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

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heavy church debt to contend with
but by contsant exertions succeeded
in paying it off. His subsequent ap-
pointment was to the pastorate of
French Village, where he worked
faithfully from August 17, 1871, till
November, 1890. Partially paralyzed,
he retired to St. Mary's hospital of
East St. Louis, where he died August
9, 1896. His remains were interred
in Holy Cross cemetery. R. I. P.

Page Sixty-Nine


"I heard a promise gently fall
I heard a far-off Shepherd call
The weary and the broken-hearted
Promising rest unto each and all.' '

The greatest and noblest of all dio-
cesan Franciscan priests, one who
most earnestly worked for and gladly
spent his energies both physical and
mental in the upbuilding of our dio-

cese, was undoubtedly dear old Father
Mauritius Klosterrmann, O. F. M.
The mere mention of his name evokes
with all who had the good fortune and
privilege of knowing him more inti-
mately many happy memories of by-
gone days, especially with those over
whose training and education he pre-
sided. The former college boys of
Teutopolis, now men of mature age,
are foremost in gratefully treasuring
his name and memory and in giving
unstinted praise and appreciation of
this good man's efforts in their
behalf. He was the heart and soul of
that institution. No boy was ever un-
justly or even harshly dealt with by
him, nay, many were there whose

faults and shortcomings were gener-
ously overlooked and kindly par-
doned, a slight reprimand and all was
serene and calm again as ever. His
was a personality therefore which
won the susceptible hearts of the boys
in uncommon degree. He was of an
unusually magnanimous disposition,
manifesting at all times a spirit of
broadest charity and utter unselfish-
ness. Though firm and unalterable in
his convictions and the sense of
right, he was by no means a stern
man, on the contrary, was very
pleasant in his manners, humorous and
witty in his conversation and made
himself beloved by all with whom he
came in closer contact. He was also a
man of profound piety and showed an
extraordinary zeal and devotion for
the Blessed Sacrament which is evi-
denced by the little book entitled:
''Three Days of Spiriutal Exercises Be-
fore Receiving First Holy Commun-
ion," and again in his "Meditations
For Each Day o.f the Month." He was,
moreover, a man of broad intellect
and a fluent and forcible German pul-
pit speaker, a fact which at times is
still alluded to by older people. Being
well on in years when coming to this
country, Father Mauritius found some
difficulty in expressing himself cor-
rectly and faultlessly in English
which fact gave rise to many inno-
cent little jokes and stories which are
related to this very day of course
by former students. For many years
he accompanied the late Bishop Bal-
tes on the annual confirmation trips
through the diocese.

Adolph Klostermann was born at
Lippborg in Westphalia, August 30.
1820, of a family which, as record
show, had furnished teachers of this
place continually since 1751, if not
earlier. Like his father, Adolph chose
the vocation of teacher. His primary
education he received from his father
and after attending the Seminary at
Buerren from August, 1838-40 he
graduated with honors, being declared
"eligible for a position as teacher and
well qualified for the position of or-

Page Seventy

ganist, having practiced well on the
piano and organ.' After teaching
school for fourteen years, the unex-
pected death of a dear friend a lady
to whom he was engaged to be mar-
ried opened the eyes of the young
teacher, who was a man of high ideals,
to the vanity of worldly pursuits, and
encouraged 'by a Franciscan brother,
he entered the Order at Warendorf
as lay brother, October 12, 1854. But
his superiors, noticing his talent for
teaching, advised him to study for
the priesthood. He volunteered for
the American Missions. In 1859 he
came to Teutopolis, and in February,
1860, to Quincy, where he was or-
dained July 2, 1860 in St. Boniface
church by Bishop Junker. He be-
came the first pastor of St. Anthony's
in Melrose, near Quincy, the first or-
ganist of St. Francis and its first
parochial school teacher. From 1864-
1882 Father Mauritius acted as Rector
of St. Joseph's college at Teutopolis
and for ten years, 1869-79 filled the
office of Commissary to the Provin-
cial. In 1882 our veteran College
Rector resigned his position owing to
failing eye-sight and was elected
guardian of the Quincy Monastery. In
July, 1885, Father Mauritius was elec-

ted Provincial of the newly estab-
lished Province of the Sacred Heart,
which had become independent of the
old German "Saxonia" Province. His
term of office over, he went to In-
dianapolis and thence soon after to
Teutopolis, where on April 28, 1890
he returned his beautiful spotless soul
into the hands of his Maker.

With the passing of this great, illus-
trious good man there passed away a
true Nathaniel in whom there was no
guile, an able teacher, an ideal pious
priest and a model religious. Few
men enjoyed such an extended circle
of friends as he did, for to know him
was to love him. P. M a r i t i u s was
moreover an able musician and fine
composer; he left a number of valu-
able compositions, among which two
able compositions, among which are
two Masses and a beautiful "Abend-
lied." In pedagogics decedent was
without question an accepted authority.

His mortal remains were interred
in the Franciscan crypt at Teutopolis,
where they rest in peace until
they will be re-united with their nobler
tenant on the Great Judgment Day
to participate in and partake of the
happiness and bliss of heaven. R. 1.


The deceased was born in 1834 at
Nancy, France; ordained to the priest-
hood July 14, 1858, and acted as as-
sistant priest to Father Schaefer-
meyer at St. Boniface church of
Quincy, from September 17, 1863

April 19, 1864. He went to the Cleve-
land diocese, where, in June, 1866, he
was appointed to St. Peter's parish of
Doylestown, in Wayne county. He
died a subject of that diocese. R. I. P.

Page Seventy-One


"Lead me, O Lord, till perfect Day shall

Through Peace to Light".

Among the twenty-five theological
students who pursued their higher
studies at the St. Joseph's College of
Teutopolis from 1862-65, was Rev.

William Kuchenbuch, a native of
Hundshagen, Westfalia, where he was
born August 15, 1836. At the age of
fourteen he came to America, July 28,
1850, took up the regular course of
classical studies, entered the above

mentioned Seminary and was or-
dained by Bishop Juncker, December
6th, 1863, in the college chapel of Teu-
topolis. With him were three more
young men ordained, viz: J. Harty,
Ferd Stick and Jeremias Sullivan.
From the time of his ordination in
1863 till the year 1875, young Father
Kuchenbuch worked well in various
parishes, of the Alton diocese, such as
Edwardsville, where in 1867, he pur-
chased a plot of land 500x300 to DC
used for church purposes, respectively
for a new church by the German
Catholics of Edwardsville, at same
time he caused a brick yard to be
started to supply the necessary brick
for the contemplated building. From
Edwardsville he was sent to Quincy
as assistant to Rev. Schaefermeyer
of St. Boniface, after which we meet
him as pastor of St. Mary's parish
of Mt. Sterling. For several reasons
Father Kuchenbuch severed connec-
tion with the Alton diocese and joined
that of Peoria, where he served the
parishes of Danville, Brimfield, Hen-
nepin and Peterstown (Troy Grove.)
To this last named place he was sent
in 1892 and continued till February
17, 1906, on which date after a short
illness he died and was buried in the
small Catholic cemetery of Peters-

Father Kuchenbuch was a worthy
and conscientious priest, very exact
in his functions and duties but rather
eccentric and singular in disposition
and habits. His thin, haggard feat-
ures and snow white hair stamped him
an ascetic. R. I. P.


"Faithful servant! sweet thy rest
With thy Savior and the blest! "
All thy trials now are o'er,
Sorrow ne'er shall pain thee more."

The first resident pastor who was
assigned to St. Peter's congregation
of Belleville, 111., was Rev. Joseph
Kuenster. This was in November,
1842. Conditions there were anything
but agreeable and encouraging. Of
undaunted determination and will

Page Seventy-Two

power, however, which knew neither
defeat nor failure, he at once planned
the erection of a church. In the face
of marked opposition he succeeded in
his undertaking. Great was his joy
when on Christmas morning, 1843, he
was able to say Holy Mass in -the
modest little structure 60 x 40, to
which Archbishop Kendrick in the
spring of that year had laid the cor-

ner stone. But alas! Opposition grew
stronger as time passed. This was
principally occasioned by his stern
refusal to permit a fallen-away Cath-
olic woman to act as sponsor at
Baptism. Xot only that, but he him-
self became the object of villification,
slander and blackguardism. His
enemies conspired to rid themselves

of his presence. In this they suc-
ceeded. When met on a lonely coun-
try road homeward bound, they
dragged him from his conveyance and
for almost 24 hours kept him im-
prisoned in a stable beyond Center-
ville. Utterly disheartened and dis-
gusted at the indignant treatment to
which he was subjected, Father Kuen-
ster left Belleville and went to Teu-
topolis, there to assume charge of St.
Peter's parish. This was in 1845.
(With the advent of the Franciscans ?n
Teutopolis, September 25, 1858, the
name of the patron of that parish
was changed from St. Peter's to that
of St. Francis.)

Those years spent at Belleville had
been hard and trying. Besides look-
ing after the interests of a steadily
growing congregation with its many
daily demands and sacrifices, our sub-
ject made trips at regular intervals

to the young mission parishes of St.
Libory, Germantown, Red Bud, Ed-
wardsville and Prairie du Long.

Father Kuenster was now located
at Teutopolis (1845 as first resident
pastor of St. Peter's, which had been
organized in 1839 by Rev. Joseph
Masquelet. But he was of the old
but practical type. When he went
there he found but few struggling
German Catholic families, who in the
fall of 1838 had come thither from
Cincinnati. Like them, he turned in
to help himself and make the building
of church and school for his poor, but
pious people, as light and easy as pos-

Father Kuenster had his little piece
of cultivated land, his garden and his
fowls. "One day," writes Rev. John
Larmer, "he was called on to pay his
cathedraticum for the support of the
Bishop. He astonished all by paying
his cathedraticum with a goose and a
gander, carried by him across the
prairie. The good priest saw nothing
funny about it, as he got only pay in
kind, for there was little or no money
in the settlement. As time passed
Father Kuenster's flock of fowl and
geese increased and so did the world-
ly possessions of his thrifty German
parishioners. His success did not
escape the authorities in Chicago, and
he was removed to take charge of the
rebellious and annoying parish of

As the cholera had returned to
Quincy' in 1850, the malcontents and
peace disturbers of St. Boniface
parish again wished for a priest, de-
ploring their past conduct towards
noble Father Brickwedde whilst the
good regretted their indolence in al-
lowing a bold and desperate minority
to bring shame and confusion upon
the congregation and the fair name
of the city.

During his term at Quincy, Father
Kuenster caused a great mission to be
given by the popular Father Wennin-
ger, S. J., built the church steeple and
purchased three bells in 1852, a pipe
organ in 1854. established an Orphan
society and built a two-story brick

Page Seventy-Three

residence. But now he was likewise
to experience from wicked people,
what poor Father Brickwedde had ex-
perienced, opposition, slander and
calumny. For seven years the cholera
continued to rage in the unfortunate
city claiming many a one from the
ranks of his opponents and enemies
and taxing the strength of the priest
beyond the actual capacity and endur-
ing powers, thus bringing him to a
premature grave on September 15,
1857. Funeral services were held by
Bishop Junker, the newly enthroned
Bishop of Alton, who hearing of the
serious illness of the good man, had
hastened to his bedside, but on his

arrival there found him already bat-
tling with death.

The defunct, of whose early life but
little is known, was born in 1806 at
Dueblich, on the Rhine, came to
America, studied for the priesthood at
the "Barrens," St. Louis, was ordained
by Bishop Kendrick of St. Louis,
August 15, 1842, together with Revs.
T. Cusack and P. McCabe.

Father Ktienster has a monument
to his memory in St. Boniface ceme-
tery of Q'uincy, whilst many of his
early co-workers are now in unknown
graves, "unwept, unknown and un-
sung." R. I. P.


Coadjutor-Bishop of Detroit, 1841-1869.

"I do not ask my cross to understand my

way to see ;

Better in darkness just to feel Thy hand
And follow Thee'.

soil of Illinois, was undoubtedly Rev.
Peter Paul Lefevre. It was in the
beginning of the thirties of the- past
One of the earliest missionary century that this heroic man set out
priests who set foot on the virgin from St. Paul's on the Salt River in

Rails county, Mo., to evangelize
Northern Missouri, Southern Iowa,
and Middle Illinois. Already, in 1833,
he ministers to the spiritual wants of

Page Seventy-Four

the few Catholics of Quincy, where
he said Mass in the private house of
Adami Schmitt. Springfield was also
the beneficiary of his priestly minis-

trations, yea, most of the incipient
towns where Catholics were known to
reside, were included in Father
Lefevre's itinerary. He was hailed
with unfeigned joy and delight where-
ever his coming was heralded by the
orphaned Catholic people. This genial
man of true apostolic spirit was a
native of Belgium, born at Roulers, in
Flanders, April 30, 1804, ordained a
priest at the Seminary of Cape Girar-
deau, Mo., under Bishop Rosati of
St. Louis, July 17, 1831, and conse-

crated a bishop November 21, 1841.
He died March 4, 1869.

Bishop Lefevre was never actually
Bishop of Detroit. He was made a
titular Bishop of Zela i. p. i., Coad-
jutor Administrator of Detroit then
embracing all Michigan and Wiscon-
sin and acted as such during the
mental incapacity of Bishop Frederick
Rese, first Bishop of Detroit, who
died December 29, 1871, surviving his
Coadjutor and Diocesan Administra-
tor. R. I. P.


"At each shrine, O Mother of Mercy!
Let still more of thy love be given,
Till I kneel at the last and brightest
The Throne of the Queen of Heaven".

One day, in August, 1900, a tragic
accident happened on the streets of
Omaha, Neb. Whilst alighting from
a street car and in the act of cross-
ing the street a priest was run down
by a car coming from an opposite di-
rection, he was knocked down by the
fender, the wheels passing over his
right leg crushing and mangling it
so that amputation of the injured
mem'ber was at once declared impera-
tive so that the crippled man's life at
least be saved. This awful mis-
fortune overtook Father Nicholas, the
Rector of St. Francis Solanus College
of Quincy, who had arrived in the
Western city that morning for the
purpose of giving the annual retreat
to a community of Sisters. As a true
priest and model religious he bore
this infliction resignedly, he almost
considered it a visitation sent by Al-
mighty God in order to chasten,
strengthen and purify him in the cru-
cible of such calamitous adversity.
Father Nicholas had been Rector of
the Quincy College since 1892. Dur-
ing the eight years of his administra-
tion the institution signally grew and
expanded in influence and importance
new life seemed to have pulsated
through its halls and class rooms
whilst the number of scholars in-
creased from year to year. New
buildings and additions to old ones
were put up, renovations in various
departments made, so that St. Francis

had become a keen competitor with
any institution in the state. In
enumerating and lauding the merits
of Father Nicholas as Rector of the
College, it is far from us to detract
from or minimize the grand achieve-
ments attained or the invaluable
services -rendered that seat of learn-
ing by its veteran president, Father
Anselm, who for more than forty
years put forth his best efforts in be-
half of the College/ Though our
stricken priest survived the terrible
ordeal and was restored somewhat
to his former usefulness yet the
shock to his system had been such
that within a few years thereafter
the good man suffered a complete
break-down, physical and mental.
Death came to his relief at St.
Anthony's monastery of St. Louis,
March 17, 1903.

Father Nicholas was an unusually
scholarly bright man of rare talents
and attainments, a splendid college
professor and amiable companion to
his confreres. No one received a
heartier welcome by the secular cler-
gy than he, hence his misfortune and
subsequent death elicited universal
sorrow and sympathy.

V. Rev. Nicholas Leonard, O. F. M.,
was a native of Alsace, born in the
town of Kerprich, April 23, 1853, at-
tended St. Joseph's College of Teu-
topolis, entered the Order of Friars
Minor June 13, 1870, and was raised
to the priesthood February 1, 1877
at St. Louis. His life was conse-

Page Seventy-Five

crated to the education of young men
in which he achieved great results,
both at St. Joseph's College of Teu-

topolis as well as at St. Francis
Solanus of Q'liincy.


"When the sunset came in glory
And the toil of day was o'er".

But few details are known of the
life and personality of Rev. Hermann
Liermann, and that what is known of
him may be summarized in a few
lines. He hailed from the diocese of
Osnabrueck in the former Kingdom
of Hanover. Coming to this country
he affiliated with the diocese of Chi-
cago and was appointed in 1851, pas-
tor of Centerville, and form thence
sent to Teutopolis, where he stayed
from 1856-'57, becoming the success-
or to Rev. Father Frauenhofer, who

had in the meantime taken up his
domicile in Green Creek. From 1857-
1860, Father Liermann became pastor
of St. Peter's church, Chicago, one
of the two oldest German parishes of
that city. From 1861-March 1865, he
is pastor of McHenry, and became in
1865-1879, pastor of St. Nicolas' parish
of Aurora. His last charge was at
Rock Island, where he was given the
pastorate of St. Mary's congregation
in 1880, exchanging places with Father
Schnuekel. Eight years of faithful
service marks his life at Rock Island,
where in 1888, he died. R. I. P.


' 'Thy treasures wait thee in the far-off skies
And death will give them all to thee".

A man of forcefulness of character,
a wise and prudent pastor, was Father
Limacher of St. Peter and Paul's

parish of Waterloo. He enjoyed the
unlimited confidence of his people,
while the public at large paid homage
to his rare qualities of mind and heart.
Success attended his every undertak-

Page Seventy-Six

ing though often beset by serious
difficulties and outspoken opposition
as is frequently the case when at-
tempts at reformation are inaugurated
and the judgment of the pastor is to
prevail. He ripened in the school of
such varied experiences whilst pastor
of seditious Highland from August,
1851-September, 1861. After the latter
date his transfer to the prominent
parish of Waterloo took place, where
his unselfish labors were properly ap-
preciated by an ever grateful congre-
gation and where his memory will
forever be held in benediction. For
39 years Father Limacher acted the
zealous pastor of his Waterloo flock
until June 11, 1899, when the weary
soul of this venerable priest leaped
forth to meet his maker.

Rev. Paul Limacher was born June
26, 1826, at Fluehelen, in the Canton
Luzern, Switzerland. He studied at
Luzern four years, at Solothurn two
years and thereafter four years at
the University of St. Mary's of the
Lake, Chicago He had come to this
country May 1, 1847. On July 3, 1851,
our future diocesan priest was or-
dained to the priesthood by the second
Bishop of Chicago, Rt. Rev. Jarmes
Oliver Vandevelde, at Florissant, Mo.

He was at once assigned to the
parish of Highland to succeed the
Rev. Charles Joseph Count von
Morogna, then pastor of Shoal Creek
(now Germantown) who had looked

after the spiritual interests of that
parish since 1849. He became the first
resident pastor of St. Paul's of High-
land. Father Paul Limacher was
buried at Waterloo. R. I. P.


The average American priest does
not attain the age of sixty. He passes
away within the decade of the fifties.
Such is the conclusion at which one
arrived after many years of careful in-
vestigation and close observation. By

naturally be justified to still expect
great things from them.

Rev. Joseph Locher was one of
those who prematurely sank into an
early grave. Of vigorous constitution,
yea, the very embodiment of rugged

far the greatest number of those
whom we accompanied to their last
resting places in the cemeteries have
been called from hence before enter-
ing their sixties. Whether there are
statistics to prove or disprove this
assertion we know not; however, cer-
tain it is that of our own diocesan
clergy at least, the greater percentage
died when still in the prime of man-
hood, at a time when one would

health and well-being, he had all rea-
son to confidently look forward to yet
many years of active life and the re-
alization of many fond dreams and
cherished hopes. But "in the midst
of life we are surrounded by death."
This passage of Holy Scripture be-
came true with a shocking and start-
ling reality on December 10th, 1904,
when the mournful news of Rev.
Father Locher's untimely death was

Page Seventy-Sev

heralded to the vast number of friends
and parishioners. Such was the case.
St. Mary's of Quincy had lost her pas-
tor, a short, brief illness had felled the
strong and vigorous man in the midst
of his labors when apparently in the
bloom and ripeness of manhood, in the
zenith of priestly activity. But though
his life was of comparatively short
duration, our deceased was but in his
54th year yet he could exclaim in the
hour of his last summons with St.
Paul: "I have fought a good fight, I
have finished my course, I have kept
my faith. As to the rest, there is
laid up for me a crown of justice,
which the Lord, the just judge, will
render to me in that day; and not to
me alone, but to them also that love
His coming."

When on April the 2nd, 1895, Rev.
Gerard Mirbach had answered the
final roll call, it was an easy matter
for the bishop to find a ready and wil-
ling successor to this eminent pastor
of St. Mary's. The parish in all its
appointments was now perfected and
complete, it ranked high among the
parishes of the diocese, some of the
very best men had given it tone and
prestige, the community spirit was a
good one, generous and of sacrifice, no
dissensions nor any opposition parties
to the pastor had ever stigmatized the
conduct of her exemplary members,
and the finances were in fairly good
condition; all things then considered
the orphaned congregation at this
time was quite a desirable one for any
priest to covet. The man to fill the
vacancy, however, was near at hand,
he had lived for several years a quasi-
retired life in a cottage build for him-
self on Locust Street, on property
bought from St. Vincent's Home. It
was Rev. Joseph Locher, for many
years, from 1874-1890, pastor of St.
Joseph's Church of Mt. Sterling, and
at the time of his appointment to the
pastorate of St. Mary's a chaplain as-
signed to the needs and ministrations
of the Catholic inmates of the Sol-
diers' Home. On leaving Mt. Sterling
our subject seriously considered em-
bracing monastic life in the Capu-
chine Order at Dertoit, Mich. It so

happened, however, that at this very
time when he had planned to execute
his intention, the Rev. Francis Ostrop
of Carlinville, was about to leave for
Europe. His choice of substitute dur-
ing the six months absence fell upon

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Online LibraryAnthony ZurbonsenClerical bead roll of the Diocese of Alton, Ill. → online text (page 9 of 19)