As we move back up the hill from the Argentine neighborhood, towards downtown Kansas City, Kansas, we pass an old hulk of an abandoned hospital, (St. Joseph's) and we see two spires. The spires (which we'll show tomorrow) are for St. Joseph/St. Benedict Catholic Church, which is located in the former St. Joseph church building. Tomorrow, we'll look at the exterior of that building, but right now, we'll just peer over to the next block to the old St. Benedict's school, at 220 South 9th Street. There is no church now standing at the St. Benedict's site, and I understand the old school is now a special-needs childcare center operated in connection with Catholic Charities.
Again, I don't have any history on St. Joseph's or St. Benedict's yet, but I'm hypothesizing from the clues around St. Joseph's church (i.e., Polish banners, Polish bars, Polish inscriptions on old cornerstones) that St. Joseph's was founded by Poles, and perhaps (this is a totally unfounded guess) St. Benedict's was neighborhood's English church before consolidation. When I googled St. Benedict's, the only hint I could come up with was a note in the Notre Dame library catalogue suggesting that the consolidation might have happened sometime around 1952 (that's the date the parish history in the ND record ends). We'll see if my hypotheses hold once I get to check the history.
UPDATE JANUARY 25:
I found more information on the web about the founding of St. Benedict's. This is taken from the History of Wyandotte County Kansas and its People ed. and comp. by Perl W. Morgan. Chicago, The Lewis publishing company, 1911. 2 v. front., illus., plates, ports., fold. map. 28 cm. [Vol. 2 contains biographical data. Paged continuously.]
ST. BENEDICT'S CHURCH.
St. Benedict's parish was organized in 1903 by Father Philip William, who came to Kansas City, Kansas, from the Benedictine College at Atchison, where, for six years he held the professorship of oratory. During 1902 Father William built a frame school and church on Pacific avenue, near Boeke street, and later the structure was veneered with brick. Subsequently, a church edifice was erected on Boeke street. The school started seven years ago with sixty pupils and already has increased to three hundred and fifty, an indication of the growth of that city in sparsely settled districts.
Father William was born in Leavenworth in 1869. Early in life he determined to become a member of the teaching order of Benedictines, and joined the order when he was sixteen years old. He expected to devote his life to teaching but his talents in other directions are so great that his work has been changed.