St. Mary's Immaculate Conception Church, David City
St. Mary's Catholic Church, of David City, as an organization, dates from September 19, 1877. The present church building is the second church of the parish, the first one being built in the fall of 1877 by the Franciscans and opened for services January 23, 1878. An addition was built to the church in 1888, and a little later a parsonage was erected. In 1890 the parochial school building was put up and several years later, the school building was remodeled and enlarged.
At the laying of the corner-stone of the new church on April 6th, 1911, the following history of St. Mary's parish, written by Rev. Fr. J. C. Caraher, was among the articles placed in the cornerstone:
"In the year 1877, on September 19th, Fr. Ambrose Jansen (others claim it was Rev. John Gafron) O. F. M., of Columbus, Nebraska, said the first mass in David City at the court house. After divine service on the same day, the Catholics of David City and vicinity, held a meeting and unanimously resolved to erect a church building, in David City.
"The following gentlemen were appointed to further the work: Messrs. Nicholas Miller, Thomas Dowling, and T. J. Murphy, together with their first pastor, Rev. John Gafron, O. S. F. In conjunction with the first committee of St. Mary's Church, in her birth as well as in her strength and progress, must be mentioned the name of Hon. M. C. Delaney, who was always an earnest worker for the best interests of the church and a generous subscriber for it. Bishop O'Connor was then Vicar Apostolic of Nebraska, with residence at Omaha. He gladly consented to the building of the new small frame church and appointed Rev. John Gafron, O. F. M., its first pastor."
LIST OF FAMILIES AT
DAVID CITY, 1877
(ACCORDING TO THE BAPTISMAL RECORD)
The first baptism was that of Agnes Barbara, daughter of Nicholas and Gertrude, nee Wiser Miller. Rev. Anselm Puetz, O. F. M., baptized her and the sponsors were James Fenlon and Agnes Dowling.
Other pioneer families were:
Nicholas Miller and Gertrude Wiser, Joseph Schaaf and Rosa Mary Fix, David Inright and Honora Linhan, Thomas Donohoe and Anna Kelly, William Richardson and Julia Reagon, Theodore Van Ert and Agnes Van Ert, Thomas Wacker and Mary White, Dan Hallasey and Bridget Carey, John Hawlavic and Catherine Rett, Rudolph Kasparek and Petronilla Nemec, Peter Havlic and Mary Sommek, Richard Hibbard and Emma Gould, Patrick Garhan and Catherine Rice, William Stoddar and Mary Costello, Nicholas Fenlon and Mary Keegan, Michael Morris and Mary Dooly, Richard Kinsella and Agnes Cecil, Eugene Murray and Catherine Machon, John Cerney and Mary Hacke, Michael Kennedy and Helen Ferresa, Martin Novotny and Anna Pemarek, John Doyle and Helen Costello, Michael C. Delaney and Catherine Hanna, William Leahy and Matilde Moody.
N. B. We can not guarantee that all these names are spelled correctly.
The first Bohemian settlers came about 1873. They were: Frank Kaspar, Frank Resek, Martin Novotny, Frank Sudik, Frank Dvorak, John Styshal, Joseph Kudrna and others.
The Bohemian National Alliance, July 23, 1918, of David City contributed $2,163 for freeing Bohemia from Austrian rule. The Butler county contribution for this purpose amounted to $27,452. Their quota was at least $20,000.
CONCERNING DAVID CITY
Columbus, Nebraska, August 23, 1881.
"Illustrissime ac Reverendissime Domine:
"I hereby send you two deeds, one for the Catholic Cemetery of David City and another of the church ground and Grave Yard of St. Francis' Church, Center Precinct, both located in Butler County. As I hear from our superior, it is the intention of Your Grace to come out here this fall to administer the Sacrament of Confirmation. Would Your Grace also be so kind as to come to my parishes in Butler County, viz., David City, and to St. Mary's of the Presentation (located at Luxemburg, Savannah Precinct, Valley Township). St. Francis Church is so far finished that it could perhaps be dedicated in case Your Grace would be so kind as to do it. It must be painted inside yet, which will be done in about 4 or 5 weeks, I think.
"In regard to the church at David City, I would ask your Grace for advice. This church is still in the same shape as it has been three years ago, when your Grace was there--(A. D. 1878), as I understand. All I could do, up to the present, was to liquidate the debts. The size of the church in the plan is 60x28 1/2 feet. The frame work as it stands now is 28 l/2x45 feet, lacking 15 feet for the sanctuary. The necessary money might perhaps be collected, in
order to plaster the building as it stands now. Would it perhaps be the best to have it plastered, and wait for the addition until the congregation grew larger? If possible, I should like to see your Grace dedicating it this fall.
"At last I take the liberty to ask your Grace if you would not perhaps give me some sacred vestments and linens, etc., for my mission, especially for St. Francis' Church. The people there in general have done all they could, but they are very poor for the present, and, therefore, not well able to meet all the demands. I should be ever so thankful if your Grace could afford to give me some.
"Hoping that my humble petition will be granted, if possible, and to receive advice in regard to the church at David City, and to hear whether your Grace will be so kind as to come to my parishes for dedication and the administration of Confirmation, I remain,
"Your infimus in Christo servus,
"P. Seraphin 'Lampe, O. S. Fr."
REV. SERAPHIN LAMPE
DAVID CITY, TO HIS BISHOP
Columbus, Nebraska. November 3, 1881.
"Illustrissime av Reverendissime Domine:
"Having now finished the church at David City, and also paid the expenses, the church committee as well as I thought of erecting a small house, where I, or whatever priest attends, could stay, when in David City. We thought a house 14 feet by 20 feet would answer that purpose, taking 8 feet by 14 feet for a bedroom and thus leaving 12 feet by 14 feet for a sitting room. Such a house would cost about $250. We had a supper the other day at David City, which brought us $151. The $100 which is still lacking could be collected, I think.
"If you, Rt. Rev. Bishop, should think it advisable to build such a house, I should be very much obliged to get an answer by tomorrow night, as I have to leave on Saturady (sic) morning, and it would be time to have it built right away.
"Did you, Rt. Rev. Bishop, perhaps see already about that 'pass' on the B. and M. (Missouri Valley R. R.) to David City? If it could be obtained that would assist me very much.
"Your Humillimus in Christo Filius servusque,
"P. Seraphin Lampe, O. S. Fr."
LIST OF FRANCISCAN PASTORS
Rev. Ambrose Janssen and Anselm Puetz came to Luxemburg and Center in 1877. The first regular pastor was John Gafron, O. F. M., September, 1877-July or August, 1878; Rev. Cyprian Banscheid, O. F. M., in 1878; Rev. Cyril Augustinsky, O. F. M., 1878-1879; Rev. Seraphin Lampe, O. F. M., 1879-December, 1882. He must have been well liked by the people and was good in English, as Father Ambrose writes to the Provincial asking to leave Fr. Seraphin at Columbus in charge of the Butler county parishes. Fr. Boniface Depman, 1882-August, 1883.
In 1882 the Franciscans turned over the Butler county missions to the Rev. Rheindorff, 1882-February, 1883, who, after some months, was compelled to retire to St. Mary's Hospital, and Fr. Boniface Depman, O. F. M., took charge in February, 1883, until the appointment in September, 1883, of Rev. John Mueller.
REV. JOHN GAFRON,
O. F. M. (1850-1897)
FIRST PASTOR OF DAVID CITY
Rev. John Gafron was a native of Liebenau, diocese of Breslau. His birth occurred on Nov. 6, 1850. In his nineteenth year he in 1871 entered the Franciscan order at Warendorf. During his studies he was distinguished by mental acumen and extraordinary memory and sincere piety. At the time of the Kulkurkampf, July 10, 1875, he came to America and was raised to to the priesthood at St. Louis, Missouri, on June 4, 1876. After a short period of activity in Nebraska, where he was in charge of Luxemburg, David City, and Hollander Settlement (Center), etc., Father John volunteered for the Indian missions in Wisconsin. Full of zeal he went to work to acquire the intricacies of the native language and he acquired a masterly command of it in a short time. Some missions he visited alternately once or twice a month. Besides, he used to visit the Indians of northern Wisconsin, who were scattered over a territory of 12,000 square miles, several times a year. Each trip required from 6 to 8 weeks. In winter he made these journeys on foot, in summer the canoe was also put to use. The region was barren and wild; often the path led through the thick brush of the woods; soon he suffered from the burning rays of the sun, soon from the very severe cold of winter, soon he was drenched to the skin by the rain, soon covered with snow. Often of a night, fatigued by the day's brunt and labor, he had to seek repose on the ground in the open air. He frequently celebrated Holy Mass in the open or in the poor huts of the Indians. To these great sacrifices, which he cheerfully rendered, corresponded the fruits of his labors and numerous are the souls which he led on the road to heaven.
These hardships undermined Father John's health. He never fully recovered from an attack of pneumonia, which he contracted during one of his trips, when he nearly drowned in the icy waves of Lake Michigan. Forced to give up his missionary journeys, he resided at
Bayfield, Wis., as superior and pastor. But the vicinity of his Indians was a constant temptation to him. He could not omit to visit them occasionally and, again and again, by kindly words confirm them in the faith.
Father John was finally appointed professor of Theology at the St. Louis Monastery and elected definitor of the Sacred Heart Province. He passed away on July 19, 1897, at Ashland, Wisconsin.
REV. JOHN MUELLER,
AUGUST, 1883-MAY, 1886
The Rt. Rev. Bishop James O'Connor sent, as resident pastor, the young John Mueller, with directions to take up his residence at David City, county seat, with the Valley Church as a mission. But seeing the danger, to which his predecessor, Fr. Rheindorf, had fallen victim, and the people of David City, so it is said, not being anxious to put up a suitable residence for him, while the Luxemburgers of the valley were willing to do so, Fr. Mueller, of his own initiative, transferred his residence to the valley and attended David City as a mission.
REV. HENRY BEX,
MAY 16,1886-SEPTEMBER 1, 1894
Rev. Henry Bex erected a new frame house for the pastor and built an addition to the frame church, enlarging the latter to double its size, and established the finances of the congregation on a firm and enduring basis. Both Fr. Mueller and he much endeared themselves to their parishioners. Fr. Bex left the church in excellent condition. Rev. J. English was put in charge of St. Mary's at David City, September 1, 1894-January 1, 1895. His successor was Fr. J. F. Roche, 1895-November, 1901.
REV. J. F. ROCHE
Fr. Roche also erected a parochial school and introduced Sisters to take over the school in the year 189--. Fr. Roche left in November, 1901.
Rev. J. F. Roche was born in Canada in 1865 and educated in Ottawa University and St. Mary's Seminary, Baltimore, Maryland. He was ordained in 1892 and labored in Nebraska since his ordination. He wrote several books and pamphlets: The book in honor of St. Joseph; The Ought-to-Be's; The Business Side of Religion; The Obligation of Hearing Mass; Our Lady of Guadelupe, etc. Fr. Roche also made a trip around the world and served as war correspondent during the Balkan War in 1912. He also went to Europe during the World War, and was reported to have been shot by the Allies, but a friend of his informed us that he is still living in a city in southeast Europe and serving as a correspondent for some press association.
REV. JOHN CORNELIUS
NOVEMBER 1, 1891-1914
After a few months of temporary pastors Rev. John C. Caraher was appointed rector of St. Mary's at David City. Seeing that the parish stood in need of a larger and more beautiful church, he made preparations for its construction. At the first meeting of the parish, subscriptions amounting to $15,000 were subscribed. The pastor then went around and in about ten days enough subscriptions were secured to enable him to build. The designs for
St. Mary's First Church, David City, Butler Co.
the new church were made by Mr. Craddock of Omaha. The cost was estimated at about $42,000. The Rt. Rev. Bishop Bonacum pointed out that the plans would cost much more than the estimate of the architect. The first bids offered proved the correctness of the Bishop's assertion. Once more bids were asked for and again considerably exceeded the architect's estimate. The work was finally given to Schroeder Bros. of Columbus, while the parish paid for the material.
The church building committee included Herman Ficke, Theo. Brochtrup, E. J. Dworak, M. J. Holland, Nick Meysenburg, P. N. Meysenburg, George Mattingly, Mike Medinger, Joseph Shramek, Gilbert Zegers. Nicholas Miller, who was on the building committee for the first Catholic church in David City 25 years before, was tendered appointment on the Building committee for the new church, but he served as superintendent far the grading of grounds and
St. Mary's First Church, David City, Butler Co.
Rev. J. C. Caraher, Builder of Present Church
Very Rev. Dean B.
Rev. Gerard Boll
New and Old St. Mary's Church, David City, Butler County
construction of sidewalks. Nearly 7,000 square feet of cement walks were constructed, including those on two sides of the church and the interior walks. The front walks are 8 feet wide; that connecting the walks in front is 6 feet and the outside and interior walks, are 4 feet in width.
LAYING OF THE CORNERSTONE
The cornerstone for the new St. Mary's church was laid on Thursday, April 6, 1911, Very Rev. A. J. Klein, of Brainard, administrator of the diocese of Lincoln, presiding. The sermon was preached by the Rev. M. A. Shine, of Plattsmouth, Nebraska. The Hon. William Taft was then President of the United States; Hon. C. H. Aldrich, Governor of the State of Nebraska; Mr. Thomas Wolfe, Mayor of David City.
DEDICATION OF ST. MARY'S--
JULY 2, 1912
The splendid new church building was dedicated Tuesday, July 2, 1912, by the Rt. Rev. J. Henry Tihen, Bishop of Lincoln. He was assisted by a large number of priests from various localities in Nebraska, two from Iowa and one from Illinois. In honor of the occasion the business houses of David City displayed flags in profusion. The firemen under the direction of Mayor Hastings and Councilman Kirby, thoroughly sprinkled the streets around the square end the one leading to the church; the sprinkling was supplemented by a fine shower early Tuesday morning.
At 9:40 a. m. the procession formed and marched to the church. The order was as follows: Ten horsemen; Brainard band; Knights of St. George, Brainard; Bohemian Catholic Union, Brainard and vicinity; Catholic Workmen, Brainard; Bruno band; Catholic workmen and Z. C. K. Z., Appleton; Knights of Columbus; including a number of members of of that order from other towns and the country around; David City band; boys and girls of the parochial school; young ladies of the parish; visiting clergy; Bishop Tihen and two chaplains; two Knights of St. George.
Besides Bishop Tihen, Vicar General Klein, of Brainard, and Rev. Francis Caraher of Chicago, there were present Rev. Hayes, Imogene, Iowa; Rev. W. Steinbach, Kansas City; Rev. Nolan, Missouri Valley, Iowa; Revs. P. L. O'Loughlin, O'Boyle; Moran; Ildephonse Gast, O. F. M., and Casimir, O. F. M., from Lincoln; Rev. McDonald and J. W. Loughnot from Hastings, Thos. Cullen, York; Boll, Crete; J. J. Hoffman, Falls City; Albert Petrasch, Beatrice; James Dobson, Schuyler; Charles of Tecumseh; McDonald. Exeter; Freeman, Wymore; Blacha, Shelby; F. Zalud, Bruno; M. Nemec, Abie; H. Bickert, Bellwood.
After the dedication of the church solemn high mass was sung, Rev. Francis Caraher, of Chicago, being the celebrant; Rev. Ildephonse Gast, O. F. M., deacon; Rev. G. Boll, subdeacon; Rev. John Hoffman and W. Steinbach, masters of ceremonies. Assisting Bishop Tthen at the throne were Rev. J. Freeman, assistant priest; Fr. Cullen, and Rev. McDonald, assistant deacons.
A choir of ten voices from Lincoln, under the direction of Professor Movius, professor of the University of Lincoln, and a lady organist from Lincoln, sang Rosswage's Mass. The church could not hold the immense concourse of people. Nearly 1,000 people were served dinner and supper in the old church. Ladies in charge were: Mrs. Michael Medinger, Mrs. John Jacobs, Mrs. Theodore Aerts, Mrs. Frank Litty, Mrs. Herman Ficke, Mrs. Henry Hilger, Mrs. John Reisdorf, Mrs. William Lltjens. They appointed assistants. Proceeds of the day included about $875 in donations, $325 from dinner and supper.
At 7:30 o'clock p. m. there were vespers, rosary of the Blessed Virgin, sermon by. Fr. W. Steinbach, C. S. S. R.
DESCRIPTION OF THE BUILDING
The new church is English Gothic in architecture. It is built of royal blue Bedford stone for the basement and of cream-colored, impervious Columbus, Ohio, brick, hard as flint, then the most expensive building brick on the market, ($28 per thousand). The dimensions of the structure are 52x132 feet, the towers 130 and 65 feet in height. The width of the transept is 67 feet. The building is heated by steam and lighted by electric lights. Fr. J. C. Caraher, superintended the construction. The church was decorated by George Satori, of Minneapolis,
The auditorium has a seating capacity of 800. The high altar was donated by P. N. Meysenburg and cost over $2,000. The sanctuary railing ($350) is the gift of Michael Meysenburg. The beautiful stations of the cross costing over $900 were donated by Hiller Smith. The ladies of the parish donated the side altars costing about $400. The pulpit of Rigalico with onyx pillars was donated by John Meysenburg. It cost $300. A sum of $1,400 was expended for the fine new pipe organ. Mr. and Mrs. John Shramek gave the handsome confessional; Messrs. M. Meysenburg, and M. Medinger, donated the statues of S. S. Peter and Paul for the niches on the outside of the facade of the church. There are two large windows in the transept and 14 other large and handsome,
stained glass windows. The memorial windows are the gifts of Mr. M. Meysenburg, John Hilger and family, Mrs. Joseph Schlesinger, Mr. and Mrs. Birkel, the Bohemian Rosary Society, Peter Birkel Sr., Mr. and Mrs. Frank Litty Sr. and children; Rev. John C. Caraher, Mrs. M. C. Delaney, Ladies of the Altar Society, Mr. and Mrs. John Litty Sr. and children, Mr. and Mrs. Herman Ficke, Mrs. James Haney, Sr., and George Mattingly. To the north side of the sanctuary is a chapel seating about 50 people, and to the south side of the main altar is the sacristy. While the splendid new church represented the generosity of the Catholics, the privilege that the nonCatholics solicited and were accorded was the giving of the large bell and the big clock in the taller tower of the church. ($1,500). A smaller bell from the old church is in the main tower also. Both have an attachment for ringing the Angelus.--Thus Rev. J. C. Caraher. See also 'Butler County Press, David City, July 4, 1912. Page 1."
"Thus from a small band of nine pioneer families in September, 1877, St. Mary's parish had grown to a membership of some 600 souls and now owned a splendid new church building costing with the beautiful new furnishings about $100,000, an entire block of ground, in the central part of the city, a parsonage, and a two-story frame parochial school building, the entire property worth about $120,000.--l. c.
The work and worry connected with building such a church had a detrimental effect on the health of Fr. Caraher, and he was forced to take a prolonged vacation. His successor at David City was the Rev. Gerard Boll.
BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH OF FR. JOHN C. CARAHER
Rev. John C. Caraher was pastor of St. Mary's Catholic Church, David City, eleven years. They were years of zealous and efficient work and of great progress for the church.
Fr. Caraher was born in Newton-Hamilton parish, County Armagh, Ireland, July 8, 1865. His parents were John and Margaret O'Neil Caraher. He studied for five years in Carlow University, Ireland, near Dublin, and was ordained to the priesthood there May 31, 1890. He came at once to Nebraska and was stationed first at Hastings, Lincoln diocese, where he was assistant to Rev. John E. English, then pastor, five years, in charge of Fairfield. While there he built two new churches: the one at Highland cost about $6,000-$7,000, and the other at Harvard, $6,000-$7,000. For the next two years he served as chancellor and secretary to the late Bishop Bonacum. From Lincoln he was sent to St. Michael's church, Fairbury. During his pastorate of five years a fine church property was purchased, including a handsome parochial house, which had been the residence of the president of the First National Bank of Fairbury. In addition to this a heavy indebtedness on the old church property was paid off and the mission church at Alexandria, was repaired and newly furnished with altars, etc., and paid for.
In 1901 Fr. Caraher was promoted to the important parish of David City. In eleven years of his zealous work here the membership of the church grew to 600 in 1912. During his pastorate of St. Mary's many substantial improvements of the church property were made, including the moving, rebuilding and refurnishing of the parochial school building at a cost of $2,000 and the completion of the splendid new church.
Father Caraher is now stationed at Holy Family Church, Heartwell, Kearney County, Nebraska.
REV. GERARD BOLL,
Fr. Boll was appointed to serve at St. Mary's in 1914 and also served as dean of the David City district and consultor of the Lincoln diocese. He labored zealously until his health gave way a few months before his death. He entered St. Joseph's Hospital in Omaha, where he passed away.
Rev. Gerard Boll was a native of Meppen, Hanover, Germany, made famous by Ludwig von Windhorst, of Centrist fame. Fr. Boll was born there on March 27, 1861. After nine years of studies at the local gymnasium, he came to St. Meinrad's Seminary, Indiana, to complete his philosophical and theological studies. There Bishop Lillis, of Kansas City, and Bishop Ward, of Leavenworth, were his classmates. Fr. G. Boll was ordained for the diocese of Omaha on April 11, 1886, by Bishop McCloskey of Louisville, Kentucky. After serving first as an assistant at St. Mary Magdalene's at Omaha, Rt. Rev. Bishop J. O'Connor sent him to Hebron, in Thayer county. In 1888 he was appointed pastor of Crete and about 1914 was made pastor of St. Mary's at David City. He was also rural dean (V. F.) and consultor of the Lincoln diocese. After an illness of several months he passed away at St. Joseph's Hospital, Omaha, on November 3, 1919. Rev. Peter C. Gannon, editor of the True Voice, says of him: "Few priests have been so universally beloved as was the late pastor of David City. He was of an even temperament, kind of heart, yet withal intensely zealous in his work as a priest and pastor. He labored faithfully for thirty-three years in Nebraska and the evidence of his zeal is seen in the parishes of Crete, where he remained for a quarter of a century, and in
David City, where he labored for the past few years.
Fr. Boll could scarcely be called a pioneer priest--yet he did pioneer work at Hebron and in Crete. He was one of that generation of sturdy priests who built up religion in Nebraska on solid foundations. Too soon, it seems, this generation is passing away. Yet their work remains and their memory will linger among the people they served so nobly. Fr. Boll was a true priest. He lived to serve God and to bring men to the knowledge and love of their Creator. May he receive his eternal reward." -True Voice.
Rev. Albert Petrasch was in charge for a few months until the appintment of the present incumbent, Very Rev. Dean Bernard Sproll, 1919, until present day.
PARTIAL LIST OF ASSISTANTS AT ST. MARY'S, DAVID CITY
The following as far as we could ascertain served at some time as assistants at David City: Rev. Fathers Hassler, Louis Hansen, Creed, Stephen Schatz, W. F. Cadek, A. Kramer, P. O'Leary, John Eckler, Raymond Wageman.
(Translated from the German)
"Columbus, Nebr., July 19, 1882.
"The Rt. Rev. Bishop of Omaha has probably written to you about David City, requesting us to establish a residence there. About a month ago the Rt. Rev. Bishop was there to administer the Sacrament of Confirmation. He liked it so well there that he promised the people to give them a priest; he would write at once to Rev. Fr. Provincial in order to get, if possible, a Franciscan friary there. In case the Provincial could not accept a residence there, he would send them a secular priest. The Rt. Rev. Bishop asked me whether we would accept a house there. I replied, of course, I did not know, I could not say so, told him, however, that David City was no suitable location for us, that it was much more suitable for a secular priest. He expressed himself, however, that his plan was to have everywhere, here and there, religious houses. David City was far enough from Columbus and, moreover, he had few among his priests who were conversant with both languages, German and English.
I would have written to you at once about the matter, but knew beforehand that you would not enter upon the wish of the Rt. Rev. Bishop, since we lack men and, even if this were not the case, because there is no prospect of ever having in David City a well-ordered monastery. The two parishes near David City will become good parishes, but what will become of the parish in David City itself is still very doubtful. Only a few Catholics live in the city itself; some live as far as 10 to 15 miles from David City. There is hardly any prospect of any more Catholic parishes forming in the vicinity of David City. Hence in future there would be work for only two or three Fathers in the care of souls. Of this kind of houses we probably have already enough or possibly already more than enough. Your humblest son in Christ,
Columbus, Nebr., Jan. 5th, 1883.
Rev. Father:--The Rt. Rev. Bishop has now found a priest for David City, namely the Rev. Fr. Rheindorff, a brother of our Fr. Romuald. He is already here and tomorrow Fr. Boniface will leave with him for David City, in order to introduce him there. I asked the Rt. Rev. Bishop whether he would now also give us Shell Creek. He is of the opinion that he cannot do it at once for lack of priests; but he may do it as soon as possible. Fr. Flood, who is now at Shell Creek, is to go to the hospital at Omaha, and Fr. Daxacher to the Poor Clare's. These changes he could not make just now, since he had no priest for Blair, which is now attended by Fr. Daxacher. The Rt. Rev. Bishop has requested me whether I could not for the present send Fr. Boniface to Fillmore county and there take charge of two places, Grafton and Turkey Creek, which belonged to Exeter. I told the Bishop that I would write to you. These places are far from here, 140-150 miles per railroad. It lies on the Burlington-Missouri railroad; Turkey Creek is besides eight miles farther from the station. If you deem it opportune, Fr. Boniface could for the present attend, since the Bishop will make the changes anyway in a few months and we shall then get Shell Creek with all that belongs to it. We would then also have to attend Albion in Boone county, until it will be able to support a priest of its own, says the Bishop.
Recommending myself to your prayers, I am, and remain
Your Least Servant in Christ, Fr. Seraphin.
According to information received from Rev. Engelbert Boll, Rev. Boniface Depmann, O. F,. M., baptized children in Grafton, Exeter and Turkey Creek, February 18, March 14, April 1 and April 8, 1882.