May 24, 1901
The cornerstone of the existing Romanesque St. Mary’s church in Altus (Franklin County) was laid; the building was dedicated on September 2, 1902. From 1879 to 1902, the congregation had met in a wooden structure. Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic Church, more commonly known as St. Mary’s Church, was founded in Altus in 1879. It has been located atop Pond Creek Mountain, better known as St. Mary’s Mountain, since its inception. The congregation was founded by and for immigrants from Germany and Switzerland. The Franco-Prussian War of 1870–71 and the Kulturkampf (religious persecution) of the 1870s in Germany drove many Catholics out of Europe and to the Altus region of Arkansas.