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Meet Joseph I. Uebelhor

Born on Dec. 8, 1909, near Uniontown, in Perry County, IN, Joseph was the ninth child of John and Margarette
Ubelhor. Margarette died shortly thereafter on Jan. 2, 1910, from “milk sickness,” the same disease that killed Nancy Hanks Lincoln.
Since John was a widower with nine children, his brother, George, lightened John’s load by taking Joseph as his and Theresa’s tenth child.

When Joseph was 14, George and Theresa’s whole family moved to Evansville, IN. For two years, Joseph attended Memorial High School, the only one in the family to do so. Then he began working for his cousin-brothers. After World War II, they began building churches, having a specialization in stone masonry. In 1957, he and his cousin-brother, Ed, started their own construction company. In 1934, he married Roberta Drexler. They had five children: Donna (Rodgers), Joanne (Haas), Kenny, Mary (Meuth), and Sharon (Meuth).

Joseph and Roberta were devout Catholics who prayed the Rosary daily. After inheriting some of his father’s land in Perry County and purchasing more land from his cousins, Joseph created a 200 acre retreat for his family. In 1980, he began a grotto to Our Lady of Grace to thank Mary for her heavenly protection.

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Joseph and Roberta’s children and grandchildren witnessed the depth of their parents’ and grandparents’ faith in God, and some especially grew to appreciate the farm as a sacred place for the family. After Joseph’s death on September 23, 1997, his family searched for a way to preserve the Grotto, the miles of Rosary trails, the Way of the Cross, the Ten Commandments, the lifesize Crucifix, the Agony in the Garden, the Annunciation Wall, the Nativity Cave, Visitation Falls, and Mercy Falls, in addition to other religious items that might be built.

Find out how they did that here.

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