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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supper. At 7:30 o'clock there was an entertainment, consisting
of several selections by St. Boniface Choir, followed by the very
appropriate and touching three-act drama "Out in the Streets"
presented by "St. George's Literary and Athletic Club." No one
enjoyed a more pleasant evening than the orphans themselves,
though the joy of their elders must have been doubled by the
thought that they were helping to provide for and make happy
these poor, little ones. A tasty illustrated booklet was published
for the occasion by the program committee consisting of Chris.
Freiburg, Chris. Wand and George Fischer, Jr., for which a de-
tailed history of the society was written by Henry Freiburg.

In the meantime repeated complaints had been made about
the lack of room in the gallery of the church, due to the greater
dimensions of the new organ as well as to the increase in the
membership of the choir. Mr. Tubesing who was consulted sub-
mitted plans and specifications for extending the gallery, and
when Mr. Schullian had offered to carry them out for the sum
of $386.50, he was instructed to proceed with the work, and our
good singers can now no longer excuse themselves for any
musical misdemeanor with a plea of lack of room for breathing.

During the summer months of this year the interior of the
school was kalsomined by Geo. Starmann for $150.00, who also
retouched some parts of the decorations in the church which
caused an additional expenditure of $98.00.

On June 15th of this year the Rev. William Schemer, an-

Interior of St. Boniface School

Class Room.

Pioneer Educator at the School

Mother Boniface.

Born at Siejfesdorf, Bavaria, Dec. 26th, 1836. Came to America
with her parents in 1842. Entered Notre Dame Convent at Milwaukee
April 23rd, 1853. Received the Habit May 24th, 1854. Made her pro-
fession Oct. 21st, 1856. Came to St. Boniface School in 1863. Opened
St. Mary's Academy in 1867. Died Jan. 1st, 1908.


other son of St. Boniface, celebrated his First Mass at his parish

In the fall of the year occurred another joyful event, this
time the Silver Jubilee of the Western Catholic Union, which
was celebrated, in conjunction with the twenty-fifth annual con-
vention, on Wednesday and Thursday, October 15th and 16th.
The delegates to the convention assembled at St. Boniface Hall
at 8 :00 A. M. of the 15th and proceeded to church, where Solemn
Pontifical Mass was celebrated at 8:30 by Bishop Janssen, with
sermon by Father Anselm Mueller, O. F. M., Rector of St. Fran-
cis College. The convention proper was opened at 11 :00 o'clock
by Supreme President Herman F. Jochem, who introduced suc-
cessively Anton Hy. Heine, the President of the day, and Hon.
John A. Steinbach, Mayor of the city, for addresses of welcome ;
then followed presentation of badges after which adjournment.
In the afternoon at 2 :00 o'clock there was a great parade, with
St. Francis College students in the lead, followed by all the dele-
gates, with the clergy in carriages forming the close. In the
evening at 8 :00 o'clock a grand entertainment was given at the
Empire Theatre, the features of which were several vocal se-
lections by the consolidated church choirs of Quincy, and an
address by Rev. A. Zurbonsen, then of Raymond, now pastor
of the local St. Mary's Church. The following day the delegates
attended Mass again in a body, this time a Solemn Requiem for
the deceased members of the Union, after which the business
meetings were continued until 8 :00 o'clock P. M., when the cele-
bration came to a close with a delicious banquet at which T. J.
Manning acted as toast-master, with several prominent members
listed as the speakers. The very exhaustive and beautifully il-
lustrated historical souvenir published on the occasion of this
Jubilee, was again the work of the indefatigable Chris. Freiburg,
assisted by John A. Connery and Hy. Ording, Jr.

On January 18th of 1903, Father Weis announced that he
would return all deposits that had been made by members of St.
John's Savings Association and that their account books must be
returned within a month from date, after which they would be
void. This society, organized at the time of financial embar-
rassment had fulfilled its mission and being no longer of any
need, was dissolved.

On M&rch 3rd occurred the 25th anniversary of the corona-
tion of Pope Leo XIII, and the occasion was observed with a


High Mass and special prayers for His Holiness. On the same
day was laid the corner-stone for the new St. Joseph's Church
on Columbus Road, to replace the old "Rock Church" built in
1868, during the time of Father Schaefermeyer, which had been
destroyed by a cyclone in 1902. The ceremony was performed by
Father Weis.

On June 29th of this year, it being the feast of SS. Peter
and Paul, Father Solanus Rooney, O. F. M., a child of St. Boni-
face Parish known better under his baptismal name, Paul, cele-
brated his First Mass at St. Francis Church. Father Solanus,
son of the late Dr. Michael Rooney, the eminent physician and
one-time teacher at St. Boniface, was born September 17th, 1877,
made a brilliant course of studies at the parish school, St. Francis
College, St. Louis University and Harvard, after which he was
invested with the habit of St. Francis, July 24th, 1899 and raised
to the priesthood June 27th, 1903. He was appointed to take
charge of a parish largely composed of Mexicans and Pima In-
dians, amongst whom he was achieving great good, when ill
health compelled him to seek the milder climate of Santa Bar-
bara where, however, he passed to his reward already May 24th,

On the 5th of July the announcement was made in church
that beginning with the following September, St. Boniface
School would be free, so that the last excuse of some parents for
sending their children to the public schools, would vanish and
only prejudice or stubbornness could stand in the way for the
future. It was the understanding, however, that only active
members of the parish, that is such that contribute their share,
especially in pew-rent, towards the support of the church could
avail themselves of this new feature, whilst others living out-
side of the parish as well as those who had not rented a seat,
would be required to pay $1.00 a month tuition as in the past.
The funds for conducting the school according to this plan were
to be raised by a special monthly collection to be taken up by
the trustees and directors in church, and by an annual picnic or
fair. The free-school plan is still in vogue at St. Boniface,
though it must be confessed that the income from the above
sources falls short every year by a great margin of the actual
expense of operation.

On July 20th, 1903, occurred the death of Pope Leo XIII.,

St.JBoiiiface Parsonage, Old and New

Bought in 1857, Enlarged in 1865

Erected 1898.


and on the 28th a special service was held for the repose of his

The following year was ushered in with a destructive fire at
St. Boniface, to which the old historic Browning House that
stood on the school site bought by Father Ostrop fell the victim.
This massive mansion, a beautiful specimen of old colonial style,
and the most pretentious building in the city at its time, had
derived its name from the Hon. O. H. Browning, who had built
it about the year 1843, at a cost of over $30,000. Hon. O. H.
Browning was one of the foremost statesmen of his time, and
was secretary of the interior under President Johnson. He was a
personal friend of Abraham Lincoln, and when the future presi-
dent arrived in Quincy early in the morning of Oct. 13th, 1858,
to engage that same day with his opponent, Stephen Douglas,
in the famous debate of ante-bellum days, Mr. Lincoln was
escorted to the Browning home, where a beautiful bouquet was
presented to him by a delegation of Quincy ladies, to whom he
expressed in a brief response his gratification for the interest
taken in him. From the platform that afternoon after debating
for an hour and a half, Mr. Lincoln again repaired to this stately
mansion, and standing on the top of the great stone steps, flanked
by the massive columns of its colonial portico, he held a levee
and his admirers were introduced to him. Many other dis-
tinguished men enjoyed the hospitality of the Browning resi-
dence until its proprietor built another residence on Eighth and
Sycamore streets (which was afterwards bought by H. F. J.
Ricker, Sr.), and sold the place on Hampshire street to Father
Ostrop who built the school just south of the old mansion which
served for a temporary parsonage in 1898, and was later occupied
by Dr. John Koch and the Conservatory of Music successively,
until the day of the fire, which was caused by a defective pipe of
the furnace passing through a wooden partition. While the fire
was at its worst, it was greatly feared that the magnificent school
building which stood in such close proximity, would also go,
when a sudden change of the wind relieved the anxiety and saved
the day. Whilst the insurance received on the building, $1,665.00,
covered only the smaller part of the loss, no attempt was made
to restore it as it had stood in a place of disadvantage for the

In the spring of 1904 St. Boniface School was equipped with


the fine adjustable desks which are in present use, and which
were furnished by the American School Furniture Co. for

On Dec. 8th of the same year occurred the 50th anniversary
of the proclamation by Pope Pius IX. of the dogma of the Im-
maculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin, and the day, which
is already a holy day of obligation, was celebrated with special
solemnity on this occasion, for which also a special indulgence,
called "Jubilee," had been granted by the Holy Father.

On Dec. 29th of this year Father Kunsch arrived at St. Boni-
face, to take up his duties as assistant, Jan. 1st, whilst on the next
day Father Niebling, who had acted in a similar capacity for
over nine years, took leave of his many Quincy friends and de-
parted for his new field of labor in Lillyville.

On Thursday evening, Jan. 19th, 1905, the formal opening
of the parish club-house took place. For some time already the
desirability of added social facilities, especially for the younger
members of the congregation, had been discussed. After several
joint meetings of the trustees and directors of the church with
the officers of St. Joseph Young Men's Society and of St.
George's Literary & Athletic Club had been held to consider what
steps could be taken in this direction, it was suggested that
the old female seminary building might be converted into a club-
house and plans were evolved concerning the changes, the cost
for which was estimated at about $2,500.00. For the purpose of
carrying out these plans a new organization was formed and in-
corporated under the name of 'St. Boniface Social Club," at the
first meeting of which, on Sept. 19th, 1904, the following officers
were elected : Pres., Ed. Sohm ; Vice-Pres., George Fischer, Sr. ;
Rec. Sec., Will Sohm ; Fin. Sec., B. F. Weisenhorn ; Treas., Jos.

An understanding was reached at once with the church
board, by virtue of which a five years' lease on the property in
question was given to the club with permission to remodel the
building as proposed, without any further consideration except
the pledge to keep the place in good repair at their own expense.
To raise the necessary funds for the improvements the organi-
zation issued stock in shares of $10.00 each, which were readily
disposed of to the most prominent members of the parish.

An agreement had been entered into with the St. Joseph

Headquarters of St. Boniface Social Club.

Instructors in Physical Culture.



Young Men's Society as early as Aug. 16th, 1904, by virtue of
which the library, pool and billiard tables and other furniture of
the latter were to be placed at the disposal of the former, who
were to insure and care for the same, and in case of dissolution to
return them without any further process of law. In considera-
tion of this transfer of property, and for the further payment by
the society of 10 cents a month "per capita," all the members of
the former were to become "ipso facto" special members of the
latter, and be on an equal footing in regard to the rights of the
house, with the regular members who paid 25 cents per month.
A similar arrangement was made with the St. George's Literary
& Athletic Club, which organization, however, soon ceased to

So much arranged, the work of remodeling the building was
begun, and before many weeks had elapsed, the interior had
assumed an entirely new appearance and included a spacious
assembly hall, a cozy card and reading room, attractive pool and
billiard quarters, an up-to-date double track bowling alley, a
well equipped gymnasium, with lavatories, kitchen and other
accessories that go to make up a first-class club-house. When
everything had been put in readiness, the formal opening, as
stated above, took place, in thjg^course of which light refresh-
ments were served to the visitor?.

St. Boniface Social Club, which made its debut under such
favorable conditions, continues to exist and to exercise a whole -
some influence over young and old alike, to whom it offers the
various popular amusements and other social features, without
exposing them to the moral dangers threatening at other public
places of a similar nature.

On Sunday, Feb. 12th of this year, a joint meeting of the
Ladies' Society, the Orphans' Society and Young Men's Society
was called, for the purpose of making some provisions for the
needy members of the parish who were suffering greatly on
account of the severity of the winter. The result of this meet-
ing was the organization of an Aid Society similar to the defunct
St. Stephen's Society, for which the following officers were
elected: President, Mrs. Pantaleon Werneth ; Sec.-Treas., Mrs.
Joseph Freiburg, Sr. This organization, which a year ago as-
sumed the same name as its predecessor, continues to carry on
its work of charity, giving occasional suppers to raise the neces-


sary funds, as well as collecting wearing apparel and other ar-
ticles to be distributed amongst the poor. God bless the Ladies!

On Feb. 25th, Father Fred Neveling arrives as second as-
sistant at St. Boniface, but leaves again April 27th, after having
preached a popular course of lenten sermons.

From May 2nd to 5th a bazaar was given at the Turner Hall
by all the parishes of the city, for the benefit of St.
Mary's Hospital, the special feature of which was
a voting contest for the most popular parish in Quincy, in which
St. Boniface carried off the premium in the form of a beautiful
hand-embroidered set of white vestments including chasuble
and dalmatics.

In the course of the same year extensive repairs were
necessary in and about the school. The old slate roof with its
ever leaking cornice gutters had been a cause of constant annoy-
ance and expense; hence it was decided to extend the walls of
the building sufficiently to allow a metal roof with bracket gut-
ters to be constructed over it. The brick-work included in the
specifications was done by Geo. Vonderhaar for $120.00 ; the car-
penter-work by Anton Roehl for $598.00 ; whilst the metal-work
was let to Geo. Winking for $550.00. A metal ceiling was next
put into the hall, where the loose plaster had been a source of
constant danger, the contract being awarded to the firm of Berg-
hofer Ohnemus for $360.00. Just prior to this, the hall was
wired for electric lights, which M/iller & Butler attended to for
$182.98. Other repairs included the laying of iron sills at the
entrances of the school, which were furnished by the Central Iron
Works for $64.75 ; the installation of the inner doors at the en-
trances to serve as a protection against the cold of the winter
season, for which, together with other work, Frank Hoeckelmann
received $272.67 ; and finally the painting of the entire wood-work
which George Starmann undertook for $209.05. Other repairs
were made this year amounting to over $500, whilst $52.76 was
invested in a calcium light for the stage.

Some time this year the church received a valuable gift in
the form of six massive gold-plated candelabra and a crucifix for
the high altar, which are valued at $400.00 and were donated by
John Sohm as a memorial for his deceased son Theodore.

In the fall of the year was organized the present Columbia
Orchestra which has so often in recent years delighted the mem-


bers of St. Boniface with the sweet strains of its music furnished
at the various parish entertainments and on several special occa-
sions also for divine service. Various musical organizations of
some kind had been attempted since the dissolution of the
orchestra mentioned during Father Ostrop's career. As early
as 1886 a number of members of the parish including the three
Surmeyer brothers, Frank, Herman and George, as also Bernard
Damhorst, Otto Kathmann and Albert and Carl Ridder, played
together on various occasions, without, however, having effected,
it seems, a permanent organization. About four years later the
so-called "Olympia Orchestra" was formed, composed of the fol-
lowing musicians: Albert Ridder and Lawrence Weisenhorn,
first violin ; Theo. Sohm and Joseph Fischer, second violin ; Fred
Freiburg, flute and piccolo; Carl Ridder, first cornet; Will Sohm,
slide trombone ; Tom Sherer, piano. This organization dis-
banded some time in 1904 and was followed up in the fall of
1905, as stated above by the present Columbia Orchestra, which
started out with a membership of 7 or 8, but has since then
made steady progress in "quantity" as well as "quality" until
today it numbers 28 players and is considered one of the best
musical organizations in the city.

The "Columbia Concert Band," including most of the mem-
bers of the orchestra, is of later origin, its organization dating
back to the spring of this year, since when it has rendered a verv
successful concert in the school yard on the occasion of an ice
cream social given by the Young Ladies' Sodality, Wednesday
evening, Aug. 21st. It has a membership of 25, and will be heard
again at the coming Diamond Jubilee.

In 1906 occurred the Golden Jubilee of the St. Joseph
Young Men's Society, and the occasion was observed with a
three days' celebration that will be remembered for a long time
by all who witnessed it. On Sunday, Miay 6th, there was a
Solemn High Mass, at which the members of the society received
Holy Communion in a body. The celebrant was Father Weis,
the assistants Father Niebling and a Franciscan Father, whilst
the eloquent Father Philip Marke, O. F. M., of St. Francis Mon-
astery, preached a very effective sermon. In the afternoon at 3
o'clock there was Solemn Vespers, and in the evening at 8 o'clock
the Columbia Dramatic Club presented in a very elaborate man-
ner "The Prince of Fez." On Monday morning a Solemn


Requiem was offered up for the deceased members of the society
and in the evening another entertainment was given, whilst the
entire celebration came to a close on Tuesday evening, with a
complimentary banquet to all the members past and present, at
which about 300 were seated with Edward Sohm, trustee of the
society, as toast-master. A richly illustrated souvenir booklet
was published on the occasion of the Jubilee, in which Albert
Lubbe gives a brief account of the history of the society.

In the same month of May the annual convention of the
Federation of German Catholic Societies took place for the
second time at St. Boniface. On Sunday, May 27th, at 9 o'clock,
the delegates met at the school hall, and after the usual addresses
of welcome by the president of the Federation, Wm. F. Hecken-
kamp, Sr., the president of the day, Wm. J. Markus, and the
mayor of the city, Hon. John A. Steinbach, they attended Solemn
Pontifical High Mass at 10 o'clock, celebrated by Bishop
Janssen, the protector of the Federation, with Father John
M. Schaefers of Chicago as assistant priest and Fathers Cyprian
Bauscheidt, O. F. M., of Chicago, and Germanus Heinrichs, O.
F. M., of St. Francis Solanus Church, as deacon and
sub-deacon of honor, whilst Fathers J. J. Detmer, of
Chicago and Augustine Seifert of Rensselaer, In-
Father Symphorian Forstmann, O. F. M., delivering the sermon.
At 2:30 o'clock the delegates attended Solemn Vespers after
which a grand parade 2,000 strong was formed with Geo. Von-
derhaar, John H. Sohm and John Gehring as marshals. In the
evening at 8 o'clock there was a social meeting at St. Francis
"College Ball, the features of which were an address by Father
Augustine Seifert, and several very enjoyable selections by the
consolidated church choirs of the city with orchestra accompani-
ment. On the following day, at 8:30 o'clock A. M., another
Solemn High Mass, celebrated by Bishop Janssen, took place at
St. Francis Church, after which the business meetings were be^
gun at St. Boniface School Hall and continued through the day,
whilst in the evening the students of St. Francis College enter-
tained the delegates by presenting in a masterly manner a drama
entitled "The Fool's Bauble." On Tuesday, the 'third day of the
convention, a Solemn Requiem Mass was held at St. John's
Church, celebrated by Father Anthony Stengel, assisted by
Father Germanus Heinrichs, O. F. M., and Father S. P. Hoff-
mann, as deacon and sub-deacon respectively. In the afternoon


at 2 o'clock a trolley party was given for the benefit of the dele-
gates, whilst in the evening the customary banquet took place
at St. Boniface Hall, with Father J. M. Schaefers as toast-master
and Father Weis responding to the toast "Our Delegates."

On the first of July of this year the genial good-natured
Father Adolph Schneider arrived as second assistant to Father
Weis, whose health was beginning to fail, and who was advised
by the bishop to take a rest. The suggestion of his superior was
followed by the pastor and about the 23rd of the same month he
departed for Milwaukee, where he spent four weeks at the
"Sacred Heart Sanitarium." After his return Father Schneider
was transferred to St. Mary's Church, where he took up bis
duties Sept. 1st.

Before the departure of Father Weis, the interior of the par-
sonage had been repainted by George Starmann, the cost of the
work amounting to $169.17.

A legacy received about this time from the estate of Johanna
Kampmann, brought the church $625.50.

In August a venturesome piece of work was accomplished
by Contractor Freund. Four massive lion heads of stone had
adorned the corners of the tower, serving at the same time in
the capacity of waterspouts. But time and the elements had
disintegrated this stone to such an extent, that heavy pieces fell
away from time to time and constant danger threatened passers-
by. The task of making these dangerous animals harmless was
left to M'r. Freund, who, without the aid of a scaffold, chiseled
them from their places, the loosened pieces being kept from
falling by means of bags, which he tied around them.

In the same year, 1906, the organ again required attention,
the action thereof having become entirely unreliable. The firm
who had supplied the instrument on being approached about the
matter, acknowledged that the Hethrington Automatic System,
which they had installed in 1895, and which had been hailed as
the greatest triumph in organ building, had proved to be a dismal
failure, and therefore agreed to replace it with the celebrated
Weigle Membrane Tubular Pneumatic System for the compar-
atively small sum of $1,600.00. Their proposal was accepted, and
when the work had been completed St. Boniface had practically
an entirely new organ, only the pipes and the casings of the old
one having been retained. It was played for the first time on


Christmas Day, on which occasion also the new Columbia Or-
chestra played the accompaniment of the Mass.

The following is a summary of the features of this organ :
Number of speaking stops, 28 ; number of mechanical registers,
4; number of indicators, 2; number of pistons, 10; number of
pedal movements, 3 ; making a total number of 47 stops and
accessories. The number of pipes in the organ is 1,713.

The year 1907 was a dull one in the history of St. Boniface
Parish, with very few important events on record. About the

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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 7 of 12)