Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary Parish – Solomon

Founded 1868

Solomon was among the frontier settlements first visited by the missionary priest, Jesuit Father Louis Dumortier. He visited with Catholic settlers here as early as 1861 from his post at St. Mary’s Indian Mission east of Manhattan and offered Mass at the home of Margaret Riordan, a widow who had arrived with six of her seven children and homesteaded in 1859.

By 1866, the number of Catholics had grown to the point that homes were not large enough to accommodate them for Masses. Father Dumortier began discussing plans to build a church, but he died in 1867 at Fort Harker attending to victims of a cholera outbreak.

The first church was completed in late 1867 or early 1868.

A decade later, parishioners began talking about building a new church. A disastrous prairie fire that nearly consumed the church hastened plans to build a church of brick. The new church was dedicated in 1883 and continues to be in use today. The debt was paid off the following year, and a brick rectory was constructed.

The bell tower was completed in 1899, and an annex was added in 1903.

A new parish hall was completed in 1966.

A native of the parish, John Lahey, was ordained a priest in 1967, and from 1994 until his retirement in 1999, he pastored his home parish.

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