, rising to a tall steeple toppled by a cross. The old stone church was remodeled into a parish hall.

According to church records, in 1920, three families of Mexican decent arrived in Waukesha and became the first Hispanic members of St. Joseph's Church. These families were Jose and Antonia Melendez, Merced and Nicolas Gonzalez, as well as Ursula Melendez and Leonardo Banda, whose subsequent marriage became the first Mexican American marriage at the church. Today the Hispanic presence has grown to include Puerto Rican, Nicaraguan, and people from many Lain American countries.

Father Dulek established a regular mass in Spanish at which time Our Lady Guadalupe's Statue was installed, and th Guadalupe Society was formed. December has come to be the month for celebrating Catholic Hispanic Heritage at St. Joseph Catholic Church.

(These are citations for a different entry already on the site)

Bernhardt, Gene. Immigrant Youth Left Waukesha for Army; Returned Hero. Waukesha: Waukesha Freeman, April 10, 1953. ****(source) (accessed February 25, 2020).

Daniels, Roger. Coming to America: A History of Immigration and Ethnicity in American Life. (New Jersey: Visual Education Corporation, 1990), 202.

New York County, Marriage Record, Sotirios Patrinos and Vaseliki Pandeli, 05 Sep 1922, FamilySearch, Accessed on March 3, 2020.

New York Passenger Arrival Lists. Database with Images. New York: Secretary of Commerce and Labor of the United States, February 20, 1907. FamilySearch, Accessed on March 3, 2020.

New York Passenger Arrival Lists. Database with Images. New York: Secretary of Commerce and Labor of the United States, September 1, 1922. FamilySearch, Accessed on March 4, 2020.

Northern Illinois, Northern District of Illinois and Immigration and Naturalization Service District 9. NARA Microfilm Publication M1285. U.S Department of Labor, Immigration, and Naturalization Service, May 3rd 1920. FamilySearch, Accessed March 4, 2020.

Schoenknecht, John. From Prairieville to Waukesha: Columns Published in the Waukesha Freeman2008-2010. Waukesha, Wisconsin: John Schoenknecht, 2010.

Scourby, Alice, “Mobility and Ethnicity: The Case of Greek-Americans,” In Immigration and Ethnicity: American Society—”Melting Pot” or “Salad Bowl”?, ed. Michael D’Innocenzo and Josef P. Sirefman, 49-53. Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Publishing Group, 1992.

****United States Congress. House Committee On Immigration And Naturalization, and Adolph Joachim Sabath. To amend the naturalization laws... Report. [Washington, Govt. print. off, 1918] Pdf. Accessed on March 4, 2020.

Reft, Ryan “World War I: Immigrants Make a Difference on the Front Lines and at Home.” ed. Wendi Maloney, Library of Congress. Library of Congress, September 26th, 2017. Accessed on March 4, 2020.

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. “The Immigrant Army: Immigrant Service Members in World War I.” U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, July 17th, 2017. Accessed on March 4, 2020. 

“Waukesha County Military Service Record of Sotirios Patirinos”. Waukesha County Historical Society and Museum, World War I Military Registration Cards. Hard Copy Original. (Accessed February 20, 2020).

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