Death summons veteran priest: Rev. William Netstraeter
- Wilmette Life (Wilmette, Illinois), 11 Apr 1924, p. 1, 6
- Full Text
The Rev. William Netstraeter, retired pastor of St. Joseph's church, Lake and Ridge avenues, passed away on Monday, April 7. He was 83 years of age and had been pastor of St. Joseph's for 54 years, having previously been pastor, from 1868 to 1872, at Lincoln and Bloomington, Illinois. The funeral took place Thursday at 10 o'clock at St. Joseph's.
Father Netstraeter was born in Westphalia, on January 1, 1843. He studied for the priesthood in Munster and Paderborn, passing the philosophical and theological course and the sub-deaconship.
He left his native land at 25 years of age the earnest solicitation of the Rev. Doctor Salzmann, a ionerr priest of the American Northwest. He arrived at St. Francis, Wisconsin, on March 7, 1868. There he was ordained deacon and admitted to the priesthood on September 29 of the same year. He said his first mass at St. Joseph's, Wilmette, the church which he was later to serve so long and unselfishly.
Builder of Churches
He remained at this early period, only two months in Wilmette being then sent to Lincoln, Illinois. He was stationed there over four years and labored as the pioneer priest of Logan and McLean counties. His principal missions were Pulaski and Atlantic organizing the scattered contingent of German Catholics and building churches and schools.
In May, 1872, he was transferred by Bishop Foley, then Bishop of Chicago, to his pastorate at St. Joseph's. For some time he had charge, also, of the mission at Highland Park, and built the first church there. The Church of St. Joseph, then a rude structure of merely four walls and a roof, he rebuilt and finished. He also erected a new school house, which he subsequently enlarged.
In 1889 the present imposing rectory was completed, the old house being assigned as the abode of the Sisters. In 1893 Father Netstraeter celebrated the 25th anniversary of his elevation to the priesthood. On the occasion of this Silver Jubilee many of the Catholic dignitaries in the Middle west met at Wilmette to do honor to the worthy pastor. His parishioners, also, expressed their love for him in numberless gifts, among which were one hundred dollars, many articles for use in church services, and a horse and buggy.
At his Silver Jubilee, Archbishop Feehan of Chicago administered the Sacrament of Confirmation and delivered an address. It was on this same occasion that the Rev. E. J. Vattmann, universally known as Father Vattmann, made a speech that elicited great enthusiasm. He was at that time, as also later, U. S. Chaplain at Fort Sheridan.
In 1917 Father Netstraeter celebrated his Golden Jubilee, the fiftieth anniversary of his ordination as a priest.
The pastor of St. Joseph's was, without doubt, one of the most prominent ecclesiastics in this part of the United States. He was a zealous churchman and labored assiduously for the welfare not only of his own parishioners but also of the whole community. His was an honored life, full of good deeds and a blessing to a multitude.
- Media Type:
- Genealogical Resource
- Item Types:
- Death notices
- Rev. William Netstraeter of St. Joseph's Parish dies at age of 83, pioneer churchman, was pastor of St. Joseph's for 54 years
Photo of Rev. William Netstraeter
- Date of Publication:
- 11 Apr 1924
- Personal Name(s):
- Netstraeter, William
- Corporate Name(s):
- St. Joseph Catholic Church
- Local identifier:
- From the collection of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library
- Language of Item:
- Geographic Coverage:
Illinois, United States
- Copyright Statement:
- Copyright status unknown. Responsibility for determining the copyright status and any use rests exclusively with the user.
- Digital images may be used with credit to Wilmette Public Library.
Wilmette Public Library
Agency street/mail address
1242 Wilmette Avenue