Anthony Zurbonsen.

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

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the summer 1886 he paid a few
month's visit to his boyhood home
and purchased while abroad a number
of fine vestments for his church. He
seemed the picture of contentment
when ambulating up and down his
pretty garden walk and puffing at his
long German pipe, dispelling thereby
whatever care or worry might hover
on his mind. In the performance of
priestly duties, administration of
Sacraments, visits to the sick and
catechetical instructions at school, he
was exemplary and exact; in his deal-


ings with the outside world indulgent
and generous, charitable to the poor
and needy. He was a man of large
stocky built, measuring more than six
feet in height. Having never cared for
worldly wealth and lucre, he died as

he had lived, a poor man. May heaven
be his reward. His mortal remains
were laid to rest at Marine, where
funeral obsequies were held Wednes-
day, January 26, 1916. R. I. P.


"The journey is very weary
And He only can give me rest".

Born at Metz, France, (now Ger-
many), he came over to America in
1857, was ordained in 1869 and ap-
pointed an assistant to the Alton Ca-
thedral. He remained, however, but a

few months in Alton when he left for
the Cleveland diocese. There he was
assigned in similar capacity to the
Church of the Assumption, in Cleve-
land. All further particulars are lack-


"You shall reap in joy the harvest,
You have sown today in tears'*.

A trenchant and forceful writer, who
fearlessly championed the cause of the
church, wa3 Rev. John N. Enzel-
berger. For many years his weekly

glosseries on religio-political topics
appeared in the "Herold des Glau-
bens" of St. Louis. His name became
widely known and his sayings exten-
sively quoted by the press. He was an
avowed and outspoken antagonist of
all modernistic tendencies and other
outgrowths which threatened to dam-
age the church. He was honest and
sincere in his denunciations although
probably not always prudent in ex-
pressing them. The greatest service.

however, which forever will redound
to his merit is the compilation of the
third catalogue of the Catholic Ger-
man clergy and of the German par-
ishes of the United States, known as
"Schematismus der Katholischen
Geistlichkeit deutscher Zunge in den
Vereinigten Staaten Amerikas" in
1892. This work is a valuable addition
to the history of the Catholic Church
in the United States for the use of
present and future generations and its
great value has received universal
recognition and unstinted praise. Fr.
Enzelberger would deserve to be par-
alleled with that well-known German
writer, Alban Stolz. He served our
diocese at Vandalia from July 12,
1875-March 22, 1876.

Rev. John Nepomucen Enzelberger
was born March 30, 1852, at Weizen-
kirchen, in upper Austria; studied at
Linz, Austria, and at St. Francis, Wis-
consin; was ordained by Bishop P. J.
Baltes, March 19, 1875; substituted at
vSt. Joseph's parish, Cairo, April 10
till June 23, 1875; substituted at Du
Quoin, from June 29 till July 12,
1875; was rector of Vandalia until
March 22, 1876; then rector of Piop-
olis until February, 1902; after which
he acted as rector of Germantown
rntil his death, November 2, 1907. He
is buried at Germantown. R. I. P.

Page Th'rty-Nine


"Thou shalt exchange the midnight for the

And thy fair home above".

A full measure of sincerest sym-
pathy was poured forth from every
priest's heart when it became known
that their cherished confrere and
companion, Rev. Joseph Finnigan had
been stricken with a fatal affliction
against which medical science for ages
had battled in vain, viz: cancer of the
throat. This dreadful disease claimed
our subject in the ripeness of his con-
secrated career. Weeks and months
of intensest suffering were his portion
ere death relieved him of the terrible

Born in 1857 at Providence, R. I.,
young Finnigan was sent in early
youth to Montreal, there to study
Classics, Philosophy and Theology,
under the direction of the Sulpician
Fathers. And nobly he acquitted him-
self of his studies, bearing away sev-
eral college prizes at the annual com-
mencement exercises. He was very
popular among his fellow students
and the Sulpician Fathers in college
and seminary had high regard for his
talents, manliness and high sense of
honor. And yet, as college student,

he was full of harmless mischief and
law-breaking propensities. Had some
little prank occurred whose source
the good Father Rector could not at
once fathom, young Finnigan was
looked upon as the culprit, and with
threatening finger of indulgent repri-
mand he would be addressed: "Ah,
Monsieur Finnigan, c'est vous le cou-
pable." And, sure enough, our sub-
ject had usually been at the bottom
of it. After a brilliant course of studies,
Father Finnigan was ordained to the
priesthood a few days before Christ-
mas, 1882, in the Grand Seminary
chapel by Archbishop Edward Fabre
of Montreal. After reporting ready
for duty to Bishop Baltes, he was sent
as pastor to Kahokia, after which he
successfully filled positions at Virden,
Auburn, Charleston, Grafton, 1895-98,
Jacksonville, Springfield and Dalton
City. Whilst in the latter place, he
was stricken with that dreadful mal-
ady, cancer of the throat, which con-
signed him to an early grave. He bore
his sickness with heroic fortitude and
great Christian resignation and ex-
pired February 9, 1908. A memento
for Father Finnigan. R. I. P.


"Pass on, pass on, poor Spirit,
For heaven is yours at last;
In that one minute's anguish

Four thousand years have passed".

We know that prior to the erection
of the Bishopric of Chicago, in 1843,
the eastern part of Illinois was under
the jurisdiction of the Bishop of
Vincennes, Msgr. Brute, whilst the
western portion was ruled over by
Bishop Rosatti, of St. Louis. And
even after the formation of the for-
mer diocese priests from Vincennes
continued to look after the spiritual
interests of many parishes, such as
Ste Marie. Paris, Teutopolis and
others. Among the priests of Teutopo-
lis who originally hailed from Vincen-
nes was Rev. F. J. Fischer, who in
1847, had put up the first bric'k build-
ing at Ste Marie. He administered its

affairs for several months in
1850 after the leave-taking of Father

Before coming to Teutopolis, Fr.
Fischer had been rector of Piquet's
Settlement, (Ste Marie), and previous
to that for several years an assistant
to Rev. St. Palais (who a few years
later became Bishop of Vincennes.)
When Chicago's first priest, Rev. St.
Cyr, was compelled by age and in-
firmity to relinquish his pastoral duties
of old St. Mary's of Chicago, and
retire to St. Louis where he died, Rev.
St. Palais succeeded him in 1837,
having Father Fischer as assistant.
These were the only priests in Chi-
cago when Bishop Quarter arrived
there May 5, 1844. In August, 1844,
our subject was recalled by Bishop

Page Forty-

Brute back to Vincennes. A few
years later, in 1850, he presided for

several months over the parish of
Teutopolis. R. I. P.


' 'In Te Domine speravi, Non confundar in
aeternum' '.

A Catholic center in the diocese of
Alton, is Highland. The first settlers
from 1831-1842, were nearly all Cath-
olics, at least in name, though without
strong affiliations to the church. The
years 1840 and 1841 brought more
than one hundred from the Grand
Duchy of Baden, besides a number of
Swiss and a few Bavarian Catholics.
Occasionally, probably twice a year,
a priest was sent them from St. Louis.
More frequent became the visits
since Shoal Creek (Germantown), had
a resident priest in the person of Rev.
Joseph H. Fortmann, ordained at
the Barrens, November 1, 1837, and
since then pastor of Apple Creek,
Mo. He did his best to persuade the
Catholics to build a church and in
this he succeeded. The cornerstone
was placed in 1844 on the first day of
May. The first Mass was celebrated
in this church of Highland in 1846 by
Rev. Kuenster, pastor of Teutopolis.
Father Fortmann was recalled from
Shoal Creek by Bishop Rosatti in

1847 and sent as pastor to St. Joseph's
church of Grosse Point (Wilmette,
Chicago), where he stayed from 1847-
'53. During his stay at Grosse Point
he erected St. Peter's church at Xiles
Center. Next we find him busily en-
gaged at St. Mary's of the Woods at
Highland Park (Chicago), after which
he was appointed pastor of St. Peter's
church at Teutopolis. Here he worked
against many odds and difficulties
from August 5, 1857-January, 1858.
He had made arrangements for the
construction of a new parochial resi-
dence, for which purpose he had col-
lected the sum of $723. Before he
witnessed the realization of his plans,
however, he was sent to Peoria to
assume charge of St. Joseph's church
of that city. Three weeks after his
advent to Peoria, Father Joseph H.
Fortmann died.

His successor in Teutopolis was
Rev. B. Bartels, the last secular priest
of that parish, which now went over
into the hands of the Franciscan
Fathers, who had arrived from Ger-
many. May God rest his soul.


"No true crown of honor can be given,
Till we place it on a funeral bier".

A great worker was Rev. Thomas
Frauenhofer, Teutopolis, Green Creek
and Effingham, must forever be grate-
ful to his untiring efforts in their be-
half. Early in 1857, February 12, he
was appointed pastor of St. Peter's
congregation of Teutopolis. After re-
siding there for some month's, he
moved to Green Creek, becoming its
first resident pastor. How exact and
faithfully he discharged his sacred du-
ties may be learned from his diary
and publication book which are still
extant in that parish. They are, in
composition, very neat, though rather
exhaustive. Whilst pastor of Green
Creek, Father Frauenhofer looked
after the spiritual needs of the Cath-

olic people in and around Effingham,
where in 1856 a log church had been
built. To this little log shanty he
journeyed every other Sunday to say
Holy Mass for the few scattered
Catholic people thereby laying the
foundation for the present strong
parish. At times he visited Decatur
to minister to the German Catholics
there. When, in 1858, the Franciscan
Fathers assumed charge of Teu-
topolis and subsequently of Green
Creek he took charge of lohnsburg
parish, (Rockford), from Dec. 1858-
Dec. 1860. After this Father Frauen-
hofer became stationed at Lourdes
(now Peoria diocese), and later on
left for the Dubuque diocese. In 1867
he was in charge of Sherrilsmount,
Iowa, and after that at Petersburg.

Page Forty-One

Rev. Thomas Frauenhofer was a
native of Bavaria, born Dec. 6, 1817,
at Pfeffenhausen, in the Diocese of
Regensburg. On July 1, 1844, he was
ordained to the priesthood and exer-
cised his sacerdotal functions for
eight years in his native diocese until
May 19, 1852, when he came to Amer-

ica to affiliate with the diocese of Chi-
cago. Rumor has it that Father
Frauenhofer died at the Trappist
monasteo' near Dubuque, in the year
1870 or 1871, though lack of positive
information prevents from placing
him there with any degree of confi-
dence. R. I. P.


' 'Let the incense of pur prayers
Before Thy mercy rise ;
The brightness of the coming night
Upon the darkness rolls ;
With hopes of future glory
Chase the shadows on our souls".

The first resident pastor of Kamps-
ville, in Calhoun county, was Father
Freimuth. He was appointed to that
parish which was still in a formative
state, in 1877, and remained there till
1879. During his two years stay he
built a small frame church and dedi-
cated it to St. Anselm. On the 24th
day of April, 1879, it'was duly blessed
and given over to divine worship.
After holding several minor charges
in the Southern part of the diocese,
Father Freimuth joined the Fran-
ciscan Order at Teutopolis in 1887,
and was known from that time as P.

Firmatus, O. F. M. As such he be-
came an assistant at St. Joseph's
Church of Cleveland in 1892. Being
a man of extreme nervousness and
delicate health, P. Firmatus was much
confined to indoor life. His death oc-
curred at Superior, Wis., Nov. 23,
1909, being in his 71st year of life, the
25th of his solemn profession and the
33rd of his priesthood.

Father Freimuth was born April 10,
1838, at Remscheidt in the Archdio-
cese of Cologne, was ordained a priest
at Maline in Belgium, May 26, 1877,
and came to this country the follow-
ing October. His solemn profession
as member of the Franciscan Order
was made on March 8, 1888. R. -I. P.


"Cor Jesu, fac cor meum sicut cor Tuum!"

This humble and pious priest was
born June 7, 1823, in Ringelheim,
Hanover, was ordained December 8,
1853, and arrived in the states July
26, 1858. With the exception of the
last five years, the deceased spent his
priestly life in parishes of the present
Belleville diocese, at Mascoutah, Ger-
mantown, Prairie du Rocher and
Fayetteville. Broken in health, after
serious trials and labors, Father Froh-
boese retired in August, 1884, to
become a chaplain in the St. Vincent's
Home of Quincy. Blindness prevented
him from saying Mass after Dec. 24,
1888. Peacefully he slept away Janu-
ary 9th, 1889. His remains were in-
terred in St. Boniface Cemetery of
Quincy. R. I. P.



"So soon, so soon, is the daylight fled!
And O, how fast comes the dark to-morrow,
Who hides, perhaps, in her veil of sorrow
The terrible hour I wait and dread ! ' '

Like a flash from a clear noonday
sky came the startling- announcement
of Rev. Father William Futterer's
death on Monday, August 21, 1910. It
was cabled to his sister, Mrs. L. Rit-
ter, of Mattoon, 111., from Munich in
Bavaria, whither decedent had gone
to recover lost health. Most of his
confreres were even unaware of his

ailing condition, few knew of his de-
parture for Europe. Writer of these
lines since 1876 a friend and formes-
schoolmate of the departed received
a card from him. written on landing
in England, on which he stated that
owing to the invigorating ocean trip
he felt much better and that he antici-
pa/ted a pleasant journey on the Con-
tinent. But "Man proposes whilst
God disposes." This truism became
exemplified in the life of our subject.
Arrived at Bonn he had to .submit to
a serious surgical operation which, as
far as is known, turned out to be suc-
cessful. Within a short time he had
so far recuperated from the effects of
it that to journey to Munich seemed
to be entirely safe. Prospects for
returning health and strength seemed

reasonably good, nay almost certain.
Buoyed up by the hope of finding
permanent cure in Bavaria's fascinat-
ing capital for his shattered constitu-
tion, Father Futterer undertook the
trip. From time to time letters and
cards contained the information that
he was doing well and there seemed
hope in every sentence. On August
8th, however, he wrote to his sister:
"I am doing only fairly well," the
last words received from the poor
sufferer who was then already proba-
bly fighting with death. On the morn-
ing of August 21, the scythe in the
hand of the grim reaper mowed down
the precious life of our esteemed
friend in far-away Munich and caused
tears of genuine sorrow in many a
home, for this whole-souled man com-
manded hosts of friends who will
continue to bless his memory.

Rev. William Futterer was an only
son of Mr. and Mrs. Charles and
Mary Futterer of Mattoon, 111. He
attained the age of 47 years and six
months, having been born August 21,
1863. Strong and powerful of phy-
sique, he would inspire one with a
sense of that steam-roller vitality
which is so conspicuous and notice-
able wherever met. His eyes were
dark and keen and upon occasion
would rather mischievously twinkle,
his hands would extend in firm, strong
grip and cordial clutch; his whole
bearing was one of energy and deter-
mination. Though at times blunt of
speech, yet he was of transparent
honesty of purpose and nobility of
character. Generous and unselfish to
a fault he would gladly part with the
last dollar in his pocket or as some
one pertinently remarked w o u 1 d
take the shirt off his back and give it
to the needy one. His hospitality
was lavish. We always found him in
happiest mood when either entertain-
ing friends or dispensing kindness to
deserving people. But how often was
his kindness abused and flagrantly
taken advantage of by unworthy and
ungrateful people, greedy leeches who
were ready to smite the hand that had
blessed them; and blacken the char-

Page Forty-Thrr

acter of the noble man who in days of
distress had befriended them.

Rev. Futterer spent his boyhood
days and early manhood in Mattoon,
where he received his schooling at
the parochial schools conducted by
the Dominican Sisters. After leaving
the Mattoon schools he entered St.
Joseph's College at Teutopolis, from
which he graduated with high honors.
In compliance with the preferred
wishes of the late Bishop Baltes he
went to the Grand Seminary of Mon-
treal, there to study Philosophy and
Theology and became ordained to
the priesthood by the Most Rev.
Archbishop Edouard Fabre, D. D.,
during the week preceding Christmas,

The first charge which the young
priest enjoyed was at Grant Fork,
(Saline) where he succeeded Rev. A.
Zurbonsen, who was sent as first resi-
dent pastor to Staunton, January 12,
1888. From here he was sent by his
Bishop to near-by P i e r r o n, where
owing to his energetic and generous
initiative he was instrumental in
starting a parish, erecting a fine
church and rectory, purchasing a
cemetery site and performing numer-

ous other duties which will forever
redound to his honor and credit.

At this time Father Futterer became
the Bishop's choice as diocesan re-
presentative at the Catholic Univers-
ity of Washington. Whilst prosecu-
ting his studies at that seat of learn-
ing, he was placed in temporary
charge of St. Mary's German Cath-
olic church, the only church in the
National Capitol where the German
language is spoken. After remaining
for about two years in Washington
where he became the personal friend,
admirer and defender of the late Mgr.
Dr. Jos. Schroeder, dogmatic profes-
sor at the University he was recalled
by the Bishop and appointed pastor
of the parish of Petersburg, where
he performed noble work, but con-
tracted, however,- the malady which
eventually resulted in his untoward
death. The remains were forwarded
after considerable delay to this coun-
try, the following October. Solemn
obsequies at which almost the entire
diocesan clergy assisted, were had in
his native town and parish church of
Mattoon, after which he was bedded
to his eternal rest in the local Catholic
cemetery. R. I. P.


"In Domino laudabitur anima mea".
A fine young priest, amiable and of
winning disposition was Father C.
Geier, a former college student of
Teutopolis and Seminarian of St.
Francis, Milwaukee, who was raised
to the holy ministry in the Alton
Cathedral by Bishop Baltes, Oct. 31,

Deceased was a native of St. Louis,
son of Mr. and Mrs. Anthony Geier
(Anna, nee Wollenschlager) born
April 26, 1857. Whilst a student of
college and seminary he spent the

annual summer vacations with the
late Father F. Stick, of Mattoon, a
profitable pastime and enjoyment with
such versatile man and talented pastor
of wide experience.

Father Geier was assigned to the
Vandalia parish where he worked
faithfully and successfully from 1881-
'85. Owing to feeble health which
gradually developed into consumption
he was forced after four years to dis-
continue active service. Death claimed
our genial young priest January llth,
1886. R. I. P.


Page Forty-Four


"Thy life that has been dropped aside
Into Time's stream, may stir the tide
In rippled circles spreading wide".

On Sept. 13, 1913, the members of
the Immaculate Conception parish of
Shelbyville, learned with sincerest
feelings of deep regret and poignant
sorrow of the sad fate which had be-

fallen their pastor, and with them, the
bishop and every priest in the diocese
were most painfully affected, when
told of Father Herman Gesenhues'
sudden death. A heart stroke early
in the morning had terminated the
precious life of Shelbyville's pastor.
Three weeks before his death he had
attended the bi-annual retreat at
Quincy, where he edified many by the
strict observance of the rules as well
as by his unfeigned genuine piety and
devotion. During recreation hours
when a free intermingling of priests is
permitted after the noon and evening
meals, good Father Gesenhues would
tarry in the chapel, taking but little
heed of his fellow-priests' recreation
and diversions. Had he a premonition
of his impending fate, did he feel the
nearness of the last summons? So
much, however, seems to be certain,
that he who at all times had led a
model priestly life, who shortly be-
fore death had deeply penetrated into

his interior, spiritual life to set things
aright, needed not to fear nor trepi-
date when suddenly the grim reaper
appeared and beckoned to accompany
him. Father Gesenhues was prepared
for such eventuality.

Of the beautiful life and character
we will let "A Member of the Congre-
gation" speak who thus, wrote to a
local paper after the funeral had taken

"I fail to find words to express the
deep sorrow felt by the members of
the Immaculate Conception Church of
this city over the sudden but peaceful
death of our dearly beloved pastor,
Father Gesenhues, which occured at
the parsonage in this city about 6
o'clock Saturday morning. Sept. 13,
1913. Death was due to a heart stroke.

We mourn the loss of our dear pas-
tor, an honored priest of the diocese,
and our dearest friend.

I shall endeavor to pay tribute to
his memory by mentioning a few of
his many virtues.

Father Gesenhues realized that a
priest of the Catholic Church is an
ambassador of Christ. The joys and
sorrows of his people were his joys
and sorrows. He was an ideal priest
and the soul of sincerity.

Father Gesenhues was meek and
lowly, kind and gentle and unassum-
ing, and was remarkable for his pa-
tience. He was to be admired because
he strictly minded his own business
a character which he also so much ad-
mired in others. He was eminently a
man of peace; the father of his flock,
for whom and for whose sake he la-
bored. It made no difference what
the occasion or the circumstance
might be, Father Gesenhues was al-
ways the same kind, gentle pastor.

Many of his quiet acts of charity are
known, but most are only recorded in
that great book which some day will
be revealed to all.

Father Gesenhues disliked publicity.
He was not a public man in the ordi-
nary sense of the word. He had one
duty; that was his duty to his parish.

Page Forty-Five

His religious convictions were firmly
fixed, mellowed, however, with charity
for all not of his faith. He was a shin-
ing light unto all, carefully practicing
all he preached. His whole life was
devoted solely to the service of God.

To know him was to love him. To
meet him was a joy and a consolation.
Not only cheering in the hour of dark-
ness, but ever and always bright and
cheerful with the spirit of a priest,
urging all to do better.

Could our dear departed pastor
speak to us today, he would say:
"Friend, cease praising me, but pray
for me." "He is worthy of praise, and
in that spirit I pay tribute to his mem-

Deceased, a big, corpulent man of
great weight and tall stature, was born
in St. Louis, Dec. 13, 1858. Shortly
after his parents removed to German-
town, where young Herman attended
the parochial school and later entered
St. Joseph's College of Teutopolis.
His classical course finished, he was
sent by the Bishop to Milwaukee,
there to study Philosophy and Theol-

Herman Gesenhues acquitted him-
self both at Teutopolis and at Mil-
waukee, splendidly for he was a gifted

and talented young man who suffered
not to be outdone by his class-mates.

Bishop Baltes raised our young the-
ologian to the priesthood at Alton,
Oct. 23, 1881. Bloomfield, Hillsboro,
with Raymond and Gillespie, Alta-
mont, Beardstown and Shelbyville
were successively the parishes where
Father Gesenhues performed excellent
work and where his name will remain

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Online LibraryAnthony ZurbonsenClerical bead roll of the Diocese of Alton, Ill. → online text (page 5 of 19)