Out of the Kansas prairie
Far removed from a town
Stands a lofty pinnacled structure
Well worthy of renown
For it speaks of the hopes of people
Unswerving, devoted and true;
The spirit to live, to toil, to give
And a faith all needs to renew.
Once lately, I stood near its portal,
Admiring it from the street
When a snowy dove alighted
ON the stand at the Virgin’s feet
At the base of the white marble statue
It rested as though to give
A message of peace to a tired heart,
An ideal for which to live.
- Charlotte Mofatt-Kinsley,
Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish – Windthorst, Kansas centennial book, 1978.
Windthorst is in Ford County.
|Beautiful windows! The Windthorst Heritage group is raising funds to repair them. The windows were installed in 1916. Work is planned for this summer. Project cost is around $105,000.|
WINDTHORST - There are no stores and only a few homes along the wide main street.
Windthorst never had much of a business district. The post office closed at the turn of the 20th century. The old school, which closed as a high school in 1970, burned about a decade ago, and the gymnasium - where standout athletes took to the hardwood - was torn down in recent years.
Yet, from several miles away, a steeple of a church emerges on the nearly treeless prairie - one of just a few vestiges of a town centered on the Catholic faith.
It hasn't been a parish church since 1997 - when the Catholic Diocese of Dodge City closed it largely because of a shortage of priests. But folks here don't want to forget their past, nor do they want to see the nearly 100-year-old church, crumble away.
"It's one of a kind," said retired farmer Bob Hattrup, whose farmstead is not far from the townsite.
Hattrup talks lovingly about the prairie church - the pillar that has long held the community together - even after the parish closure.
"We've always been a pretty close-knit community," he said.
To read more on this community, click here