St. John Parish

Bancroft, Iowa

(St. John is not a member of the Bishop Garrigan corporation, but there is a significant number of students from the parish in the local school system.)

On November 17, 1887, Bishop Hennessey of Dubuque appointed Father Michael Nicholls pastor of an out-mission of the Algona parish in Bancroft.  On December 11 he celebrated the first in Bancroft, in a room in the public school.  In February, 1891, St. John the Baptist Church opened with its own pastor, the Rev. Anthony Joseph Schemmel.  A new church was constructed in 1915, and on Christmas of that year the first mass was celebrated there. In 1993 a large remodeling project took place, which left the church in its present form.

Classes were first held at St. John's School on September 3, 1900, taught by the Sisters of St. Francis.  After almost forty years of use, the old school became inadequate.  On May 25, 1938, Bishop Heelan dedicated a new St. John's School that served grades 1 - 12.  The building stands today.  In 1960 a committee was formed to consider the possibility of building a new high school for St. John's.  The facility was dedicated in 1963 and served as a Catholic high school until 1989, when the high school was closed due to declining enrollment.  It continued to serve as a Catholic middle school for three additional years and is now being rented to the North Kossuth Community School District.