River aux Vases


  • Telephone exchange: 883-xxxx
  • Zip code: 63670 (Ste. Genevieve)
  • Township: Beauvais
  • Previously Known as: Staabtown
  • Aux Vases in French means "with the muds"


        River Aux Vases was established in the early 1800's and was known as "the French Village."  Early residents included families of the surname Janis, Aubuchon, Valle, and Bequette.  Many lived in vertical log houses, some of which remain still.

St. Philip & St. James Parish
    As the French settlement of Ste. Genevieve expanded, it was inevitable that any clear, spring-fed stream would prove itself an irresistible attraction for the French migrants who might settle along the banks.  It was probably after the first heavy rain that this small tributary of the Mississippi received its name.  The crystal clear water took on a distinct reddish color from the clay silt washed down from the uplands by way of creeks and ditches.  So it was appropriately named River Aux Vases — clay being the substance for making vases and other pottery.
    Under the supervision of Vincentian Father A.H. Gondolfo, C.M. Pastor at Ste. Genevieve, a log chapel was built in the lowland northeast of the present church on the opposite side of the river.  It was dedicated to St. Anthony in the year 1841.
[Some of the land for this church was donated by Louis, Julien Jr, John Baptiste and (Paul) Antoine LaBruyere.  No trace of the LaBruyere settlement or St. Anthony's church remain today.]  
    In 1862, steps were taken to make River Aux Vases an independent community and parish.  Seventeen acres of land were donated by Philip Joggerst for the purpose of building a church, rectory, and cemetery.
    Father Francis X. Weiss was appointed the first pastor for the new church in 1863.  In 1865, Father H. Grosse replaced Father Weiss.  He served just a short time, when he, in turn, was replaced by Father Andres in 1867.
    The parish acquired a school in 1874 under the leadership of Father Johannes Wieger.  It wasn't until 1885 that the nuns arrived from O'Fallon lead by Sister Philippine Moser, C.P.P.S.
    Father A.H. Schaefer arrived in 1894.  He remained at the parish until his death.  During his tenure, many things were accomplished in this parish: a sacristy was added to the church, remodeling took place inside the church, a communion rail was added, a new furnace installed and a telephone was installed in the rectory in 1902.  Father Schaefer had cedar trees planted around the circular drive in front of the church, a landmark still there today.  He was shepherd of the parish for 17 years, when he died in 1911 and was the first pastor to be interred in the cemetery.
    Father Schaefer was followed by Father Broeckelmann, who served the parish for 19 years before being replaced by Father Baumgarts, who only stayed for one year.  In 1932, Father Carl Rees arrived.  After Father Ree's departure the following priests served the parish:

  • Fr. James DeMoor, 1939-1943
  • Fr. J. Bresnahan, 1943-1944
  • Fr. J. Cronin, 1944-1949
  • Fr. J. Lakebrink, 1949-1963
  • Fr. Robert Kuenz, 1963-1966
  • Fr. B. Boessen, 1966-1967
  • Fr. Hilbert Schmelz, 1867-1983
  • Fr. Bernard Boessen, 1983-

    The parish has [date?] a roster of 110 families, give or take a few, but that seems to be pretty persistent throughout the years.  The parish had two ladies join the religious life, Sister Elifreda Oberle, who died in 1974, and Sister Donna Marie Kist, who presently serves as principal at St. Agnes parish at Bloomsdale, MO.

note about the source

121 Years with the Ste. Genevieve Herald
December 3, 2002
100 Years Ago – 1902
The yearly report of the pastorate of River Aux Vases for 1902 shows 27 baptisms, seven marriages, eight burials, 33 First Communions, 77 confirmations, 467 Easter communions, 1,995 year's communions, 89 children's attendance in the parochial school.

1930 Platte Map of River Aux Vases
Thanks to Michael Steevens for this submission!  Please click to see it larger.




1. an unknown source
2. Ste. Genevieve Herald (listed throughout)
3. Ste. Genevieve: Mother of the West, 1725; Lucille Basler, 1978

1 Comment

  1. How can I find more information on someone buried at the River Aux Vases Cemetery? The headstone has been hit with a lawnmower to many times. Her name is Nora Valle, she died at age 83, I can’t make out much more than that. please Help.

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