History is interesting to most people. It becomes more interesting when It Is about people and places with which the reader Is familiar. For that reason, natives and former natives of Batesville will have a particular attraction in reading the few words that are put together in the following pages.
No attempt was made to compile a scholarly treatise, but an effort was made to be accurate while bringing out the things that were important to the people who have formed the St. Ludwig's - now St. Louis - Parish during the past one hundred years.
These priests, sisters and people of God were very human and reacted in a human way to the challenges, successes and failures of their times. We have tried to portray them as human beings and bring alive the events that shaped their lives.
As far as can be learned, no detailed history of this parish has ever been written. Many hours, therefore, had to be spent poring over faded papers and books written in German with Gothic script and at times well nigh illegible. A magnifying glass was a necessary tool in this work. The fruit of hours of effort at times would be the small enlightening incident that gave depth to the overall picture or confirmed some fact.
We hope the history will prove both enlightening and encouraging; that it will show people have always had goals and problems in reaching these goals; that these members of the flock and their leaders never flagged in striving for those Christian goals that are the object of every Catholic parish.
STEPHEN SCHNEIDER, O.F.M.