The St. Aloysius Church Historic Site in the unincorporated community of Greenbush, Kansas has a church and a church ruins sitting almost side by side. The 1887 St. Aloysius Church was replaced by a larger building in 1907, but the newer building was struck by lightning and destroyed in 1982 and the congregation returned to the older building. The registered Kansas state historic site is very picturesque.
THE LEGEND OF GREENBUSH
According to legend, in 1869, Father Phillip Colleton, was caught at this site by a furious hail and thunder- storm. The frightened priest took refuge under his saddle and vowed that if his life was spared, he would build a church on this spot. The fervent promise resulted in the establishment of St. Aloysius, Greenbush. The first Catholic Church erected in Crawford County was a wooden frame structure completed in 1871. Located on the Historic “Mission Road”. The church was destroyed by a storm in 1877. Parishioners quarried limestone from Hickory Creek and completed the second church in 1881. The first resident pastor, Father F. M. Verdan, arrived in 1882 and served the church for fifty years. A larger church was needed and completed in 1907. The 1881 church was converted into a community building. The third church stood for 75 years as a landmark before it was struck by lightning and burned in 1982. The ruins remain. The 1881 church was renovated into a place of worship. Thus the second church became the fourth church on March 9, 1986 and served the people until it closed in 1993. Father Colleton’s promise will continue.