Peoria Landmark #299
I couldn’t find any information on the carving, but here’s some info on the church courtesy of Genealogy Trails.com:
Father John Blaise Raho, the first priest assigned to serve the settlers of the area indicates in his letter that the corner stone was laid on August 4, 1839. [...]
The church ground and the cemetery that surrounds it was donated by William Patrick Mulveny, a native of Dublin, Ireland. His grave lies a few feet South of the church. The church was built by the men and women of Kickapoo. timbers were hand hewed and pegged. the sandstone was quarried near Joliet, Illinois and hauled by oxen cart to Kickapoo. The stone was laid by men and the mortar was mixed by the women.
St. Patrick’s Church remained the only Catholic Church in the area until 1861. At that time the German Catholics purchased a former Episcopalian Church in the Village of Kickapoo. this became St. Mary’s Church. Mass was offered in both churches until 1921 when the present St. Mary’s Church of Kickapoo was built. the two parishes were then combined and Mass was no longer offered in St. Patrick’s Church on a regular basis.
St. Patrick’s Church was abandoned and allowed to deteriorate until the early 1960′s. At that time the Bishop Rosati Council, Knights of Columbus, in cooperation with several other Knights of Columbus Councils in Central Illinois, requested permission from Bishop John Franz, then Bishop of Peoria, to begin a restoration program for the church. Bishop Franz granted permission and the many back breaking hours for the men who volunteered their time and talent began. The restoration program took three years and two months to complete. On the Feast of All Saints, November 1, 1964 a rededication ceremony was held.
The 1938 cemetery is also the first Catholic Cemetery in Peoria County.
Thanks to NoLemon and Billy Dennis.