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The cornerstone of St. Anthony Church was laid July 4, 1907. Following three unsuccessful attempts, 87 families heralding German, French, Polish and Irish traditions finally had a church to call their own, thanks to the efforts of Father Alphonse Bertele, Pastor of St. Joseph Church in Ida. Materials for the church were transported by horse-drawn mud boats from the Samaria rail yard to navigate the surrounding marshlands. Construction lasted seven months and upon completion, the church boasted one of the tallest steeples in Monroe County. Parishioners attended their first Mass in the church basement November 24, 1907. The first Mass in the sanctuary was celebrated Christmas Day by the church’s first Pastor, Father Denis Needham. Though the years have brought many changes, the church building looks much the same as in 1907, just as current parishioners hold dear to the same Catholic faith that guided those pioneer families 100 years ago.

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