Portrait and Biographical Record of Effingham, Jasper and Richland Counties Illinois,Containing Biographical Sketches of Prominent and Representative Citizens, Governors of the State, and the Presidents of the United States.
(Chicago: Chapman Brothers, 1887), p. 195.
Transcribed by Judy Rosella Edwards.

ST. ANTHONY'S ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH, of Effingham, of which Rev. Father Hermann Jungmann is rector, was founded in 1853. Prior to that time the few Catholic families in this vicinity were visited at intervals by clergymen of the Diocese of Alton. Services were held in a small log house in the rear of Funkhauser's store. In 1858 the Catholics were encouraged by Father Frauenhofer, who resided at that time in the Green Creek settlement and was rector there, to build a church edifice. The plan was carried out under Rev. Father Bartels, the zealous rector of the congregation at Teutopolis, who in the spring of 1858 laid the corner-stone of the old church of St. Anthony's congregation, at present the schoolhouse of that church. In the autumn of that year the reverend fathers of the order of St. Francis took charge of the congregation at Teutopolis, where a convent had been built. From the convent the neighboring Catholic congregations were attended as missions by the reverend fathers, and among others St. Anthony's Church in Effingham became their charge. The Rev. Father Capestran said the first mass in the new church on Christmas morning of 1858. In succession these Franciscan Fathers had charge of this church: the Rev. Fathers Servatius, Heribert, Raynerius, Killian, Ferdinand, and Rev. Killian for a second term.

In September, 1871, Rev. Michael Weis, secular priest of the Alton Diocese, was appointed Rector of St. Anthony's congregation of Effingham and served until the 23d of March, 1877, when he was succeeded by the Rev. Hermann Jungmann, who has continued to fill that position up to the present time, covering a period of sixteen years. When the first church was built the following-named Catholic families resided at or near Effingham: C. and Joseph Bloemer and their mother (widow of Arnold Bloemer), Henry Herboth, Bernard Hille, Willenborg, Fred. Thoele, Ferdinand Mersmann, H. H. Dust, Bernard Dassenbrook, Ferdinand Braun, Joseph Feldhake, the Koesters, Buessing, Husmann, Mathias Monening, J. F. Schwerman, Knage, Herman Fechtrup, Gerhard Oethoff, Mindrup, Vogt, Gebben Vogt, Frank Hoffman, William Mersmann, H. Haarmann, B. Kemper, Gerhard H., John, Bernard and Herman Ney, John Fechtrup. Arnold Kreke, Bernard Detters, Dreymann Althoff Mette about forty families in all. The congregation grew rapidly as the town grew, and in the course of time the church was found to be too small for the congregation, hence under the pastorate of Rev. Father Weis the present large and magnificent church was erected and completed in 1875. The new church was duly dedicated on the 13th of June of that year by the Rt. Rev. Joseph Baltes, Bishop of Alton, to whose diocese St. Anthony's belongs. The church is a large, elegant and imposing structure, an ornament to the city and an honor to the Catholic inhabitants. Its size is 66x165 feet, and the steeple rears its crest to the height of one hundred and eighty-one feet without cross or vane. The cost was about $50,000. The number of families claiming membership is about one hundred and eighty, compiling about one thousand persons. The Lay Trustees are at present J. J. Feldhake and Arnold Kreke.

The parochial school was established at the organization of the congregation and has been in operation since about 1858. Since the advent of the present rector it has been conducted under his directions by one male teacher and several Sisters of Notre Dame. The school consists of three departments, numbering about one hundred and seventy pupils. In addition to the church property, the school and other property of the society is valued at about is $100,000.

Portrait and Biographical Record of Effingham, Jasper and Richland Counties Illinois, Containing Biographical Sketches of Prominent and Representative Citizens, Governors of the State, and the Presidents of the United States. (Chicago: Chapman Brothers, 1887), p. 590.

 

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