Episcopal Diocese of Northern Indiana Archives

Rev. Legh Wilson Applegate

The Rev. Legh W. Applegate was born on 19 August 1850 in Fairfield, New York, the son of English immigrants, Thomas L. and Sarah Applegate. He was ordained a deacon in 1874 and a priest in 1875 by Bishop Howe. He served as rector of St. Jude's, Fenton, Michigan, from 1875 to 1878, then moved to Illinois to serve as rector of churches at Lockport and New Lenox from 1879 to 1882. He married Rebecca E. Jones in Will County, Illinois, on 20 October 1881. He then took charge of a church in Streator, Illinois, from 1882 to 1890, then moved to Washington State to serve a church at Fair Haven from 1890 to 1892. His missionary skills led to his appointment as Archdeacon of the Diocese of Olympia, serving until about 1899. Moving to Indiana in 1900, he was sent by Bishop White to various mission stations. From 1900 to 1902 he was at the fledgling mission of Trinity Church in Kendallville. He then moved to St. Andrew's in Valparaiso, completing his duties there in 1907. His most important ministry came when White sent him to the newly-created city of Gary in 1907, where he became the first clergyman of any denomination to establish a church. Preaching at first on street corners, he eventually secured the construction of a makeshift building, which he shared with other denominations. He founded Christ Church in Gary in 1908 and remained its rector until 1910, when he retired as its rector emeritus. He moved to Hobart and attended St. Stephen's, but was not its vicar. His long retirement lasted until his death there on 13 August 1942, when he suffered from senility and heart problems. He was praised at the time as one of the founding priests of the diocese. He was buried in Oakwood Cemetery, Joliet, Illinois.


This page references: