St. Mary (Williams, Iowa)


St. Mary (Williams, Iowa)


“While resident pastor of Ackley from 1870 to 1881, Father Peter O’Dowd covered at least five counties in his missionary work among the scattered Catholic settlers. After visiting the Williams area in Hamilton County to celebrate Mass in their homes for a few years, Father O’Dowd proposed building a church. He found a score of families in 1875 willing to build a small frame church on an acre of land given by Lawrence McCue. It was named Saint Mary Church.”

- Rev. Msgr. Edgar Kurt, “Parish Profile #159, Saint Mary Parish, Williams.” Dubuque: The Witness, 28 January 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"


History of the parish over the span of 144 years, including information about its priests and parishioners.

Table Of Contents

Anniversary 125th Booklet 1875-2000 (1 booklet)

Annual History and Guild 1990-1991 (1 packet)

Bulletin 28 October 1990 (1 document)

History 1937-1961 (1 document)

Parish Listings 2000-2001 (1 packet)

Pastor/Priest List (1 set)

Pastor List and Major Developments 1928-1958 (1 document)

Petition in Equity 1901 (1 packet)

Photographs: Church ca. 1961, Pastor or Priest ca. 1961, Rectory ca. 1961 (3 photographs)

Priest List and Timeline 1870-1990 (1 document)

Ecclesiastical and Confraternitatis Certificates 1922, 1932, 1937, 1939, 1940, 1943, 1955 (7 documents)

“Enjoy Paschal meal at Williams church.” Webster City: Daily Freeman Journal, 16 March 1970.

“Leaven Weekends bring out growth in parish community.” Dubuque: The Witness, Vol. LXVI No. 7, 6 April 1986.

“Warm Hearts.” Dubuque: The Witness, 6 May 1990.

“St. Mary’s in Williams celebrating 125 years.” Dubuque: The Witness, 25 June 2000.



“St. Mary (Williams, Iowa),” Loras College Digital Collections, accessed February 24, 2024,