While the first Mass of St. Joseph Church was celebrated in 1843 in the home of the Wertz family, St. Joseph Chuch was officially established in 1866 in a small frame church which was built on Church Street. Fr. Joseph Suehr was the first pastor of St. Joseph Parish and acquired the original property on the site now occupied by the parish buildings.
Pastors who worked at St. Joseph after Father Suehr were Fathers John Ruttinger, Louis Woelfel and Constantine Hegerich. Under Father Hegerich, a church was built in 1887 on the corner of Center and Second Avenues. Father Hegerich also established a parish cemetery in 1894 at North and Eighth Streets.
While the parish school was started in 1871 with a staff of lay teachers, it did not operate on a regular basis until 1882. During Father Hegerich's pastorate, the School Sisters of Notre Dame came to St. Joseph and taught succeeding generations. The school continues to flourish with a staff of lay teachers.