A true history of St. Anthony does not begin with the building of the first church in 1911, but can be traced back to the early 1600’s with western migration. With the westward migration, came missionaries and priests with the goal of proclaiming the Word of God to the Indian population and incoming settlers.
In 1896 permission was granted, and St. Anthony Roman Catholic Church of Browns Valley was officially established. The first priest, Father Camille Thiebaut, was sent to accommodate the 28 family parish. As the small parish grew, the need for a larger worship space became apparent. Under the direction of Fr. Thiebaut, land was purchased and a large Gothic brick church was built in 1911.
Tragically, on Easter Sunday 1934 fire broke out destroying nearly everything in the church. The wooden interior was entirely gutted and the external brick wall structure salvaged. Under the leadership of Fr. Peter Lauer, in 1934, a new church was erected, enhancing many of the qualities from the original 1911 church. Because of the expense the stained glass windows were omitted.
Catholic Church of St. Anthony