Pray the Rosary

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A Centennial History - Chapter 8

Moselle

     Moselle was once a booming, bustling small country town. The area had first been homesteaded in the 1820's and 1830's. The area was noted for its deposits of iron ore.

     Moselle is a French name, and was named after the Moselle River, which empties in the Rhine River, South of Bonn, Germany. One would have to assume it reminded the early settlers of the country they had left to come to America.

     In the 1840's, the church of St. John Gildehaus was established to the North. The Catholic population, wanting to go to church, found it necessary to travel between 6 to 12 miles to attend church at Gildehaus on the poor roads of the time.

     With the establishment of St. Mary's in 1880, it was natural that Moselle was the arrival and departure point for people in the area. The Frisco Railroad line earlier after the end of the Civil War. The town was only about three miles distant down the hill to the Bourbeuse River.

    Moselle was a bustling, small town at t he beginning of the 20th century, but the depression of 1929, the closing of the iron works, and the bypassing of town by the new highways slowly began to close the businesses in town. After the bridge over the Bourbeuse washed out in December 1982 the community became separated from St. Mary's. However, some of the families still drive around on Highway AM, 1-44 and O to get to St. Mary's.

     It might be noted that the first post office, which only lasted the year of 1851 was called Moselle Furnace. The Moselle post office was operated from 1860 to 1971.

     In the history of St. Mary's, one reads of trips being made to the Moselle train station to pick up priest who were coming to St. Mary's.

     After the Civil War, railroads issued free passes to most politicians, clergy and newspaperman who were on assignment. In 1888 the interstate Commerce Commission was formed, and at that time at the urging of several of the large newspapers in the United States, they eliminated the free pass abuse. Railroad management realized the need to do something to keep the clergy happy, so they instituted clergy fairs which were greatly reduced fares.

    In the early history of our church, Father Hussman came from Sullivan twice a month to have mass. This was long before Highway 66, so it is safe to say he came from Sullivan to Moselle and returned as a benefit of clergy fare.

End of Chapter Vlll

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