Sacred Heart Catholic Church
Dalton City, Illinois
During the late 1880s, St.
Isidore in Bethany 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.
The original families who donated stained glass windows to the
Bell donated by James Hennebery
and Wife and Michael Dwyer and Wife.
Bell manufactured by the Hy Stuckstede Bell Foundry of St. Louis in 1892.
Monument in St. Isidore Cemetery
Sacred Heart Church
Dalton City, IL
A major financial support for the church was derived from the
annual church pew rental. The fee was $10 in 1904, 1905 and 1906 for
Lizzie Dunn, a widow with three small children (see receipt above:
Note: the receipt dated Dec. 15, 1906 was for the 1906 fee, a check was
written three weeks later to Fr. Finnegan on Jan. 6, 1907 for the 1907
fee). The fee for a family with a husband and wife was $15 per
Parish Priests for Sacred Heart
source: The Saga of St. Isidore, Vincent Griffin,
|M. J. Sweeny
|John A. Clancy
|Thomas J. Morrow
|William J. McGuire
|Michael J. O'Connor
|M. J. O'Flagerty
|Peter D. Curran
|E. A. Broadman
|Charles F. Kreuger
|Kevin Van, Administrator
Interior of Sacred Heart Church: courtesy Bresnan
Windows donated by James and Patrick Henebry
Early Marriages in Sacred Heart Church
|Feb 23, 1892. William Delahunty and Ellen Griffin were the first to married in Sacred
Heart Church by Rev. M. Sweeny.
|Oct 11, 1892. Edmond Kinney of St.
Isidore Parish and Miss Emma Jane Heneberry of Dalton City were married by
Rev. John I. Clancy.
|Oct 19, 1892. Thomas McGowan of Decatur
Parish and Lizzie Dunn of Dalton City.
|Dec 28, 1892. Philip Jacob Vollmer of
Dalton City and Ella Foley of Dalton City.
|April 4, 1893. Owen B. hughes of Dalton
City and Nettie C. Conley of Dalton City.
|Nov 29, 1893. Lewis B. Dunn of Milan and
Lizzie Henebery of Dalton City. Rev. J. Clancy
|Sep 28, 1897. Bernard Bresnan, son of
John Bresnan and Kate Conlin was married to Agnes Hennebery, daughter of
James Hennebery and Elizabeth Magner. Rev. J. O'Rourke
|Oct 20, 1897. Mike McCarthy, son of
Cornelius McCarthy and Mary Dwyer was married to Nellie Dunn, daughter of
Peter Dunn and Mary Dempsey. Rev. J. O'Rourke.
|Jan 10, 1898. John Dunne, son of Peter
Dunne and Mary Dempsey was married to Kate Hughes, daughter of Owen Hughes
and Mary Duffy. Rev. J. O'Rourke.
|Feb 15, 1898. William Dunne, son of
Peter Dunne and Mary Dempsey was married to Ellie Nolan, daughter of James
Nolan and Anne Kelly. Rev. J. O'Rourke.
|Oct 30, 1899. John R. Fitzgerald, son of
M. C. Fitzgerald and Ellen Delahunty married Jennie Griffin, daughter of
Patrick Griffin and Ellen Mullins. Rev. W. J. Maguire.
|April 24, 1900. Thomas Sheehan, son of
Martin Sheehan and Mary Kane married Elizabeth Nolan, daughter of Edmond
Nolan and Catherine Henneberry. Witnesses: Martin Sheehan &
|Sep 5, 1900. Martin Sheehan and Margaret
Bresnan. Witnesses: C. E. Bresnan & Loucie Bresnan.
|May 28, 1902. Frank Hogan, son of
Patrick Hogan and Catherine Duggan married Mary Nolan, daughter of Edmond
Nolan and Catherine Henneberry. Witnesses: John Hohan &
|March 17, 1903. James Taylor, son of Wm.
Taylor and Annie Doolin married Lucy Bresnan, daughter of Bryan Bresnan and
Catherine Ryan. Witnesses: Bryan Bresnan, Jr. & Frances
Early Baptismal Records from Sacred Heart Church
|Nov 29, 1900. Mary Ronella Kinney,
daughter of Edward Kinney and Emma Henneberry. Born Nov 1, 1900.
Sponsors: David Foley and Mary Foley.
|Jan 6, 1901. William T. Bresnan, son of
Daniel Bresnan and Margaret Nolan. Born Dec 29, 1900.
Sponsors: John Nolan and Annie Bresnan.
|March 3, 1901. Aimee Elizabeth Dunne,
daughter of Louis Dunne and Elizabeth Hennebery. Born Feb 2,
1901. Sponsors: Edward Kinney and Elizabeth Krump. Rev.
William J. Mcguire.
|Aug 18, 1901. Wm. Wayne Hennebery, son
of John Hennebery and Annie Dunne. Born July 27, 1901.
Sponsors: Robert Welsh and Mrs. Welsh.
|Nov 17, 1901. Gertrude Nolan, daughter
of Michael Nolan and Anna Bresnan. Bory Nov 10, 1901.
Sponsors: John Welsh and Lucie Bresnan.
|Dec 22, 1901. Wm. Patrick Delahunty, son
of Wm. Delahunty and Nellie Griffin. Born Dec 5, 1901.
Sponsors: Michael Dunne and Catherine ??
|Dec 25, 1901. Catherine Bresnan,
daughter of Daniel Bresnan and Margaret Nolan. Born Dec 10,
1901. Sponsors: Thomas Sheehan and Elizabeth Sheehan.
|Oct 24, 1902. Patrick Vincent Fogarty,
son of Patrick Fogarty and Agnes Kinney. Born Oct 19, 1902.
Sponsors: Wm. Fogarty and Mary Fogarty.
|April 16, 1903. Everett Vincent Hogan,
son of Wm. Hogan and Catherine Fitzgerald. Born April 13, 1903.
Sponsors: Ellen Fitzgerald and Michael Fitzgerald.
|July 14, 1903. Thomas Everett Corcoran,
son of Albert J. Corcoran and Mary Delahunty. Born June 4, 1903.
Sponsors: James Delahunty and Catherine Delahunty.
|Sep 6, 1903. James Earle Vollmer, son of
Peter J. Vollmer and Ellen Foley. Born Aug 1, 1903.
Sponsors: James Foley and Lizzie Conlin.
|Sep 6, 1903. Edward Francis Vollmer, son
of Peter J. Vollmer and Ellen Foley. Born Aug 1, 1903.
Sponsors: Bernard Bresnan and Agnes Bresnan.
|Sep 20, 1903. Daniel Ambrose Kinney, son
of Edward Kinney and Emma Henneberry, Born Sep 11, 1903.
Sponsors: James and Elizabeth Henneberry.
|Sep 20, 1903. George Harry Wemhoff, son
of John Wemhoff and Lizzie Foley. Born Sep 3, 1903.
Sponsors: James Foley and Lizzie Dunn.
|Oct 11, 1903. Maria Helen Henneberry,
daughter of John Henneberry and Annie Dunn. Born Sep 14, 1903.
Sponsors: Peter Dunn and Mrs. James Corcoran.
|Oct 25, 1903. Margaret Bresnan, daughter
of Daniel Bresnan and Margaret Nolan. Born Oct 16, 1903.
Sponsors: John Kinney and Mattie Doolin.
|Nov 8, 1903. Anna Margaret Dunn,
daughter of Michael Dunn and Anna Griffin. Born March 8, 1903.
Sponsors: John Fitzgerald and wife.
|March 21, 1904. Mary Ellen Hogan,
daughter of Michael Hogan and Margaret Delahunty. Born March 7,
1904. Sponsors: Catherine and William Hogan.
|April 3, 1904. Anna Bernata Taylor,
daughter of James Taylor and Lucy Bresnan. Born March 11, 1904.
Sponsors: Martin Sheehan and Margaret Sheehan.
|Dec 25, 1904. Elizabeth Frances Sheehan,
daughter of Thomas Sheehan and Elizabeth Nolan. Born Dec 17,
1904. Sponsors: J. Nolan and Mattie Doolin.
|NOTE: The source of this material is
unknown. I have copies of four pages dated May 1975, Vol. III No.
2. pages 43-46, copied by Shirley Lynn.
The last service at Sacred Heart was held on June 14, 1996, and the
church was demolished later in the year. St. Marys church in
Lovington was closed on March 13, 1988. The need to have churches, schools and
other facilities within a three to five mile radius has long since passed. A shortage of
Catholic priests has caused more small churches to close. 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, farms are much larger and farm families are much
smaller. Agriculture areas that once had twenty farms now have one large
farming complex. The same area that had a population of over 150 in the
1890's, now has only two. The parishioners who had numbered over 500
in 1890, had dwindled to less than 50 in 1996.
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."
Letter from Attorney William G. Patterson of
Sullivan, IL to Edward Bresnan of Dalton City.
Letter dated July 17, 1891 regarding a church in Dalton City.
Edward Bresnan Esq.
My Dear Sir:
"Since I saw you, and Father McGowan (sp), I have thought
much, as to where the new church should be built. Whether at Dalton, or at
its present site. You know I am not a Catholic but a Literalistic
Episcopalian (sp), next door to Catholicism, and who in the near future may need
its Consolations. The hour of death brings equality. Let this be my
excuse for Submitting to you my views on the question of the Church Site, which
when we talked on the subject, I gave no opinion, because I had not studied the
question. You were pleased to give me yours but I am compelled to differ
with you for the following reasons.
1st Dalton is only a village of probably two or three Catholic families.
Its inhabitants are not over two or three hundred mostly Carmelites, Agnostics,
Methodists a few Presbyterians and one Episcopalian. (Mrs. Ferry if she
has not changed). Therefore from Dalton City the church could get no more
support than it does now. Nor are the Catholic families in and near
Dalton ____to any incontinence by having the church where it is. You and I
might want a church at our door, but young people, boys and girls, prefer to
drive four or five miles, in young American fashion.
2nd reason. Dalton City will at least for
the next fifty or one hundred years be nothing more than a Railway Station of
few inhabitants because it is too near Decatur, and because the Chicago and
Alton R.Rd Co who are forced to have an Eastern outlet are about to build a new
rail (sp) from Terre Haute to Road House in Green Co. Ills which must pass
between Todds Point and Penn Townships in Shelby Co and a station on this new
railway will not be more than five or six miles distant from Dalton. In
fact Dalton may diminish rather than increase in population.
3rd reason. To move the Church to Dalton would
discommode and be unjust in equity to the Catholics of Lake City and vicinity
and to my old friend Pat McDermot and his family who left my farm who is
______money because he wanted church private and because without these his
children were growing up to be "heathens and idolaters" as he tells
4th reason. Catholics should unite with their
priest as one man. In small communities it is very unwise to be disunited,
because in worldly matters union is strength. When Pope Hildebrand went out
to meet Attila the Scourge of God. The Pagan knew that his holiness had a
united people behind him. Hence rome was Saved. It was by means of a
united people that your Church has stood as a pillar of fire in the Wilderness
of Time. and oh! what a hard time she has had!
5th Reason. Two churches so near each other means
two priests in one locality in the near future. This might be expensive.
6th Reason. In Ireland the holy men and woman
never thought of erecting a church in a town or City, but selected rural out of
the way places and they were right. Did St. Bridget ever build a convent
in or near a town. No! Did St. Patrick? I answer no.
The truth is, you are a growing people your land is fertile, and you are blessed
with abundance. What do you or I know at our time of life what may happen.
We must judge by the past and so judging, I believe you will before 50 years
have a College of Christian brothers. Just on the 40 acres. Which is
now devoted to a church and Priests home. Will the People of Dalton donate
to you 40 acres of ground upon which to build a Church, a school, or Convent.
They will not do it, until they do that. Let the Church be where it
is and your grandchildren will bless your memory for it."
W G Patterson.