All text and photos on this site ©Terrell County Memorial Museum, except where attribution is given.
Terrell County Memorial Museum
Father Nicolas Feminia and the altar boys
Front: Silvestre Silvas, Mario Escamilla, Roberto Arredondo, Pablo Torres, Jr., Raul Flores
Genaro Valdez, Jr., Felipe Arredondo, Adrian Rodriguez, Jr., Alejandro Marquez, Jr., Ascencion Peña, Fred Falcon.
St. James Roman Catholic Church
Tom and Mamie Kuykendall were devout and active Roman Catholics, faithful supporters of
the local congregation. When they moved to Sanderson in 1901 there was no real Catholic Church. A small one-room adobe with dirt floor,
no windows, and only one door was used by the fledgling congregation.
In addition, visits by priests were few and that
greatly upset Mamie. She wrote Bishop Forest of San Antonio and asked that he send a priest. At her faithful prodding and insistence
the bishop sent an Oblate, Father Magrim, who began to come out semi-annually. But still she was not satisfied.
of that same year the Bishop came for a visit and was given a splendid, royal reception by the congregation. This marked the beginning
of frequent visits by bishops, clergy and noted missionary priests who came to give missions. Soon it was decided that the tiny, one
room adobe was not a proper meeting place, nor was it large enough for the swelling congregation. The faithful stepped forward and
pledged to build a small church, to be a joint effort by the Anglos and Hispanics. Tom Kuykendall raised the money to purchase a lot
on Oak Street, mid-block between Second and Third Streets.
Everyone, young and old, able-bodied and frail, assisted in
the construction of the new adobe building. Some donated the adobes, others gave building materials. All gave their labor or
hired workers to take their place. The Hispanics made and donated the adobe blocks while others raised money to have pews and altar
furniture constructed in Del Rio. Named the Church of the Immaculate Conception at its inauguration in 1906, it was continually upgraded
through the years until the congregation simply outgrew the building.
In 1941, a new building was constructed at Hackberry
and Second Street and christened St. James. A virtual copy of Sacred Heart, the Kerr family church in Cambellton, the native stone
building is well appointed with beautiful slag glass windows depicting Biblical themes. A fellowship hall, education building and
rectory are also part of the campus. Although there no longer is a priest in residence, regular services are held and the adult
and youth groups are active.
Sacred Heart Church
St. James Church
Immaculate Conception Church