Gasconade County Missouri
The first traces of a Catholic society can be found in Gasconade County as early as 1853. In that year Rev. George Tuerk, of Hermann, Mo., visited the few Catholic families near Gasconade City, and celebrated mass in the residence of Mr. Nich. Wolz. After this his visits were very irregular, months often intervening between them. During the pastorship of Rev. Fr. Ruesse (January, 1802, to December, 1805), the worthy successor of Rev. G. Tuerk, the small congregation was attended more regularly. At a meeting called in 1853 by Rev. William Klevinghaus, it was decided to erect a church building, and, although work was soon begun, it was four years before the house was completed, owing to the poverty of the members. The original members were as follows: Nicholaus Wolz, Fr. X. Birk, Sr., Jacob Henneberger, Mathew Birk, Peter Gerard, Sr., Joseph Kuebler, Edward Epple, George Neckermann, Adam Englert, Leon Soisson, Mrs. Carl Epple, Philip Neckermann, Nicholaus Grein, Ignace Wetzel, Henry Kaiser, Joseph Gieger, Joseph Storch. The church was finished during the pastorship of Rev. William Hinssen (October, 1868, to October, 1870). Rev. August Schilling (October, 1870, to April, 1875), the next pastor, had Very Rev. Henry Muehlsiepen, vicar general of the diocese, to dedicate the church October 24, 1870. It was a frame building, costing $800, situated near Gasconade City on the land of Nicholaus Wolz, Section 9, Township 45, Range G west. Early in the year 1875 the Franciscan Fathers took charge of the Catholic congregation of Hermann, Mo., and together with it the mission of Gasconade.
As most Catholics lived west of Gasconade City, and in the eastern part of Osage County, it was decided to erect a new church building at Morrison, this town being more in the center of the congregation. A larger frame building was erected at the cost of 73,000, and dedicated by Very Rev. Henry Muehlsiepen, vicar general, August 28, 1875, during the pastorship of Rev. John Rings, O. 8. F. (April, 1875, to July, 1879). His successor, Rev. Martin Vom Koike, stayed only three months. Rev. Rudolph Horstmann, O. S. F., remained from November, 1879, to October, 1882. Rev. Benignus Schuetz, O. S. F. (October, 1882, to July, 1885), erected a Catholic school near the church at Morrison. The old church building was moved from Gasconade City, and changed to make a comfortable schoolhouse. School was opened December 10, 1883, by Miss Lizzie Mundmiller, who has been teaching ever since. Average attendance is between forty and fifty.
The present pastor of Morrison Catholic Church (title "Assumption Church") is Rev. Jerome Hellhake, O. S. F., since August 1, 1885. In May, 1886, a few acres of ground near the town were bought for a graveyard, as the old is five miles distant. The present membership is over fifty families. Service is held regularly on the first, third and fifth Sundays of the month, and on all holy-days. It is a German congregation, with a few Irish, French and Polish families. The pastors have been Rev. George Tuerk, from 1853 to 1862; Rev. Fr. Ruesse, January, 1802, to December, 1805; Rev. William Klevinghaus, January, 1860, to October, 1868; Rev. William Hinssen, October, 1808, to (5ctober, 1870; Rev. August Schilling, October, 1870 to April, 1875; Rev. John Rings, O. S. F., April, 1875, to July, 1879; Rev. Martin Vom Koike, O. S. F., July, 1879, to November, 1879; Rev. Rudolph Horstmann, O. S. F., November, 1879, to October, 1882; Rev. Benignus Schuetz, O. S. F., October, 1882, to July, 1885; Rev. Jerome Hellhake, O. S. F., August 1, 1885. Rev. Jerome Hellhake was born at Quincy, Ill., August 22, 1854. He finished his classical studies at St. Francis Solanus College, Quincy, Ill.; entered the Franciscan order at Teutopolis, Ill., June 10, 1871; studied philosophy at the same place ; completed his study of theology at St. Louis, Mo., at the Franciscan monastery, on Meramec Street; was ordained by Rt. Rev. P. J. Ryan, at that time assistant bishop to Archbishop Kenrick ; had charge of the public institutions of St. Louis for two years ; was called to the College of Teutopolis in July, 1879, and had charge of the American congregation of St. Elmo, III, and the German of Altamont, Effingham County, for nearly six years ; was recalled to St. Louis to resume his former duties; removed to Hermann, Mo., in July, 1885, to take charge of the mission at Morrison and Chamois.
St. George's Roman Catholic Church, at Hermann, was organized in 1840 by Magnus Will, Coelestin Dibold and Bernard Niehoff, as trustees, and thirty other members. The present stone church edifice was commenced in 1845, and finished in 1850, under the pastorate of Rev. Laurentius Kuepper, at a cost of about $4,500. It was dedicated in the year of its completion by Very Eev. Fr. Muehlsiepen, vicar general of the arch-diocese of St. Louis. In 1866 an addition was made by Rev. Fr. Klevinghaus, at a cost of $2,200. The size of the church now is 34x64 feet. Since that time the constant aim of the several pastors and of the parishioners has been to bring it to perfection inside, so that now it is one of the finest churches in the country; the three Gothic altars deserving special mention. They were made according to the art of altar building by a Franciscan brother. Before the church was built the several pastors were the Jesuit Fathers, from Washington, Mo., Fathers Einvogel, Elias, Buschenots, and others. The first settled pastor was the Rev. Laurentius Kuepper, in 1849, who was succeeded in 1851 by Rev. George Sicerk, who organized and was pastor for the neighboring Catholic congregation at Little Berger, and that at Morrison, Gasconade County, as well as that at Berger Station, Franklin County, Chamois, Osage County, and Rhineland, Montgomery County. He was succeeded by Rev. F. Ruesse, in 1861, who built the new pastoral residence. In 1866 Rev. W. Klevinghaus took his place, and in 1868 Rev. W. Hinssen became pastor. In 1870 Rev. A. Schilling assumed the office, to whom particularly belongs the honor of having erected the new schoolhouse. In March, 1875, the pastorate of this and neighboring churches was commissioned by the Most Rev. Archbishop of the diocese to the Franciscan Fathers, and the following named Fathers have since been the pastors of the congregation and superiors of the monastery: Revs. Libarius Schaefermeyer, O. S. F. ; Dominicus Droessler, O. S. F.; Lullius Muss, O. S. F. ; Felix Horbach, O. S. F., and Ambrose Janssen, O. S. F.
The present pastor of the congregation, Rev. Father Ambrose Janssen, O. S. F., was born in the year 1838 in Susterseel, Rhine Province, Prussia. After having absolved the elemental school of this place he entered, when fifteen years of age, the classical course of studies. After having finished he was admitted to the Franciscan Order, was sent the same year (1863) to America to the convent of the- Franciscans at Teutopolis, Effingham, Ill. ; commenced there his philosophical studies, and, after graduating, entered theology, and was, in the year 1868, elevated to holy priesthood. Since that date he has been engaged in pastoral duties in several monasteries and congregations of his order throughout America. July 15, 1886, he became Superior of the Franciscan Monastery and pastor of the Catholic congregation at Hermann.
The present schoolhouse of the parochial school is of brick, and was erected by Father A. Schilling, in 1870, at a cost of about $3,500. The average attendance of pupils is about sixty. Since the establishment of the monastery, in 1875, the teacher has been a Franciscan brother.
St. Joseph's Roman Catholic Church was organized, in 1874, by a number of parishioners who withdrew from St. George's Catholic Church at Hermann. They erected a frame church building and schoolhouse that year at a cost of about $1,000. The trustees who organized the congregation were Peter Neumann, Xavier DufPner and Philipp April. The church is situated on tlie northeast corner of the northeast quarter of the northwest quarter of Section 25, Township 45, Range 5 west, and was dedicated by the Very Rev. Father Muehlsiepen, vicar general, in 1875. The pastors have been Rev. A. Schilling, Rev. Hilurius Scholz, O. S. F., Cletus Giershesky, O. S. F., and the present pastor. Rev. Fulgentius Eich, O. S. F. About thirtyfive families now belong to this church.
St. Mary's Roman Catholic Church, situated in Township 42, Range 5 west, was organized by Father Alexander Mathaushek, in 1870, with the following members: P. Noonan, Joseph Piconik and Thomas Szczegial. A frame building was erected and dedicated the same year, by Father Mathaushek. The church is attended from Washington, Mo., and has about twenty families connected with it.
The Church of the Holy Family (Roman Catholic) was organized in 1874, by Father Mathaushek, who the same year built a church edifice for the congregation about four miles south of Owensville. The original members were John Wilcox, Joseph Zeman and Kobert AVhite. This church is also attended from Washington, Mo.
St. Paul's Evangelical Church was organized, July 17, 1841, by A. Leimer, J. A. Sitzer, D. W. Widersprecher, C. D. Eitzen, J. H. Bohlken and others. The first trustees were J. P. Hoffmann, M. Krauter, Fred. Koch, J. A. Sitzer and D. W. Widersprecher. The church building, which is still in use, is of brick, and was built in 1844, on Lots 8, 9 and 10, on West Wharf Street, in Hermann. It was dedicated by the Rev. F. Hundhausen, who was the first pastor. His successors have been F. Birkner, Charles C. Nestel, Conrad Eppens, Charles Feldmann and Hermann Koenig, the present pastor. The membership of the church is now forty-seven.
The Independent Evangelical Reformed Church was organized in 1856 by H. U. Rahn. A log building was erected about the same time, which was used until 1868, when the congregation began to use the frame building of the Methodist Episcopal Church, erected that year at a cost of $1,600. A frame building was erected by this church in 1883, at a cost of $700. It is situated on the northwest quarter of Section 8, Township 41, Range 6 west. The pastors have been the Rev. H. U. Rahn, A. Picker, H. Bruegemann, E. Michels, Mahlzahn, Neuham and Dobler.
St. Johannes Evangelist Church, at Bem, was organized in 1869. The first trustees were Frederick Drush and Gottfried Enke, and there were about sixteen other members. They bought some eighty acres of land, and erected upon it a church building, of logs. The present frame building was erected in 1887, on the east half of the southwest quarter of Section 34, Township 41, Range 5 west. It was dedicated December 26, 1887, by the pastor Rev. M. Kruse. The pastors have been, first the Rev. Mr. Werning, Rev. Paul Foerster, for about three years ; Rev. Mr. Tobler, then Rev. P. Foerster and since June, 1887, the Rev. M. Kruse. The membership of the church is now twenty-eight. The old church building is used as a school house.
St. Jacob's German Evangelical Church was organized in April, 1880, by the Rev. H. Pfundt. The original members were F. W. Mollenbrock, Dr. Leo Kometzke, F. Buente, C. Ernst, J. H. Witthaus, C. F. Nagel, C. Sontag, A. W. Watbel, H. Schlomann, G. Spaete, C. Schwarze, J. Schlormann, J. A. Meyer, W. Westerdark, J. Shaeperdaus, W. Kelb, H. Hergenmueller, H. L. Warnken, L. Wolf, H. Brewe, W. Cruwal, J. Warbel and A. Beinholz. A frame church building was erected, in 1881, costing $1,575. It was situated on Section 26, Township 45, Range 6, in the town of Morrison. It was dedicated March 21, 1882. The pastors have been Revs. Hermann Pfundt, Hermann Koenig, Jonathan Seybold, J. H. Fleer, C. Koenemann and Christ. F. C. Kinker, the present pastor. The membership of the church is now thirty, and it belongs to the German Evangelical Synod of North America.
The German Methodist Episcopal Church, at Hermann, was organized in 1876, with the following members: Christ, and Mary Wehmer, John M. Schaumberg, Gottfried Boehm and wife, Charles Ott and wife, and others. The present church building was purchased, March 10, 1876, from the Presbyterian Church, at Hermann. It was a stone edifice, and the present building was erected in the summer of 1883, at a cost of $3,000. It stands on Lot 1, Market Street, and was dedicated by the Rev. Dr. H. A. Koch, president of Central Wesleyan College, Warrenton, Mo. The pastors have been the Revs. William Schluster, Frederick Bock, Henry Vosholl, M. Neutzmann, August Koewing, and William Schwind, the present pastor. The membership of the church is now about twenty.
German Methodist Emanuel Church was organized in 1868 by Rev. J. M. Dewein. The first trustees were H. C. Grannemann, H. Hoberg, Jacob Bufi, G. Holstenberg and H. Withause. A frame church was erected, in 1873, costing $800. In 1882 this church was sold for $350, and a fine, large frame building erected with steeple and bell, costing $2,500, and also a handsome frame parsonage, in the same yard, one and one-half stories high,and containing five rooms. The church is in Morrison, and was dedicated by Rev. J. M. Dewein, the first pastor. The subsequent ones have been Revs. John Hausam, Jr., F. Nickel, George W. Beitz, J. Kraettly, C. Mardorf, H. Hankemeyer, M. Neutzmann, H. Schlueter, H. Brinkmeyer, H. Melter, and the present pastor, Rev. J. M. Rohde." There Bre at present forty-five members in this church.
Zoar Methodist Episcopal Church was organized in 1858 by Rev. Gottfried Gieck, with the following members: Hermann Toelle, Carl Ehlert, William Bicker, F. Brand, F. Rieke and Carl Blume. The first building erected was a log one, in 1860, and the present building, a frame one, situated in Drake, was erected in 1880, at a cost of $1,500. It was dedicated by Rev. J. M. Dewein, in 1880. The pastors have been Revs. Gottfried Gieck, J. Grannemann, Henry Hankemeyer, H. Brinkmeyer, John Meyer, H. Brune, F. Schumacher, C. Bauer, Henry Vosholl, Fr. Rock, Fr. Koenig, and the Rev. C. C. Stahmann, present pastor. The membership is now 156, which number is steadily increasing, showing that the church is in a very flourishing condition.
A Methodist Episcopal Church was organized in 1868, and a church building erected on the south half of the southeast quarter of the northwest quarter of Section 4, Township 41, Range 6 west, the cost of the building being $1,600. This building was dedicated in 1869 by Rev. F. Stoffregen. The pastors of this church have been Revs. H, Brune, John Meyer, H. Brinkmeyer, C. Steinmeyer, H. Kung, F. Miller, H. Hankemeyer, C. Mardorf, A. Koewing, J. M. Rohde and H. Miller. The church is in fine condition, and has a membership of about twenty-five.
Zion Presbyterian Church was organized, in 1848, by Rev. Mr. Heyer. Among the names of the first members were Obenbain, Brand, Schlemeyer, Ott and Lalk. A log building was erected, in 1848, at a cost of $150. The present building was erected in 1886. It is a frame structure, cost $1,000, and stands in Section 30, Township 45, Range 5 west. It was dedicated by the Rev. Mr. Bardill. The pastors have been Revs. Van der Lippe, Funke, Krebs, and Wasser. The present membership of the church is twenty.
Mount Pleasant Missionary Baptist Church was organized, September 16, 1844, by Rev. E. R. Fort, David Stiles and W. P. Devol. The call for an organization was made by Peter Purnell, John Miller, Susan Bell, Phebe Purnell, John Cuthbertsou, A. J. Russell, Martha Russell and Rebecca Bell. The first church building used for church purposes was a log schoolhouse, with one log cut out the full length for a window, and a wooden chimney occupied nearly the entire end of the building. The present frame building was built in 1881. It is 24x40 feet, is painted inside and out, has a neat pulpit, good walnut seats, and cost $600. It stands in Section 25, Township 40, Range 6 west. It was dedicated in 1881 by Rev. John B. Dodd. The pastors have been E. R. Fort, Benjamin Leach, R. S. D. Caldwell, Robert Reed, William G. Ferguson, John Goad, W. M. Briggs, Joseph Shanks, H. Beckham, W. O. Gibson, J. Braley, J. B. Dodd and J. H. David, the present pastor. The membership of the church is now 100.
Iron Hill Christian Church was organized by James H. Allen, in October, 1870. The first elders were J. M. Luster, S. J. Mathews and H. Wilson. A frame church building was erected, in 1873, at a cost of $250, and is situated in Section 28, Township 41, Range 6 west. It was dedicated the same year it was built by Elder H. Ferrell. The pastors have been Elders J. H. Allen, H. Ferrell, J. J. Lane, J. Rutter, J. Gideon, and, at present, F. W. Jones, of Maries County. The membership is forty.
History of Franklin, Jefferson, Washington, Crawford and Gasconade Counties Missouri
Published by Goodspeed Publishing Company 1888
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