“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
North Utica in LaSalle County, Illinois — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)

Père Marquette

Père Marquette Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Duane and Tracy Marsteller, October 31, 2021
1. Père Marquette Marker
Inscription.  [Front]
Born at Laon France June 1 1637 he died near
Ludington Michigan May 18 1675
Devoted missioner and heroic priest-explorer
he offered the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass near
this spot Maundy Thursday and Easter Sunday 1675
and established the first Christian mission in
the Illinois country
This monument erected under
Archbishop Joseph H. Schlarman Bishop of Peoria
by the contributions of many was unveiled by
His Eminence Samuel Cardinal Stritch
Archbishop of Chicago Sunday October 14 1951

October 24 1674 Father Marquette set out from the Mission of St. Francis Xavier at the present de Pere Wisconsin with two voyageurs, Jacques le Castor and Pierre Porteret, with orders to proceed to the Mission la Conception among the Illinois.

From December 4 1674 to March 30 1675 they wintered on the banks of the Chicago River and reached the Illinois village of the Kaskaskia Indians April 8 1675.

He was received there as an angel from Heaven. He visited all the cabins, teaching and instructing the natives. Then he
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resolved to address all in public. It was a beautiful prairie close to a village which was selected for the Great Council. The audience was composed of 500 chiefs and elders seated in a circle around the father, and of all the young men, who remained standing, they numbered 1500 men without counting the women and children.

He explained the principal mysteries of our religion and the purpose that brought him to their country. Above all he preached to them Jesus Christ, on the very eve of that great day on which he had died upon the cross for them, as well as for the rest of mankind: then he offered the Holy Sacrifice, the first parish Mass in the Illinois country.

On Easter Sunday, all things being prepared as on Thursday, he celebrated the holy mysteries for the second time. By these two sacrifices, the first ever offered there to God, he took possession of that land in the name of Jesus Christ and gave to that mission the name of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin.

Drawn from Father Claude Dablon in "Jesuit Relations and Allied Documents" LIX
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Churches & ReligionNative Americans. In addition, it is included in the National Historic Landmarks series list. A significant historical date for this entry is April 11, 1675.
Location. 41° 20.36′ 
Père Marquette Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Duane and Tracy Marsteller, October 31, 2021
2. Père Marquette Marker
Plaque on back side.
N, 89° 0.761′ W. Marker is in North Utica, Illinois, in LaSalle County. Marker is at the intersection of West Johnson Street and South Division Street, on the left when traveling west on West Johnson Street. Marker is by St. Mary's Catholic Church. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 303 S Division St, Utica IL 61373, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 2 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Canal Warehouse (approx. 0.2 miles away); Aitken School (approx. 0.2 miles away); Tornado Memorial (approx. 0.2 miles away); René Robert Cavelier Sieur de La Salle (approx. 1.6 miles away); Starved Rock (approx. 1.6 miles away); Commemorating the Deeds of the Union Veterans of the Civil War (approx. 1.7 miles away); This Plaque is Placed in Memory of the Patriots (approx. 1.7 miles away); Fort St. Louis (approx. 1.7 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in North Utica.
Regarding Père Marquette. Excerpt from St. Mary's Catholic Church's website:
… That mission eventually became the Church of Saint Mary. In 1858 a small frame church was built which was destroyed by fire seventeen years later and a brick and stone church was built on the site of the former Saint Mary School.

In 1883 the Reverend Charles Xavier O'Neill was appointed the first pastor of Saint Mary's but never took up residence there. The Reverend
Père Marquette Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Duane and Tracy Marsteller, October 31, 2021
3. Père Marquette Marker
Canon Jeremiah Moynihan was appointed the first resident pastor in 1884. The Reverend Francis J. O'Reilly succeeded Canon Moynihan in 1888 and in the same year erected the present church.

Also see . . .  Jacques Marquette. Wikipedia entry on the explorer priest. (Submitted on November 4, 2021, by Duane and Tracy Marsteller of Murfreesboro, Tennessee.) 
Credits. This page was last revised on November 4, 2021. It was originally submitted on November 3, 2021, by Duane and Tracy Marsteller of Murfreesboro, Tennessee. This page has been viewed 302 times since then and 48 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on November 3, 2021, by Duane and Tracy Marsteller of Murfreesboro, Tennessee.

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Apr. 22, 2024