Episcopal Diocese of Northern Indiana Archives

St. Alban's Episcopal Mission, Indiana Harbor

St. Alban's began as an unorganized mission of St. Paul's Episcopal Church, Hammond, in 1900, founded by the Rev. Legh W. Applegate. At about that time, Inland Steel Company opened a plant that attracted many immigrant laborers, including some from England, Scotland, and Wales. As these immigrants searched for a church, Bishop White conducted services for them in 1903 in the South Bay Hotel, eventually forming a diocesan mission. The mission was given a lot, and the attendants took out a year lease on the only hall in town, with the bishop placing the Rev. Vincent C. Lacey in charge. He was soon replaced by the Rev. Henry Nodder, and during his charge the mission was named St. Alban's the Martyr. The Rev. Thomas D. Phillips conducted services there in 1904, but then services lapsed for a few years. In 1909, under the charge of a new missionary, the Rev. Charles Albert Smith, the mission raised $2,000 for constructing a two-story brick parish house in March 1910, and the mortgage was paid off three years later.

Religious services were held irregularly in the parish house, including eight services in 1910, when Bishop White reported that 35 families attended. That same year the diocese distributed an undated flyer with the picture of a church building and the notation, "All but abandoned in the midst of a thriving community, this lovely church presents a real challenge to the Diocese of Northern Indiana. A resident priest can soon restore it to vigorous life. To locate a priest in this vital industrial area, the diocese needs $2000 more per year. This means a 50% increase over last year's pledge on the red side of the envelope. Will you and your parish do your part?"

The Rev. Marshall M. Day took charge of the mission later in 1910, and the Women's Guild raised enough money to purchase land. The congregation borrowed money to build a church, with Bishop White laying the cornerstone in January 1915. The bishop reported a year later: "they have built a pretty little church, which has called out the utmost effort of the congregation and leaves them with a debt of $5,000 to overcome, but has put the church in a position of much greater vantage than ever before." When Day left in 1917, the lot with its brick parish house was valued at $23,000. After Day left, several missionary priests had charge in the 1920s.

During the Depression, the mission struggled to stay open, and for a time during the Second World War, its doors closed. In 1945, Dom Leo Patterson, a Benedictine monk, attempted to revive St. Alban's, and it was listed on the books of the diocese through 1947, when it was given a small assessment of $77. The mission closed soon afterward, and the congregation was folded into the Church of the Good Shepherd, East Chicago. No records of the church are known to survive.

Legh Wilson Applegate, 1900-1902
Vincent C. Lacey, 1903
Henry Nodder, 1903
Thomas Dowell Phillipps, 1904
Charles Albert Smith, 1909-1910
Marshall Mallory Day, 1910-1918
William Fenwick Bachman, 1918
Leon E. Morris, 1919-1921
Walter B. Reed, 1921-1923
Cassius H. Hunt, 1923-1927
Jesse Raymond Lemert, 1927-1929
Harry Kroll Hemkey, 1930-1935
William Edward Hoffenbacher, 1935-1940
John E. Kuhns, 1941
Peter Langendorff, 1943-1945
Dom Leo Kenneth Douglas Patterson, 1945-1948


This page references: