St. Clement Parish History
St. Clement Parish was established on August 11, 1871, when ten acres of land was deeded to the Most Reverend Peter Richard Kenrick, Archbishop of St. Louis, by Clement and Anna Grote of St. Louis and William and Adelhaid Klumpe of Pike County, Missouri, with the condition that the land be used forever for a Catholic Church to be called St. Clement and for a school. Just prior to that on April 29, 1871, Steven J. and Sophronia S. Reynolds had given to Archbishop Kenrick a tract of land in the city of Bowling Green, Lots 5 & 6 of the Reynolds Addition, with the idea that a Catholic Church be built in town, but it did not materialize.
German settlers began to purchase land desirable for farming in Pike County in 1870. Clement Grote and William Klumpe in partnership had purchased approximately 1,000 acres of land from the Abran McPike estate. There was a large brick house on this property with a large room in which slaves were once sold. It was here that Masses were offered for the local German Catholics once a month by the Franciscan Fathers of Quincy, Illinois, until the first brick church, seating 70, was completed in 1873 at a cost of $2,000.
In November 1882, St. Clement Parish received its first resident pastor, Fr. Charles Brockmeier. The next year, a one-room school was built and the first rectory the following year in 1884. The rapidly growing parish built a new two-room school in 1891.
Construction of a new church of Gothic design, costing $10,000 was begun on August 18, 1897 and was dedicated on May 11, 1898.
A new four-room school was erected in 1925 with living quarters for the Sisters of St. Francis of Oldenburg, who had come in 1917 and continued until 1985.Since that time the children have been taught by lay teachers.
The Golden Jubilee of St. Clement Church was celebrated on October 2, 1923. At that time, there were 115 families numbering about 600 individuals.
In 1961, a new school was built and a new rectory was completed in 1964. Because the parish was growing, it was decided in 1968 to build a new and larger church. The present church was dedicated on October 19, 1969.
A new Parish Center was built in 2013 and dedicated by Bishop Gaydos on October 13, 2013.