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Detailed History of
St. Mary's Immaculate Conception Church

One-half mile from the small settlement of Custer, standing on the hillside, is our Catholic Church dedicated to the Immaculate Conception of Mary, usually known as St. Mary’s. The first mass was celebrated in 1840 in the home of Owen-Fehely. (This home was on the north side of Hwy. 10E across from the Weisbrot farm). First settlers were mostly Irish immigrants coming directly from Ireland. Some Polish families had settled in and around Stevens Point but came in greater numbers in the 1860’s. 


The Spiritual needs of the people were in the care of missionary priests, some coming from as far as Milwaukee. In 1853, St. Stephen’s was established in Stevens Point and the people of Custer were visited quite regularly by the priest from that congregation.


In 1875, the church was built under the supervision of contractor Michael Herbert. Most of the work was done by parishioners. On November 16th, 1875, the church was dedicated by Bishop F. X. Krautbauer of the Green Bay Diocese.

Here are some highlights of improvements that our community has invested in over the years-- we hope the Building Together project will be a great addition to this list!

1875 - The rectory was built

  • 1892 - Sanctuary enlarged and sacristy added

  • 1906 - Electric lighting system installed

  • 1920 - Up-do-date bath and water system installed

  • 1924 - Hot air furnace installed in church and rectory

  • 1936 - Church basement excavated, constructed, cost $2,000

  • 1951 - 12 foot stone crucifix erected at rear of cemetery

  • 1964 - Entrance enclosed, added choir loft and bathrooms, church redecorated, carpeting installed, basement paneled and parking lot black-topped all for $18,000

  • 1972 - Addition to church for extra seating and classrooms, cost $41,400, 160 church families

  • 1985 - Sanctuary and church redecorated, new pews and carpet installed, new altar and crucifix, cost $35,000

  • 1991 - Stained glass windows for entrance donated.

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