St. Matthew Parish was founded by Father Samuel Mazzuchelli OP on August 27, 1835 with the baptism of Henrica Murphy. Worship was held in the cabins of members until 1841 when Father Samuel built the first church which was located on the SE corner of Pious and Wisdom Street just east of the present cemetery. The first mass was said on August 1, 1841. This church building was converted to a school in 1866 and staffed by the Sinsinawa Dominican Sisters and operated until 1895. On June 19 1853 Bishop Loras of the Diocese of Dubuque laid the corner stone of the current stone church. It was not completed until 1861 when on St Patrick's Day the first mass was said. The parish property was located on four square acres donated by John Ryan and John Roberts bounded by Paece, Charity, Truth and Judgement Street. Other streets around the Church property were named virtues we could live by, Faith, Hope, Friendship, Mercy, Goodness and Happy.