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THE need for more and cheaper land to satisfy the demands of their growing families compelled many of the descendants of the original settlers of Ellis County to seek for new locations in different parts of the state. In this manner a number of new settlements sprang into existence in the course of time, and many already existing towns underwent a rapid development.
One of the latter is Ness City in Ness County, Kansas. The first Ellis County people to settle in this district were the families of Carl Weibert and John Weibert, who in 1913 took up farming some miles northeast of Ness City.
In 1915 they were followed by the families of Melchior Weibert, Andrew Bollig, George Rohr, Jacob Gabel, Martin Wendler, John Leiker, Paul Befort, Carl W. Dechant, John Heili, Conrad Boxler, Anthony Engel, and Joseph Schiffelbein. The following year one more family, that of Elias Pfarmenstiel, moved to Ness City from Topeka.
The contract for the present church was let April 22, 1912. The edifice is of frame construction, measuring 46x28 feet. It was completed in the spring of 1912, at a cost of $1142.50. Not until June 19, 1912, was the new church dedicated. The first Sunday services were held on December 29 of the same year.
The first permanent pastor was Rev. Fr. Alban Hammel, O.M. Cap., while the first superior of the Sacred Heart Hospice, which was erected later, was the Rev. Basil Heim, O.M. Cap. The present superior and pastor is Rev. Fr. Cyril Zeller, O.M. Cap.
Picture: Rev. Fr. Cyril Zeller, O.M. Cap., Pastor Sacred Heart Church, Ness City, Kans.
Picture: Sacred Heart Church and Parsonage, Ness City, Kans.
Transcribed from The Golden Jubilee of German-Russian Settlements of Ellis and Rush Counties, Kansas, August 31, September 1 and 2, 1926