Parish History

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St. John The Baptist

Catholic Church

Rosholt, SD

The story of Catholicism in the Rosholt area began with a small group of families who settled near Vernon, a village established in 1892, four miles north of Victor. There were: Nicholas Pohl, Peter Pohl, and Bernard Pohl, who came from Belgium, WE; Peter Kaiser, Math Sand Sr., Nicholas Sand, Peter Keiffer, and Math Brandenburger Sr., who had originally come from Luxemburg. In, 1892 they established homes and engaged in farming.

In early years of settlement, these people went to church in Hankinson, ND, an 18-mile trip. Occasionally Father Studnicka, the Hankinson priest, would come to Vernon and celebrate Mass in some of the homes.

After some years, these people decided to establish a church and cemetery of their own. This location was four miles north and three and one-half miles west of the present Rosholt. This five acres of land was donated by Nicholas Pohl, who they eventually named the church after. St. Nicholas church was blessed on June 29, 1911 by Fr. Studnicka.

St. Nicholas Church was moved to town on January 1, 1927. Unfortunately 10 years later, with Fr. Henry Engelhardt as paster, the church caught on fire on February 2, 1936 and burnt to the ground.

At a parish meeting on March 10th, they decided to build a basement church. On June 7th, the first Mass was offered and the name of the church was changed to St. John the Baptist because of a generous donation given by sisters of Rev. John Mahoney.

As time passed the parish grew and the church became crowded, so another meeting was held. The decision was made to build a new church and rectory at the southwest edge of town.

(The summary above was mostly taken from the Rosholt-Victor Book 1913-1988.)