St. Mary (Dike, Iowa)


St. Mary (Dike, Iowa)


"In the 1860s Irish immigrants came to Grundy County to settle fertile Grant Township several miles south of Dike. The first settler was John B. Murphy in 1866. Having first farmed in Michigan, he was attracted to the Iowa farmland. He was soon followed by others of the same name: John Murphy from Wisconsin and six Murphy brothers from near New Melleray Abbey west of Dubuque. It is no wonder the area came to be known as Murphy Settlement, which predates the founding of Dike by more than 25 years. It was probably the first permanent Catholic settlement in Grundy County."

- Rev. Edgar Kurt, "Parish Profile #194," The Witness, 7 October 1990.


The Archdiocese of Dubuque.
The Center for Dubuque History at Loras College.


Burback, Emily. Burns, Daniel. Gibson, Michael. Oberfoell, Carol. Waldmeir, Helen. Waldmeir, John.


Various primary and secondary sources.




Loras College
Kucera Center for Catholic Thought
Frank and Ida Goedken Series: "Spiritual Life in the Upper Mississippi River Valley"


ca. 1866-
History of the parish, including information about its priests and parishioners.

Table Of Contents

Centennial documents (7 documents; 1 booklet)
Construction documents Financial documents (6 documents)
Parish history (4 documents)
Parish incorporation documents (4 documents)

Amling, George. Chandler, Cecile. Dig, Dennis. Runke, Richard. Murphy, James. Schmidt, John. Woodley, Nancy. “Constitution for St. Mary’s Parish Council.” May 1985.

Funke, Richard. Letter to Sister Elvira regarding St. Mary’s constitution. 19 June, 1985.

Hanus, Jerome. “Decree; Canonically Establishing the Territorial Parish of Holy Family; Grundy Center, Iowa.” 16 July, 2004.

Unknown author(s). Parish pastor lists. Circa 1984. Unknown photographer(s). “Murphy’s Settlement” and “St. Mary’s, Urbana.” The Witness, 13 July, 1997.



“St. Mary (Dike, Iowa),” Loras College Digital Collections, accessed December 3, 2023,