From: History of Holy Trinity Parish, published in the Parish Messenger (Holy Trinity) by Francis L. Auer, ci. 1930s.
1861.—Due to the fact that the number of parishioners was constantly increasing, the management of Holy Trinity Parish was fast becoming too large a task for Father Doebbner, the Pastor, to do it by himself. In other words he needed assistance in his many and great parochial works. Father Doebbner appealed to the Most Revered Archbishop for an Assistant, but doe to the shortage of priests at the time the Archbishop was unable to satisfy Father Doebbner’s desire. Father Doebbner then appealed for help from the Franciscan Fathers in Illinois and this appeal of his was answered, for, in December (1861) Father P. Servatius Altmicks, O.S.F., was sent to assist Father Doebbner. Father Servatius remained at Holy Trinity, ministering to our people, till February, 1863, when he was appointed, by his Religious Superior, to establish a parish in the south west part of St. Louis. The parish that he established is the present St. Anthony’s (Franciscan) Parish on Michigan and Meramec Streets.
In the same year, 1861, the Holy Trinity Young Men’s Sodality was established by the Pastor Father C. Doebbner, who also became its first Spiritual Director. The first officers were as follows: President, Frank J. Leber; Vice-President, Hy. Grammann; Secretary, Hy. Ruwart; Treasurer, Chas, Kircher. This newly established sodality grew rapidly so that in 1899 at the Golden Jubilee of the Parish it is recorded that it numbered 148 members, with the following as its officers: Spiritual Director, Rev. Jos. Kroeger; President, Gerhardt Distelrath; First Assistant President, Harry Toeniskoetter; Second Assistant President, John Poepperling; Secretary, Jacob Feckter; Treasurer, William Muckermann; Marshal, Christ Hubel; First Assistant Marshal, Henry Tobergte; Second Assistant Marshal, Bernard Landwehr; Third Assistant Marshal, Geo. Toeniskoetter; Consultors, Peter Engelkraut, Julius Leber, Charles Appelbaum, Fred Meyer, Joseph Sanders, William Bischoff, Charles Wunderle, Anton Weberich, Frank Wunderle and Casper Sunder.
In June, 1863, five new statues, which were donated by Mr. H. Hausschulte, arrived from Germany, whence they had been ordered by Father Doebbner. The new statues were carved out of wood and were each four and a half feet in height. They represented Our Divine Saviour Jesus and the Four Evangelists, Sts. Mathew, Mark, Luke and John.
In June, too, a collection was taken up, in order to procure funds necessary to refresco the church. The work was done by Mr. D. Hoffmann, a member of the Parish.
In the same year of 1863 Father Doebbner, at the request of the Most Revered Archbishop of St. Louis, established the Holy Cross Parish in Baden, the northern end of Holy Trinity Parish. This is the second daughter church of our parish. In September of the same year the Archbishop sent Father Fr. Brinkhoff to assist Father Doebbner in his parochial work in both parishes. Father Brinkhoff remained the assistant to Father Doebbner till August of the following year (1864) when he became the pastor of the new organized parish in Baden, Holy Cross Parish.
During the month of February, in the year 1864, the Building Society together with the Board of Church Trustees of Holy Trinity Parish voted that a much needed Rectory be built. Our readers will recall from the December and other issues of the Messenger that several times before plans had been made to do the same thing, but that circumstances always altered their plans, so that the matter was always tabled for a future date. This time however their plans were to see fulfillment, for they were to have a new Rectory. It was decided that instead of obtaining the necessary funds for the new project by collections and pledges, that it be borrowed at 4% interest. The actual cost of the new building was $7500.00. The actual work of building was in the hands of Mr. Buetter. In the late Fall of the same year, 1864, the new rectory was completed and the pastor Father Doebbner moved into his new quarters. It was a wall erected building, and it served its purpose for many years. The location of this new building was at the extreme west end of the same lot on which our present rectory now stands.
On the 2nd of January, 1865, the old Priest House was sold for its material to Mr. Wm. Engelkraut for the sum of $395.00. This action was taken because the old building was no longer needed since they now had a new rectory and a larger school, for you will recall that the old building was a combination school and rectory.
In May, 1865, Father Doebbner left Holy Trinity Parish and took over a German Catholic Parish in Terre Haute, Ind. When Father Doebbner left us the school number 400 children, in comparison with 66 children, the enrollment in 1856 when Father Doebbner became our pastor. We mention this because this is referred to as one sign of Father Doebbner’s success at Holy Trinity.
Father Doebbner’s successor as Pastor of Holy Trinity Parish was the Reverend Father F. Brinkhoff, who was to serve our people for a long time, for his pastorate with us was of 22 years duration. This appointment was an appropriate one, for Father Brinkhoffwas familiar with his new parish, for he had been, as we mentioned some months back, assistant to Father Doebbner for about a year. (1863-1864.)
In the last issue of the Messenger we mentioned that there had been small quarrels or misunderstandings in the parish, especially between the Building Society and the Board of Trustees and that Father Doebbner very diplomatically quieted them down. With the departure of this peace maker, these misunderstandings cropped up again. This time it was of such a nature and force as to mislead a very large percentage of the members of the parish. The result was: the dissolution of the Building Society and Father Brinkhoff taking over all the affairs of the parish. Thus once again peace was restored and reigned in the parish.
On June the 25th, 1865, Reverend H. Wigger celebrated his First Solemn High Mass in our Church. Father Wigger remained as assistant to Father Brinkhoff till November of the same year, when he was appointed to Holy Cross Parish in Baden.
On Sunday, June the 5th, 1866. Our Parish was honored to have a double first mass celebration. The two young priests to offer their first solemn high masses were the Reverend Theo. Kussmann and Reverend Joseph Hellwing. Father Kussmann was a son of the parish. Father Hellwing remained in our Parish as Assistant to Father Brinkhoff ‘till October 1869.
In 1867 Father Brinkhoff established the Cecilian Dramatic Club, which existed for several years. This club was a forerunner of our present Mallinckrodt Dramatic Club, which was to be established a few years later.
In 1868, the Archbishop called for $2,200.00, the sum which he had loaned the parish, at its organization. In order to meet the request of their superior, the parish gave out shares and established a bank, wherein the parishioners could deposit money, which in turn was to be used to pay off their debt to the Archbishop.
In 1869 a Chapel, a Baptistry, and a few Conference Rooms were built into the basement of the church. In the same year the plot of ground around the church was leveled. (Our readers will recall that it had been erected on a hill.) The total cost for these parochial improvements was $2,200.00.
On October the 10th, 1869 the Holy Trinity Young Ladies’ Sodality was established by Reverend P. Weber, S.J. There were 52 young ladies present on that date to be received into the Sodality, which was established under the title of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The first officers were as follows: President, Miss Mary Lieb; First Assistant, [Illeg.]
The Sodality was well established—for in 1899, the year of the Golden Jubilee of our Parish it numbered 280 members. The officers at the time of the Jubilee were as follows: President, Miss Anna Herkenhoff; First Assistant, Miss Mary Koch; Second Assistant, Miss Ida Menke; Secretary, Miss Anna Reiners; Treasurer, Miss Helen Hartmann; Librarian, Miss Theresa Appelbaum.
On the 20th of June, 1869, the Holy Trinity Benevolent Society was established. In December of the same year it was incorporated under the Statutes of the State of Missouri. The first officers of this society were as follows: President, Mr. Herman Rechtien; Vice-President, Mr. Geo. Reiners; Secretary, Mr. Theo. Sunder; Assistant Secretary, Mr. Frank J. Leber; Treasurer, Mr. J. Nyhof; Marshal, Mr. Henry Brandt; Trustees, Messrs. Henry F. Grafemann, Henry Meierring and John Werberich. In time the Society became affiliated with the Central Verein, the Catholic Union of Missouri and the Widows’ and Orphans’ Society.
This newly established society grew rapidly. At the time of [illeg.]
Catholic Benevolent Society of St. Louis and one of the largest and most flourishing of the German Catholic Men’s Sodalities in the country, having a membership of 489 and a capital of $13,000.00. Up to 1899 the Society had paid out $124,211.50. (Death Benefits, $63,800.00; Sick Benefits, $54,335.00; Aid to widows, $3,950.00; For the New Church (Our Present Church), $1,000.00; other miscellaneous donations, $1,126.50). The officers at the time of the Jubilee were as follows: President, Mr. Christ Hilke; Vice-President, Mr. August Kayser; First Secretary, Mr. Frank J. Leber; Second Secretary, Mr. C. J. Hannebrink; Treasurer, Mr. Frank Huelsmann; Advisory Board, Messrs. H. D. Westerheide, Simon Haas, and H. H. Toeniskoetter; Marshals, Messrs. Charles Kensche and Henry Kasselmann; Society Physician, Mr. J. H. Schiermann.
In October 1869 Rev. Dr. Johns became assistant to Father Brinkhoff, and he remained with us till January 1871, when he became the Secretary to the Vicar-General of the Arch-Diocese.
On Christmas Day, 1869 Rev. F. X. Deimel offered his First Solemn High Mass in our church and he remained as assistant priest till April 1871.
On May 16, 1869 a branch of the St. Vincent’s German Orphan Society was established in our parish. The first officers were as follows: President, Herman Rechtien; Vice-President, Henry Hauschulte, First Secretary, John Nyhoff; Second Secretary, Christ Sachs; Collectors, Joseph Sanders and Henry Brand. In 1899, the time of the Golden Jubilee of the Parish the following men were the officers: President, John Hangartner; Vice-President, Charles Kensche; First Secretary, Michael Deck; Second Secretary, Conrad Westerheide; Trustee, Christ Muckermann; Reception Committee, Wililam Herkenhoff Jr. and Joseph Nies; Collectors, William Meyer and John Bockwinkel.