Home > Parish Roots (Pre 1914) > Steady Growth of the City of Superior

Steady Growth of the City of Superior



Superior’s population in 1880 was 665. But in 1881, the Northern Pacific Railway entered Superior. Coal docks, lumber mills, merchandise docks, steel plants, flour mills, shipyards, and more railroads followed in an incredible rush. By 1890, Superior’s population was close to 12,000, and by 1900, its 31,000 residents made it the second largest city in Wisconsin.

The growth of the city of Superior at the turn of the century brought to the city peoples of various nationalities. Whereas the Belgians, and some Polish and French, were primarily associated with the foundation of Ss. Anthony and Margaret Church, other nationalities founded their own parishes to serve the needs of immigrants: The Germans founded St. Joseph, the Polish founded St. Stanislaus St. Adalbert Parishes, the French founded St. Louis Parish, and for the people of Slovak descent founded Sts. Cyril and Methodius Parish.

Although they each in their own way developed into vibrant churches on the Superior religious landscape, they have since closed. They have died out or have merged with other parishes as priest shortages and financial hardship took their toll. The only one that remains is St. Anthony Church founded by the Belgians in 1914. There is an old Belgium saying, that one should stretch out all good things in life so they can be enjoyed as long as possible. This certainly applies to the parish of St. Anthony, which continues to stretch its resources despite all odds.

The illustration of Superior below is a bird’s eye view map of Superior, Wisconsin called the “New Steel Center” which was published by Bradley-Brink Co. in 1913. The map shows the St. Louis and Superior Bays along with the ports and the metropolitan area.



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Steady Growth of the City of Superior

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