Franklin in Williamson County, Tennessee — The American South (East South Central)
St. Philip Catholic Church
Missionary priests first celebrated mass in Franklin in 1821 in a private home for the two resident Catholic families. The Nashville bishopric planned a Catholic church in Williamson County as early as 1843, but it was the influx of Irish Catholic railroad workers after the Civil War that energized the effort to establish St. Philip Catholic Church in 1871. The workers hand-formed and fired the church's bricks on site and did all the construction themselves. Until 1898 the church had mission status with Father James Orengo of Italy as the first mission priest. Early notable pastors included Timothy Abbot, the first Tennessean ordained to the priesthood and John Hardeman, the first Williamson Countian ordained to the priesthood.
Father John Nolan built a rectory in 1898 and thus the church became a parish with a resident priest. Fr. Nolan, a talented wood carver, decorated both the church and rectory with his own carvings. In 1921 at the Golden Jubilee descendants of many of the church's founders donated the stained glass. St. Philip reverted to mission during World War II as the congregation shrank, then regained parish status in 1946. Rapid growth began in the 1960s as the congregation rose from 53 to 212 families. Today the original building serves as a chapel, while the 1997 1,100-seat
Early family names were Dempsey, Shea, Doyle, Kelly, Hagerty, Finn, Kernahan, Riley, Lyons, Mulloy, Sheehan and Smith.
Erected 2010 by Williamson County Historical Society.
Location. 35° 55.551′ N, 86° 52.043′ W. Marker is in Franklin, Tennessee, in Williamson County. Marker is at the intersection of East Main Street (U.S. 31) and 2nd Avenue South, on the left when traveling west on East Main Street. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 113 2nd Ave S, Franklin TN 37064, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. John H. Eaton (a few steps from this marker); Original St. Philip Catholic Church (a few steps from this marker); Union Headquarters (within shouting distance of this marker); Masonic Temple (within shouting distance of this marker); Old Factory Store (within shouting distance of this marker); Ewen Cameron (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); Franklin Cotton Factory and Foundry / Lillie Mills (about 600 feet away); Courthouse (about 600 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Franklin.
Categories. • Churches, Etc. •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on December 10, 2012, by Sandra Hughes of Killen, Usa. This page has been viewed 257 times since then and 19 times this year. Last updated on May 12, 2015, by J. Makali Bruton of Querétaro, Mexico. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on December 10, 2012, by Sandra Hughes of Killen, Usa. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.