German Catholics of Ludlow and vicinity requested permission from the
bishop of Covington to establish a church in their community in 1870.
Permission to proceed was received in 1872. At this time, a combination
church and school building was constructed on Adela Street. The building
housed the parish school on the first floor and the church on the second.
The building, which still stands today, was dedicated by Bishop Augustus
Maria Toebbe on November 3, 1872.
Originally, St. Boniface School was taught by layman. By 1881, enrollment
had reached 51. The early lay teachers included: Frank Grousen, Mr. Alberhardy,
Agatha Reardon and Charles Boehm.
St. Boniface Parish and School greatly advanced under the leadership of
the Reverend Herman J. Kramer (1890-1903). Kramer arranged for the Sisters
of Divine Providence to teach in the parish school. In 1892, the parish
began constructing a new church. The Romanesque Revival structure was
the largest church building in town. The new church was dedicated on August
13, 1893, with 2,000 participants on hand. The building was designed by
Ludlow architect, John H. Boll. By 1900, St. Boniface Parish boasted a
congregation of 510 members.
new church was nearly destroyed by the 1915 tornado. The heavy winds left
only the nave and tower standing. Parishioners raised $30,000.00 to restore
the building, which was rededicated on August 13, 1916. Architect Howard
McClory designed the reconstructed building.
The anti-German hysteria of World War I brought an end to German instruction
at St. Boniface School in 1920. By the late 1920's, St. Boniface Parish
and School were growing. In 1928, the parish purchased a home on Church
Street to be used as a rectory. In 1933, a two- room addition was added
to the school building. At that time, enrollment was approaching 200.
Boniface Parish suffered from urban flight in the years following World
War II. Catholics in great numbers began moving from Ludlow to the suburbs.
School enrollment began to drop. In 1967, diocesan officials merged St.
Boniface and St. James Schools. During its first year of existence, St.
James-St. Boniface School enrolled 267 with a faculty consisting of five
Sisters of Charity of Nazareth and four lay teachers. For a few years,
both school buildings were used. However, in 1971, the entire school (grades
1-8) was housed exclusively in the former St. James School building.
In 1980, Bishop William A. Hughes announced the merger of St. Boniface
and St. James Churches in Ludlow. St. Boniface Church, School and convent
were sold to the Bethlehem Baptist Temple of Cincinnati. The closing services
at St. Boniface Church were held on March 16, 1980.
Membership at the the Bethlehem Baptist Temple slowly decreased over the next 30 years. In January 2009 the church property was sold to St. Luke non-denominational church. Under their care much of the 1893 church was restored. However, the church proved unsuccessful. In 2012 the property was sold to Trinty Presbyterian Church (PCA).
Schroeder, David E., United in Faith: A History of the Catholic Church
in Ludlow, Kentucky 1872-1997.