Marker No: 20003
Aluminum 27 x 42 Subject Marker
Location: 304 Crockett Street, George West
Text: Early Catholic activities in Live Oak County included services at Gussettville dating to 1869, and the formal establishment of St. Joseph Church in 1878. St. Joseph's was initially a mission of San Patricio, and membership reflected diverse national origins, including Irish, Polish, Moravian and Mexican immigrants and heritage. Father Harold Purcell came to George West in 1915 to pastor a mission, and city namesake George Washington West deeded land to the Most Reverend Paul J. Nussbaum, Bishop of Corpus Christi, for a Catholic Church. a hurricane in August 1916 destroyed unfinished walls of the church, requiring a rebuild of the two-story mission revial style building from the foundation. The congregation took its name if St. George both for the 4th century martyr and to recognize George W. West for his generous contribution.
Religious instruction for parish children began upon completion of the building in 1918. Thelma Lindholm (1898 - 1992) was one of the first teachers and served as church historian, chronicling the history of the St. George's priesthoods and missions. In the 1920s, St. Joseph's at Gussettville and Scared heart at Three Rivers were designated missions of St. George. Reverend William H. Oberste was instrumental in suggesting the need for a parish cemetery. The Chleber family donated land for St. George Cemetery and Bernand Katzfey (1879 - 1932) was the first burial there. In 1950 a new church building was dedicated at Christmas mass. The old building became a parish hall. Destroyed in 1970 by Hurricane Celia, it was replaced in 1979. St. George Catholic Church continues fellowship, faith, service and support for more than a century in Live Oak County. (2018)