All Library branches will be closed on Monday, February 20, for Presidents Day.
HISTORICAL POSTCARDS OF SPRINGFIELD,
Agnes Church, later called St. Agnes Cathedral, was named for St.
Agnes, the patron saint of the church. She was born into a Roman
family and died around 304 A.D. A stained glass window in the cathedral,
created by Stanley Uthwatt in 1921, depicts Agnes holding a lamb
and a palm leaf.
The church was established because there were no Catholic Churches on the south side of Springfield. In 1908 a group of men including F.X. Heer and John Landers approached the bishop of the
Kansas City diocese about creating a church in the growing south side of Springfield. Father O'Driscoll was dispatched to Springfield to run the new parish. The first church was a Congregational church located at the corner of Market and Walnut Streets. The parish rented it until 1909 when it moved to the Haydon property at South Jefferson and Mount Vernon. Its current address is 533 South Jefferson. The church was built from September 1909 until late 1910. On Thanksgiving Day 1910 the new church was dedicated. The congregation started with fewer than 300 members, but within six years there were more than 1,000 members.
The school associated with St. Agnes Church, St. Agnes School, was originally founded two years before the church, in 1906. All the Catholic schools were in north Springfield at the time and several children were injured crossing the railroad tracks from south to north Springfield. In 1907 a house on South Street was rented to use as a Catholic school. When the church was built three years later, the school was moved to the Haydon lot and located in a two-story building west of the church. In 1912 a three-story brick and concrete structure was built. It was able to accommodate over 300 students. In 1936 St. Agnes High School was founded.
In 1941 a new St. Agnes School was built. In 1956 St. Agnes Church, along with the other Catholic churches in Springfield, became part of the Springfield-Cape Girardeau Diocese. There are currently six Roman Catholic parishes in Springfield, and three Catholic grade schools, of which St. Agnes is one.
The postcard appears to be an architect's drawing, probably drawn before the church was built in 1909-1910. Notice the three men drawn in the foreground of the church, perhaps to give an idea of the scale of the building.