The history of St. Joseph’s parish begins with its first priest, Father George Costello, who was also the first priest in Calhoun County. He was responsible for forming the Catholic churches in Rockwell City, Lake City and Churdan, in addition to Lohrville.
St. Joseph’s first church was built in 1886 and included families of mainly Irish descent living in a six mile radius of Lohrville. This church burned down in 1896 and a brick church was built in 1903 and had grown in size to 63 families.
In 1913, the church suffered another fire and was repaired and expanded, as the church population continued to grow. The Bishop granted Father Costello permission to say 3 masses on Sundays—as Father said Masses in Lake City, Rockwell City, and Lohrville every Sunday. Father Costello officiated 196 weddings and baptized 830 people while serving the Calhoun County parishes.
Father Michael John Kolvek succeeded Father Costello and served the parish for 20 years. One historical note for the parish is that in its first 73 years in existence, there were only two pastors in the church.
Other pastors filling the pastorial role at St. Josephs were Father Gabriel Barry (a native of Ireland), Father Vincent Beacom and Father William Buchhholz. In 1966, Father Leroy Suentjens was assigned to St. Joseph’s. Under
the direction of Father Suentjens, a new church and parish hall were constructed. The church was finished in 1970 and cost the parish $160,000.
Following Father Suentjens was Father Jerome Koening who served the parish from 1971-1986. During this time, a huge crucifix over the main alter was installed, as well as hand-carved statues of Mary and Joseph. Father Dale
Koster followed Father Koening—and then in 1996, Father Dennis Sefcik served the parish.
In 1998, a major hail storm pounded the community of Lohrville, causing much damage to the church and rectory. The church celebrated its Centennial Celebration in 1985.