REV. FR. ALEXANDER ZUGELDER
Fr. McCarthy was succeeded by Fr. Crowley as pastor of St. Philomena’s. His place was taken by Fr. Kozlowski of Midland and then Fr. Steffes. In 1891 Fr. Steffes built the priest’s residence.
The church was destroyed by fire in 1896, owing to a defective chimney. Divine services were held in the school house, south of Beal City, for a short time.
Fr. Engemann was the first resident pastor after 1893. He was here at the time of the fire. A
school house was built on the old foundation. Mass and other services were held here until a new brick church was completed. The new church was larger than the first, being 112x60 feet. The number of families in the parish had greatly increased so the church was enlarged.
Fr. Engemann left in the spring of 1905 on account of ill health. Many of the older residents of Nottawa remember him. No matter what the difficulties, he was always found at his post of duty. He was held in the highest esteem by all irrespective of creed or nationality.
Rev. Fr. O’Connell and Fr. Leukart took charge of the congregation until a new pastor was appointed.
During the stay of Fr. Leukart the second church was entirely destroyed by fire, caused by lightning. Services were again held in the school house and for a while in the hall.
Rev. Fr. Alexander Zugelder was the next pastor, and after all these years is still at his post of duty, beloved and respected by all who know him. He was born in Koenigheim, Baden, Germany, in 1869 and came to America when he was 17. He had a classical education in a gymnasium in Germany, which is equivalent to one of our colleges.
His education was completed by four years and a half in Milwaukee and a year and a half at Montreal. He was ordained by Rt. Rev. Bishop H.J. Richter of Grand Rapids and celebrated his first Mass in St. Mary’s church at Grand Rapids, July 8, 1894. He was appointed pastor at Cadillac, going thence to Lake Leelenau, where he built a priest’s house. From this place he went to Beaver Island, where he erected two schools, sisters’ house, priest’s residence and enlarged the church. The story of his trying to make farmers of the fishermen of Beaver Island will be told next week.
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