Kingman County Waterloo, Kansas Sign at the entrance to Riggs Arboretum
Sign at the entrance to Riggs Arboretum  
Waterloo is in Kingman County.
Founded: 1880
Area Code: 620
County Code: KM
Elevation: 1450 feet
Latitude: 37° 40' 37"N
Longitude: 97° 56' 26"W

Riggs Arboretum

A view into the woods at the Riggs Arboretum in Waterloo, Kansas John Walter Riggs established the Riggs Arboretum just north of Waterloo in 1887 and it is the oldest known arboretum west of the Mississippi River.  This ten acre stand of exotic trees has more than sixty varieties.
Grass roots efforts for restoration work expanded in 1997 with the opening of a walking trail showing 35 different specimen trees.  The arboretum is open to the public only by appointment.  Call (785) 227-3858.


St. Louis Catholic Church in Waterloo, Kansas
St. Louis Catholic Church
        St. Louis Catholic Church
(316) 444-2210
The old St. Louis Catholic school in Waterloo, Kansas
The old school

St. Louis Church

       Settlers from the Ohio area began to come to the area around Waterloo in the 1880's. Their priest was able to offer Mass occasionally in the homes of John and Jake Gerber. That name was to become a significant one to the Wichita Diocese in the vocation to the priesthood of Eugene Gerber. A church went up in 1882 only to be blown away before dedication. It was rebuilt immediately. Several priests were to serve before a resident pastor came in 1904. He arrived to find a new larger church which was built in 1901 for $5,000. Other necessary buildings followed in rapid succession; a rectory in 1905, a new cement-constructed school in 1907 and a convent in 1913.
       The pastor had to oversee the difficult task of raising a considerable sum for the new school in a financially critical time due to crop failures. This was accomplished in 1924.
       By the middle 1930's enrollment had reached 50 in the school which had been served by the Sisters Adorers of the Blood of Christ in early years and later by the Sisters of the Sorrowful Mother. Eight young women from St. Louis parish had chosen the religious life in various communities. Time caused change, however, and 30 years later, the school was closed due to lower enrollment and financial problems. The pastor moved to St. Rose in Mt. Vernon to take up residence and responsibility for both parishes.
       The year 1981 was cause for great celebration of 100 years existence. The school building has been renovated for various activities and the church has undergone extensive updating.
Church history was adapted from a centennial history of the Wichita diocese
Used by permission.



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