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St. Joseph's Catholic Church (Krebs, Oklahoma) facts for kids

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St. Joseph's Catholic Church
St. Joseph's Catholic Church, Krebs, OK.jpg
34°55′57″N 95°43′06″W / 34.9326°N 95.7184°W / 34.9326; -95.7184
Location 290 NW Church Street,
Krebs, Oklahoma
Country United States
Denomination Roman Catholic
Status Active
Founded 1886 (1886)
Founder(s) Dom Isidore Robot
Architectural type Eclectic
Years built 1903–1907
Parish St. Joseph's
Diocese Tulsa

St. Joseph's Catholic Church is a historic Roman Catholic church building located at 290 NW Church Street in Krebs, Oklahoma, United States. The first church building, was constructed of wood in 1886. It burned down in 1902, and a new brick structure was built in 1903 and added to the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP) in 1980.


This church traces its history to 1885, when two Benedictine priests, Father (Fr.) Isidore Robot and Brother Dominic Lambert, arrived in the area and built a small house and chapel where St. Joseph's Cemetery is now. At the time, the area was part of Tobucksy County, Choctaw Nation. The site was a private home owned by Louis Roth. After the mass, a building committee was formed to develop plans to build a church and school. A wood frame church and a two-room school building were completed in 1886. This was the first parochial school in what is now Oklahoma and was operated by Sisters of Mercy. Fr. Robot died February 15, 1887. Fr. Bernard Murphy was appointed as the first pastor.

The church and rectory were destroyed by fire on December 13, 1902. Construction of the church now in use began in 1903, and was completed in 1907. The new rectory was finished in 1906. The only part of the original church that could be salvaged was the bell, which has been reinstalled in the campanile of the new structure. The interior of the church was extensively remodeled in 1965 to accommodate the liturgical changes caused by Vatican II. A new chapel was added to the church in 1978.

Physical appearance

The NRHP application for the current (1903) church described the building's architecture as eclectic. The exterior is constructed of red brick. A campanile (tower) sits above the entrance, and contains the original church bell. The exterior has several Romanesque elements: the campanile, the arcaded opening, the small wheel window and the other arched windows around the facade. Subsequent renovations have not altered the exterior appearance.

The interior, on the other hand, was substantially changed during the 1966 renovation. The principal changes were:

  • The appearance of the altar was subdued;
  • Paintings were removed and stored;
  • Walls were covered with ivory paint;
  • Ceiling was painted white.
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