This article is from History of Jones County, Iowa, Past and Present, Volume 1, R. M. Corbitt, S. J. Clarke Publishing Co., Chicago, 1910, pages 714.

This is the second oldest place of worship in the city. About 1880. the members of the Catholic religion who had made their homes in this location conceived the idea of building a place of worship, and in 1881 the church was built. It was mostly done by subscriptions taken among the members, a few of the believers in other religions, subscribing freely. The ground on which the building was erected, was donated by James Quirk, whose name is yet in 1909, enrolled as a member of the congregation. At the time of the building of this church, the two nationalities of this vicinity—the Bohemian and the Irish—both used the church building as a place of worship, and it was not until several years later, or in 1897, that the congregation was divided, and the Bohemian Catholic members organized and built the Sacred Heart church. The first pastor in charge of the church of St. Mary's was Rev. P. McNamara, from Toronto, who held services here at regular intervals. He retained the charge for a number of years, after which time it was taken care of by Rev. Father Laffin, from Marion, who came here once a month and conducted services.

In 1897, the first resident priest was sent, in the person of Rev. Father McAuliffe, who remained for three years, afterward being sent to Coon Rapids. During the time he was here, many improvements were made in the church furniture and fixtures, a new altar being put in, which added materially to the beauty of the inside appearance of the structure. Following him came Rev. Father Nolan, who remained for eleven months, then being sent to Washington, D. C., by the archbishop, in recognition of his services and ability. In 1900 Rev. Father P. H. McNamara took charge of the work and has been in charge continuously and is now the pastor in charge. He is a man of broad intelligence, of a warm and sunny disposition, and one who by his generous nature and pleasing personality is a general favorite with all classes. The church is fortunate in having a man of his caliber and learning to minister unto its members.

Besides having charge of this church, Father McNamara also has a church near Baldwin and one at Hughes Settlement to look after. The present committee in whom the welfare of the church is vested is: William Quirk, L. Zeller and Morris Mulvihill. A new and commodious parsonage erected beside the church serves as a home for the pastor. This was built in 1897, during the time when Father McAuliffe was in charge. Both the church and the parsonage are fitted with electric lights, besides having all the other modern improvements. The church is furnished inside with handsome furniture, pews, altar and statues, the latter being comparatively a recent and valuable acquisition. There are about eighty communicants at present.