August 31: Father Werner Emmerich


August 31, 1932

Father Werner Emmerich

Father Emmerich was born on June 13, 1849 in Doessel, Germany. He came to the United States in 1871 and entered St. Lawrence, Mt. Calvary, WI to prepare for the priesthood. Bishop Fink ordained him on May 19, 1881 and the next day he arrived at his new assignment in Newton to live with Fr. Felix Schwenbergh where he celebrated his First Mass unbeknownst to the parishioners. “His missions comprised all places north to the Smoky Hill River, that is the north line of McPherson County, west to Barton County and south to Indian Territory.” (The Catholic Advance, Sept. 10, 1932) He soon moved to Odin where he built a rectory and a school. As he covered his missions in the towns of Cain City (now Bushton), Raymond (now Chase), Olmitz, Hoisington, Dubuque, Holyrood and Claflin, he continued to build many more churches and schools. In the early days he visited his missions with a team of oxen and later with a team of horses. His last assignment as pastor was at Ellinwood from which he retired in December of 1923. He suffered from asthma for fifty years and died on August 31, 1932 in Ellinwood. Bishop Schwertner celebrated his funeral in Odin.