“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Pensacola in Escambia County, Florida — The American South (South Atlantic)

St. Joseph Catholic Church

St. Joseph Catholic Church Marker image. Click for full size.
By Mark Hilton, March 10, 2014
1. St. Joseph Catholic Church Marker
Inscription. The Sisters of Mercy began the Catholic Church's work for blacks in Pensacola when they opened St. Joseph Colored and Creole School on September 8, 1879. St. Joseph Catholic Church, built in 1891, was the 1st African-American parish in the Diocese of Mobile. The first Church was a two-story frame building. The present Gothic revival style church, built in 1894, cared for the needs of African-Americans, Creoles, Germans, Italians, and Irish immigrants. In the 1920's, Fr. Charles Hartkoff, the church's second pastor, built and opened St. Joseph orphanage which took in homeless African-American boys. In 1939, Fr. Joseph J. Raleigh closed and reopened one school operated by the Sisters of Charity of Convent Station, New Jersey. Two years later, St. Joseph High School opened, the only Catholic African-American high school in the state of Florida at the time. At its height, St. Joseph's operated "Maryall Negro Missions" which included four chapels: Mary Immaculate, Our Lady of Victory, Our Lady of Fatima and Our Lady of Africa. Other ministries included Our Lady of Fatima Mission School and Our Lady of Angels Maternity Hospital for African-American women located beside the Church's grammar and high school.
Erected 2010 by the Knights of Peter Claver Council 233 & the Florida Department of State. (Marker
St. Joseph Catholic Church image. Click for full size.
By Mark Hilton, March 10, 2014
2. St. Joseph Catholic Church
The marker is far to the right, in profile.
Number F-697.)
Location. 30° 24.53′ N, 87° 13.061′ W. Marker is in Pensacola, Florida, in Escambia County. Marker is at the intersection of West Government Street and South Spring Street, on the right when traveling west on West Government Street. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 140 West Government Street, Pensacola FL 32502, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Gen. Andrew Jackson Residence (approx. 0.2 miles away); William Dudley Chipley (approx. ¼ mile away); Gen. Andrew Jackson (approx. ¼ mile away); Trader Jon's (approx. ¼ mile away); Colonial Pensacola - Archaeology Brings History to Life (approx. ¼ mile away); Site of Pensacola Opera House (approx. ¼ mile away); Gateway to Florida’s History (approx. ¼ mile away); The Life and Legacy of T. T. Wentworth, Jr. (approx. ¼ mile away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Pensacola.
Categories. African AmericansChurches & Religion
Credits. This page was last revised on August 1, 2017. This page originally submitted on March 12, 2014, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama. This page has been viewed 703 times since then. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on March 12, 2014, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.
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