Ill.) St. Boniface Congregation (Quincy.

Souvenir of the diamond jubilee of St. Boniface congregation, Quincy, Illinois : including a historical sketch 1837-1912 online

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Online LibraryIll.) St. Boniface Congregation (QuincySouvenir of the diamond jubilee of St. Boniface congregation, Quincy, Illinois : including a historical sketch 1837-1912 → online text (page 4 of 12)
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the field. The "Quincy Germania" still exists as a daily paper,
and is now ably edited for the last 25 years by the scholarly
Henry Bornmann.

In 1874 Father Ostrop enlarged the sacristy by adding 8 feet
to the western side, and connected it by means of a door with
the chapel. In the same year $506.00 was spent to improve the
roads of the cemetery and to enclose the whole with a new fence.
A crib was also ordered from Munich at the cost of $102.00,
which was defrayed by the members of the Ladies' Society, into
who>se treasury from Oct 10th, 1872-Jan 1st, 1875, also flowed the
receipts of the Young Ladies' Society and St. John's Society, so
that all three organizations deserve credit also for other dona-
tions made during that time, such as the large monstrance now
in general use, bought for $200.00, in 1872 ; a cope costing $200.
in 1873 ; besides vestments, altar laces, vases, flowers, candle-
sticks, cruets, amounting to hundreds of dollars.

On Sept. 19th, 1875-1876, Father L. Quitter came as assist-
ant to Father Ostrop, and remained till Dec. 3rd, 1876, whilst
Father F. Reinhart was here for the second time from Aug. 20th,
1876, to Oct. 24th, 1877.


On April 5th, 1876, Father Ostrop, with a view of eventu-
ally building a new church and parsonage, bought another piece
of property, immediately east of the school site, with 87 feet
front on Hampshire street and 190 feet depth on Eighth street,
occupied by a substantial two-story brick building, originally a
Methodist female seminary, now the headquarters of St. Boni-
face Social Club, as well as another two-story building, like-
wise of brick, used heretofore as a private residence, and since
then rented out by the congregation to Dr. Rooney, Dr. John-
ston and Dr. Brenner in succession. The consideration was $15,-
000.00, of which $5.000.00 was to be paid in cash, $5,000.00 after
one year, and the balance after two years with interest at 10 per
cent. This deal was made in the names of ten ladies, with whom
afterwards about 70 others became associated under the title "St.
Anne's School Society," and who were to pay 25 cents a month
until such a time when the property could be transferred to the
parish ; which became necessary already in May, 1877, when
the income of the society had fallen short $200.00 of even the
interest due on the place. Father Ostrop was not discouraged by
the heavy debts contracted in consequence of the improvements
made at St. Boniface, and those who knew him best are of the
opinion that, had he been given an opportunity, he would soon
have erected a new church and parsonage in keeping with the
magnificent school, and what is more, would have devised some
means to raise the necessary funds to pay for all. The bishop, how-
ever, saw fit to call a halt, at least for a time, and to the sincere
regret of his parishioners, their enterprising pastor was removed
to Carlinville, Sept. 1st, 1877, and in his stead none less than
the affable and genial Father John Janssen, then vicar-general
and chancellor of the Alton Diocese, now Bishop of Belleville,
was sent as pastor to St. Boniface.


The Conciliator of St. Boniface.

Sept. 1st, 1877 Dec. 31st, 1879.

The total debt of the parish was placed by Father Janssen,
in his first statement of Jan. 10th, 1878, at $82,368.00, with
$3,028.64 in the treasury, leaving a net debt of $79,339.36; to


which, however, must be added outstanding bonds to the
amount of $2,300, which seem to have been overlooked at the
time, thus making the actual indebtedness $81,639.36. Through
his kind and gentle ways Father Janssen soon won the love and
confidence of all his parishioners, who worked hand in hand with
their new pastor, and in the course of a year the interest on most
of the borrowed money had been reduced from 8 and 10 per cent
to 6 per cent, which, in the long run meant more than $10,000 re-
duction of the actual debt. This debt was somewhat increased in
1878, when it became necessary to buy additional property for
the cemetery, lots 1, 2, 3 and 4 in block 4 of F. Baker's addition
having been agreed upon for $2,000.00, (consecrated in the ab-
sence of Bishop Baltes by his administrator, Father Janssen
himself). For the purpose of getting loans at a still lower
rate of interest, Father Janssen on August 1st, 1878, or-
ganized the "St. John's Savings Association," (St. Jos-
hannes Sparkassen Verein") whose members, divided into four
different classes, were to deposit $1.00, 50c, 25c and lOc a month
respectively, and draw interest at the rate of 4 per cent., but
only after accumulating a capital of $50,00, $25.00, $15.00 and
$10.00, according to their respective classes. By means of this
society, not only the rate of interest on money loaned was con-
siderably reduced, but thousands of dollars were deposited which
drew no interest at all.

But Father Janssen was not only a thorough business man
who knew how to grapple with financial problems; he was first
of all a man of God, and as such did wonders in perfecting all the
details of divine service, and advancing the spiritual welfare of
his flock. In Dec. 1878, he invited the Jesuit Fathers Becker,
Wochner and Kamp to hold a mission, through which much
good was accomplished, and during which also the "Apostleship
of Prayer" was introduced into the parish.

Father Janssen was ably assisted by Father A. Breinlinger,
who came to Quincy Sept. 9th, 1877, and remained until Aug.
3rd, 1878, and by Father Cornelius Hoffmans who was here
from Aug. 13th, 1877, until Oct. 27th, 1885. In IVfay, 1878, when
the teacher, Jasper, left for Germany, his class was turned over
to the sisters, who now had charge of the entire school, whilst
Father Spaeth became second assistant and directed the choir.

During the pastorate of Father Janssen was organized the


Present Assists' nt at St. Boniface.


"Western Catholic Union," a fraternal insurance society, now
well-known and widely spread in four states, and well deserving
the confidence of its 10,000 members as well as the general
public. The Supreme Council was formed in October, and on
Dec. 20th appleid to Springfield for incorporation with the privi-
lege of organizing subordinate branches, which was granted Dec.
27th. The application bore the following signatures: Anton H.
Heine, Pres. ; Henry Steinkamp, Vice-Pres. ; Julius Becker, Sec.
retary ; A. B. Hellhake, Asst. Secretary ; Anton Binkert, Treas. ;
with Geo. Terdenge, Jos. Jacoby, Louis Stern, John Heine and
Michael Ullmann as Trustees. On Nov. 1st, 1877, St. Nicholas
Branch No. 1, the first, and until March 1879, the only subordi-
nate society, was organized, and on Feb. 20th, 1878, incorpor-
porated, after electing the following to office: John J. Metzger,
Pres. ; C. G. Hoffmann, Vice-Pres. ; Hy. Moller, Fin. Sec. ; Jos. A.
Lubbe, Rec. Sec. ; Hy. Ant. Oenning, Treas. ; H. B. Menke, Geo.
Metzger, John Mjueller, Ben Schupp and Carl Heckle, Trustees.
The headquarters of this branch are still at St. Boniface.

During the administration of Father Janssen, provision
began to be made for the spiritual wants of the colored popula-
tion of the city. When Father Michael Richardt, O. F. M;., who
later became Provincial, desired to organize the negroes
into a parish, the old Protestant church on Seventh and Jersey
streets, that had served for school purposes for St. Boniface until
the time of Father Ostrop, was graciously put at his disposal by
the zealous Father Janssen, and on Feb. llth, 1878, a Catholic
negro school was opened with Sister Herlinda of the Order of
Notre Dame as teacher, whilst religious instruction had already
been given there from Oct. 21st of the previous year. These
efforts in behalf of the poor neglected negroes soon bore good
fruits, so much so that some of the Protestant church workers
became alarmed and went so far as to voice indignant protests
against the Catholic inroads amongst the colored population.
When Father Michael, by order of his superiors, gave up his
charge, his good work was continued with great self-sacrifice by
Fathers Bruener, Hoffmans, Budde and Pesch of St. Boniface,
until July 26, 1886, when Father August Tolton, the first colored
priest in the United States, was officially installed by Father
Bruener as the regular pastor of "St. Joseph's Negro Church."

Father Janssen, loved and respected by all who knew him,


did not remain long at Quincy. The bishop needed him at Alton
and on Dec. 31st, he was recalled, and Father Theodore Bruener,
pastor of St. Mary's Church, Dec. 28th, 1867-May 1st, 1873, and
since then Rector of the Catholic Normal School at Milwaukee
(organized in 1871 by Dr. Salzmann) was sent to St. Boniface in
his stead.


The Historian of St. Boniface.

Dec. 31st, 1879 Nov. lOth, 1887.

The principal aim of Father Bruener during his sojourn of
eight years at St. Boniface, was to continue the good work of
his predecessor in reducing the enormous debt of the parish,
which according to the statement of the latter, dated Dec. 29th,
1879, was $91,866.00, with $8,887.55 in the treasury, leaving a net
indebtedness of $82,978.45, an increase of $1,339.09 since his first
account of Jan. 10th, 1878, due to the fact that $2,341.45 had been
paid, as stated above, to extend the cemetery. This amount was
gradually reduced by Father Bruener, until his own last state-
ment, Jan. 1st, 1887, shows it to be only $52,566.70, of which
nearly $2,000 more was paid off before he left towards the end of
that year. A good beginning in this direction was made in 1881,
when Father Bruener, following the example of the banks re-
duced the rate of interest on all money loaned, from 6 and 8 per
cent to 4 per cent, a procedure that saved the parish about $1,000
the very first year. When the banks in 1882 made a further
reduction of 1 per cent, in interest on deposits, our wary pastor
again was quick to follow, with the result that another great an-
nual saving was made. Father Bruener knew also how to econ-
omize and thus saved hundreds of dollars in expenditures. As
teacher and organist, he brought with him from Milwaukee a
young student, Jos. Sommer, whom he gave a salary of $350.00,
with free board at the parsonage, for which he charged the parish
only $100.00 a year. The bishop also agreed to reduce the
"Cathedraticum" for St. Boniface from 5 to 4 per cent of its in-
come. With the reduction of expenses came also an increase in
the receipts, owing partly to the improvement of the times,
which of the last few years had been very bad. The pew rent
rose about $1,000.00 a year, the Sunday collections several hun-
dred, the house rent about $400.00, and a number of small


bequests and donations were made. Father Bruener also took
up three house collections (in 1880, 1881 and 1882) and had two
others taken up by his assistants (in 1884 and 1886), which to-
gether yielded about $17,000.00. The members of the Ladies'
Society showed again their noble, generous spirit, by donating
annually for six years the sum of $500.00 to help pay off the debt.
Entertainments by the St. Joseph Young Men's Society, dinners
served by the ladies and young ladies, etc., also greatly increased
the income of the parish.

But after this general survey of his work, let us follow
Father Bruener, step by step, and see what else transpired
during his stay at St. Boniface. Beginning with 1880, we find
our pastor, in the summer of the year, making a trip to Europe,
in the course of which he also goes to Rome, where he has the
privilege of an audience with the Holy Father, obtaining from
him the faculty of imparting on his return to Quincy the "Papal
Blessing" to his parishioners, to which is attached a plenary in-
dulgence for all who receive the sacraments.

Great crowds availed themselves of this concession, for the
dispensing of which the Sunday before the Feast of All Saints
had been selected, and three priests were kept busy the day be-
fore, from early morning until late at night, in hearing their
confessions. A special collection taken up on this occasion for
the Holy Father and sent to him through Mgr. De Waal,
brought a letter of thanks, dated Jan. llth, 1881, and signed by
his secretary, Cardinal Jacobini.

Whilst on his trip aboar,, Father Bruener became
acquainted with a certain Mr. Harrach of Munich, considered the
best gold-smith in the country, from whom he ordered the so-
called "Tumba" or repository, which is used on Holy Thursday
and which stands without an equal in the land. It is made of
solid copper, plated with gold, and represents a Romanesque
church of cross design 28 inches wide and 12 inches deep, sur-
mounted at the center by a cupola. The whole is adorned with
exquisite hand engraving and profusely studded with precious
jewels. Its price $387.76 was paid by the Ladies' Society soon
after its arrival in 1881.

On July 4th, 1880, St. Boniface Church had been. the scene
of another First Mass, celebrated by Father Fred. Ellshorst, who
was not, however, a son of the parish.


In September 1880 Oscar P. Huck was engaged as teacher
for the lower grade of boys to assist Mr. Sommer, who was in
charge of the higher grade; and when the latter, on account of
ill health was compelled to resign, the former succeeded him as
sole lay teacher of the school, a Sister taking the place of the
second one. For eight years Mr. Huck held out in this exacting
position, and his very efficient work in the class room, as well as
the excellent music rendered under his direction in church, had
won for him the respect and admiration of every parishioner,
when a splendid opportunity to engage in business caused him to
resign his position, Aug. 25th, 1888, which, however, he has tem-
porarily filled again on many occasions, being always ready to
help out in an emergency.

In 1881 a piece of property adjacent to the cemetery was
offered for sale, which together with that already owned by the
parish would form a square and also lessen the possibility of its
being divided by the laying out of Kentucky street, and the site
was bought for a consideration of $350.00.

On April 21st, 1881, was organized another branch of the
Western Catholic Union with headquarters at St. Boniface, it
being St. Peter's Branch No. 16, whose first officers, elected
April 25, were the following: Anton H. Heine, Pres ; Edw. Sohm,
Sr., Vice-Pres. ; Thos. Binkert, Fin. Secretary ; John Siepker,
Rec. Sec. ; Jos. Lubbe, Treasurer and John Sohm, Anton Zim-
mermann, Bern. Heuer, J. Mast, and J. Lennert, Trustees..

In 1882, just before the opening of the Forty Hours Devo-
tion, a beautiful present was made to the church by the mem-
mers of the Young Ladies' Sodality, in the form of a large, new
sanctuary lamp in Romanesque style, imported from Germany
for $75.00, which has, however, since then been replaced by a
more pretentious one and is now doing duty in St. Joseph's
Church on Columbus Road.

On July 21st of this year bids were opened for the construc-
tion of a new tower on the church, the old one having suffered
from the elements and its age and become so unsafe that it had
to be removed. Mr. Schenk received the contract, which in-
cluded also raising the bells to a higher place in the tower, and
carried with it an expenditure of $4,135.00. The work was sub-
let by MT. Schenck, to various other bidders, the brick-work being
given to Bernzen & Michael, the slating to Mr. Fortkamp, the


Present Teacher, Organist, Choir, Orchestra and Band
Director at St. Boniface.


stone-work to Menke & Co. It was not completed till 1883,
when the last slating was put on the point of the spire and the
large cross was regilded, and equipped with a lightning rod which
cost $83.50. In this year the tower clock, with four dials cor-
responding to the four points of the compass, and one inside the
church for the special benefit of long-winded preachers was in-
stalled by Mr. Pohlhaus of St. Louis for $112.45, and even to the
present day this good old timepiece is doing faithful service for
the accommodation of thousands of people daily, who have
been accustomed to depend upon it and show the greatest con-
cern as soon as something accidentally goes wrong.

The wood-work on the exterior of the church was also re-
painted at a cost of $156.00, the school was equipped with a
fire-escape which cost $127.00, whilst improvements to the
amount of $431.00 on the old female seminary building consisted
in partitioning the greater part of its large hall into smaller
rooms, which for years brought in considerable rent.

The old school house west of the church, which from its
very origin was only a makeshift, had in the meantime become
intolerable on account of dampness as well as the lack of light
and fresh air, and Henry Tushaus, who offered $250.00 for the
material, was ordered to wreck it and remove it.

On Oct. 1st of this year Father F. Budde came to Quincy
and, together with Father Hoffmans, was assistant to Father
Bruener until Sept. 1st, 1885.

During the year 1883 occurred also the ordination and First
Mass of two young men born within the limits of St. Boniface.
The first of these was Rev. Francis Lubbe, S. J., son of the late
Anton Jos. Lubbe, who came into the world Jan. 29th, 1855, and
after receiving private instruction from Father Reinhart and
attending St. Francis College, made his higher studies in
Emmetsburg and joined the Jesuits in New York in 1879, was
ordained priest at Santa Fe, April 24th, 1883, and died already
Jan. 10th of the following year. The other was Rev. Maurus
Brink, O. F. Ml, son of B. H. Brink, who was born here Nov.
26th, 1856, began his studies at Milwaukee in 1874, became a
Franciscan Sept. 7th, 1877, received his ordination May 12th,
1883, and celebrated his First Mass at Mary's Church on the
following day.

In 1884 a new roof and new gutters became necessary for


the church, which cost $608.65, whilst the altars were repainted
and regilded at a cost of $144.80 and the organ repaired for
$65.00. In the same year the wood-work of the school building
was repainted at a cost of $195.85, and the school-grounds were
enclosed with an iron fence, costing $497.95.

On Dec. 6th of this year occurred the 25th anniversary of
the First Mass of Father Bruener, celebrated in Muenster, West-
phalia, and the occasion was fittingly observed with special
festivities in church and in the school hall. The different socie-
ties of the parish vied with each other in remembering their
zealous pastor, and amongst the many valuable gifts received,
was also a check for $722.10, which was, however, placed into the
treasury of the church. The clergy of seven different dioceses
were represented at this occasion, and added special dignity to
the celebration.

On Christmas Day of this year, occurs the First Mass of
Rev. Clement Johannes, son of the late Clement Johannes, Sr.,
who was born April 10th, 1860, and after taking private instruc-
tions from Fathers Wegmann, Reinhart and Ostrop continued his
studies at Milwaukee and later at Montreal, where he was or-
dained December 20th,- 1884.

In the course of the year 1885, two more sons of St. Boni-
face were raised to the holy priesthood and celebrated their
First Mass at their mother church. The first of these was Rev.
J. B. Oeinck, son of late Hy. Oeinck, born Dec. 17th, 1858,
who made his studies at St. Francis College of this city and at
Emmetsburg near Baltimore, where he was ordained some time
in August, after which he returned to Quincy to bring his First
Offering to God on the 30th, of the same month. The other
was Rev. Jos. Hummert, son of John Hummert, who was born
March 24th, 1860, began his studies privately under Father Rein-
hart, continued them at Milwaukee, and after his elevation to
the priestly dignity at Davenport, Sept. 19th, celebrated his
First Mass here at St. Boniface, Sept. 20th.

In the fall of this year the old wooden cross with its plat-
form and kneeling bench, that stood at the intersection of the two
main roads in the cemetery, and had suffered greatly from time
and exposure, was replaced by the beautiful Crucifixion Group
that now marks the spot, and is not only the centre of attraction


for all visitors, but also the incentive to many a fervent prayer
that is poured forth there for the dear ones who rest beneath its
shadow. The altar and the cross of this beautiful monument are
of stone and were set up by the parish, whilst the life-size figures
of Christ, the Sorrowful Mother and the Beloved Disciple, are of
zinc and were donated by an unknown party. The whole was
dedicated on All Souls' Day of the same year, by Father Vincent,
O. F. M., Provincial of the Order, in the presence of all the
local German priests and a great concourse of the laity from
every part of the city. In setting up this beautiful shrine, Father
Bruener cherished the hope that some generous lover of the
Poor Souls would eventually enclose it with a chapel, so that the
Holy Sacrifice could be offered there on certain occasions.

The principal item of expense this year, besides the ordi-
nary, was $168.30 for a new sidewalk on Hampshire street be-
tween Seventh and Eighth ; whilst the next year, 1886, a similar
improvement became necessary around the church and on the
Mjaine street side of the old cemetary property, which caused
an expenditure of $176.00 and $100.00 respectively.

On Feb. 15th, 1886 occured at Alton, the death of Bishop
Baltes, for whom a Solemn Requiem was held at St. Boniface
on February 22nd, the entire church having been draped in
black and white as an expression of the sorrow that prevailed at
the demise of the venerable prelate.

In the course of this year, some parts of the decoration of
the church, that had suffered greatly from the soot of the stoves
with which the church was then heated, were retouched, and
at the same time the adjoining sacristy, as also the sodality
chapel in the school building, were frescoed, the entire work be-
ing done by Mr. Loeffler of Milwaukee. The expense for the
chapel, which was $150.00, was born conjointly by the
Ladies' Society and the Young Men's and Young Ladies'
Sodalities. About the same time a pious lady donated a
beautiful statue of Our Lady of Lourdes, the work
of Mr. Schneiderhahn of St. Louis, which was placed in the niche
of the chapel altar that had been installed already before, and
there it continues to exert its influence in exciting to true devo-
tion all the children of Mary, who gather about it for their
monthly meetings.

On July 18th of this year occured an event at St. Boniface


which drew upon it the eyes of the Catholics and non-Catholics
of the entire country. It was the Initial Sacrifice of Father
August Tolton, the first negro priest in the United States.
Father Tolton, born April 1st, 1854, was the son of slave par-
ents of Rails Co., Mo., his father, Peter Paul Tolton having
been received into the church by Father Lefevre on one of his
missionary trips, whilst his mother, originally from Kentucky,
had been baptized already as a child. When at the outbreak
of the Civil War his father fled and joined the Union Army, his
mother with her three children of whom the oldest was nine
years, he seven years and the youngest 20 months, likewise
took to flight, and after crossing the river at Hannibal found her
way to Quincy, where August found work in a tobacco factory.
Later however he was sent to St. Boniface School, where he
also learned to speak the German language; afterwards he at-
tended classes at St. Peters, where Father McGirr first dis-
covered evidences of a vocation to the holy priesthood. After
taking private instructions from different priests of Quincy, he
was sent to Rome to be educated at the Propaganda, where he
was ordained priest, April 24th, 1886 by Cardinal Parochi, and
sent back as missionary for the negroes in the United States.
His First Holy Mass, celebrated at St. Boniface Church, where
formerly he had served as an altar boy, was a gala occasion for
the people of Quincy, who crowded the church as had never
been witnessed before. Father Anselm Mueller, O. F. M.,
Rector of St. Francis College, contributed to the solemnity of
the occasion by delivering a most impressive sermon. On July
26th, 1886, as stated above, Father Tolton was officially installed

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Online LibraryIll.) St. Boniface Congregation (QuincySouvenir of the diamond jubilee of St. Boniface congregation, Quincy, Illinois : including a historical sketch 1837-1912 → online text (page 4 of 12)