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Posted By: Jean Kramer (email)
Date: 8/4/2003 at 23:11:11

Biography reproduced from page 581 of Volume II of the History of Kossuth County written by Benjamin F. Reed and published in 1913:

Father Anthony Joseph Schemmel has for twenty-one years been resident priest of the Roman Catholic church of Bancroft, and during the long period of his residence has greatly endeared himself to the people of his parish, where he has achieved most notable results.

Father Schemmel is a native of Iowa, his birth having occurred in Dubuque county, on the 16th of January, 1860. He is a son of Joseph Schemmel, who was born in Germany but reared in the vicinity of Cincinnati, Ohio, where he was brought when a child of five years. In his early manhood he came to Dubuque, Iowa, and there he was married, in 1855, to Miss Elizabeth Wente, who was also of German extraction, and they became the parents of ten children, seven sons and three daughters. Three members of their family are now residing in Kossuth county, where the mother passed her latter days, her death occurring in Bancroft on the 19th of November, 1906, at the venerable age of seventy-three years. She was taken to Dubuque for interment, and was laid to rest in the Catholic cemetery of that city, where the father, who died several years previously, is also buried.

The secular education of Father Schemmel was completed at St. Vincentís College, Latrobe, Pennsylvania, where he took both a classical and philosophical course. Having resolved to enter the church, he subsequently pursued his theological studies in St. Francis Seminary at Milwaukee, Wisconsin, being ordained in 1889. He was first assigned duty as assistant at St. Maryís church in Dubuque, where he remained until February, 1891, when he was transferred by the bishop to Bancroft. At 10:20 oíclock on the morning of Saturday, February 7, Father Schemmel assumed the duties of priest of St. Johnís church, and has ever since worked tirelessly to forward the spiritual, intellectual and moral welfare of his parishioners. He has been retained here for more than twenty-one years, and that he has proven faithful and capable is evidence by the growth and development of the church, no less than by the high regard and esteem he is accorded not only by the members of his church but the entire community. When he first came here there were but twenty-six families in the parish, and the only church property was a small house of worship, and during the first two years of his residence he was compelled to live at the hotel. In 1898 he began the erection of the parochial school building, and in September, 1900, the school opened with an enrollment of one hundred and thirty-five pupils and three teachers. During the intervening years they have graduated many pupils, all of whom successfully passed the state examination before awarded their diplomas, and now there are ten teachers on the faculty in addition to the assistance rendered by Father Schemmel. He has also erected an attractive church edifice and a comfortable parish house, which buildings, together with the school and grounds, occupy an entire block. The Catholic cemetery, located without the town, contains five acres of ground and is neatly kept and well cared for. Since 1894, he has also had charge of the churches at Ledyard and Titonka, this county, but his own parish has increased so rapidly, now numbering two hundred families, that he soon expects to be given an assistant.

Father Schemmel is a talented and versatile man, as is manifested by the powers of organization and executive ability he has displayed in promoting the development of his parish. He is an able theologian, liberal in his views and charitable in his judgments and by reason of his fine mental attainments, scholarly taxes and instincts has materially assisted in forwarding the intellectual welfare of the community.


Kossuth Biographies maintained by Linda Ziemann.
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