Herman Mengwasser, the rector of the Catholic church of St. Benedict, Kansas, was born in Weckhoven on the Rhine, in Germany, November 13, 1855. His father, John Mengwasser. was a native of the same locality and was a farmer and butcher. He died at the age of eighty-two years and his grandfather, Peter Mengwasser, was a native of the same locality, passing away at the age of eighty-four years, while the great-grandfather, Henry Mengwasser, died at the age of eighty-six years. The mother of our subject bore the maiden name of Adelheid Kueven and was a native of the village of Holzheim, Germany. She died at the age of sixty years and her father, John Peter Kueven, passed away when eighty-five years of age.
The Rev. Herman Mengwasser is the seventh of the family of thirteen children. He pursued his preliminary education in the schools of his native land until fourteen years of age. after which he spent a year at work and then entered the College of Neuss, where he graduated in 1877. Subsequently he matriculated in the University of Louvain, in Belgium, where he spent a year, after which he came to America, in February, 1878. He then joined the order of St. Benedict at Atchison, Kansas, and devoted the next five years of his life to study. On the 31st of July, 1883, he was ordained to the priesthood by Bishop Fink, of Leavenworth, Kansas, and was a professor in Atchison College until 1888, when he was appointed the pastor of St. Peter's Catholic church, in Council Bluffs, Iowa. There he remained until 1890, when he went to Europe, spending seven months abroad. In 1891 he became the business manager of St. Benedict College, in Atchison, and in July, 1892, was appointed the pastor of St. Mary's church at St. Benedict, where he has now been located for eight years. His labors have been very effective, resulting in the steady growth and improvement of the church, and he has greatly endeared himself to his people, to whom he is indeed and in truth a father.