Adolph Joseph Domann, pastor of St. Francis Xavier Church of Burlington, Kan., was born near Winchester, Kan., in Jefferson county, Jan. 13, 1871, the son of William and Charlotte (Noll) Domann. His father was born in Ottbergen, Province of Westphalia, Germany, Sept. 24, 1843, and was reared and educated in the Fatherland. Like so many young and ambitious Germans he believed America to be the land of opportunity and at the age of nineteen came to the United States in 1862. He reached Kansas with very little money in hand, but being ambitious by nature, he at once went to work for Wendel Hund on a farm in the Salt creek valley near Leavenworth at $8.00 per month. Subsequently he entered the employ of the government and drove teams from Ft. Leavenworth to Denver and along the Santa Fe Trail to New Mexico, to and from the military posts maintained on the frontier. While working as a freighter during the Civil war, Mr. Domann went as far south as Old Mexico through a country full of hostile Indians. At the close of the war, Mr. Domann rented a small farm near Winchester, Kan., about eighteen or twenty miles west of Leavenworth. In the fall of 1866, Mr. Domann was united in marriage to Miss Charlotte Noll of near Winchester. By constant labor and saving, Mr. and Mrs. William Domann succeeded financially and soon bought an eighty-acre farm at $13 per acre which has since increased in value so that it is now worth more than $100 per acre. From time to time Mr. Domann added new possessions to his first farm until he now owns about 1,900 acres of the finest and most fertile farming land in the vicinity of Winchester and is regarded as one of the most prosperous and substantial residents of Jefferson county. Mr. and Mrs. William Domann raised a very large and healthy family. To them were born twelve children, of which ten are boys and two are girls: William, Adolph, Joseph, Frank and Allie, John, Albert, Louis, George and Mary, Edith, Benjamin. Frank and Allie, and George and Mary respectively were born twins. God has blessed and protected this splendid family in an especial manner. Up to the present date, September, 1911, the parents and all their children are living and well. All live in Kansas. William, Joseph, Frank, Allie, John, Albert and Louis are married, and together have twenty-six children, no deaths having so far occurred among them. George, Mary, Edith and Benjamin are still unmarried and at home with their parents. Adolph, the second child by birth, is a Catholic priest. The entire family is Roman Catholic in faith.
Father Domann was reared on his father's farm until his eighteenth year; attended the district school and lived a healthy normal life of a country boy. While still a boy, he decided to devote his life to God and the service of his church. In 1888 he entered St. Meinrad's College in Spencer county, Indiana, to prepare for the priesthood. The subsequent year he entered St. Benedict's College, Atchison, Kan., and studied there for five years. Graduating from St. Benedict's College, he entered the Kenrick Seminary at St. Louis, Mo., where he pursued the higher studies of philosophy and theology until June, 1899. On June 21, 1899, he was ordained a priest by the late Rt. Rev. L. M. Fink, O. S. B., then bishop of the Leavenworth diocese. On June 25, 1899, the young priest, Father A. J. Domann, said his first Holy mass in St. Joseph's Church, Leavenworth, Kan. On July 19, 1899, he received his first appointment as pastor of St. Francis Church, Burlington, Kan. The history of this parish dates back to the early '60s, when mass was offered first by missionary priests two or three times a year in some public building or at the home of some pious Catholic family. In 1871 Father Heller collected a few scattered Catholic families around Burlington and organized them into a parish. Only about ten families belonged at first, but they contributed liberally in money and labor and within a short time a neat little frame church was built and the name of St. Francis Xavier was given to it when the cornerstone was laid in June, 1871. The Holy sacrifice of the mass was celebrated periodically at first in the little church by various priests from the adjoining towns. The congregation grew steadily and the church was soon enlarged. For many years the parish was attended by the Franciscan Fathers of Emporia. Since September, 1883, Burlington has always had a resident priest. Fathers Buechier, Walsh, Herbrichs and Schultz were the first resident priests and devoted the best efforts of their lives to up-build the material and spiritual congregation. Father Domann took charge in July, 1899. Thirty-five families belonged to the parish then and the church had become too small to accommodate the growing congregation. It was proposed to build a new church and in the fall of 1900, Father Domann started to carry out the plans. He succeeded in raising $12,000, and on July 21, 1901, the first excavation was made for the new church. The work progressed rapidly and on Aug. 22, the cornerstone was laid with due ceremony by the Rt. Rev. L. M. Fink, then bishop of Leavenworth. On Aug. 12, 1902, the handsome new church was completed and dedicated by the Rt. Rev. Bishop Fink. It is a beautiful edifice, built of pressed brick and stands a monument to the man who worked so untiringly to have it erected. A new two-story parochial residence was erected at the same time with the church. The church and residence compare well with others over the state and reflect credit upon Father Domann as the prime factor in their erection.Pages 999-1001 from volume III, part 2 of Kansas: a cyclopedia of state history, embracing events, institutions, industries, counties, cities, towns, prominent persons, etc. ... / with a supplementary volume devoted to selected personal history and reminiscence. Standard Pub. Co. Chicago : 1912. 3 v. in 4. : front., ill., ports.; 28 cm. Vols. I-II edited by Frank W. Blackmar. Transcribed December 2002 by Carolyn Ward. This volume is identified at the Kansas State Historical Society as microfilm LM195. It is a two-part volume 3.
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