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Father G. H. Lührsmann, 1899 Biography


Posted By: David Reineke (email)
Date: 1/12/2006 at 00:49:33

I translated the following biography from Der Carroll Demokrat, a German-language newspaper published in Carroll, Iowa, between about 1874 and 1920. It was originally published in a special 25th Anniversary Edition of the paper on Friday, 20 September 1899. Information in brackets and notes at the end are my own explanations. It reads as follows:

Rev. Gerh. Heinr. Lührsmann [Gerhard Heinrich Luehrsmann]

This Reverend Gentleman has been the pastor at St. Mary’s Parish in Mt. Carmel since 1892, and during this time he has earned the love and affection of all his parishioners. Due to the repeated destruction of the church by fire, the St. Mary’s Parish was rather run-down, and when Rev. Father Lührsmann took over leadership of the parish, it was also considerably in debt. Today, St. Mary’s Parish in Mt. Carmel is debt-free, and in addition, it is decorated with beautiful wall and ceiling paintings, magnificent altars adorn the church, a large pipe organ sounds to the glory of God, and in respect to the other furnishings of the beautiful church, it can be said that St. Mary’s, the mother church of Carroll County, is far and wide the most beautiful in form as well as in fixtures. Through the careful works of this energetic pastor, the interior of the church stands completed and, just during the last year, another addition was achieved in the architectural perfection of the church property—a worthy priest’s residence. Where such successes are to be noted, one can and must say that they are due to a beneficial and harmonious cooperation between priest and laity.

The Rev. Father Lührsmann was born on 23 December 1835 in Wallenhorst, Osnabrück District, Province of Hanover. He spent his childhood years and attended elementary school there, and in 1849 his parents emigrated to the United States of North America and settled initially in Cincinnati. In 1862, the reverend gentleman entered the priests’ seminary in Milwaukee, and on 18 December 1869 he succeeded in fulfilling his deepest wish and was ordained a priest by the late Bishop Luers of Ft. Wayne, Indiana. On Christmas Day of the same year, he celebrated his first Holy Mass in New Vienna, Iowa. Then the energetic priest was transferred to a missionary assignment in Baden, Keokuk County, to which belonged 14 stations in three different counties. Then he was called to Gutemberg [should probably be Guttenberg], Clayton County, where he built the beautiful church constructed of quarried stone. Then he was called to Lyons, Clinton County, where he enlarged the church and founded the school operated by the nuns. The energetic priest was there for eight years, and then he was transferred to Alton, Sioux County, where he again established an elementary school conducted by the nuns. It is also noteworthy that four students have gone forth from this educational institution to prepare for the priesthood. The Reverend Father Lührsmann spent eight years in this parish and cared for Sioux, Osceola, and O’Brien Counties, because he was the only German priest in those three counties. He was then called to St. Mary’s Church in Mt. Carmel, where he did his blessed work and earned the respect of all the parishioners. On 18 December 1899 he will have the great happiness of celebrating his 30th anniversary as a priest, which will certainly be appropriately celebrated by the entire parish.

NOTES: Father Lührsmann died in 1916 and is buried in Breda.


Carroll Biographies maintained by Lynn McCleary.
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