The History of the Fr. Rankin House
We recently renamed the White House on 314 Duke St (adjacent to the rectory) to the Fr. Rankin House. The reason for the name change stemmed from the significant work Fr. Rankin undertook in the 1930s and 1940s for the parish. The education of the parish children was a major concern of Fr. Rankin. In 1934, he was forced to close the Brothers’ School for boys because it was too costly to operate two schools during the Depression. Seeing that the old school was becoming increasingly inadequate, Fr. Rankin made several attempts to purchase land for the building of a new school. Eventually, he procured the land on Green St where the present school exists today. Fr. Rankin also played a large role in the complete restoration of the church following the fire in 1929. He built the hallway between the sacristy and the rectory, and completely refurbished the sacristy following the fire. After the completion of the restorations to the church, Fr. Rankin went about enlarging the rectory. When he was remodeling the rectory, he wanted to cut a new window in his dining room (currently the pastor’s office) to let in more light. However, he needed the next door neighbor’s permission at 314 Duke St to alter the property. When the neighbor objected, Fr. Rankin used his personal money to buy the house for the parish.