St. Paul Catholic Church, Berger Missouri

Although the photographer who created this image of St. Paul Catholic Church in Berger, Missouri is not identified, it certainly belongs on a site dedicated to images of the Hermann area. Berger is only eight miles southeast of Hermann, across the Franklin County line.

On the back is written “Berger Catholic Church.” A childish hand has added “Miss Gatzemeyer Berger Mo.”

I acquired this photo along with a portrait of a Franciscan nun and friar. A friar can be seen standing in front of the church doors, to the right of two little girls and an older man.

A brief history of the church posted on the web by Geneaology Trails says this building was dedicated in 1888, and that Boeuf Township farmer August Gatzemeyer (b. March 1825, Germany; d. 1901) was among the trustees. The founders of St. Paul were originally part of St. George, a Hermann congregation.

Hermann’s St. George Catholic Church was served by the Franciscan Friars of the Sacred Heart (St. Louis) until 2002, so perhaps the same order served St. Paul.

It seems likely this photo was owned by one of Mr. Gatzemeyer’s descendants. August’s son Richard Gatzemeyer (b. August 1866, Missouri) became a photographer; perhaps he took this photo, and the two little girls might be two of Richard’s daughters, Josephine (b. 1890), Amanda (b. 1892), and Lulu (b. 1896).

Mark Scott Abeln has a contemporary photograph of St. Paul, taken head-on, on his excellent blog “Rome of the West.”

See also Abeln’s informative and beautifully illustrated post on St. George Catholic Church, Hermann.

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3 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Hi, I am a descendant of the Gatzemeyer/Gatzemeier’s and would like to know how I might be able to get any church records (or any other kind) of any of the Gatzemeyer/Gatzemeier’s? I would really appreciate any information you could give me. Thank You!

    • Hi Pat . . . I would suggest contacting the State Historical Society of Missouri to see if they have this church’s records. Good luck!

  2. […] a previous post about Berger, Missouri’s St. Paul Catholic church, I discovered that Berger had its own, homegrown professional photographer: Richard Louis […]

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