Reminiscences Taken From
the History of St. Fridolin's Parish Glenbeulah WI / 1865-1915
Compiled and published as a Jubilee Edition
to commemorate the Golden Jubilee of the Parish - 1915
J.H. Yewdale & Sons Co., Printers, Milwaukee
Dedication "Thanks be to God"
Among the Catholic parishes of the County of Sheboygan, State of Wisconsin, St. Fridolin's Congregation, Glenbeulah, Wis., is permitted to celebrate the singular feast of its Golden Jubilee. The year 1865 witnessed the organization of this parish and on two days of this year (Aug. 4th and 5th, 1915) we will fittingly commemorate the fiftieth anniversary of this event in the manner of a "Home-Coming." Our innate pride as members of the parish, as Catholics, as peaceful and law-abiding citizens of the community and of the great commonwealth impel us to do this, for the fifty years' existence of a parish is a milestone, not only in the remarkable annals of the Catholic Church in Wisconsin, but also in the history of the "Badger State."
For fifty years we have labored in the upbuilding of this congregation to the greater Honor and Glory of God and of our patron - St. Fridolin. Fortune has not smiled on us as pleasantly as on other communities, as these pages will tell. Thru the vicissitude of circumstances we have not grown to vast proportions, yet the seed planted by our forbears had a healthy growth. Courage and perseverance have made this parish and kept it a sanctuary of the Most High, a seminary of truth and a fount of true wisdom.
Fifty years! What reminiscences, fond and sad, are not conjured up out of a gone past, especially for those who witnessed the beginnings and developments of our political and religious life. Many a feast of joy lives anew in spirit and unfolds new delight.
The members of St. Fridolin's Parish, young and old, wish therefore, that our neighbors and our friends from far and near celebrate this feast of thanksgiving with us in befitting religious and civil manner. To those who once claimed the church nestling at the foot of the Potash Kettle Range as their house of worship we do say: "Hark! "Glen" calls you home!"
St. Fridolin's Congregation (Reminiscences taken from its history.) (Introductory remark: Before undertaking so much as presenting a somewhat coherent history of St. Fridolin's Parish the writer wishes to preface, that there are no written records of the parish in existence, he himself is but of today in this locality and most of the items were gathered from conversation with pioneers, especially with the living founder, Mrs. Catharine Devoy. "The History of Sheboygan County," "The Catholic Church in Wisconsin," "The History of Mt. Calvary" were also extensively consulted.)
When in 1836 Wisconsin territory was made independent from Michigan it had but few white settlers within its bounds. Those that were here before that time were either French or Canadian-French fur traders married to Indian squaws, as Solomon Juneau, founder of Milwaukee (1818), or were half-breed French people of the eastern states and an influx of settlers began. Wisconsin was at that time almost entirely covered by dense forests. In the southern part of the state the new settlers, entered their work with a vim and vigor, felled the trees and converted the forests into farm and meadow lands. The virgin soil was very rich and well adapted for all grains and cereals, - hence also the name "Milwaukee" - in the Indian language denoting "rich soil." The glowing accounts of the first settler induced others to come and when Wisconsin was admitted as a state into the Union in 1848 it numbered but 28 counties and 210,000 inhabitants.
Already at this early date Catholic missionary wandered from settlement to settlement, administering to the spiritual wants of the people, saying Holy Mass in rude log-huts, reminding one vividly of the Crib at Bethlehem, baptizing the children, shriving the people, comforting the dying. Then the whole "church" would be rolled into a blanket or knapsack, slung across the shoulders of the missionary and afoot he would wend his way along Indian paths thru forests primeval to the next settlement or patch.
In the spring of 1842 the Right Rev. Peter Paul Lefevere, D.D., titular bishop of Zela, coadjutor and administrator of Detroit (consecrated Nov. 22, 1841), in company with Rev. Martin Kundig made an inspection tour into Wisconsin territory. He left Father Martin Kundig in permanent charge of the territory, who in the very short time from June to Dec. 28, 1842, organized more than twenty parishes in the southern part of the state, going as far as Madison, and completed the first church in Wisconsin - the old St. Peter's Church in Milwaukee. The need of a separate bishop for Wisconsin Territory was felt. On May 16, 1843, Milwaukee was made an Episcopal See and the zealous missionary, editor and Vicar General of Cincinnati, the Rev. John Martin Henni, was chosen as the first bishop. On May 3, 1844, in company with Rev. Michael Heiss, later his successor, he arrived Milwaukee. At that time but five priests shared the pioneer labor with him.
The pioneers pushed their way northward and the first settlers, who afterwards organized and belonged to St. Fridolin's parish, began to arrive. About 1846 Austin Geraghty and family located on the north side of Elkhart Lake; a part of the old Geraghty farm now forms part of the Villa Gottfried, Elkhart Lake, Wis. Peter Smith arrived about this time and settled just across the Sheboygan River. It was he that built the landmark - a log cabin and log barn - inviting the gaze of the passerby, where later the Old Hermit, John L. Sexton, lived and met a cruel death by a foul assassin's hand June 28, 1911.
In later years Peter Smith was a most familiar character in the streets of "Glen" and will be long remembered on account of the quaint and oft-repeated soliloquy:
"I am Peter Smith from Neuri.
I own land on both sides of the Sheboygan River.
The Bank of Ireland will never fail!
God bless you, Kathryn!"
About the same time there also arrived James Martin and family, who settled on the land near Sexton's corner and south of the bridge across the Sheboygan River, and Lawrence McGovern, father of ex-Gov. Francis McGovern, who settled to the east of the Martins, on the old Plymouth-Chilton military road.
The completion of the Sheboygan-Fond du Lac Plank Road in July, 1852, placed the town of Greenbush, in which the village of Glenbeulah is situated, on the great artery of commerce, between Lake Michigan and the interior. It brought also along with it subsequent travel and new settlers.
Just a little prior to this time, or about 1850, a certain Mr. Wm. Pool and a certain Mr. Hazel Peckham Clark settled at the foot of the north slope of the Potash Kettle Range on farms on which the present village of Glenbeulah now stands. Mr. P. Clark seemingly recognized the great wealth in the fine standing timber and accordingly operated a sawmill, where the state road now crosses the Mullet River.
About this time Mr. and Mrs. Jonathan Hall and family came from Canada and settled on a farm about midway between the villages of Glenbeulah and Greenbush. Mrs. Hall was a Catholic and had four children, who were not as yet baptized. It was either the great missionary priest of these regions, the Rev. Caspar Rehrl or his Rev. brother George, who came thru these regions and baptized the four children of Mrs. Hall, and thus we have the first authentic record of a Catholic priest visiting the town of Greenbush. Mr. Peter Smith stood sponsor for the four children. Rev. Caspar Rehrl organized St. John's Church about one and one-half miles northeast of Johnsburg in 1846. A few years later he organized St. Nicolas, now Holy Cross Church, on Mt. Calvary and moved to this place in July, 1850. Following is the synopsis of one of his mission tours: Aug. 1st he leaves St. Nicolas or Mt. Calvary, Aug. 2d he has services in Byron, Aug. 3d in Eden, the 4th (Sunday) in Fond du Lac, the 5th in St. Nicolas, the 6th in St. Mary's. It would not be surprising, that on one of these missionary tours to Osceola and "Jesus in the Desert, " now St. Michael's, at Dotyville he wended his way a little further to the east and came to Town Greenbush. From Sept 8th, 1852, to summer, 1856, he was succeeded by his brother, the Rev. George Rehrl, who ably continued the missionary labors of his brother. To which of these two rightly belongs the honor of being the first priest within Town Greenbush is greatly a matter of conjecture: the sphere of greater missionary activity favors the former, extant chronology favors the latter.
Perhaps the first Catholic to reside within the present limits of the village Glenbeulah was Mr. John Muggan, who lived with, and worked for Mr. H.P. Clark in the mill in 1853-1854.
On April 24, 1855, Mr. and Mrs. Bernard Devoy arrived in Town Greenbush and settled on the farm, just a short distance west of Glenbeulah, now know as the Devoy farm. It was here that the first Catholic child of Town Greenbush was born - Susan Devoy, now Mrs. Timothy Donahue - and for baptism had to be taken to St. Anna in Town Russell. Edward Collins, a brother of Mrs. Bernard Devoy, arrived here in the summer of 1855 and remained near Glenbeulah until he enlisted in the army in 1861.
The idea of building a railroad out of Sheboygan seems to have engaged the minds of the people as early as that of building plank roads. The Sheboygan and Fond du Lac Railroad Company was incorporated as early as 1847. But the company seems to have been unable to raise the necessary funds to build the road. Twice the company was incorporated and organized. Finally in spring, 1856, a contract was made with Edward Appleton & Company to build the road to the present village Glenbeulah. The railroad then had the pretentious name of Sheboygan and Mississippi Railroad Company. Ground was first broken in Sheboygan June 4, 1856. In the spring of 1857 the grading was made to the Otter Pond, about one mile east of the present depot in Glenbeulah. Here was a small settlement of log houses with flat thatched roofs, called "Moran's Patch." Here it was that the construction crew of the Sheboygan and Mississippi Railroad Company was housed. They were mostly Irish or of Irish descent and came chiefly from Ohio.
In the spring of 1857 a certain Mr. McDermott was taken seriously ill and Rev. Peter De Berge, then resident pastor of Sheboygan, came to administer to the spiritual needs of the dying man. Father De Berge then also celebrated the holy sacrifice of Mass in one of the log cabins in Moran's Patch and at the same time baptised Michael and Margareth Devoy, twins, children of Bernard Devoy and Catharine Collins, his wife.
It was also in 1857 that a great financial panic swept over the land and as a result, the Sheboygan and Mississippi Railroad Company had to quit its construction work for some time. In order to keep the wolf from the door the members of the construction crew were literally driven to the land. The land sold at from $1.00 to $5.00 an acre, yet an enormous sum for those who found themselves exiled penniless in a strange land.
Besides the men from the railroad, a great number of Catholic families settled in Glenbeulah or immediate vicinity. As far as memory recalls the names and date of their arrival are as follows:
1855 = Bernard Devoy, Edward Collins
1856 = Michael, Thomas and John Nolan, their mother and sisters, Winifred and Catharine, Thomas Mullen, Patrick O'Hara, Peter Gallagher, Timothy Glynn and his brother-in-law, Michael Henly, Michael Ford, Patrick Welsh, Patrick Grimes, John Costello, James Hassett, John McKnight, Thomas Wall, James and Daniel McTaggart, Lawrence Moran.
1857 = Joseph Haslem, Owen Reagan, Thomas Gallagher, Christopher McNally and his sister, Ed. Costello, Patrick Gannon, Thomas Gannon, John Grimes, Thomas Lane, Michael Hennessy.
1858 = Mrs. Sweet, Mrs. Dooley in the western part of the town, Edward Flynn and family, Mrs. Snow, Mrs. Lee in the Village of Greenbush.
1859 = Jeremiah Donohue, Christopher Devoy.
1861 = Michael Donohue
1864 = Peter Keenan, Frederic Guse.
In 1865 besides the foregoing we find the following active in organizing the new parish:
1865 = Christopher Flath, Sebastian Diehl, Joseph Diehl, Dennis Riordan, Stephan Riordan, Michael Frank, John Mack, Thomas Franey, Mrs. Chelld, David Maloney, John Krackenberger, Patrick McTaggart, Patrick Moynihan, Michael Sullivan, Miles Roche, Ferdinand Rumely, Frank Lynn, James Rodden and his brothers, Martin and Michael, William and Charles Nunnemacher, Thomas O'Keefe, Mrs. Elizabeth Taylor, whose husband, Adam Schneider, anglicized his name, Aloys Ziegler, Charles Schillinger, Lawrence Ziegler.
Let us take up the thread of the narrative before we entered into the enumeration of the Catholic pioneers and we see, that other men entered this community, who played a prominent part in shaping its future destiny. Special mention must be made of the Messrs. Harrison O. Barrett, Stephen and J.T. Dillingham, Edward Slade and Joseph Swift. The last four in 1857 bought the land and water power and put up a flour and sawmill, to which later a store was added. The financial conditions of the country again coming normal in 1859, Edward Appleton and Joseph Swift acted as agents for the Glenbeulah Land Company, and platted the land into village lots. Construction on the Sheboygan and Mississippi Railroad Company was also resumed and in spring, 1860, was completed into Glenbeulah, which for nine years thereafter was the road's western terminus. It was then, that Wm. Scott and James Fairweather owned and operated a stage-coach line between Glenbeulah and Fond du lac and the charges were $2.00 for one way. Mr. James Kendall was the driver of the stage-coach. Mrs. Wm. Scott, Sr., nee Margaret Sullivan, was a sister of Miss Catharine Sullivan, one of the first teachers in the Glenbeulah school. Feb. 7, 1860, the postoffice was removed from Elkhart to Glenbeulah. The prosperous little community nestling at the foot of the Kettle Range was given the euphonious name of Glenbeulah by Mr. Edward Appleton in memory of his mother, whose surname was Beulah, to which he prefixed Glen.
The spiritual needs of the Catholics at this time were but cursorily attended. Rev. Benedict Smedding, who had charge of the Magdalene Church, Sheboygan, also called at Glenbeulah about every three or four months. He said Holy Mass in a large log house which was situated at the east end of the Whiffler lot and belonged to Mr. Peter Gallagher. For about two years this house was the center of Catholic activities in this village. In 1860 Rev. Benedict Smedding was succeeded by the Rev. F.X. Schraudenbach, who, by the way, if the writer is not mistaken, was a convert from Judaism. Besides saying Holy Mass at Peter Gallagher's, Rev. F.X. Schraudenbach also said Holy Mass in Bernard Devoy's house on the farm and sometimes in "The Patch" in the log house of John Costello.
It was in Peter Gallagher's house that the first Catholic marriage of these regions was solemnized by Rev. Francis Xavier Schraudenbach. John Nolan and Maria Grimes were the happy couple and as eye witnesses of that solemn event testify, the venerable priest made the young couple lay their hands upon the Bible and swear by the Holy Bible, that they were never married before. This may seem trivial in our days, but was very practical for the pioneer days. In the first place the priest and people were practically total strangers to one another and secondly the records were then not as scrupulously kept as today or if kept, on account of lack of modern postal facilities could not be as readily obtained as today.
This venerable priest must have been about 75 years of age when he came to Glenbeulah. He must have possessed a striking and an overwhelming devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary, for in baptism he gave every child, irrespective of sex, as second name the name of Mary, in order to place the child and its faith under the protection of the Virgin Mother.
A pleasing instance attesting to the wonderful faith of the early settlers is the fact, that people went to St. Anna for Ash Wednesday. When they arrived there, they found that the priest had not as yet arrived at home, he being delayed by a snow-storm. Undaunted these good people walked back thru the snow to James Martin's, south of the Sheboygan River, a distance of six and one-half miles, and then early next morning went again to St. Anna for services and returned afoot in the afternoon to Glenbeulah. The first death among the Catholics occurred also about this time. Thomas Gallagher died in 1861 and his remains were taken to Cascade or Mitchell.
The war of the Seccession was now on and in response to an appeal by President Abraham Lincoln for volunteers seven Catholic young men of the community offered their lives in defense of the Union. Ed. Collins joined Co. B III Wisconsin Cavalry, John Nolan and Michael Nolan joined the VIII Regiment Wisconsin Volunteers, James Hassett and Dan Sullivan, the village blacksmith, joined the IV Regiment Wisconsin Volunteers. John Hall, son of Jonathan Hall and Margaret Lynn, his wife, died in Libby Prison, near Richmond, Virginia, where the captive Northern soldiers were kept in most squalid conditions. John Gannon was killed in the battle at Gettysburg, July 1-3, 1863. Here we have a most eloquent refutation of the calumny, that Catholic are not true patriots and are not loyal to their native or adopted country.
In spring, 1862, Rev. Michael Haider succeeded Rev. F.X. Schraudenbach as pastor of the Magdalene Church, Sheboygan and adjacent missions, which included practically the entire Sheboygan County, and therefore also Glenbeulah. Father Haider, better known to the people as Father Michael, traveled from mission to mission on a large black horse. A old pioneer made his comment as follows: "The stallion knew Father Michael, Father Michael knew the stallion and everybody along the country roads knew Father Michael and the black stallion." For some time agitation was ripe among the Catholics to erect their own place of worship. Father Haider seconded this movement, but it seems that a strong leader among the laity was missing. The business of the firm of Swift, Dillingham, Slade & Company expanded into the manufacture of all kinds of woodenware. These public spirited men and Mr. Edward Appleton realized, that the stability of labor, as well as the future growth of the community was really dependent on religion, and as the Catholics were in the majority and were regularly attended, but had no house of worship of their own, Mr. Edward Appleton made the proposition to the Catholics, that the company, which owned and platted the village land, would give two lots, on condition that a church-edifice be erected thereon within one year. If this condition would not be fulfilled, then the land should revert to the original owners. This proposition was made, either late in 1864 or early in 1865. For about nine months the proposition hung fire. Finally the Catholics banded themselves together and built a small frame church, to which they appended a small sacristy. The sanctuary and sacristy of the present church were the original church built in 1865 and the small summer kitchen on the old rectory now standing just south of the church was the original sacristy.
The original deed of the property, which is now in the archives of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee, bears the names of Capt. John Swift, J.T. Dillingham, Edwin Slade and Edward Appleton and their respective wives as donors of the property. Mr. Miles Gallagher claims the honor of giving and hauling the first 500 feet of lumber for the church. The wood was mostly oak and basswood and was gotten from Keach & Stevans mill about one-half mile south of the Block cheese factory. The little church was built in a clearing in a dense maple grove. Bernard Devoy and Patrick McTaggart were chosen Trustees of the church and served about fourteen years in that capacity.
Bishop Henni came here to dedicate the church. The people seemingly had decided to call it St. Patrick's, but the good bishop called it St. Fridolin, for, as he said: "There are already so many St. Patrick churches. I name this church St. Fridolin, in honor of a good Irish saint, who went to Germany and there converted many." After the little unplastered church was dedicated the sacrament of confirmation was administered to more than fifty children and to almost every grown member of the parish. But few of the congregation had up to this time received this sacrament, for Episcopal visitations were few on account of the vast extent of the territory to be visited, furthermore, Catholic settlements were few and far between and traveling in those days was a most strenuous undertaking. Mr. Patrick McTaggart, though a married man, was the first "altar boy" at Glenbeulah. Later on for many years he was assisted by Mr. McHassy, who came from Town Russell for services.
It as also in 1865 that the great Indian scare took place. The village streets were filled with cattle and panting oxen; all the valuables were secreted; the people flocked together in little colonies, armed themselves with clubs, pitchforks, old muskets, seething water, pitch and oil; a train with several box cars stood ready on the track to haul the fugitives to Sheboygan. The excitement was intense; every gentle rustle in bush and briar played havoc on the strung nerves of the settlers. After many a watchful day and restless night the much feared Red Men failed to appear. The people excaped without bodily harm, but not without intense agony of mind, so that the Indian scare lives vividly today even in the minds of the descendants of the pioneers.
Father Michael Haider remained in charge of St. Fridolin's until 1867. The first couple to be married in the little church were David Flynn and Anna Grimes. Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Franey stood up as witnesses at this marriage. The little congregation grew to a fair size and in 1867 received its own pastor, the Rev. Nicolas Stehle, who also attended to Plymouth, then a mission of Glenbeulah. Father Stehle built the old rectory (1868), which is still standing today on the lot south of the church. Often Father Stehle in company with Mr. Miles Gallagher would make extended trips to Osceola, Cascade, Mitchell, Plymouth and other towns collecting money, provisions and other useful articles. Experience soon taught, that Glenbeulah with Plymouth could not support a pastor of their own and in 1872 Rev. Nicolas Stehle left and the churches at Glenbeulah and Plymouth were given in charge of the Capuchin Fathers of Mt. Calvary, who had charge of them until 1888.
Worthy of mention is the fact that in 1867 or 1868 a small church was also built in Plymouth. This was brought about thru the energetic labors of the Messrs. James Baldwin and Thomas O'Keefe. The organization of this parish took away a number of families, that heretofore went to Glenbeulah for services.
As far as extant records go, the following Capuchin Fathers had charge of Glenbeulah: Father Charles Brandstaetter, O.M. Cap., 1872-1873. Rev. Mauritius Hens, O.M. Cap., and Rev. Daniel Sherer, O.M. cap., had charge of the place until summer, 1873, when the Rev. P. Kilian Haas, O.M. Cap., was appointed pastor and remained in charge until January, 1876. Then Rev. Augustine Limperich, O.M. Cap., attended the place for two months and Feb. 26, 1876, Rev. P. Fidelis Steinauer, O.M. Cap., had his first services in St. Fridolin's Church.
Fortunately for us Pater Fidelis kept a diary and thru the courtesy of Rev. Salesius Schneweis, O.M. Cap., who examined this daily record, extending from 1868 to 1882, we are able to ascertain the following facts, which will be quoted verbatim as far as the narrative allows:
"Feb. 26, 1876, I went for the first time to Glenbeulah. In Glenbeulah I soon felt at home with the family of my hostess. An attractive room, very clean and a more than good service. A hearty reception from young and old.
"Feb. 27 - The weather was very unpleasant, yet the little church was crowded…………. P.M. - Catechism according to my method for all, young and old. (He was a very good catechist. - P. Salesius.) In the evening I had an extensive rambling in English history with my hostess, who has read very much, but is not well versed in chronology. In the evening thunder and lightning, next morning heavy snow.
"March 12 - Today the newly organized St. Fridolin's Society should have its regular i.e. quarterly Communion day. However, but five of the eighteen members put in their appearance…At 1:30 P.M. meeting of the society. At 2 P.M. instructions; to my regret but very few children present. The Stations of the Cross are something entirely new in Glenbeulah.
"March 24 - Ought to go with the morning train to Glenbeulah and inspect the stations, sent by Rev. Haider. The pictures are really very neat, but too large for Glenbeulah.
"April 1 - I went with the morning train to Glenbeulah, to bless the Stations of the Cross, which I begged of Rev. Haider, but waited in vain for the necessary Episcopal authorization.
"April 17 - Tomorrow I must marry a young couple in Glenbeulah.
"April 18 - The wedding passed off very quietly according to the desire of the Church. P.M. - I visited Mrs. ----, who, since the death of her husband, resides in Greenbush.
"May 7 - The meeting of the building society in Glenbeulah announced for today had to be called off on account of rain.
"May 28 - The number of my communicants is still increasing, and yet there are children here 15 years of age, who do not know whether they should join the class or not.
"May 29 - At 10 A.M. P. Guardian (Rev. Francis Haas, O.M. Cap.) came to view the parish, especially in regard to the proposed building. He made an estimate of $600.00. P.M. - To Bern. Devoy, where the matter was discussed more thoroughly.
"June 10 - P. Guardian to Glenbeulah to begin the projected addition to the church.
"June 25 - All the communicants were present. I told them to be ready to receive Holy Communion on July 9th. P.M. - I went to O'Keefe's to bless their new house.
"July 8 - With morning train to Glenbeulah. Novices gave me a few flowers along for decorative purposes. Some children present at my arrival. I heard thirty confessions. A few children aided in decorating the church. The boys provided cedar and green branches. Red and white roses (paper ?) were stuck among the branches. The altar, the pillars and the door were decorated with green. The church offered a neat and pleasant appearance.
"July 9 - At 9 o'clock the procession left the priest-house for the church, cross and acolythes at the head. During Holy Mass the accustomed prayers were repeated by the children. Everything passed off in most beautiful order. After the celebration luncheon was served to the dear communicants. The edibles, which were brought from all sides, almost sufficed for all the people. P.M. - Renewal of the baptismal vows and distribution of medals. After this I rode to Bern. Devoy's."
A few other incidents are related, but these bear no relation to our narrative. Aug. 20th the last mention of Glenbeulah is made in the diary of Rev. Fidelis Steinauer, O.M. Cap. He is then transferred to New York.
The work of completing the new church, so wisely begun by P. Fidelis was left to his successor, Rev. P. Peter Ernsdorff, O.M. Cap., who labored in Glenbeulah from October, 1876 to July, 1878. It seems that the church cost not $600.00 as proposed by P. Guardian, but $2,200.00, and in 1884 the congregation is still paying church debts. Father Peter had just those qualities of character, which the situation required and of all the Capuchin Fathers, who had charge of Glenbeulah, none live better in the memory of the people than Father Peter and his successor, Father Luke.
Under Father Peter's administration efforts were also made to secure a cemetery for the parish. Before this time the deceased would have to be taken to Mitchell for burial, some few were taken to St. Anna. Denis Prindeville in his own name then bought a small piece of the present De Smet farm from the owner, Joseph Karsten. He was to keep it until such time, that the parish would be able to take it from him.
Nobody wanted a cemetery on or near their land and Denis used his "Irish" and told Karsten, he wanted to retire on the piece of land. Karsten thought, Mr. Prindeville wished to spend his declining years there and not to have the land to retire under - in death. About twelve persons were buried on this land, when a great squabble arose within the parish. Mr. Prindeville offered the cemetery to the parish for the original cost plus 10 percent to pay for the interest and taxes. This seemed reasonable, but the parish would not accept his condition. He then told the congregation to remove the corpses. Mrs. Bernard Devoy then bought the present cemetery in her own name and also sold the lots on the same.
It was under Rev. Lucas Rasch, O.M. Cap. (July, 1878 - November, 1879), that the present high altar was erected in the church. It was built by E. Brielmeier of Milwaukee and cost $165.00. The parish was divided into three districts and Mrs. B. Devoy, Mrs. Thos. Cain and Mrs. Thomas Franey collected the necessary funds to pay for same.
From fall, 1879, to spring, 1880, there is a rapid succession of Fathers, who attended St. Fridolin's. They are the following: Rev. P. Hieronymus Henkel, O.M. Cap.; Rev. P. Angelus Jelle, O.M. Cap.; Rev. P. Laurentius Henn (Vorwerk ?), O.M. Cap.; Rev. P. Didacus Wendl, O.M. Cap.
Father Paschalis Straub, O.M. Cap., guided the spiritual destinies of St. Fridolin's congregation from spring, 1880, until September, 1882. It was under his pastorate, that in 1881 the bell was bought for the church.
During the interim while negotiations were pending with the Most Rev. Archbishop to place a secular priest in charge of St. Fridolin's Father Francis Haas, O.M. Cap., attended to Glenbeulah for a few Sundays.
Rev. Charles Raphael, a secular priest, was then made pastor of Glenbeulah and Plymouth, but his stay lasted about four months.
Rev. P. Solanus Feddermann, O.M. Cap., the Rev. Michael Haider of Sheboygan, and founder of this parish, Rev. P. Camillus Gnad, O.M. Cap., then attended the place until spring, 1884, when Rev. P. Albert Locher, O.M. Cap., was appointed pastor. He remained in charge until September of that year, when he was succeeded by Rev. P. Boniface Goebbels, who then had charge until the end of 1887. It was under Father Boniface that the parish bought the present cemetery from Mrs. B. Devoy, who up to this time held it in her own name.
Jan. 1, 1888, Rev. P. Bernardinus Schmitz, O.M. Cap., had services. After that the Rev. Jacob P. Van Treeck, who was just organizing the St. Peter Claver Church on the south side of Sheboygan, also took charge of St. Fridolin's. He had Holy Mass at Glenbeulah one Sunday each month and in 1889 also came on Thursdays. His new parish soon grew to such proportions, that it required his entire attention, furthermore he was also taken down with a serious illness. His brother, the Rev. Joseph A. Van Treeck, was then made his assistant and was at the same time appointed pastor of Plymouth and Glenbeulah.
Fate played havoc with Glenbeulah. The town so auspiciously begun was soon at a standstill, small communities nearby developed into prosperous communities. This was due to the fickleness of fortune and modern transportation methods supplanting the highways and rivers. Thus in 1870 the Milwaukee and Northern Railroad Co. was organized and in February, 1872, the trains were already run to Plymouth. Plymouth was thus favored by two railroads plus the water power of the Mullet River. The timber in these regions also soon gave out and the Dillingham Manufacturing Co. moved to Sheboygan in 1884. More than twelve families moved along with the concern.
Rev. Jos. A. Van Treeck worked most arduously for the welfare of St. Fridolin's Parish. He personally built the two side altars of the church. Furthermore, when in 1895 the church was robbed and the chalice and monstrance stolen, it was thru his efforts that new sacred vessels were bought. In 1896 a mission was held to quicken the faith and bring about a spiritual rejuvenation of the parish. In 1899 the stained glass windows were added to the church. The larger ones cost $25.00 each and the smaller ones $15.00 each.
In December, 1900, Rev. J.A. Van Treeck was succeeded by the Rev. Edward J. Meyer as pastor of Plymouth and Glenbeulah. He was perhaps the most popular pastor that Glenbeulah enjoyed. He can "rub elbows," so to speak, with young and old, Catholic or non-Catholic with equal ease. It was under his pastorate that in 1891 an organ was bought. The collection for same amounted to $79.75. The Misses Maggie Gannon (Mrs. John P. O'Reilly) and Mary Cain were the first organists. At first but English hymns were sung, but soon after high mass was also introduced. Miss Catharine Glynn is present organist. A chalice and black cope were bought for the church and in 1911 the exterior was painted and a crib bought.
The St. John's congregation at Plymouth increased in membership, to such an extent, that two masses on Sunday and holydays became an urgent necessity. Furthermore four miles northeast of Glenbeulah is the thriving summer resort, Elkhart Lake. St. George's congregation there was attended to from Kiel, but after a new mission was opened at New Holstein and a new church built at Kiel it was thought advisable to separate Glenbeulah and Elkhart Lake from their separate charges and place both of these places under one pastor. Archbishop S. G. Messmer, D.D., then appointed Rev. Joseph F. Kroha pastor of Elkhart Lake and Glenbeulah with residence at Elkhart Lake. He held his first services in St. Fridolin's Church Aug. 15th, 1913. The Glenbeulah Branch C.K. of W. No. 242 was organized Aug. 18th, 1913. The Altar Society was reorganized Dec. 8th of that year. Since then a white cope, a fancy benediction veil, a sanctuary lamp, holy water sprinkler, a parish register and plush curtains for the confessional were bought for the church by this society. The parish built a barn at Elkhart Lake (1914) for accommodation of the pastor and this year laid a cement walk in front of their church at Glenbeulah.
Oct. 14, 1913, Rt. Rev. Joseph Koudelka, D.D., then auxiliary bishop of Milwaukee and bishop-elect of Superior, conferred the sacrament of confirmation.
The present pastor is especially bent upon developing the spirituality of his parishioners, a devout advocate of frequent communion, zealous in imparting instruction to the youth and in November of this year will have a mission given to re-enkindle the fire of Divine Faith in the hearts of his flock.
This is but a brief sketch of the History of St. Fridolin's Parish, Glenbeulah. May some future historian add life to this meager skeleton and portray more vividly the trials, sacrifices and triumphs of a noble people.
O.A.M.D.G. (transcriber's note: Omnia ad maiorem Dei Gloriam = Everything to the greater Glory of God)
Besides the honor, which all parish members feel at the occasion of the Golden Jubilee, special honor falls upon the parish trustees. The trustees should always work in harmony with the pastor for the best interests of the parish. Their office may not always be a pleasant one as past history of the parish has shown. The present officers are all descendants of pioneers and founders of the parish. They are as follows:
Rev. Jos. F. Kroha, President
George Cain, Secretary
John D. Gannon, Treasurer
Patrick Devoy, John Guse, Consultors
The officers of the past were as follows:
Bernard Devoy and Patrick McTaggart until about 1878. Then Sebastian Diehl, Jr., and Joseph Diehl, Jr., until 1884, when they moved to Sheboygan. Fred Guse and Timothy Donohue served until 1891. Then Thos. J. Glynn was secretary for almost twenty-two consecutive years. The term was interrupted, when Mr. Wm. O'Malley was elected secretary in 1904. For a numbers of years John Gannon was treasurer and Philip Gannon also served a half year in that capacity. William Grimes served as treasurer from 1907 to 1914. Thomas Cain, Sr., and William Flath served as consultors from 1904 to 1914.
Parish Membership 1915
Burke, Mrs. Mary
Cain, Thomas, Sr.
Cain, Thomas, Jr.
Devoy, Mrs. Catharine
Devoy, John, Jr.
*Devoy, Mrs. John, Sr.
Gannon, John D.
Glynn, Mrs. Minnie
Glynn, Mrs. Catharine
Henschel, Mrs. Conrad
Liebe, Mrs. Otto
Miller, Mrs. Catharine
O'Brien, Mrs. Brigid
O'Malley, Mrs. Winifred
Scott, William D.
Witmeyer, Otto H.
*Died March 25th, 1915
Rev. Jos. F. Kroha, Chairman
Wednesday, Aug. 4th, 1915
10:00 A.M. Parade
10:30 A.M. Pontifical High Mass celebrated by the Most Rev. S.G. Messmer, D.D., assisted by Rev. J.P. Van Treeck as Presbyter assistens and Rev. Ed. J. Meyer as deacon, Rev. Ludger Werth, O.M. Cap., as subdeacon. The Engish Sermon will be given by the Rev. David J. O'Hearn, D.C.L. The German Sermon will be given by the Very Rev. Dominic P. Thill.
12:00 P.M. Dinner for Clergy
2:00 P.M. Picnic
3:00 P.M. Address, Most Rev. S.G. Messmer, D.D., Archbishop of Milwaukee
Thursday, Aug. 5th
9:00 A.M. Solemn Requiem High Mass
Transcriber's notes about the founding date:
This documents introductory remarks indicate that it was based upon secondary sources and oral tradition. This account indicates that the first church was built in 1864 or 1865, but primary sources now available to us suggest it probably was built in 1862. How?
= First, the indenture, dated 6 July 1860, was conditional. If the congregation did not build a church two years from its date, the land would revert to its owners. The land never reverted. According to documents in the Register of Deeds Office at the Sheboygan County Courthouse and the Milwaukee Archdiocesan Archives, the indenture was filed at the courthouse on 25 September 1862.
= Second, Reminisences, page 19 states that the Indian Scare took place the same year, 1865; yet the Indian Scare took place 3 September 1862.
= Third, Reminiscences, 19 states that David Flynn and Anna Grimes were the first married in the little church. This marriage, according to Liber Matrimonialis: Mai 1862-1900, Holy Name Church, Sheboygan and documents in the Register of Deeds office, took place on 26 October 1863.
= Fourth, the earliest secondary source states "The Roman Catholic Church was built in 1862" (AT Andreas, History of Northern Wisconsin(Chicago: Western Historical Co., 1881), 1012.
= Fifth, sources which propose the 1864 or 1865 date are all secondary and of later origin. (WPA, A Directory of Catholic Churches in Wisconsin(Madison: Wisconsin Historical Records Survey, 1942), 17 indicates about 1865; Phillip Sellinger, A Guide to Sheboygan County and Its Fair(Sheboygan: Centennial Celebration History Committee, 1952), 90 indicates 1865; OAMDG, Reminiscences(1915), 17 indicates 1864 or 1865; Official Catholic Year Book and Directory[1901 or 1902], 3 indicates about 1865; George Myszel, St. Fridolin, Glenbeulah(Chicago: Stampley Enterprises, 1973), 2 indicates 1865; Carl Zillier, A History of Sheboygan County(Chicago: Clarke Publ., 1912), quotes two sources on page 256: "Glenbeulah", The Sheboygan County Historical Review(July 1910), 4 and Johann Haug, Geschichte der Katholischen Kirche in Wisconsin(Milwaukee: Catholic Historical Publishing Co., 1899), 439. "Glenbeulah" is based on "other sources" and a lost document entitled "History of Glenbeulah" by Anna Titel. It indicates 1860 as the date of St. Fridolin's establishment. Haug indicates 1865.)
Michael J. Petrie
Aug. 4, 2008
|Appleton, Edward||4, 5, 6, 7|
|Barrett, Harrison O.||5|
|Brandstaetter, Fr. Charles||8|
|Burke, Mrs. Mary||14|
|Burmesch, Andrew||14, 15|
|Cain, George||13, 14, 15|
|Cain, Mary||11, 14|
|Cain, Mrs. Thomas||10|
|Cain, Thomas, Jr.||14|
|Cain, Thomas, Sr.||13, 14|
|Clark, Hazael Peckham||3|
|Collins, Edward||3, 4, 6|
|Costello, John||4, 5|
|De Berge, Rev. Peter||4|
|De Smit, ?||9|
|Devoy, Bernard||3-5, 7, 9, 13|
|Devoy, Catharine Collins||1, 4, 10, 14|
|Devoy, Christopher||4, 14|
|Devoy, John, Jr.||14|
|Devoy, Mrs. John, Sr.||14|
|Devoy, Patrick||13, 14|
|Diehl, Joseph||5, 13|
|Diehl, Sebastian||5, 13|
|Dillingham, James Thomas||5, 7|
|Donahue, Timothy||3, 13, 14|
|Ernsdorff, Fr. Peter||9|
|Feddermann, Fr. Solanus||10|
|Flath, William||13, 14|
|Franey, Thomas||5, 7|
|Franey, Mrs. Thomas||10|
|Gallagher, Peter||4, 5|
|Gallagher, Thomas||4, 6|
|Gannon, James||14, 15|
|Gannon, John||6, 13, 14|
|Gannon, John D.||13, 14|
|Gannon, Patrick||4, 14|
|Gannon, Philip||13, 14|
|Glynn, Mrs. Catharine||14|
|Glynn, Mrs. Minnie||14|
|Gnad, Fr. Camillus||10|
|Goebbels, Fr. Boniface||10|
|Grimes, William||13, 14, 15|
|Guse, Frederic||4, 13, 14|
|Guse, John||13, 14|
|Haas, Fr. Francis||9, 10|
|Haas, Fr. Kilian||8|
|Haider, Rev. Michael||6, 7, 8, 10|
|Hall, Jonathan||3, 6|
|Hall, Margaret Lynn||6|
|Hassett, James||4, 6|
|Heiss, Most Rev. Michael||2, 10|
|Henkel, Fr. Hieronymus||10|
|Henn, Fr. Laurentius||10|
|Henni, Most Rev. John Martin||2, 7|
|Hens, Fr. Maurtius||8|
|Henschel, Mrs. Conrad||14|
|Jelle, Fr. Angelus||10|
|Karsten, Joseph||9, 10|
|Koudelka, Most Rev. Joseph||11|
|Kroha, Rev. Joseph F.||11, 13, 15|
|Lefevere, Most Rev. Peter Paul||2|
|Liebe, Mrs. Otto||14|
|Limperich, Fr. Augustine||8|
|Locher, Fr. Albert||10|
|Martin, James||3, 6|
|McTaggart, Patrick||5, 7, 13|
|Messmer, Most Rev. Sebastian G.||11, 15|
|Meyer, Rev. Edward J.||11, 15|
|Miller, Mrs. Catharine||14|
|Nolan, John||4, 5, 6|
|Nolan, Michael||4, 6|
|Nolan, Thomas||4, 14|
|O'Brien, Mrs. Brigid||14|
|O'Hearn, Rev. David J.||15|
|O'Keefe, Thomas||5, 8|
|O'Malley, William||13, 14|
|O'Malley, Mrs. Winifred||14|
|O'Reilly, Mrs. John P.||11|
|Prindiville, Denis||9, 10|
|Raphael, Rev. Charles||10|
|Rasch, Fr. Luke (Lucas)||9, 10|
|Rehrl, Rev. Caspar||3|
|Rehrl, Rev. George||3|
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