1907: Rebuilt After Fire
St. Elizabeth of Hungary - The New Brick Church

photo credit:  Dona Fizzel Cooper Collection

360° Panorama - Look around inside St. Elizabeth's

St. Elizabeth of Hungary Catholic Church

Fire of St. Elizabeth Catholic Church

Ground breaking of the new Church

The New Brick
St. Elizabeth Catholic Church

St. Elizabeth Catholic Church (rebuilt)


St. Elizabeth Catholic Church

St. Elizabeth of Hungary Roman Catholic Church

Timeless Home:  Smethport, Pennsylvania   ©2003

The Catholic Church of Smethport was a continuation of the old mission of Instanter in Sergeant Township. Facts concerning the early church are not well established, but information indicates the first building was erected on Potato Creek near Walter DalyÝs farm. 

St. ElizabethÝs Church was founded February 15, 1868.  Through the generous donation of land at the corner of Main and Fulton Streets by John Keating and a subscription fund of $4,642 by B. D. Hamlin and Henry Hamlin and many others permitted completion of a church and parsonage in 1876.  The first pastor was Father Peter Joseph Patterson followed by Father J. J. Galligan, one of the more colorful priests to serve the church.  Born in Ireland in 1848 Father Galligan entered Allegany Seminary (now St. Bonaventure) in 1872 and was ordained in July 1877.  After assignments in Erie and Titusville, he moved to Smethport in 1880. 

On December 23, 1904, disaster struck.  An overheated furnace set the church ablaze.  The fire company was unable to save the church so they turned their attention to saving the parsonage.  The church steeple fell towards it and the wooden church was lost except chalice, vestments, linens, and candlesticks.  The Mass on Christmas Day was celebrated at 10:30 a.m. in the newly constructed Lyceum Theater at the corner of King and Mechanic Streets.  Under the direction of Father J. F. Dugan a series of many fundraisers permitted completion of a new brick church in 1907.  A catechetical and social center was built in 1955 in the basement of the church. 

The long service of the Rev. Msgr. Thomas C. Geddes brought a period of growth, peace, and renewal to its parishioners.  The parish, now under the guidance of Reverend Theodore B. Marconi, looks forward to many fruitful years.

 See Street Map at this Location
Following the horrible fire on Christmas Eve 1904 this structure was built.

See 1906 Ground Breaking After 1904 Fire

See Church Pre 1905

east on main up franklin east on main up franklin east on main west on Main down to church b/w inside to altar east on Main west on Main


By Rt. Rev. Mgr. P. J. Sheridan of the Diocese of Erie.


McKean County Miner Thursday, July 11 1907

Many Priests in Attendance- Impressive Ceremonies and and Excellent Sermon- Visiting Priests Banqueted- Services Were Largely Attended.

The new St. Elizabeth's Roman Catholic church at the corner of Main and Fulton streets was dedicated with appropriate ceremonies yesterday morning at 10:30 o'clock by Rt. Rev. Mgr. P. J. Sheridan of the Diocese of Erie and the services were attended by a large number of priests and members of the church. It was expected that Bishop Fitz..(illegible) of Erie would be present and perform the rites but it was impossible for him to come on account of sickness.

Immediately after the dedicatory ceremonies solemn high mass was celebrated. The officers of the mass were as follows: Rev. James Conlin, celebrant: Rev. Peter Canley, deacon: Rev. Francis Doyle, sub-deacon; Rev. Michael Mackin, master of ceremonies: Rev. Edward Fischer, censer bearer: Rev. Stephen Sheeban, cross bearer.

The sermon was preached by Rev. John J. F. Domellan (illegible), rector of the Cathedral of Erie and chancellor of the Diocese. His address was a masterly effort. It dealt with the church and its work from its foundation to the present time and was very instructive to his large audience.

The choir rendered excellent music and the new pipe organ, which in part was a gift from Andrew Carnegie, was presided over by Miss Erhart.

The out-of-town priests present were: Rt. Rev. Mgr. Sheridan of Erie, Rt. Rev. Mgr. Winter of Meadville, Father Hickey, O.F.M., of Allegany, Father Donnellan of Erie, Father Conlin of Girrard, Father Curley of Kane, Father Fischer of Morrisdale Mines, Father O'Brien of Austin, Father Sheehan of Coudersport, Father Sheridan of Oil City, Father Doyle of Clermont, Father Becker of Port Allegany, Father Blake of Mt. Jewett, Father Fitzgerald of Bradford, Father Mackin of Eldred, Father Donohue of Sartwell and Father Coonan of Bradford.

Immediately after dedicatory services were over Father Dugan, rector of St. Elizabeths church, invited the visiting clergy to the parsonage where an excellent repast was in waiting for them, and a pleasant hour passed.

St. Elizabeth's church is one of the handsomest and most substantial church edifices in this section of the state and too much credit cannot be given the rector, Rev. J. F. Dugen, for his untiring efforts which have been instrumental in building this temple of worship. Father Dugan has been here less than three years yet he has won the respect, confidence and friendship of every man, woman and child in Smethport.