The compilation of "THE FRANCISCANS IN NEBRASKA", by the Rev. Eugene Hagedorn, O. F. M., prefaced by "HISTORICAL SKETCHES OF MID-NEBRASKA", by Francis M. Dischner--has been a most difficult and wearisome task, rendered the more fatiguing by the many priestly labors and numerous extra work imposed on us by the illness of several Fathers involving, among other things, the administration of a parish for about ten weeks.
The collection of more than 600 photographs and cuts, from every corner of the Union, for reproduction in this work has required more than 36 months. The gathering of the immense amount of material was rendered more laborious owing to the utter lack of a chronicle in some of the most important parishes and institutions, and the incompleteness of other records, and the lack of a good historical library.
Add to this the high cost of engraving and printing and the whole financing of this great undertaking thrust upon our own shoulders, with lack of cooperation on the part of some who should have aided in this work and the restrictions imposed by the superiors in the spirit of caution as to the outcome.
With the aid and help of St. Joseph, to whom, from the beginning, the financing problem of the work was entrusted, the book was eventually completed. The assistance of some very good friends also aided substantially the solving of the perplexing monetary question.
Despite these obstacles, we herewith present to the indulgent critic the result of countless hours snatched from our recreation and nocturnal repose. As things were, we cannot hope to please all or to have produced a book without defects, although we have done our best. We kindly ask pioneers and others, well informed on various topics, to communicate to us errors, deficiencies, omissions, etc., they may discover, remembering, however, the limited scope of this book and the cost of engraving and printing which forced us to draw a line in admitting historical material and illustrations.
We take this opportunity of thanking all those who, in any way, have assisted us in getting out this work, either by furnishing information or photographs, or by aiding us financially.
Special thanks are due to the Rt. Rev. Joseph F. Rummel, D. D., Bishop of Omaha, for kindly permitting us to search the diocesan archives and for Msgr. M. A. Colaneri for aiding us therein--to the Rt. Rev. F. J. Beckman, D. D., Bishop of Lincoln, for permission to search the papers of the late Msgr. M. Shine, Plattsmouth, Nebraska,--to the late Msgr. M. Shine himself for permission given to Rev. A. Steck to quote from his works and for some very valuable notes--to the Very Rev. Provincial Vincent Schrempp, O. F. M., for permitting us to use the archives of the Sacred Heart Province--to the Very Rev. Urban Freundt, O. F. M., Provincial of the Cincinnati Province for placing at our disposal documents referring to the Franciscans in Lincoln Nebraska,--the Rt. Rev. Msgr. Joseph Ruesing, of West Point--the Rt. Rev. Msgr. T. J. McCarty, of Sioux City, Iowa,--Rev. Roger Middendorf, O. F. M., the Chronicler of the Sacred Heart Province, for valuable assistance rendered--the Reverends Silas Barth, O. F. M., and Ludger Wegemer, O. F. M., for assistance in revising the edition--Rev.O. Krings, of Osmond--Rev. B. Frigge, of Raeville--Rev. Adam Brass, of Madison--Rev. Ferdinand Mock, of Luxemburg Settlement--Rev. J. Reddy of Bellwood--Rev. M. Gluba, of St. Francis Church, South Omaha,--Rev. J. Ostdiek, diocesan director of schools--Reverends Peter Gannon and P. J. Moran, of the True Voice Publication Company, Omaha,--Rev. Beda Kleinschmidt, O. F. M., famous Franciscan author and historian, of Paderborn, Germany--the Benedictine Fathers of New Subiaco, Arkansas, and Father Prior Gerard,
Atchison, Kansas--Rev. Charles Breitkopf, San Diego, California,--Rev. H. School--Rev. Francis Schopp, Ohleyen,--Rev. William Jungels, Stuart, Nebraska,--Rev. John C. Carraher, Heartwell, Nebraska,--Mr. F. P. Kenkel, K. S. G., and others.
The following Franciscan Fathers are graciously acknowledged for their much and varied assistance--the Reverends Dennis Czech, Rembert Stanowski, Athanase Steck, Germain Heinrichs; Wenceslaus Krzycki, Sigmund Masalski, Benvenute Mueller, Albert Bruesermann, Erwin Huntscha, Charles Schlueter, Wolfang Kraus, Justinian Kugler, Lullus Seeboth, Cyrinus Schneider, Stanislaus Jaworski, Valentine Doerenkemper, Hilarion Duerk, Othmar Berthicaume, Ignatius Classen, Maximilian Klein, Raymond Holte (for the loan of many valuable cuts) and a number of Platte county pastors.
Rev. W. Nemec of Wahoo, Rev. J. L. Zapolotnik, John Maciejewski, Rev. Leo Mainzer, and Rev. Gilbert Garraghan also deserve special mention.
These Venerable Franciscan Sisters deserve honorable mention: Stanislaus Droeler of Joliet, Illinois; also Sister Basilea; Ignatia, Agnella, Antona, Theodora, Leopoldina, Conrada, Modesta, Rosalinda, Jacoba, Edmunda, Niceta, Hilaria, Edwarda, Magdalena, Avellina, etc.--Mr. Frank Connelly, Jr., of Lindsay, for assistance rendered.
Miss Martha M. Turner, of the Nebraska State Historical Library, has furnished a number of drawings for this book.
Among the many lay persons who have aided in the collection of data we wish to specially acknowledge the following; Mr. John Zavadil, editor of The Humphrey Democrat, for many favors; Mr. Z. H. Loomis, editor of The Columbus Daily Telegram; Mr. Edward Lusienski, editor of the Platte Center Radiogram; Mr. F. P. Kenkel, K. S. G., editor of the Centralblatt and Social Justice, St. Louis; Professor Addison E. Sheldon, Secretary of the Nebraska Historical Society, for the loan of most valuable photographs and Miss Martha Turner, former resident of Columbus and now connected with The Nebraska Historical Society; Miss Marie Kyle for her research assistance and her history of St. Francis Academy and her notes on Duncan and financial backing; C. M. Allenburger, M. D., St. Francis Alumni Association; Mr. Anthony Schaecher, who furnished a number of original photographs and copies of others; Mr. L. F. Gottschalk, Surveyor of Platte County, for the use of a map of Columbus, and much valuable material collected by his father, Frederick Gottschalk, one of the founders of Columbus in 1856; and I. N. Taylor's history of Platte county (a small but most valuable book of 18 pages); Mr. William Bucher; Mr. Louis Lachnit, Recorder of Deeds for Platte county; Mr. J. H. Galley, Sr., Mr. Lute North--Prof. E. E. Blackman, curator of the Nebraska State Museum; and Mr. Daniel Donoghue, of Fort Worth, Texas, for a copy of his article on the Coronado Expedition.
To the Franciscan Herald and the Joliet (Illinois) Franciscans we are indebted for the loan of several cuts.