History of St. Matthews Church

Submitted By
Mrs. Mary Parrott
I have compiled this work from the original records of St. Matthews Catholic Church.

St. Matthews church was a log structure located on the road (now called St. Matthews Church Road) connecting the left fork Finley Ridge Road and St. Joseph Road (sometimes called Lagoon Road) in Marion County, Kentucky.  The actual date the church was built is not known.  It is known however that three acres of land was purchased from Rose Ann Davis and her husband, John Hardin Davis by Rt. Rev. Wm. McCloskey, Roman Catholic Bishop of Louisville for the amount of $15.00 on 30 May 1874. (Marion Co. Deed Bk. 8 pg. 172) Deed was recorded and certified 8 June 1874.  The following description was given in the deed:

"Viz Three acres of land lying and being in Marion County Kentucky and on the dividing ridge between Knob Creek and Clear Creek.  Beginning at a Stone at the mouth of said Davis' lane thence N 26 3/4 W 16 poles to a stone in said lane thence S 57 1/2 W 30 poles to a stone thence S 216 3/4 E 16 poles to a Clump of White Walnuts thence N 57 1/2 E poles to the Beginning as Surveyed by David Ray"

This is the same land that was sold to Mr. Pleas Begley of Finley in 1950 with the exception of the area of the cemetery, which Mr. Begley was to maintain "forever". (Marion Co. Deed Bk. 67 pg. 246)

"Prior to the building of St. Matthews the community held mass at Mr. & Mrs. Charles Buckman's home on the road between Jessietown and St. Joseph, Ky." (Taken from 'St. Francis De Sales, Spurlington, Ky. - Our Lady of Fatima, Phillipsburg, Ky. - Our Lady of the Hills, Finley, Ky., Holy Year, 1975' church register)

In 1898 St. Matthews was made a mission church of Holy Name of Mary Church, Calvary, Ky.  There is a paragraph written in the baptismal records of Holy Name of Mary church confirming this.

The paragraph reads:

"The Boundary of the parish was changed by the Rt. Rev. Bishops to include westward from the New Market & Campbellsville Turnpike St. Matthews Church-and as far as Knob Creek.  The following were permitted by Bishop to belong to St. Matthews-January 27, 1898:

Wm. Buckman          R. A. Buckman          Hilary Thompson          Henry Settles
G. W. Buckman         Taylor Settles           John B. Martin              Joseph Settles
Ed. Buckman            W. J. Mills                  F. M. Martin                  Wm. Boarman
Ed. Thompson          J. W. Mills                  J. R. Martin                   Edward Boarman
W. T. Thompson        Ben Settles              G. W. Boarman              Lucy Boarman
G. W. Thompson       Wm. Settles               Charles M. Ash             Rose Green
M. A. Thompson        Thomas C. Mills       David Ray                      Matt Polley
Nace Thompson        ______ Mills             Hattie B. Lanham          James Stapp
Henry Cooper            W. S. Sturgeon         John Vancleave           Ben Beauchamp
Amanda Harding"

The first entry in the St. Matthews record book dates 1883 and the last entry dates 1907.  It was at this time that the congregation moved to Finley and the name was changed to Our Lady of the Hills.  The lumber from St. Matthews Church was used to build and add 10 feet to the church.

Records dating from August 1896 to august 1897 are excluded.  A note written on the original records stated "Inquire at Raywick Church".  Otherwise, this is a complete copy of the original records of St. Matthews Church.

Note:  I did inquire at St. Francis Xavier Church, Raywick, Ky.  There were no records concerning St. Matthews Church among their records.