Welcome to Assumption Catholic Church - Cedron, Missouri | Fr. Tony Rinaldo, Pastor

A History of Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Catholic Church - Cedron, Missouri

The earliest records of Assumption Catholic Church at Cedron places the year of its institution as of 1838 and it is the oldest of its denomination in Moniteau County.


Father Ferdinand Helias, S.J. The “Apostle of Central Missouri” was the first Priest to visit Cedron as early as 1838 and offered Mass in the home of Mr. Weber and at Pisgah, a place within the limits of this Parish, in the house of John Fay. Fr. Helias founded seven Churches, according to some histories Cedron was the fourth Church Fr. Helias founded. However, according to the History of the Archdioceses of St. Louis, Fr. Helias’ centennial book published in 1974 and a book entitled “Our Story” the people of the Diocese of Jefferson City published in 1984 celebrating the 25 anniversary of the founding of the Jefferson City Diocese states that Cedron was the fifth Church founded by Fr. Helias. 


The first Church building was built of logs on two acres of land donated by Ignatz Becker (Baker) from his farm in Linn Township in 1843. The building was 30’ x 32’ and was constructed at a cost of $50.00. This was known as Becker’s Church, later changed to Assumption Church of Moniteau. On The Feast of the Assumption August 15, 1855 during the Pastorate of Fr. U. Joseph Meister, the Church was given the name Church of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, commonly known as The Assumption Catholic Church, Cedron.

In 1857 a log school house 16 x 16 was constructed at a cost of about $20.00, with 20 children in attendance. Joe Schweitzer was a teacher at this log school. In 1886 a new frame school 24’ x 30’ was constructed at a cost of $403.00 with 35 children in attendance. A later frame building was erected and is now standing. About 15 ft. or so from the school, still stands in the same place the former bathroom, an “out house”, though in poor condition still stands erect at the edge of the trees along the fence where it originally stood. The school was abandoned in 1931 and the children attended the public school at Jamestown or Prairie Home. It was converted in 1951 into a hall for the young people and for meeting purposes. It has a water system, ping pong table, pool table, and boxing equipment. Father Walsh was much interested in young people, feels that these games, sports, etc., will furnish an outlet for some of the excessive energy of youth 
and will be the right sort of entertainment for them. He has also recently completed the Religious Vacation Summer School conducted each year, beginning the first of June, for the children and young folks of the parish for two weeks with half day sessions. Two nuns from St. Andrews School at Tipton are requisitioned each year as teachers. Today the building is now used for Social Activities. 

In 1867-1872 a new brick Church 50’ x 30’ was constructed at a cost of $3,000.00. Mr. John Baker was 12 years old when the present church building was built in 1872. Mr. Baker who was 92 at his death in January 1952 was at that time the oldest Communicant of the church. In 1903 during the Pastorate of Fr. Puetz an addition 31’ in length was added to the brick Church including a bell tower and a Sanctuary at a cost of $2,456.00. Originally the bell was mounted on four tall logs which stood at the southeast comer of the Church. The bell was a gift from John and Mary Heinen and now hangs in a bell tower which was erected in 1888, by Fr. Anthony Dick of the Congregation of the Most Precious Blood. On November 11, 1903 the Very Rev. Thomas F. Lillis, the Vicar General of the Kansas City Diocese dedicated the Church. 

In 1914, new windows and a metal ceiling were put in the Church (the metal ceiling still exists in 2004) and the Church was painted inside (frescoed) at a cost of $950.00. In the summer of 1951 the Church was completely renovated and decorated, a new floor installed and it was painted inside and out, under the supervision of Fr. John F. Walsh, Pastor. This was done with the aid of parishioners and friends, many of them out of the faith and money, from Kansas City, MO. 

In 1884, a Priest house was built at a cost of $500.00. In 1908 a new rectory was constructed at a cost of $1,800.00. In 1965 the rectory 10 room frame dwelling equipped with the modern features and conveniences furnace, lights, hardwood floors, bathroom, cabinets, sink etc... was sold to Mrs. Suzy (Thomas) Imhoff Green, the great great granddaughter of Ignatz Becker (Baker) and her husband Tom. They raised their children in the house and they still reside there. 

The first baptism administered at Cedron was August 6, 1839 by Fr. Helias. The baptisms are entered in the books at Taos, where Fr. Helias lived most of his missionary life. Fr. Helias administered the first Baptism at Pisgah, a place within the limits of Cedron was on August 16, 1839.


The first baptism administered at Cedron was August 6, 1839 by Fr. Helias. The baptisms are entered in the books at Taos, where Fr. Helias lived most of his missionary life. Fr. Helias administered the first Baptism at Pisgah, a place within the limits of Cedron was on August 16, 1839.

In the early years from 1839, infant baptisms were done in the parents homes. The first baptisms in the Assumption Church of Moniteau were recorded as those of Gertrude Weingartner on February 24, 1852 followed by that of Joseph August Wittman on June 26, 1853.

In an authentic list of early baptisms there are the names of 13 listed from December 1851 to March 1855 including the names of Fischer, Strickfaden, Dick, Zey, Baker, Klein, Imhoff, Weingartner, Wittman, Heinen, Schweitzer, Emriche, and Walterscheid. German families primarily made up the congregation. These earlier baptismal certificates were all signed by U. Joseph Meister who always signed his name as Sacristan. He really was the official Pastor and sacristan but in his humility felt he was more or less a “doorkeeper” in the House of the Lord. 


The first recorded marriage was that of Peter Walterscheid and Genoviva Imhoff by Rev. Edward Jakob, on May 6, 1884. 


Father Walsh organized a Holy Name Society for the Men, The Altar Society for the Women, A Catholic Youth Organization for the Young People. 

The Trustees of the Cedron Church in 1951 were Teel Imhoff, Eddie Scheidt, Ben D. Meyer, and Alvin Imhoff. Officers of the Holy Name Society were Dalton Imhoff — President, Teel Imhoff— Secretary and Eddie Scheidt — Treasurer. Altar Society Officers were Mrs. Leo Imhoff- President, Mrs. Harry Edwards — Treasurer and Mrs. Mary Dick — Secretary. CYO Officers were Don Zey — President, T.A. Odneal — Secretary and Juanita Zey- Treasurer. 


In the year 1841 the parish consisted of 8 families and later grew to 40 families and in 1889 to 65 families. In 1987 the parish consisted of about 30 families. 


Under the guidance of Fr. Robert Chenoweth, Pastor, an extensive program was begun to carry out the wishes of His Holiness, Pope Paul VI and the Second Vatican Council with the permission of His Excellency Bishop Joseph M. Marling, of the Diocese of Jefferson City. 


Floors were torn out of the Sacrasties and Sanctuary and new ones laid. Old altars were removed and replaced with new modem altars in Walnut finish facing the congregation. The tabernacle was placed on a walnut finished shelf directly behind and elevated somewhat behind the altar and Priest. An imitation walnut shelf to the left of the tabernacle was mounted to the wall for the wine and water for Mass. Tile floors were laid in the Sacrasties, the remainder of the Church carpeted. 
The beautiful stained glass windows in the Church were in need of repair. At the time of the remodeling it was felt that no better time could be found to repair the windows so the work was completed. The windows are truly beautiful and genuine works of art. 


For the color scheme of the Church, Sister Anita of the Sisters of the Divine Providence came to the rescue. The colors chosen were one for the sanctuary in the yellow and the nave of the Church was painted another color of yellow. The windows and all trim in the Church were done in Indian Red and White colors which certainly added to the beauty of the stained glass windows. The Church was carpeted in brown and orange tweed. The new electric organ adds to the beauty of the Holy Mass. It is believed that the Communion Rail was removed in 1966. 


On Sunday May 1, 1966 from 1:00 to 5:00 P.M. an open house and home coming was held, over 500 people came during the afternoon. The afternoon program consisted of an organ recital by various Protestant and Catholic groups and including Lincoln University Dept. of Music, Vocal numbers by the Sisters of Notre Dame. Mass of Thanksgiving was celebrated by Fr. Robert Chenoweth at 5:00 P.M. 

Organ selections by Miss Virginia Snead, Jamestown Baptist Church. Vocal selections by Miss Marianne Schoenthal of the United Church of Christ, Jamestown, and accompanied by her mother Mrs. Herbert Schoenthal. Sister M. Aloysia Sisters of Divine Providence accompanied by Mrs. Norma Roesch, United Church of Christ, Jamestown. Mr. Gant of Lincoln University Music Department along with Mr. Mitchell, they also offered organ selections. Other organ selections by Miss Linda Clay Jamestown United Church of Christ, Mrs. Annie Beckimeier Jamestown Lutheran Church, Mrs. Frances Alexander Jamestown Methodist Church, Sister M. Edwin Sisters of Notre Dame. 

From 1892 - 1898, Cedron receives a resident Pastor, and was no longer connected as a Mission to California. In 1966 Cedron was a Mission to St. Andrews at Tipton, MO. On January 1, 1970 the parish of Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary at Cedron was entrusted to the Pastor at California.


Mass was held at Assumption Church on Sunday’s at 9:30 am in the 1970’s and later changed to 5 pm during the winter and 7:30 pm in the summer. 

The Cemetery has been a part of the Church property through the years, the oldest marker is that of John Heinen 11 month old son of Joseph and Mary Heinen dated November 1841. Two other early dates are those of Ignatz Becker (Baker) 1851 and Anna Marie Emriche 1853. Many markers no doubt have been lost, disintegrated by time and the elements in the more than 100 years since the cemetery was instituted. 


The ground for the cemetery was donated by lgnatz Becker (Baker) in 1843. In 1952 the cemetery was fenced completely; the entire financial aid came from friends and former parishioners outside the parish who had relatives buried at Cedron. Today the fence is no longer there and no one seems to know what happened to it. In 2003 a new cross was made by John and Donnie Dilse and designed after the old cross. Old monuments were repaired by the Cemetery Board consisting of Donald Zey, Tom Green, Joe Zey and James Imhoff.


In 1982 a new heating and cooling system was installed and the Church was painted and redecorated with the work supervised by members of the parish.


A new roof was installed in 1998 at a cost of $10,000.00. In 2000 major termite damage was found and a new floor was laid and the metal ceiling taken down stripped, cleaned, repainted and installed. New carpet was installed and the entire Church was painted. All this work up to this point was mostly donated and was completed by 2002.

On August 2, 2003 an Ice Cream Social was held to raise money for the restoration work on the bell tower, school house and landscaping. 

The Parish population has been in decline for many years. It was closed as a Mission of Annunciation Parish, California, MO in 1993. The last regular Mass was held on August 29, 1993. It is still open for special occasions such as Weddings, Funerals, Christmas Mass, etc. Most of the remaining families joined Annunciation Parish in California, MO the remainder joined SS Peter and Paul Parish in Boonville, MO. 

The above from "Assumption Catholic Church - Remembering Our Heritage" © 2005 Assumption Catholic Church