In 1903 the city of Spearville was growing. A rural community situated about 20 miles east of Dodge City, the community had several businesses including a blacksmith’s shop, hotels, two banks, a meat market, two banks, a news office, a lumber yard, a grain elevator, and two churches. Members of the Catholic church, however, had a long and arduous journey to Dodge City or Windhorst to attend services. At a quiet meeting in the blacksmith’s shop owned by George Torline, plans were made to organize a Catholic parish in Spearville. On October 18, 1904, St. John the Baptist Church was dedicated. In the years following, a rectory, parochial school, and sister’s house were also erected.
|By 1917 the parish had grown from the original 13 families to 70 families and the church was no longer big enough to accommodate everyone. The new structure, still standing today, was dedicated on September 22, 1918, at a total cost of $33,000. Over the next 100 years, several renovations additions, and building projects have taken place, but the strong faith and sense of community still remains strong. Currently there are over 250 families registered in this community, and although the parochial school and sisters house have been sold, the rectory and parish center are still in use.
A complete history book was compiled on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the parish in 2007. A copy of this book, entitled “ Windows to the Past” is available for $10.00 by sending a check or money order to Ginny Werner c/o St. John Parish, P.O Box 187, Spearville, KS 67876. Please make your payment payable to St. John Parish. We are not able to accept credit cards at this time.