Zell

Quickfacts:

  • Telephone exchange: 883-xxxx
  • Zip code: 63670 (Ste. Genevieve)
  • Township: Ste. Genevieve
  • Population: 614
  • Location: Highway A & Zell Rd

Quicklinks:


History

        Zell was first settled in 1798
when 1000 arpents [a French measurement of land, similar to an acre] of land
were granted to Pierre Charles Dehault Delassus Deluziere, he called it the
Prarie Gautier Tract.  In 1819, this land, after Pierre’s death was sold to
his son, Charles Dehault Delassus (upon the closing of Pierre’s estate by Marie
Philipe LeDuc), and was soon sold again to Charles’s nephew Felix de St. Vrain. 
Other land transactions and settlers are as follows:
        1833 – 100 acres sold to Anthony
Yogerst (Jogerst)
                   
Anthony (Anton) Fallert [actually bought from the Ziegler estate]
        1837 – Michael Jokerst (just north of
Zell)
        1838 – Joseph Sweint (Schwent)

        1844 – Lawrence Kirchner
                   
Jonas Palmer
        1845 – 125 acres sold to Valentine
Herman
                 
– 200 acres sold to Anton Fallert
        1846 – John Basler
        1849 – Leopold Winter

        1851 – Joseph Sauer
        1859 – Simon Koller

        Zell was first known as the
"German Settlement" or sometimes as New Offenburg or the Establishment. 
Zell was finally named after a town in Baden, Germany, most of the settlers at
that time, if not all, having come from Baden.

        In the mid 1800’s, a Mr. King
built a general store which had a cave beneath it.  The gave was used for a
beer keg cooler, a barber shop, and a dance hall.  In 1881, permission was
granted for a post office to be opened in the general store.  The store was
bought in 1910 by Lawrence "Pop" Huck and his son Valentine "Fish" Huck took
over the store in 1946 after Lawrence’s death.  Valentine kept the store
until his own death in 1979.  The building still stands, but I believe it
is currently vacant.

Image

The Zell Store today

        Around 1900, there
was also, across from the general store, a creamery that was built by Lawrence
Huck and managed by Casper Stolenburg.  Also in town was a blacksmith shop
(John Glaser), a hall (for nearly everything), and a wagon maker ("Mr." Kuhne).

Zell Farm Alliance


boards.ancestry.com/…counties.stegenevieve/169

 

The Church
        The Catholic Church in Zell is named
St. Joseph.  So far, the only St. Joseph I have found on the Catholic
Church’s website (listing of Saints) is Joseph, the earthly father of Jesus. 
So for now, I assume it is after him this church was named.

Image

        Peter Richard Kenrick,
bishop of St. Louis began work to erect a free Roman Catholic church for the
area people.  Land was granted for the building and cemetery by residents:

  • Anton Fallert: 1 May 1845, about 1.25 acres (specifically church)
  • Anton Fallert: 1 Aug 1845, about 90,000 to 135,000 square feet area
    (cemetery)
  • Charles Fallert: 29 Aug 1865, about .5 acre
  • Severen Eckenfels: 30 Oct 1872, about 1.29 acres
  • August Baechle: 14 Apr 1873, 1 acre

The trustees of the cemetery were:

  • Lawrence Sucher
  • Florian Huck
  • Joseph Schilli
  • Anton Fallert
  • Isadore Grieshaber

        The church’s corner stone was laid
on 2 Jun 1845 by Fr. Gandolofo (who had also helped establish churches in French
Village "Little Canada," and River Aux Vases).  The church was then
organized and the building completed in 1847.  Up until this time, the
residents had held Mass in their homes.

        The front steps of the church had an
inscription that read: "Heir!  in und Vor Gottes Tempel, Schweiget und
betet an
."  In other words, "Here!  In God’s Temple, Silence and
Adore."
        Parish records at St. Joseph’s begin
in 1848 with 632 parishioners, 18 baptisms, 5 marriages, and 5 deaths.  The
first baptism was Mary Ann Feth on 11 Jun 1848, the first marriage being William
Friedman to Mary Ann Gegg and the first funeral that of fourteen year old
Elizabeth Friedman.

The pastors of St. Joseph’s Church (through 1995) were as follows:

1. Father Francis X. Weiss

  • Spring 1848 until Jul 1862

Interim: Fr. Anselm, until Jan 1863

2. Father Joseph M. Theodore Stein

  • Jan 1863 to 1 Mar 1876 (resigned & went back to Germany)
  • Had the stone convent was built in which the Sisters of the Most Precious
    Blood from O’Fallon came and held a school on floor 1 while they lived on
    floor 2

3. Father Bernard Stemker

  • Mar 1876 to Oct 1876 (left)
  • Was there only 7 months, but had 11 funerals!

4. Father Henry Pigge

  • 1875 to 12 Apr 1912 (died)
  • He was the first priest to be buried in the cemetery
  • He was noted to have been a very tall man weighing 300 pounds
  • He sometimes traveled to Weingarten while they were without a priest
  • 1893 – the Sisters of the Most Precious Blood left
  • 1893-5 – the school was taught by Camilla Dupont
  • 1895 – the Sisters Adorers of the Blood of Christ of Ruma, IL came – they
    are still there teaching
  • 1909 – Pigge erected the steeple and church entrance

Interim – Fr. Adelrich Thum

5. Fr. Engelbert Heimerschield

  • 1912 to 1918 (died)
  • He came from Sacred Heart in Ozora, MO
  • 1918 – he set out to repair and enlarge the church
  • It was finished that year and the consecration was due to take place on
    Thanksgiving Day, 28 Nov 1918; but Fr. Heimerschield died and the consecration
    was put off until Spring of 1919

Interims – Fr. John Karselleers & Fr. H. Fabry

6. Fr. Francis X. Weinig

  • Oct 1919 to Summer 1938 (left)
  • He came from Lawrenceton and French Village

7. Fr. Charles Weinig

  • Jul 1938 to 15 Dec 1944 (died)
  • Was the brother to Francis X. Weinig (who gave him requiem mass)
  • Is buried in the St. Joseph’s cemetery
  • In Jan of 1940, met to build a new school building

8. Father Edmund J. Venverloh

  • 16 Dec 1944 (administrator); 5 Jun 1945 (pastor) to 21 Nov 1949 (left to
    Ste. Genevieve Parish
  • 1945 – centennial of the church, celebration postponed until 28 Sep 1949
    (war & condition of the church building)
  • 29 Feb 1956 – became Monsignor

9. Father Herman J. Schuessler

  • 1950 to 14 Sep 1959 (retired)

10. Father Arthur B. Leibinger

  • Jul 1959 to Apr 1966 (left)
  • 1960 – tore down old convent and build new one
  • 1962 – renovated interior of church (included electric heat in the floor)
  • 1964 – built new rectory after parishioners tore down the old one

11. Father Frey

  • Apr 1966 – was there only 23 days before he had a heart attack and "had to
    be replaced"

12. Father Kenneth Jaas

  • Apr 1966 to Aug 1966 (left)

13. Father Charles Hofer

  • Aug 1966 to Jun 1975

14. Monsignor Thomas Durkin

  • Jun 1975 to Nov 1876 (left)
  • Started the Altar Society

15. Father Homer Noser

  • Dec 1976 to Oct 1981
  • 16. Rev. Col. William Wetzel
  • 7 Oct 1981 to Sep 1986
  • Was a retired Army chaplain

17. Father Harold Voelker

  • Sep 1986 to Nov 1994

18. Monsignor James Hanson

  • 25 Nov 1994…

Local families whose children entered service through the Zell church (2 or
more):
    Peter & Josephine Naeger – 4 daughters

    Henry & Elizabeth Flieg – 3 daughters
    Henry & Julia Meyer – 2 daughters
    Joseph & Mary Figge – 2 sons
    Frank & Mary Figge – 2 sons


Sources:

1. The Story of Old Ste. Genevieve: An Account of An Old French Town in Upper
Louisiana, Its People and Their Homes; by Gregory M. Franzwa, 1987 (4th ed), The
Patrice Press, St. Louis, MO

2. Celebrating 150 Years (1845-1995); St. Joseph’s Parish, Zell, MO; 1995

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