HERE ARE PHOTOS of Holy Angels Church of the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois. The church is located about 20 road miles northeast of downtown Saint Louis in Wood River, Madison County, Illinois. Originally founded as Saint Bernard Church, it merged in the year 2005 with Saint Kevin Church in East Alton.
As far as I can tell, Saint Bernard was founded in 1919; this church building appears to date from the late 1950s or early 1960s. Unfortunately I was unable to find any more information on the history of this church.
Wood River gets its name from la rivière du Bois — French for ‘Wood River’ or ‘Wood Creek’. This swampy watercourse is known locally as Wood River Creek. Here was the site of Camp Dubois, the starting point for the famed Lewis and Clark expedition to explore the Louisiana Purchase. Here also was the site of the Wood River massacre during the war of 1812.
In 1907 Standard Oil commenced construction on a refinery here; workers originally commuted by street car from Saint Louis, but towns quickly sprung up around the refinery, including the neighborhood called Little Italy, which was the home for Italian and Croatian workers and their families, while Benbow City was known for its lawlessness, saloons, gambling, and disreputable houses.
Standard Oil intended that Wood River be a model city, and it purchased numerous Sears Catalog homes. Although the refinery closed in 1981, the Wood River area remains highly industrialized.
For more historical information see the website for the Wood River Heritage Council.
I was traveling in the area, and noticed this church on my GPS. I arrived at the church soon after the beginning of Holy Mass. I took this photo through the glass door in the narthex.
Marian garden outside of the church.
In the narthex is this plaque showing the history of the parish merger.
345 East Acton Avenue
Wood River, Illinois 62095