The church was built in 1906 with a generous donation from the estate of Thomas and Margaret Tobin. The church's cornerstone carried their name.
St. Thomas' architecture was Gothic influenced. It was constructed with Twin City buff brick and Port Wing brown cut stone from Wisconsin according to a plan submitted by F.W. Kinne of Minneapolis, Minnesota.
At its completion, St. Thomas Church cost $35,000.
During the early 1990's the congregation of St. Thomas merged with the neighboring congregation of Assumption Church to form Holy Family Parish. Mass was held at both churches until 1996, when St. Thomas experienced a shortage of priests and was informed of the need for extensive repairs. Due to a lack of funds, the church decided to close its doors.
In November 1999, Architectural Antiques had an opportunity to salvage all architectural elements from St. Thomas Catholic Church in Emmetsburg, Iowa.
In an effort to save many of the components that made the building so beautiful, Architectural Antiques spent two weeks with a crew from 3 states to deconstruct the 97 year old building.
As with all antique architectural elements, the ease & ability to reuse the items, along with their rarety and value is always weighed against the time and cost to remove and recover each piece.
Architectural Antiques was able to save more than 40 individual pieces of stained glass, two confessionals, sacristy cabinets, a 12 foot 4 column portico at the top of the bell tower, four 6 foot 4 column porticos, vestment closets, dozens of arched doors, light fixtures, hundreds of ornamental pieces of wood & much more. Architectural Antiques felt it was truly blessed to save and recycle so much of the historic building.