In 1851 a Glendale Association was formed to develop a residential community to appeal to families wishing to move out of rapidly expanding Cincinnati. The extension of a railroad to Hamilton made commuting by rail from downtown Cincinnati possible. The group’s motto was “One hour from the time man puts on his hat in his own front hall to his office in Cincinnati”. The Many Catholics who settled in the expanding village, homeowners and workers alike, had to attend services in Reading at SS. Peter and Paul. There was no Catholic church in the village. Occasionally, priest from SS. Peter and Paul would come to Glendale to celebrate Mass.
It could be said that St. Gabriel parish began in the Willow Avenue home of Michael Dooley. After a time a rented building at the intersection of Oak and Congress served as a temporary church. As the congregation grew, Reverend John Albrinck, pastor of SS. Peter and Paul began the work of building a Catholic church on Church Street in Glendale. The cornerstone for a church building on Church Street was laid in 1859 by Bishop Purcell and the building finished the same year.
In 1862, Reverend William Corey, the first resident pastor, added the sisters’ house and school and a parochial residence. In June 1880, a cyclone unroofed the church and house. Several pastors worked to pay the debts and finance a new church—the present St. Gabriel church building.