ST. ANDREW'S ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH OF SIBLEY
The first. Catholic settlers in Osceola county were Nicholas Boor and
John Strict. They came on the eigth day of June, 1871, and filed
on claims in Oilman .township. The first baby of Catholic parentage was
born in 1872, the son of Mr. and Mrs. Patrick Larkin, and reported to be
the first white male child born in the county. The first Catholic couple
to be married by Father J. J. Caddon in 1874 was Mr. and Mrs. John
Coughlin. The Coughlins now live in Clark, South Dakota. The first
funeral was Edward Laharty in February, 1873, who was frozen to death
east of Sibley, on section 16. The first mass read in this county was in
May, 1873, in Holman township on the southeast quarter of section 16, on
the homestead of Patrick Larkin, by an assistant priest of Father
Lenihan, of Sioux City.
The Sibley parish was first served by priests from Sioux City, twice a
year, until 1875, when Father Mice, of LeMars, read mass until 1877. In
1877 Father P. J. Lynch was sent as resident priest to Sheldon and took
care of the Catholics in and about Sibley. In 1880 the Ashton part of
the congregation separated and built a church on the John Streit farm,
about two and one-half miles northwest of Ashton. This schism
considerably crippled the Sibley congregation. Father Lynch continued to
occasionally attend the Sibley parish at the court house until 1882 when
Father J. J. O'Reilly succeeded him at Sheldon. He also occasionally
attended the Sibley parish. In 1883 the congregation bought the old
Sibley school house for church purposes and the south half of block
number 51, and moved the school building on it. Father O'Reilly was
succeeded by Father T. J. Sullivan at Sheldon in 1883. Father Sullivan
came to Sibley once a month until 1888, at which time Father P. J.
McConnick was sent to Ashton and also had charge of the Sibley parish
until 1890. At that time Father Dollard was appointed for Rock Rapids,
reading mass each alternate Sunday in Sibley until the fall of 1897.
During this time the present church was built and cemetery purchased. In
the fall of 1897 Father O'Reilly was appointed to Sibley as first
resident priest and the congregation then built the present parsonage.
Father O'Reilly was succeeded by Father Phelan in 1904, who in turn was
succeeded by Father Hetherington in 1909. Father Hetherington remained
until the fall of 1913 when Father E. T. Nally, the present pastor, was
appointed. The church in Sibley has always been secondary to Ashton, on
account of the Catholic school at Ashton, the Sibley congregation not
being able to support a school of its own.
The Sibley church property is valued at about twelve thousand dollars
and the property is free from all indebtedness. At the first mass the
following were present: Larkins family, the Larathy family, Mrs. John
Henderson, John Coughlin, John Streit and family, Nick Boor and family,
the Zensen family and P. A. Cajacob. The Cajacob family is the only
family left here, most of them being dead.
From the 1914 Past and Present of O'Brien and Osceola