Episcopal Diocese of Northern Indiana Archives

St. Mary's Episcopal Church, Delphi (defunct)

St. Mary's Episcopal Church, Delphi, was founded on 4 September 1843 by the Rev. Samuel Roosevelt Johnson, then rector of St. John's, Lafayette. In November, the congregation purchased a lot for a church and parsonage for $190. After a gift of $600 from Johnson and $100 gathered from others, the congregation erected a church building, which was consecrated on 21 August 1845 by Bishop Jackson Kemper, a close friend of Johnson.  Delphi, located on the Wabash & Erie Canal, was an important hub at that time in the only transportation network that existed in northern Indiana, making it a logical place to establish a church. The Rev. Anson Clark arrived soon afterward, becoming the first resident priest of the parish, followed by the Rev. Bryan B. Killikelly, who remained until 1848. His successor, the Rev. Edward Magee of New York, was still only a deacon on his arrival.

The church struggled for permanence. Sarah Pratt, an early member, recalled that when the railroad came and the canal closed, the church was located some distance from the center of town, which affected its appeal to local residents. On 26 December 1846, the treasurer reported having received $125 from Johnson for the purchase of an adjoining lot for a parsonage. The first building, Pratt recalled, "stood in a setting of forest trees and was a brown frame with arched, frosted windows, the only such windows in town... There was a choir gallery over the entrance, the chancel was ample with a beautiful walnut railing, the pews were walnut and white. There was a steeple holding a sweet-toned bell, presented by Trinity Parish, New York, and the prompt ringing of this bell, twice on Sunday and once on Wednesday evening, was the self-appointed and joyous task of John Burr, Senior Warden, during his life." The bell had arrived via the canal by way of Toledo and was later consecrated by Bishop John Hazen White. Support for the church remained cool. Mrs. Pratt recalled, "The attitude of the village was not sympathetic toward the new church; in fact, the [Episcopal] Church was not generally welcomed in this state."

Several rectors came and went in quick succession in the 1850s and 1860s, many of them dividing their time between Delphi and Logansport. During some intervals the church went without a rector and suffered from insufficient lay support. An energetic rector, the Rev. H. L. Clode Braddon, served from 1884 to 1887 and under his leadership the parish grew in size and in the number of contributions. Braddon shared his duties with the Episcopal church in Attica, Indiana.

In 1901, the congregation began construction of a second edifice of brick and stucco at 321 West Main Street, which was consecrated in 1904. It continued to struggle for regular support, however, and the parish register reveals many gaps in the number of baptisms, marriages, and burials when no clergyman was available to perform them. During these years the rectors of Trinity Logansport or St. John's Lafayette would conduct services on a sporadic basis. In the 1950s, the parish received a gift of $53,741 from the estate of Kathleen Morrison, to be held in trust of St. Mary's. However, declining membership forced the church to close its doors in 1966. The building still stands and serves as the Chapel Gallery, a local art gallery. The register of the church is housed in the diocesan archives.


Samuel Roosevelt Johnson, 1843
Anson Clark, 1844-1845
Bryan Bernard Killikelly, 1846-1848
Edward Magee, 1848-1849
Josiah Phelps, 1850-1851
Walter Emlen Franklin, 1852-1854
Alonzo James Madison Hudson, 1854-1858
Elias Birdsall, 1858-1860
Nathaniel Rue High, 1860-1862
Samuel Edson, 1862-1866
J. Edward Jackson, 1866
Thomas Jefferson Taylor, 1867-1869
Abraham V. Gorrell, 1871-1872
Levi Burt Stimson, 1872-1876
David Lardner Trimble, 1878-1879
Henry Lawrence Clode Braddon, 1884-1887
William Stone Hayward, 1887-1888
Benjamin Franklin Miller, 1889
George Moore, 1895
David Funsten Ward, 1896
James Henry Watkins Blake, 1897
Walter Jay Lockton, 1898-1905
Howard Russell White, 1905-1906
Samuel Edson, 1906
Henry Ritchie Neely, 1906
Louis Thibou Scofield, 1908-1910
Charles Frederic Westman, 1911
Robert James Long, 1919-1920
John Francis Plummer, 1920
Howard Russell White, 1920-1928
Joseph William Gubbins, 1928-1930
William Edward Hoffenbacher, 1930-1935
Raymond Mansfield O'Brien, 1938-1939
Richard Dawson Taylor, 1940-1942
Clarence Charles Reimer, 1943-1949
Robert Chesleigh Holmes, 1949
Gerald Lionel Claudius, 1951-1956
Richard Arthur Curtis, 1956-1960
Hugh Crichton Edsall, 1961-1963
Thomas Fothergill Stoll, 1964-1966

St. Mary's Parish Register of Baptisms, Confirmations, Marriages and Burials, 1844-1959

Vestry Minutes of St. Mary's, 1864-1887

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