History of St. James
From the local paper in 1954...
The article on the left was printed in the local paper on September 5, 1954. It tells about St. James Parish celebrating our 107th year. In the article it describes the location of the church as "between Torrence and Cottage Grove Avenues." This is due to the fact that Rt. 394 was not even a dream at that time.
You may recognize some of the founding family names, many of which are still in the area. Names like Kalvelage, Schaller, Uline, Neilman, Baumgartner, Shell, Kloss, Hultman, Kahler, Rozak, McCoy, Cipkar and Imler. These are some of the families that settled this area and helped establish St. James parish. At the time, since many of them came from the "old country," they gave the area the name they were familiar with. Thus, Strassburg was born.
The original church was built in 1847 by many of these same families. It stood until 1873 when it was struck by lightening and burned to the ground. While it was being rebuilt, services were held in the old Sauk Trail school building, with many parishioners having to be seated outside in the schoolyard. In 1895, when the church purchased a new pipe organ, the box for the organ was converted into the first bookcase for the school at the suggestion of Miss LeDoux the school's teacher, who also served as organist.