The first Mass was celebrated by Precious Blood Father August Reichert on Oct. 11, 1878, in a dugout home. The Precious Blood order had been assigned to serve parishes in the northern two tiers of counties, from Beloit to the Colorado line.
Settler soon built a separate dugout for services, and a sod church, 16 by 24 feet, was constructed in 1879.
Parishioners built a stone church in 1880.
School first was taught in a dugout in 1884; a frame school building was constructed in 1886.
A larger stone church was erected in 1900 but was destroyed by fire on Easter Sunday in 1908. A larger edifice, 75 by 100 feet, was built on the same site and dedicated on Dec. 8, 1908.
Father J.B. Vornholt arrived in 1904 and served the parish until his retirement in 1942. He remained living in New Almelo, where he died in 1951.
A new school was built in 1950, with an auditorium added in 1957. The Sisters of St. Joseph taught until 1973; the school was closed in 1974.
Mission ParishesSt. Francis of Assisi Parish - Norton
30 minutes before Mass