St. Thomas Catholic Church, Nelson County, Kentucky


St. Thomas Catholic Church in rural Nelson County, Kentucky, is a small church begun by Maryland emigrants to Kentucky at the end of the 18th century.  From the above picture you can see the church is beautiful – small, but quite beloved by its parishioners and visitors alike.  There are 16 stone tablets within the brick walkway, commemorating important dates in the history of the parish.


  • C. 1787 Edward and Thomas Howard settle on Popular Neck of Beech Fork River.
  • C. 1795 Thomas and Ann Howard construct log house.
  • 1810 Thomas Howard wills farm to Catholic Church.
  • 1811 – 1869 St. Thomas Seminary operates.
  • Site of time capsule to be opened July 3, 2052, St. Thomas Church.
  • 1812 St. Thomas Parish is established.  Congregation of the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth begins.
  • 1814 – 1822 First Nazareth School operates.
  • 1816 St. Thomas Church dedicated.
  • 1850 – 1889 St. Thomas Orphanage operates.
  • 1914 – 1931 St. Thomas Parish conducts schools (in log house)


  • 1957 – 1998 St. Thomas Parish conducts school in brick building.
  • 1998 St. Thomas Parish embraces mission of lifelong formation and education.
  • 2002 re-dedication of St Thomas Church facility.
  • 2006 St. Thomas Church altar consecrated.  bishop Flaget log house dedicated.
  • 2008 St. Thomas Parish commemorates 200th anniversary of the Archdiocese of Louisville.
  • 2012 July 1 commemorates the bicentennial of St. Thomas Parish.  July 14 dedication of the Parish Life Center.

The cemetery is a mixture of old and new stones.


James M. Norris, 1843 – 1925.  His wife, Mary F., 1842 – 1917


Our Kate, daughter of H. A. and A. E. Miles, born November 20, 1858, died March 27, 1870


Sacred to the memory of John Miles, born the 6th day of June 1773, died the 29th of July 1833.


To the memory of John M. Vowels who was born 3rd August 1812 and died June 7th 1817.


To the memory of Margaret Abell who died January 1818, aged 59 years.  This tribute is inscribed by her children.


Henry Greenwell, born April 10, 1837, died February 27, 1891

1 reply »

  1. In 1900 cencus of the school, my father is listed among the children. William Mattingly. Nelson County Ky.

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