Christ the King Church and
1503 Main Street
The first resident Catholic priest, the Reverend Angelo Chiariglione (“Father Angelo”), served diligently from 1890 to 1908 as pastor, teacher and friend to the colonists. Father Angelo gave all his salary to the poor; his pockets were always empty. He was found dead, seated on a log, where he had stopped to rest. The first Catholic church, the Assumption, was built by a few Italian colonists who donated their time and labor.
The Queen of Italy, Margherita of Savoy, was so impressed with this Italian colony that she sent gifts of priestly vestments, an illuminated Bible, and two boxes of books to the colonist for the Feast of Corpus Christi (June 9, 1898). Some of these items are displayed in the present church. As the congregation outgrew this wooden framed structure, a larger brick building (on the south corner of the block) was erected in 1937 and called the Church of Christ the King. Not until 1949 was Father Angelo’s dream of an elementary school fulfilled; the Sisters of Loretta administered this school. In 1993, the congregation again outgrew its church, and the new Christ the King Church was built on the north corner of this block. Names of the original Italian colonists and many of their descendants are etched on paving tiles in front of the new church.