Precious Blood Father August Reichert of New Almelo celebrated the first Mass in the sod home of settler Adam Pregler in 1880. The community built a sod church in 1883 three miles northwest of Herndon. A 24- by 48-foot frame structure replaced it in 1885.
A frame church then was built in Herndon in 1889. From April 1890 to September 1891, both the so-called West and Town congregations were without a priest, so Bishop Richard Scannell traveled from Concordia to try to convince them to consolidate into one parish. When they could not agree, the bishop said he could not provide them a priest.
After Bishop Scannell was named Bishop of Omaha, parishioners agreed neither parish could survive without a pastor, and so they asked the interim administrator of the diocese, Wichita Bishop John Hennessy, to send a priest. He did so, and the priest lived in Herndon and attended to both churches. The next pastor assigned in 1892 wasn’t as agreeable and merged the congregations under the name Assumption of the Blessed Virgin. The rural church was moved to town and served as a parochial school.
The original town church burned in 1893, and shortly after the rebuilt church was completed, it was destroyed by a tornado. A new church was dedicated later that year.
Capuchin priests arrived in Rawlins County in 1909 at the request of Bishop John Cunningham.
A new church was completed in 1917. It was made of concrete blocks which the parishioners made themselves over the course of three years. A rectory was constructed in 1924, and a new school was built in 1926. The high school was closed in 1939, and the grade school closed in 1969.
A new rectory was built in 1973.
The Capuchins departed far northwest Kansas in 1986, and the Herndon parish since has been a mission of Atwood.
Sacred Heart Parish
508 N. Railroad AVE.
Atwood, KS 67730
Mission ParishesSacred Heart Parish - Atwood
8:00 - 8:20 am