Beginnings – The Saint Cloud Priory – Transfers – Final Location – 1856-1867 

            When, about the middle of last century, that part of central Minnesota lying west of the Mississippi was thrown open for settlement, such a stream of settlers poured in that in a short time the face of the primitive wilderness was changed. The Indian tribes had been induced to move northward and their former hunting grounds were soon transformed into smiling fields; roads were constructed across country; stage routes afforded facilities for travel by land and small steamboats passed up and down the Mississippi river between Minneapolis and St. Cloud.

            A great number of the immigrants who arrived in 1854 and 1855 were Germans and Catholics, and their spiritual care at once became an important subject of attention. In all the northern part of the Territory of Minnesota there was at the time but one priest, the late Reverend Francis Pierz (1785-1880), who, in addition to ministering to the Indians in the northern and eastern parts of the Territory, was commissioned by the bishop of St. Paul, Joseph Cretin (1799-1857), to visit the German settlements in Stearns County. It was a laborious task for an old man who had already reached the age of three-score and ten, for he lived at Crow Wing on the upper Mississippi and could avail himself of no traveling facilities whatever for his missionary journeys. Like a true apostle, he went afoot and sought for the members of his scattered flock in the forests and on the prairies, offered them the consolation of religion, and from the storehouse of his experience gave them valuable guidance for their temporal pursuits as well. To him the settlement of Stearns and several other counties is chiefly due. In the year 1855 he held services at St. Cloud, St. Joseph, St. James, Richmond (Torah) etc. and at the two places first named, he organized congregations. The work now exceeded his powers and he yearned to return to the Indians to whose interests he had consecrated his life. Hence he appealed to the bishop of St. Paul to secure German priests for the new settlements.

            Ten years earlier, in 1846, Reverend Boniface Wimmer (who must be recognized as the actual founder of the institution we are about to describe) had come from the ancient monastery of Metten in Bavaria to the United States and had founded the Benedictine monastery of St. Vincent’s in Pennsylvania. Believing that the venerable Order which he had transplanted upon American soil was destined to exercise an apostolate in the interests of religion, civilization and education as it had done so gloriously for many centuries in Europe until its activity was crippled by pernicious legislation, he accepted an invitation of the Bishop of St. Paul, to send some priests for the northern part of the St. Paul diocese and eventually to found a house of the Order in that diocese.

            Early in April, 1856, a small missionary band, composed of the Very Reverend Demetrius di Marogna, Fraters Cornelius Wittmann and Bruno Riss, both clerics in Minor Orders who had just completed their studies, and two lay brothers, Benno Muckenthaler and Patrick Greil, set out from St. Vincent’s and after a tedious journey by steamboat down the Ohio and up the Mississippi, arrived in St. Paul on May 2.

            Father Demetrius, to whom the direction of the enterprise was entrusted, was descended from a noble family in the northern part of Italy and was born September 17, 1803 at Villa Lagarina, in the southern part of Tyrol. After the war of 1809, the Count di Marogna left Tyrol with his family and took up his residence in Bavaria, where the young Count Charles (the subject of this sketch) received an education suitable to his station and rank. While pursuing his studies, he began to realize the emptiness of a purely worldly career and resolved to devote himself to the sacred ministry. Having finished a seminary course in Mainz, he was ordained a priest in 1826 and during the following twenty-three years served as pastor in the diocese of Mainz and Augsburg.

            In 1847 he left Bavaria to spend the remainder of his life in the missions of the United States where, as he had learned from periodicals and newspapers, there was a scarcity of priests, especially in the German settlements in the middle and western States. The first scene of his labors was western Illinois (Germantown and vicinity), where he served under the jurisdiction of the bishop of Chicago till 1852. To his serious and reflecting mind, the perils of missionary life were too great and he concluded to retire from the missions into monastic seclusion. He entered the novitiate of St. Vincent’s, Pennsylvania in 1852 and in less than two years from that time he found himself elevated to the office of Prior of that monastery, a position which he occupied during a critical period and which he resigned when he was chosen to organize and establishment of the Order in distant Minnesota.

            Shortly after the arrival of the colony in St. Paul, the two clerics, Frater Cornelius and Frater Bruno, were ordained priests. On May 20, the party arrived in Sauk Rapids and on the following day for the first time visited St. Cloud, the county seat of Stearns County. This county was organized in the winter of 1854-55 and at the time of the arrival of the Benedictines, St. Cloud was the only village which it could boast. Some slight beginnings had been made here as early as 1852, it appears, but the place first began to attract attention in 1854 and 1855, when settlers from Indiana and other middle States made their homes on the present site of the city.

            At that time there lived on two claims near the river and about two miles south of St. Cloud, two brothers, Louis and Wilhelm Rothkopp, both single and well advanced in years. Prompted, probably, by a desire to encourage the establishment of a house of the Order near St. Cloud, they had made an offer of their claims (320 acres) to the Fathers, who, in good faith, entered into possession. They, in turn, were required to support the two brothers for the rest of their days. Without delay the Fathers proceeded to establish a monastery on one of the claims: a humble makeshift of a monastery in point of buildings. The latter consisted of a log hut, destitute of comfort and furniture; a small frame addition, to serve as a kitchen, was at once built. Late in fall a small stable was built for the two horses and the cow which constituted the entire livestock of the community. From this point the Fathers visited the settlements in Stearns and neighboring counties, gathered the people, formed congregations, began erecting churches and schools and soon had the satisfaction to learn that their labors were not unrewarded, for the people responded eagerly, and soon log chapels were reared, which in many instances named the settlements, as St. Joseph, St. Augusta, St. Wendel, St. Martin, etc. The importance of the school was not ignored: the children were collected for instruction for a few months a year. At St. Cloud, Father Cornelius, who was the first pastor of the place, established a school in October 1856, on the southwest corner of Block 6, Washington and Lake Streets; the school quarters were a frail shed built of boards. Such was the first school in Stearns County. Father Cornelius held services for the congregation on Sundays and taught the school during the week until summer 1857.

            The Fathers realized that in course of time some provision must be made for higher education; moreover, if the Order and its missionary work was to be permanent in Minnesota, provision had to be made for training candidates for the Order. For some time and as long as the monastery continued to be dependent upon St. Vincent’s, it might rely upon that institution for help; but it was desirable, and very naturally so, that each new establishment be self supporting in every respect. No shrewd calculations were made in advance: a college was a necessity and whether it was to prove a financial success or not was a question that received no consideration. Like Abbot Boniface Wimmer, the Fathers were willing to admit students who lacked the means to pay their way through a course of study; they were convinced that their labors would be recompensed in one form or another.

            First of all it was important to secure corporate rights for the Order in Minnesota and a charter for the prospective educational institution. The charter was drawn up and introduced into the House of Representatives (as House file No. 70) during the eighth session of the Territorial Legislature, on January 22, 1857, by Hon. John L. Wilson, of St. Cloud. It was


      For An Act To Incorporate The St. John Seminary.

            WHEREAS, It is highly important, that the youths of this new, but flourishing Territory, be not only instructed in the elementary sciences, but moreover, be also educated by sound, moral principles;

            And, WHEREAS, It is very desirable, that there be a corporation formed, in order to establish a scientific, educational and ecclesiastical institution;

            In consideration thereof,

            Be it enacted by the Legislative Assembly of the Territory of Minnesota:

            Section 1.That the members of the religious order of St. Benedict, Demetrius Marogna, Cornelius Wittmann, Bruno Riss, Alexius Roetzer and their associates and successors in office, which order is instituted for scientific, educational and ecclesiastical purposes, be a body politic and corporate, to be known by the name and style of “Order of St. Benedict,” and by that name shall have perpetual succession.

            Section 2.The principal object of this politic and corporate body shall be the promotion of the instruction and education of youths, to the acquirement of which end the corporators named in this act shall be hereby authorized to establish and erect an institution, or seminary, in Stearns County, on that portion of St. Cloud City, platted and recorded as Rothkopp’s Addition to St. Cloud, to be known by the name and style of “St. John’s Seminary.”

            (Then follow eight other sections detailing the rights and duties of the corporation.)

            The Bill was launched upon a stormy sea and encountered much prejudice and opposition from those to whom the existence of an educational institution controlled by Catholic clergymen appeared a menace to the public welfare. After being passed from the House to the Council with amendments in which the upper body refused to concur and to the elimination of which the House finally agreed, the bill was passed February 27, 1857. It was among the last bills reported and was signed by Governor Willis A. Gorman on March 6, 1857.

            Thus the new institution was given public recognition and the Fathers were encouraged to proceed in their enterprise, the organization of the first private institution for higher education in Minnesota. They asked for no State aid and had no hopes of ever receiving assistance from that quarter. Pecuniary resources were slender and the year 1857 was marked by a financial crisis, to say nothing of the dire grasshopper visitation which had been disastrous to the crops in 1856 and the ravages of which were still felt in this part of the Territory in 1857.

Prior Cornelius Wittmann (1857-1858)

            On October 7, 1857 Father Demetrius retired from the priorship and upon invitation of the late Msgr. A. Ravoux, then administrator of the vacant see of St. Paul, accepted the pastorate of the Assumption Church in the city of St. Paul. From January 1858 to June 1863 he labored in this position: then his poor health and advanced age induced him to retire from active service in the mission. During the next two years he served as chaplain of St. Joseph’s Academy in St. Paul, until his steady decline in health compelled him to give up this work also. After spending the better part of two years at St. Augustine, Florida, in the vain hope of recovering his health he returned to Minnesota and died at St. Paul, March 27, 1869.

            On his retirement in October 1857, he was followed in the office of Prior by Father Cornelius Wittmann, hitherto pastor of St. Cloud, who now made his headquarters at the priory, but continued to hold services in St. Cloud on Sundays.

            The new institution had been chartered as a Seminary, but as that designation was not familiar to the public, the name “College” soon came into vogue. It was not a pretentious college; the buildings, staff and equipment were lacking, but all beginnings are small and the founders were confident that its future was assured. The Prior of the community acted as ex-officio President of the College.

            When the College was opened November 10, 1857 there was but one professor and five students: the professor was Father Cornelius and the pioneer students, Henry Emmel and Anthony Edelbrock (in later years abbot and president of the institution) of St. Cloud, Henry Klostermann of Richmond, Andrew Stahlberger of Lake George and Joseph Duerr of St. Joseph.

            The simplicity of the institution may be inferred from the following graphic memoir from the pen of one of the students of those days: “Think of the primitive log building about 12×20, then to this an additional structure about 14×20, in height one story and an attic (the latter weather boarded) situated about two miles below St. Cloud on the Mississippi river and you have a fine picture of St. John’s in 1857. The whole building contained, besides kitchen and studio, three small rooms, one for the Prior, one for the professor and the third was kept for an occasional guest. In those days guests were few and far between. The term professor was used in the singular only, because there was but one and he taught all the branches. The Reverend Father Cornelius Wittmann, OSB, was the first to open a day school in St. Cloud and Stearns County, and he also was the first to fill the professor’s chair at St. John’s. He was at that time still in the twenties, nimble of foot, bright in mind, pleasant in company; the children and the young folks were especially fond of him: he was a zealous and amiable gentleman.”

            Father Cornelius was a painstaking teacher and a strict disciplinarian: but it was his considerate kindness that reconciled the students to the primitive conditions prevalent in the poor little college. Thus in a reminiscent mood one of the early students writes: “We were frontier lads, accustomed to ample elbowroom; broad prairies, little restraint and good meals suited us first rate. We had largely been our own bosses and to enjoy life was not at all the last or least of our aspirations. When therefore the reins were slowly but firmly put upon us, there were sour faces, and one or the other even doubted whether he ought not at once bid a long, lingering adieu to Apollo and the Muses.

            “The college regulations were read to us. We had to rise at five o’clock, say our morning prayers, attend daily Mass; then study and at seven o’clock breakfast: i.e. a cup of coffee and a slice of dry bread – no butter or molasses or sugar there. After breakfast free for one half-hour; at 8 o’clock classes began and lasted until 11; then dinner. After dinner, free time until one o’clock; then classes were resumed. At 3 we received a piece of dry bread. This, with fresh water, was relished with a gusto. From 4 to 6 we had to study; at 6 supper. From 7 ½ to 8 ½ study time, then night prayers and to bed….

            “There was poverty everywhere; a poor and miserable house, poor and scant food; poor and bad lights. The tallow candle was the only light in those days. Then nobody knew anything of kerosene, gas or electric light, the indispensable requisites of the modern schoolroom. Must it not be a surprise to some people of our days, that in centuries gone by such great luminaries arose, illuminated only by the tallow candle? Yet such is the truth. The greatest men the world ever saw were surrounded by poverty and poor light. We had few books. The professor lectured; we had to write. Yes, we were started in on the European plan.” (From the Saint John’s University Record, vol. I, 62 by Alexius Edelbrock)

            Meanwhile difficulties had arisen, involving the possession of the two claims which the community occupied. To escape possible embarrassments from litigation, Prior Cornelius determined to transfer both the priory and the college to St. Joseph, eight miles west of St. Cloud. The transfer was made on March 5, 1858. Here the college was continued in a log structure, 25×30. Prior Cornelius turned his attention to the general direction of the affairs of his community and was succeeded in the management of the college by Father Alexius Roetzer, whose name appears in the charter as one of the corporators. He came to Minnesota in October 1856 and had hitherto been employed in ministering to the missions of Stearns, Benton, Meeker and Wright counties. He was a man of imposing physical stature, with an emaciated countenance from which beamed a bright intellect; he was zealous and amiable, pious and talented, kind, yet strict. He carried into the classroom the same zeal with which he had visited the missions and enjoyed the love and confidence of his class. He was an excellent professor, still the number of students did not increase during his regime. The times were too hard and the settlers too poor. He worked faithfully until June 1859 when his rapidly failing health compelled him to resign. He felt that he was doomed and returned East; on February 25, 1860 he expired at St. Vincent’s at the age of twenty-eight. [He was buried there, but in 1934, his grave could no longer be identified.]

            In September 1858 the first general chapter of the Order in the United States was held at St. Vincent’s. Prior Cornelius and Father Benedict Haindl of the Minnesota mission attended. At this chapter the St. Cloud priory was declared independent and authorized to exist as a separate community. Father Benedict Haindl was at the same time elected as first canonical Prior of the monastery, and his election was duly approved by a decree of the Propaganda December 23, 1858.

Prior Benedict Haindl (1858-1862)

            Father Benedict Haindl who had joined the Benedictine Order at St. Vincent’s and, since his ordination to the priesthood in 1849, had displayed his abilities in several important capacities, came to Minnesota in April 1857. Since his arrival he had served in the missions of Scott, Le Sueur and Carver counties where he visited and organized a number of congregations.

            When he entered upon the duties of his office late in 1858, Father Cornelius Wittmann retired and was appointed pastor at Shakopee. Prior Benedict did not consider the late transfer of the institution expedient and in March 1859, both monastery and college were again removed to St. Cloud, (i.e. to the Rothkopp’s claim).

            After Father Alexius Roetzer’s retirement from the professorship in June 1859, he was succeeded by Father Anschar Frauendorfer, who, in addition to the work of the classroom, attended the mission of St. Augusta twice a month. Father Anschar was a man of scholarly attainments and is remembered by his pupils as an excellent professor of the Greek language. He occupied the position of professor with much credit from September 1859 to November 13, 1860, when he became assistant to the pastor of the Assumption church, in St. Paul, and was followed in the professorial chair by Father Magnus Mayr who had arrived from St. Vincent’s in August of that year.

            Father Magnus was an able teacher and the attendance during his administration was very satisfactory. He was assisted in the classroom by Mr. John Daxacher, a student of theology and subsequently a well-known clergyman in the diocese of Omaha (died in November 1904). Owing to the increase of attendance, the accommodations were insufficient and a new building, 22×54, was erected in 1861. It was the intention of the community to establish an ecclesiastical seminary distinct from the classical school. Bishop Grace on his return from an official visit to the settlements along the Red River, had encouraged the Fathers to make this improvement and had promised students and substantial assistance. In fall, 1861, Father Magnus retired and was succeeded by Father Anschar Frauendorfer. Father Magnus did not remain a member of the community, but accepted an appointment as pastor in the diocese of St. Paul, in which he continued to serve at various places – Chanhassen (Chanhassen is said to be the Sioux word for a sugar maple tree), East Minneapolis and, finally, St. Walburga (Rogers), where he died June 29, 1888. Among his papers were several interesting notes which are embodied in the present sketch.

            Troublesome days were drawing nigh: in spring 1861 the Civil War broke out and the excitement pervaded even the Arcadian seclusion of the frontier college. Still, work was not seriously hampered. The scholastics, or students who were preparing to enter the Order, were permitted to wear the habit of the Order, as was customary in St. Vincent’s. Mr. Daxacher, who has been mentioned above, received the habit in December 1861, and on January 6 following, Fraters Benedict M. Duerr, Boniface Emmel, Willibald Michel, Augustine Marshall and Valentine Stimmler were invested as scholastics. They were not bound by vows and attended classes with the other students.

            Although the school near St. Cloud seemed to be progressing satisfactorily, there was a sentiment favorable to a transfer of the institution into the more populous districts of the State and Shakopee was deemed an eligible locality. This project, however, was abandoned. When the institution was transferred to St. Cloud in 1859, the tenure of the Rothkopp claim was uncertain. Now, new complications set in. Mr. George F. Brott, who had carried mail between Minneapolis and St. Cloud from 1855-58 and for this service was entitled to select public lands, laid claim to the premises held by the Rothkopps and had taken steps to make good his claim in Washington. There was a lively dispute which continued until February 20, 1862 when the commissioner of the general land office decided against Mr. Brott. The latter appealed from this decision to the Secretary of the Interior, Caleb B. Smith, who reversed the commissioner’s ruling on April 25, 1862. Of the 320 acres in litigation, only 75 were awarded to Louis Rothkopp. The other brother, William, had died in 1859.

            Troubles never come singly: during August 1862 the citizens of Minnesota had a rebellion of the Sioux Indians on hand. On August 21, the savages attacked New Ulm and perpetrated a dreadful massacre. “The counties along the Minnesota river” says J. Fletcher Williams (History of the Mississippi Valley, page 147), “were not the only ones ravaged by the red devils during that week of blood. McLeod, Monongalia, Kandiyohi, Stearns, Meeker, Otter Tail, Douglas, Sibley, etc., were all overrun in whole or in part, and the inhabitants either butchered or driven away. The first blood of the outbreak had been shed at Acton, Meeker County….western and southern Stearns County suffered severely from the depredations of the red foe. About August 23rd, they committed murders and other crimes near Paynesville. The people of that town erected a strong stockade, and the citizens and refugees from points further west sheltered themselves therein. A part of the town was burned but no attack was made on the post. At Maine Prairie, St. Joseph’s, Sauk Centre, Clearwater, Little Falls, and other places, similar stockades were built and held by a few determined citizens. At St. Cloud, which was filled with refugees, strong fortifications were built and preparations made to defend the place to the utmost, but no foe ever appeared, fortunately. A number of persons were murdered in the western and southern part of Stearns County, and houses burned.”

            Most of the settlers who lived in the vicinity of St. Cloud fled to that town; the College, too, was seized by a panic and was forced to suspend work. Several of the students left; the rest, together with the community, took refuge in St. Cloud where work was continued as well as circumstances permitted.

            Prior Benedict’s term of office had expired, much to his own relief, for he had lived through bitter days. At a chapter held at St. Cloud on October 15, 1862, a successor to Father Benedict was elected in the person of Very Reverend Father Othmar Wirtz.

Prior Othmar Wirtz (1862-1865)

            Father Othmar Wirtz had, since his ordination to priesthood in 1857, been Director of the College and Prior at St. Vincent’s Abbey, Pennsylvania. He was a pious and zealous religious and had nothing more at heart than the promotion of monastic life. He arrived in St. Cloud November 17, 1862 and at once began to regulate the missionary work of the community. In consequence of the disturbance caused by the Indian outbreak, it was next to impossible to conduct college work. The class for some time was composed exclusively of candidates for the Order.

            The adverse decision of the Secretary of the Interior regarding the Rothkopp claim was a source of great disappointment to the community: the fruit of five years’ labor and expenditure was lost. Prior Othmar did not consider the place, suitable for a monastery, because it was too near what promised to be a large city in due course of time. Hence he resolved to abandon the place and transfer the community into what was then called the Indian Bush, the woods west of St. Joseph. Here the Fathers had taken up several “claims” years before and several Brothers had lived there, cutting down timber and preparing the soil for cultivation.

            Before taking the final steps, Prior Othmar petitioned the State Legislature for an appropriate modification of the charter, which had authorized the erection of a seminary in a definite locality. That body early in 1864 passed



            Be it enacted by the Legislature of the State of Minnesota:

            SEC I. That section two of an act to incorporate the St. John’s Seminary be and the same is hereby amended so as to read as follows:

            Section 2. The principal object of this politic and corporate body shall be the promotion of the instruction and education of youths, to the acquirements of which end the corporators named in this act shall be hereby authorized to establish and erect an institution or seminary in Stearns County to be known by the name and style of St. John’s Seminary.”

            SEC. II. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after its passage.

Approved February 6, 1864

            Shortly after the approval of this Act, the third transfer was made and operations were resumed in the heart of the Indian Bush, a short distance from the present Collegeville station. There was no railway line west of the Mississippi at the time.

            Here Father Benedict Haindl had caused a house to be built five years before. It was too small for the community, and a more pretentious frame building, also a neat little chapel had been built. A fair piece of land had been placed, under cultivation; there was water and fuel near by and the vicinity was gradually building up. This was the home of the community for almost three years. One building sheltered the religious and the few students. Father Wolfgang Northman, who had come from St. Vincent’s as a cleric in 1862 acted as professor and disciplinarian. Late in 1864 Frater Valentine Stimmler, the only scholastic remaining of the class of 1862, was sent into the novitiate at St. Vincent’s, being the first novice from Minnesota. He returned toward the end of 1865 and continued his theological studies.

            On December 11, 1865, Prior Othmar retired from office and was succeeded, temporarily, by the former Prior Father Benedict Haindl. Father Othmar, who was suffering from some pulmonary malady, became assistant at the Assumption Church, St. Paul, where after almost nine years of an exemplary, devoted life he died June 8, 1874. Prior Benedict had himself chosen the site on which the monastery stood in 1865 – section 31 of the township of St. Wendel (also called St. Wendall on maps) – but less than two miles to the southwest there was what appeared to him to be a still more desirable location, at least for the buildings. It was rolling country covered with dense woods and its most attractive and useful feature was a delightful lake about 400 acres in extent. Without delay, he prepared for the fourth transfer. In January 1866 a site on an elevation on the northern shore of the lake was selected for the buildings; trees were cut down and as soon as spring set in, excavations for the basement were begun. The entire personnel of the monastery assisted in the work; there were, besides, a number of paid laborers.

            The first building was constructed of boulders, or “nigger heads” picked up at or near the building site. Travelers through this part of the State may still see buildings of this apparently unwieldy material. The structure was 46×50 feet and its unadorned front faced the rising sun. Besides the basement, there were two stories and an attic. The basement was intended for cellars, kitchen and dining room; the first and second floor as quarters – temporarily – for the Fathers, study and class rooms; the attic was an open turret in which hung the college bell – that sweet-voiced bell which pealed for matin song from a small belfry near the Mississippi in 1857 and accompanied the community in all its wanderings. And today fifty years after its arrival, its voice is as clear as it was then; and it hangs in the northwest turret of the college buildings, still doing service as a college bell. The jubilee class will most assuredly not forget to decorate the good old bell with a wreath of water lilies.

            Right Reverend Thomas L. Grace (Stearns County, and, in fact all of Minnesota was at the time in the diocese of St. Paul since 1851) laid the foundation stone of the building on July 19, 1866; on February 1, 1867, the community left the “old farm” and made its home in the new structure. The buildings near St. Cloud had been destroyed by fire on February 20, 1866; the frame house and chapel were taken apart and transported to the new site, and thus all immediate temptations to migrate were effectually disposed of.

            Abbot Boniface Wimmer, during his sojourn in Rome in 1865, negotiated for the elevation of the St. Cloud priory to an abbey; his efforts were successful and on August 3, 1866 the Holy See erected the abbey and authorized the Fathers to elect their first abbot. On December 12, 1866, they assembled at the old farm and elected the Very Reverend Rupert Seidenbusch, the Prior of St. Vincent’s abbey. This selection was approved by the Holy See March 15, 1867; two days later followed a decree authorizing the name of “Saint Louis on the Lake” for the abbey.

The Alumni

            The students before 1867 speak of themselves as students of “old” St. John’s. Few in number, their deeds at college fill no volumes. No annual catalogues were printed; local newspapers preserve scarcely a trace of the early institution. The first school year was opened with an attendance of five pupils; for a few years this number did not grow appreciably. For a short time as many as twenty students were enrolled.

            In the absence of complete and authentic records, only a partial list of the early alumni can be given:  A. and H. Berlemann (two brothers, had been students at St. Vincent’s and returned to that institution when the Indian troubles broke out in 1862); Peter Droitcour; Henry Duerr; Joseph Duerr (became a school teacher and taught in various parts of the State); Stephen Engels; Anthony Edelbrock (subsequently abbot); Joseph Edelbrock (cousin of Anthony Edelbrock); Dan Elberth; Louis Elberth; Henry J. Emmel (of Spring Hill); Louis Emmel (died as a druggist in New York City); Stephen Ethen (of Cold Spring); Stephen Fiedler (of St. Joseph); Edward Francis; Edward Goerger (of St. Cloud); Alfred Jordan; John Kaufmann; Henry Klostermann; Christian Looser; Theodore Lueke; Conrad A. Marschall (became a schoolteacher); B. Michel; Frank Minar; Frank Molitor (brother of our Reverend Aldophonse Molitor); August Mockenhaupt (of St. Cloud); Gustav Mockenhaupt (of St. Cloud, attended about 1862: subsequently finished his studies at St. Francis Seminary, near Milwaukee, and was pastor of Centralia, Illinois at the time of his death, September 26, 1868); Paul Mockenhaupt (of St. Cloud); Robert Mockenhaupt (of St. Cloud); Henry Robbers (of St. Cloud); P. Ruppi; Henry Schmidt; Andrew Stalberger (of Lake George); Valentine Stimmler (now Father Valentine, OSB); John Teller; Frank Vrabeck.

            Despite the poverty of the pioneer institution, its alumni have always cherished their Alma Mater and have shown their loyalty in word and deed. To some of them, especially to Mr. H.J. Emmel, the present generation owes a debt of gratitude for reminiscences of the early days; among others a pencil sketch of the buildings at St. Cloud in 1861.