A Brief History of St. Joseph Church

The official foundation of St. Joseph’s parish in Fremont, Ohio, dates to the arrival of Father Louis Molon, its first pastor, on Tuesday, December 8, 1857. There is no record that Father Molon said a Mass on that day and in all probability he did not get here until 2:24 p.m., the time that the Chicago Express on the Cleveland and Toledo railroad arrived at the Fremont depot from Cleveland. The church as far as it was then completed, stood on the northwest corner of Croghan and Clover Streets, on a site now covered by the St. Joseph Central Catholic High School.

A new church was built twenty-five years after the establishment of the parish and on Sunday, April 30th, 1882 the cornerstone of the new St. Joseph’s was laid. A sealed copper box was deposited into a cavity in the stone by ex-President Rutherford B Hayes, after which another stone was placed upon it.

In the spring of 1859 a school, built of wood, and consisting of one very large room, was started.

The parish has been served by only 13 pastors and 52 associate pastors in its history to date (2015). There have been twenty-seven sons of the parish become priests and three enter the order of Brothers. Eight permanent Deacons have come from St. Joseph parish also. Many daughters of the parish have entered various religious orders.

Through the years, many organizations have formed in service to the parish and some survive today.

For more interesting reading about the history of St. Joseph Parish, please contact the parish office for a copy of the books “One Hundred Candles for St. Joseph” or “Our Glorious Legacy” .