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Clerical bead roll of the Diocese of Alton, Ill. online

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his affliction, which ultimately culmi-
nated in death, dropsy. With a won-
derful buoyancy of spirit which never
left him, he submitted to God's holy
will and calmly awaited the day and
moment when the Angel of Death
was to beckon him from hence. Sur-
rounded by the Community of the
Good Sisters, Father Stick expired
Aoig. 22, 1914, attaining the age of 75
years and six months.

After the solemn obsequies which
were largely attended by Bishop,
clergy and laity, his mortal remains
were buried in St. Paul's cemetery of
Highland.

Rev. Ferdinand Stick was born at
Birkesdorf, in the Archdiocese of
Cologne, February 10, 1839. When
fifteen years of age he emigrated, with
his parents, to this country, landing
on our shores July 1, 1854, and set-
tling near Guttenberg, la. His early
classical education he received at the
College of Bardstown, Ky. Of his
first arrival at the college, he often
spoke. "When I presented myself
there," he related, "I was but a small
little chap and about as green as you
could make him. 1 wore my German
cap and carried my few belongings
wrapped up in a multicolored big
bandana. The rector and professors
were much amused at my appear-
ance."

Young Stick carved his way through
college and splendidly acquitted him-
self of his studies. Later on he was
sent to Teutopolis to finish the pre-
scribed courses in Philosophy and
Theology, at the end of which he was
ordained by Bishop Junker at Alton,
December 6, 1863. R. I. P.



Page One Hundred and Thirty -Three



REV. JOSEPH STILL.



"Rest now is yours, O noble priest,

Your work you've done, and well,
For truth you fought any always taught
As countless souls can tell".

It was on Easter-Tuesday morning,
April 3rd, 1907. Large crowds of peo-
ple wended their way to St. John's
church, of Quincy. Their features
bore the stamp of grief and mourning.



29. The solemn obsequies prior to
final interment were had that morning
at which Rev. P. Andrew, O. F. M.,
delivered the funeral oration.

The news of the death of this popu-
lar and beloved priest were every-
where received with expressions of
sympathy and sorrow, for to all, Cath-




Two Bishops Right Revs. Ryan and
Janssen followed by a long line of
surpliced clergy entered the sanctu-
ary and when there commenced the
recitation of the Office of the Dead.
Upon a raised dais surrounded by a
profusion of palms, flowers and burn-
ing candles, were catafalqued the re-
mains of the beloved pastor of the
parish. Rev. Father Joseph Still, who
after a long and painful illness borne
with heroic patience and resignation
to God's holy will had yielded to the
inevitable, dying on the Friday pre-
vious thereto Good Friday March

Page One Hundred and Thirty-Four



olics and Protestants alike, he had
proved a warm-hearted, loyal friend
and benefactor. Broad-minded, liberal
and kind frank and just, strong in
mind and strong in character, such
were the traits of Father Still. All
who knew him respected him, anrt
those who knew him well loved him.

Father Still was a plain man, he
was an ordinary man to meet, he was
a commoner easy to approach and
easy to understand. He was plain
spoken and outspoken, a man who
gained one's respect from the start
and held it. It was his frankness that



was captivating, his sincerety that was
fascinating. He was a power for good,
a leader among men and his life was
an example to follow.

Father Still was undaunted by re-
verses. When in February, 1891, St.
Mary's church was reduced to ashes
he came to the rescue with his money,
his advice and his hands. While the
embers were still smouldering, he was
working with hammer, saw and
hatchet, helping to erect a temporary
structure to keep the congregation to-
gether, which answered its purpose
while the present beautiful house of
worship was being constructed. Out
on Xorth Tenth street stand -a num-
ber of monuments which will perpet-
uate his memory, St. John's church,
school, rectory and St. Vincent's
Home.

In his passing the congregation lost
the pastor who started it in 1880, the
man who loved the people of it and
the friend of all who lived within it.
Hence the universal grief and sorrow
on the day of his funeral.



Father Still was born in Uerdingen,
Germany, May 25, 1849, being scarcely
fifty-eight years of age when death
summoned him. He made his philo-
sophical and theological studies at the
American College of St. Mauritz,
Muenster, and was ordained to the
priesthood May 22, 1875, for the dio-
cese of Alton. He landed in New
York, Sept. 8, 1875, and journeyed at
once to Alton, where he received the
appointment of assistant to Father
Bartels of Germantown, which posi-
tion he held until transferred to
Quincy, May 22, 1880. Being told to
start there the contemplated new St.
John's parish, young Father Still flung
himself with great ardor and enthusi-
asm into the projected work with the
remarkable result already mentioned.
His last achievement shortly before
his death, was the purchase jointly
with the St. Francis Parish of that
fine tract of land, now Calvary ceme-
tery, on which he was to find his last
resting place. R. 1. P.



REV. JOHN STORP.



On Westphalia's heathered soil,
made famous by song and story, there




stands a quaint village with ancient



gabled houses whose red-tiled roofs
are seen from afar. It is Schapdetten,
the birthplace of one of our disting-
uished priests and yeomen workers.
Rev. John Storp. July 6, 1850 was his
natal day. On May 22, 1875, he was
raised to the priesthood in the vener-
able St. Ludger Cathedral of Munster
and landed in America on Sept. 20 of
the same year.

The first charge assigned to our
young Levite was that of St. Patrick's
of Pana. Rev. F. Lohmann, then
stationed at Hillsboro, to which this
place was affiliated, had just pur-
chased a residence there to be used
as rectory. Father Storp then be-
came the first resident pastor of Pana,
1875-77, whereupon he was transferred
to Shelbyville, where during four
years of unremittent work he wrought
a wonderful change, erecting the pres-
ent brick church at a cost of $6,000
and a handsome brick residence at a
cost of $2,000, causing Shelbyville to



Page One Hundred and Thirty-Five



become an independent ana self-sus-
taining congregation.

In 1831 the indefatigable priest was
assigned to St. Agnes' of Hillsboro to
which Nokomis belonged as out-mis-
sion. Giving for some years to both
places undivided attention, he con-
cluded that in order to achieve lasting
results, the promising and ever-grow-
ing St. Louis' Parish of Xokomis
should and ought to have its own per-
manent pastor. With the sanction of
the Bishop, Father Storp, in 1834. pur-
chased a modest dwelling house and
took up his residence in Nokomis,
thus becoming its first resident pastor.

Truly, he was a great man, his capa-
bilities were second to none.

His fellow students of the Ameri-
can College of Munster (St. Mauritz)
which has since ceased to exist as
such are nearly all dead. They com-
posed a notable class of young eccle-
siastics, each and every one perform-
ing in after life good service in their
future mission fields across the At-
lantic. Among those who were his
associates and life-long friends and
admirers we may mention the Revs.
A. Wenker of Xaperville, 111., H.
Schrage and B. Stempker of St. Louis,
Mo., A. Pieke, Macoutah, Emmerich
Weber, Chicago, B. Hasse Mt. Ster-
ling, B. Ahne, Bayonne, N. J., and
others equally distinguished for their
merits.

Our decedent commanded a wide
range of information and knowledge,
being thoroughly familiar with all
leading questions of the day. He was
unquestionably an eminent scholar in
Theology and History, both ancient
and modern. An independent think-
er, free from bias and prejudice,
Father Storp's judgment had the
weight of mature reasoning, his argu-
ments brought conviction. Once de-
termined upon a plan he would set
every wheel in motion to carry it out,
and this was done in a quiet, un-
heralded way, it was the "Storp way."
Hence his success in the various mis-
sion fields over which he was called
to preside. He was a lover of nature.
Cheerfully, therefore, he acceded to



the Bishop's appointment which in
1893 called him away from Xokomis
to the pastorate of Green Creek, a
parish located amid the waving corn
and teeming wheat fields of Effing-
ham county, several miles off the
railroad. Whilst others had refused,
he was ready to accept. The Francis-
can Fathers of Teutopolis had re-
linquished the charge, he then was to
become its first resident pastor. Our
subject at once proceeded with the
construction of a commodious, splen-
did two-story bric'< residence. The
good farmers were equally proud of
their zealous, democratic pastor and
helped him in every way tD accom-
plish his purpose. He had but to ex-
press his wish and they cheerfully
complied with its execution, for they
soon had learned to love and respect
their unpretentious good priest whose
modest demands never exceeded the
bounds of reasonable necessity.

Father Storp was a man of the peo-
ple. He felt with and for them, liv-
ing their own simple, frugal lives.
And yet, withal, that priestly with-
drawal and reserve which was charac-
teristic of a fine spun sensitive nature
never left him. An interesting con-
versationalist, jovial, kind and gener-
ous, the Green Creek pastor dispensed
indiscriminate hospitality and many
a one journeyed thither to enjoy a few
hours of his benevolent company.

Lillyville, five miles distant, was at-
tended from Green Creek. It had like-
wise been relinquished by the Fran-
ciscan Fathers and our good Father
John attended it not only on Sundays,
but likewise often on week days, say-
ing Mass at an early hour. Xot
wishing to inconvenience the farmers
in furnishing him a team, especially
when the busy season was on, he
would walk the distance afoot. On
warm summer mornings when the dew
drops still sparkled on ferns and
grasses, he would pull off his boots
and socks, sling them over his
shoulders on some hickory sapling
and make for Lillyville, saying his
prayers and meditations on the way.
Such was Father John Storp with that
little black chin whiskers and rather



Page One. Hundred and Thirty- Si*



pronounced Semitic cast of counten-
ance, the scholarly priest and exem-
plary man, pattern of zeal and piety,
uncompromising of principle but ready
to respect opinions of others though
they widely differed from his own.

A violent attack of pneumonia, con-
tracted in a drafty railroad car when
coming from a visit to St. Marie,
ended the precious life and useful ca-
reer of one of the peers of the Alton
diocese on February 8, 1902. He
sleeps within the shadow of the cross
in the little cemetery adjoining the
church in Green Creek. The congre-
gation he loved so well together with



his clerical friends deeply mourn his
untimely departure.

Let me adapt the following beauti-
ful lines to our departed friend,
Father John Storp:

Sleep, gentle priest, the way was long and

sad

y mark of pain rests on thy marble brow;
Tlly shadowy form in priestly vestments clad
Unsoiled by thee. Death was a sweet release

Slumber in peace!

Closed is thy book of life, .never again
To ope. And tho' its leaves were not a few
Each page is fair without a blot or stain
To mar its sheen. Death was a sweet release.

Slumber in peace!
Sleep on, O priest of God! thy cross laid

down

A brilliant trophy at thy Master's feet;
He will reward thee with a saintly crown
Death was to thee nought but a sweet release.

Slumber in peace !



REV. JAMES STREMLER, D.D., LL.D.



"The way is long and dreary,
The path is bleak and bare' 1 .

In the latter part of the sixties the
Cleveland Diocesan Seminary was
presided over by a brilliant, gifted
man, he was Rev. Dr. J. Stremler. In
1870, however, this same Seminary
Rector offered his services to our
diocese. They were promptly ac-
cepted and Father Stremler was en-



trusted with the care of the parish
of Mattoon, which just then had 'been
made vacant by the resignation ot
Father Mangan. About one year he
managed the temporal and spiritual
affairs of Mattoon, when on Dec. 11,
1870, the Bishop appointed him pastor
of the Vandalia parish, which place he
held till July, 1872. Further particu-
lars of our Doctor are lacking.



REV. JOHN H. STUEBE.



"This life is worth but little save
To gain a home beyond the grave."

Secluded Okawville, in Washington
county, has in recent years sprung in-
to public notice from the fact that its





humble young pastor was selected by
the Holy See to occupy the episcopal
chair of the Diocese of Belleville,
made vacant by the death of Bishop
Janssen. Okawville is s o m e w h a t



known to the surrounding counties for
its health-giving springs, producing a
mineral water that is said to be a sure
cure for gout and rheumatism. This
same Okawville, which gave a Bishop
to Belleville, has likewise given a
priest to Alton, Rev. John H. Stuebe,
late pastor of St. Clare's parish of
Altamont.

Deceased was the eldest son of
Christian Stuebe and his wife Eliza-
beth, nee Bergkoetter. He was ush-
ered into the world March 6. 1873.
When eighteen years old he entered
St. Francis College of Quincy, for he
had determined to dedicate his life
to God and his fellow-men. Since
early childhood the thought of becom-
ing a priest had been uppermost in
his mind. Finishing the prescribed
classical course at St. Francis Col-
lege, young Stuebe thereupon became
an alumnus of St. Mary's Seminary,
(Price Hill) Cincinnati. March 2,



Page One Hundred and Thirty-Seven



1901, our young candidate for Holy
Orders saw his fondest hopes realized,
for on that day he was ordained a
priest by Rt. Rev. Camillus Maes in
the Cathedral of Covington, Ky.

Having filled various appointments
as an assistant priest, such as St.
Patrick's, Decatur, St. John's Hospi-
tal of Springfield, and St. Mary's of
Quincy, Father Stuebe was appointed
to the charge of St. Charles' congre-
gation at Altamont, January 9, 1903.
During the nine years of splendid
pastoral work at Altamont he proved
himself a power for good and had



caused a new church to be built al
St. Elmo, a mission attached to the
jurisdiction of the pastor of Alta-
mont. In the midst of his active and
fruitful life, however, our hard-work-
ing young pastor was suddenly strick-
en with appendicitis, was at once
rushed to St. Anthony's Hospital of
Effingham and there underwent a
surgical operation from the effects
and shock of which he soon expired,
June 2, 1912. After solemn funeral
services his remains were interred in
St. Barbara's cemetery of Okawville,
his native town. R. I. P.



REV. JOHN SULLIVAN.



' 'Yearning for a deeper peace, not known
before.' '

He was a native of County Limer-
ick, Ireland, and a subject of Arch-
bishop Kenrick of St. Louis. The
erection of the present spacious St.
Malachy's church of St. Louis, is the
result of Father Sullivan's efforts
while pastor of that congregation.
Coming to the Alton diocese in 1865,
he was appointed to Marshall and
some time later to the charge of
Paris in April 1866-April 1867. Whilst
at Marshall and Paris he looked like-
wise after the spiritual interests of
the Catholics who lived in and around
Charleston. In 1867-'68 Father Sulli-
van acted as rector of St. Francis



Xavier's church of Jerseyville. During
his incumbency he started the build-
ing of the present church, a large and
solid structure. Before he saw it com-
pleted, however, he became involved
in financial difficulties from which the
young struggling parish knew not how
to free itself. His successor, Father
Harty, proved himself the man of the
hour. Father Sullivan was sent to
Springfield as pastor of the Immacu-
late Conception church. He suc-
ceeded Father Louis Hinssen. The
newly appointed pastor enjoyed his
stay at Springfield but a short while,
for in the following year, 1869, Father
Sullivan died. He was buried in the
Springfield cemetery. R. I. P.



REV. FRANCIS TECKLENBURG.



Every thought was full of grace,

Pure and true ;

And a heavenly radiance bright,
From the soul's reflected light

Shining through.

God in His infinite wisdom and
mercy saw fit to call from hence a
promising young priest in the flowery
springtime of his sacerdotal career. It
was the end of May, 1879, when Rev.
Francis Tecklenburg succumbed to the
oppressive heat of the season and
after a few days' sickness died a well
prepared death. Parishioners of two
congregations which the departed had
served so well, namely, Bethalto and
Mitchell, knelt in deep sorrow over
the untimely death of their beloved
young pastor around his bier and of-



fered fervent prayers for the repose
of his soul. To all, clergy and laity,
this tragic event was an eloquent
"Memento Mori." How deeply the
young priest had endeared himself in
the affections of the people is shown
by the fact that today after so many
years his memory is still kept alive
and many of the older people love to
recount his kindly acts.

Rev. Francis Tecklenburg was a
native of Germany, born in May, 1851,
at Auenshausen, Westfalia. His clas-
sical studies the young student pur-
sued partly at Warburg and partly at
Paderborn, graduating in 1873, Having
determined upon the vocation that



Page One Hundred and Thirty-Eight




ultimately leads to the steps of the
altar, the talented young aspirant
matriculated the following year at
the University of Muenster and a year
later at that of Wuerzburg. For the
theological studies and the more im-
mediate preparation for Holy Orders
he became an alumnus of the Ameri-
can College of Louvain, at the con-
clusion of which he was ordained in
the Cathedral of Malines, May 27,
1877. In September of that year the
young priest landed at Alton and was
assigned at once to the parish of
Bethalto where soon he erected a
parochial residence, thus becoming
the first resident pastor of the place.
Mitchell was then affiliated to Bethal-
to and depended on his services.
After less than two years faithful labor
young Father Tecklenburg was sum-
moned by death. He lies buried in
St. Mary's cemetery of Alton. R. I. P.



REV. DENIS TIERNEY.



"Jesu, Tibi sit Gloria".

He was the first pastor of the young
congregation of Charleston in 1865.
Soon after his arrival the congrega-
tion purchased an edifice, used as a
Christian church, for hitherto Mass
had been said in a private house.



Father Tierney remained in Charles-
ton till 1868, when the church was con-
sumed by fire. We next find him,
from 1869-70, pastor of the parish of
Virden, after which further informa-
tion fails.



REV. AUGUSTINE TOLTON.



"Back, ye Phantoms, leave
O leave me
To my new and happy lot'".

The unique and enviable distinction
of having had within the ranks and
membership of her diocesan clergy
the first colored priest in the United
States, belongs to the diocese of
Alton. Of this fact the credit of
whose accomplishment primarily be-
longs to the efforts of Rev. P. Michael
Richard, O. F. M., and the late Father
McGirr, of St. Peter's church of
Quincy, we all have reason to be
proud. He who thus successfully
emerged from the lowly condition of
the black man, who had been born and
raised in bondage and slavery under
most trying and adverse conditions,
became an ornament to his priestly
vocation, winning his way to the



hearts of the Catholic people and gain-
ing the esteem and benevolence of all
by his unassuming manner and humble
and devout bearing. He cared not
what people, white or black, might
think of him; he knew his duty as
priest and hence could not be swerved
from its path by any considerations of
popular favor or disfavor. All liked
and loved him. The services were at
all times well patronized not only by
his own colored people but also large-
ly by whites, so much so that this
even aroused a bit of jealousy and
envy in the neighborhood. The little
frame church, St. Joseph's, on 7th and
Jersey streets, now a tinner's shop,
had risen in popular favor through-
out Quincy, It received generous
support and assistance from clergy



Page One Hundred and Thirty-Nine



and laity and the good colored priest
was forever grateful for the aid thus
rendered his poor people and congre-
gation.

Father Augustine Tolton, for such
was our distinguished colored priest's
name, was a man of education and di-




verse rare attainments, speaking be-
sides his own language, Latin, Ger-
man and Italian. After graduating
from St. Peter's parochial school and
St. Francis College with honors, the
Franciscan Fathers, through the good
offices of their Superior General in
Rome, obtained for our poor negro
aspirant a place at the Propaganda.
They had perceived the latent fine
talents and qualities which the young
man possessed. Here in Rome, the
fountain head of Catholicity and the
seat of learning, our Propaganda
student prosecuted his theological
studies with great diligence and appli-
cation, evidencing the fact that where
a proper share of attention is cen-
tered upon the education of the
colored people, they can soon be
lifted to a high plane of intelligence
and responsibility. Some of our best



missionary talent trained for the
specific purpose in the newly founded
"Josephite House" of Baltimore, is ex-
clusively devoted to the cause of the
American negro. One can point with
justifiable pride to many illustrious
men who have gone forth from the
lowly ranks of the colored people, the
greatest of whom was undoubtedly
the late Booker Washington, a man
of national repute, a great educator
and leader of his people, born and
raised a poor, despised negro. When
given proper attention and placed
amid wholesome influences and moral
surroundings, the colored people are
able to compete with their more for-
tunate white brethern in the attain-
ment of honor and distinction. Father
Tolton has demonstrated this fact
whilst studying for the priesthood in
Rome, and subsequently as priest of
Quincy and Chicago. His studies
completed, Father Tolton was or-
dained a priest by His Eminence,
Cardinal Parochi, April 24, 1886. The
first colored young man of the United
States out of ten million negroes, a
priest. What a joyous and happy
event for the Diocese whose product
he was, what a memorable and im-
portant fact in the history of the
Church in these United States which
had worked among the colored race
with but varied success.

Father Tolton at once came back to
Quincy, where he said his first Holy
Mass at St: Boniface church, July 18,
1886, and was given charge of the
small negro parish, the history of
which is briefly told as follows:

After the Civil War (1861-1865)
many former negro slaves, a number
of whom were Catholics, settled in
Quincy. To prevent their drifting
away from the church, the Rev.
Michael Richard, O. F. M., undertook
to collect the scattered sheep, if
possible, into a separate parish. The
pastor of St. Boniface, Rev. John
Janssen, placed a former small pro-
testant church on Seventh and Jersey
streets, purchased in 1866 by Father
Schaefermeyer for $7,000, which was
temporarily used for school purposes
but vacant at the time, at P. Michael's



Page One Hundred and Forty



disposal. A Sunday school was be-
gun Oct. 21, 1877. The attendance
was good and kept on increasing.
Ven. Sister Herline of St. Mary's
Academy, on February 11, 1878,
opened a day school with 21 pupils.
This number increased to 60. The
baptism of seven negro children April
22, following, caused a protest by
Methodists and Baptists. No stone
was left unturned to prevent the negro
children from attending, many of
whom stayed away Several of the
priests, such as Bruener, Hoffman and
Samuel Macke, kept up the good work
until the coming of Father Tolton
from Rome in 1886. How successful
this colored priest worked among the
members of his own race and among
the white people likewise has been
stated. His services were in demand
everywhere, even Cardinal Gibbons
summoned him repeatedly to Balti-
more, there to preach and minister
to the numerous colored population.
He was a great lover of his snuff-
box. In Chicago a philanthropic
wealthy lady, Mrs Anne O'Neil, es-
tablished a $10,000 fund for the found-
ing of a church, St. Monica's, for the
use of .the colored people. Nobody,
however, would do but Father Tol-
ton. In consequence the Archbishop
requisitioned his services, Bishop



Ryan consented to his transfer to


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Online LibraryAnthony ZurbonsenClerical bead roll of the Diocese of Alton, Ill. → online text (page 17 of 19)