REV. BLASIUS WINTERHALTER, the popular and beloved pastor of St. Mary's Catholic Church at Brussels, was born in the village of St. Peters in the Grand Duchy of Baden, Germany. His father, John Winterhalter, was a farmer and passed his entire life in the Fatherland.
Our subject was left an orphan at a very early age and was for a time cared for by relatives, but when still quite young had to depend upon his own exertions for a living. He received excellent school advantages in his native land, and attended school quite regularly between the ages of seven and fourteen years. He was ambitious to see something more of the world, and to make more of life than he could in the land of his nativity and at the age of nineteen years he came to America. He was naturally studious and a good scholar, and at the age of twenty-two entered St. Thomas College at Bardstown, Ky., from which he was graduated five years later with high honors. He is of a religious nature and desiring to enter the priesthood he prepared for his new vocation at St. Mary's College at Cincinnati, and was graduated from the theological department of that institution two and one-half years later.
Our subject was ordained as priest at Springfield, Ill., in 1864, and was assistant pastor at Springfield, Columbia and Decatur, this State, a short time. He was then appointed to take charge of the church of his faith at Piopolis in Hamilton County, and continued there until 1870, doing a good work. In that year he came to St. Mary's and has been here since. He has accomplished much during his residence in this place and has now under his charge one of the most flourishing churches in the diocese. He has infused new life into the society, which has grown greatly under his administration, and now includes eighty families, over whose spiritual welfare he watches tenderly. Under his pastorate new buildings have been erected including the church, which is a handsome brick structure, 40x85 feet in dimensions, of a modern style of architecture; a neat and commodious parsonage also of brick, and a substantial school building, which is in charge of the Sisters from St. Joseph's, St. Louis, and has an attendance of from seventy-five to eighty pupils. The buildings with their ample and tastefully laid out grounds are an ornament to the village, and the readers of this volume will be pleased to see a view of them herein.
Father Winterhalter is a man of fine scholarship and much culture, is an influence for good among his people and is well known and liked outside of his society.
Extracted 24 Jan 2017 by Norma Hass from Portrait and Biographical Album of Pike and Calhoun Counties, Illinois, published in 1891, page 252.
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