Clan Henebry Association TM

Henebry/Henneberry Families from the Irish counties of
  Cork, Kilkenny, Limerick, Tipperary and Waterford

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St. Isidore Church Bethany, Illinois
Mailing address:  400 Woodland, Mt. Zion, IL 62549  ph.  217.864.3467

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Interior of St. Isidore.  Sept 2001 St. Isidore, Patron Saint of Farmers

By 1857 several Irish families had arrived in Dora Township of Moultrie County Illinois. Most had emigrated from the Irish Counties of Limerick and Tipperary. The settlers established farms in the fertile prairie of central Illinois.

The first Catholic mass was held in the home of Edward Bresnan on August 14, 1863. Father Anthony Vogt traveled from St. Patricks in Decatur to hold the services. Within a few months, the families had collected $400 to build a church in Bethany. Father Vogt purchased 40 acres of land from the railroad at $5 per acre. A frame church was constructed at a cost of $200. The building was a 20 x 40 foot structure dedicated in 1864. The church was named after the patron saint of farmers, St. Isidore.

The present brick church was completed in 1891 and remodeled in 1945. The rectory, now closed, was built in 1952 to replace the existing structure. The cemetery was originally located one mile west of the current location and was moved when the land was purchased in 1864.

Tradition still remains strong with these rural communities. Grandchildren and great-grandchildren are still married in St. Isidores, and burial plots are purchased by fifth and sixth generations of the original Irish settlers.

Early history of St. Isidore's by Father McGowan.

Sacred Heart Church  Click for more information.

During the late 1880s, the St. Isidore  had grown to over 500 members. Families in nearby Dalton City desired their own facility. A controversy arose about whether to build a new structure in Bethany or establish a new church in Dalton City. A decision was made to do both. The cornerstone for Sacred Heart was laid in 1891, and the church bell was donated by James Heneberry and Michael Dwyer.    The original families who donated stained glass windows to the church were:

James & Elizabeth Henneberry Patrick & Julia Henneberry Peter Dunn
Edward & Mary Bresnan   James Foley John & Margaret Foley
Richard & Anna Delahunty Ed & Catherine Nolan Patrick & Ellen Griffin      
Michael and M. A. Duggen  M. E. & J. E. Welsh  Michael & Margaret Dwyer

Over half of the stained glass windows in Sacred Heart Church
  were donated by members or relatives of the Henneberry Family.

William Delahunty and Ellen Griffin  were the first to married in Sacred Heart Church.

The last service at Sacred Heart was held in June, 1996 and the church was demolished later in the year.   St. Marys church in Lovington was closed in the 1980s. The need to have churches, schools and other facilities close together have long since passed. The school in Dalton City is closed, and the once thriving business district in Bethany is almost abandoned. Many families now drive about 15 miles to the larger city of Decatur to shop. School districts have been combined, and farm families are much smaller.

Farming remains an essential part of the communities. The parish priest stated recently, "The only things we need right now are an organist and some rain."


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  For privacy reasons, NO information is provided on any living members of the Henneberry family.  Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information.  Birth, death and marriage certificates from various County Clerk's offices have been obtained.  Census records and obituaries have been researched.  As with most genealogy searches, confusing and conflicting information exists such as spelling of first and last name, ages and dates of birth.

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