St. Louis Besancon Catholic Church was established in the mid-nineteenth century, in the year of Our Lord 1846. The early French settlers followed in the footsteps of missionary priests and fur traders who walked these paths over a century before.
These settlers cherished their Faith tradition and, led by numerous priests like Rev. Julius Benoit, they erected a log church on the site of the present church. As roadways were cleared through this wooded region, our church became established along the Lincoln Highway. The Catholic Christian community grew, and the lake-bottom land was cleared and drained. This rich farming area is now known as the Maumee River Valley.
With ongoing development, it was deemed that the smaller log church should be replaced by a more permanent brick church, and the cornerstone was placed high on the bell tower in 1871. The brick kiln was located just south across the road from the church. The brick exterior was later sealed with cement-mortar to give it the appearance of stone. This process, called shamrocking, has helped preserve the soft brick structure. In 1998, the exterior surface of cement-mortar was repaired and sealed with cement paint to brighten it to a creamy white color
This, in a nutshell, is the story of our parish church – St. Louis Besancon. This church is the pride of our community, our sacred place to worship God. Here we celebrate births and baptisms, deaths and burials, and all significant events of our human lives. The ebb and flow of life goes on, and in this day, all of this is entrusted to us to be wise stewards and pass on the light of Christ to all who follow.