REV. F. G. RIEDEL, pastor of St. John's Catholic Church at Logan, is widely known among the Catholic parishes and missions of Northern Kansas, in which district practically his entire work since his ordination has been performed.
Father Riedel knows the people of this section of Kansas, as he was born and reared in Osborne County. His birth occurred in Bloom Township of that county April 14, 1886, and as a boy he was a member of the household of a prosperous farmer and pioneer of that locality. He received his preliminary education in the parish and public schools of Bloom Township and took his academic course in Conception College, the great Catholic institution situated at Conception in Nodaway County, Missouri. From there he entered St. Francis Seminary at Milwaukee, and pursued his philosophical and theological courses five years, being ordained March 10, 1912, by Bishop Kaudelka.
With all the zeal of his character and the enthusiasm of long and thorough training, Father Riedel entered upon his work, serving as assistant pastor at Tipton, Salina, Greenleaf, and Gorham in Kansas, and on February 5, 1914, was installed as pastor of St. John's Church at Logan, Kansas. His parochial services cover a large field, since he also has charge of St. Mary's Church at Densmore, St. Francis Church at Claudell, and looks after the spiritual needs of a district comprising the southeast part of Norton County, nearly all of Phillips County except Phillipsburg, and the south half of Smith County.
The beginning of a Catholic community at Logan was made as early as 1872, when Charles Becker located there as a pioneer settler. He was a devout Catholic, and two years later his friend and fellow religionist N. Noel joined him. Gradually there grew up a neighborhood of people of the same faith, but it was not until 1878 that they received their first attentions from a Catholic priest. In 1880 Father Reichert took up a homestead at New Almelo, built a small monastery, and with all his other labors visited with some degree of regularity the missions and scattered Catholic communities over northwest Kansas, even as far as the mountains of Colorado. He continued these intermittent visits, including Logan, until 1890. Then, worn out with the work to which he had devoted so many years, he returned to his old home in Ohio. The early services were usually held in private homes, but in 1885 the Catholic people of Logan bought the little schoolhouse which had been abandoned for a larger building, and they used that as a church until the erection of the present handsome cement stone structure. In 1888 the congregation bought five acres from the town company as a cemetery.
From 1890 to 1892 Father Wenzel visited Logan, and was succeeded by Father Heitz, who took charge of all the missions west of Cawker. From 1890 to 1898 the missionary priest at Logan was Father Regan, then Father Hoeller from 1898 to 1899, Father Lacoutere from 1899 to 1901, and then Father Marianusome. In 1900 the congregation bought the present site of St. John's Church, an entire city block. From 1901 to 1905 the visiting priest was Father Wahlmeir, and in 1905 Father J. B. Vornholt was appointed pastor of St. Joseph's Church at New Almelo and its various missions, including St. John's. It was Father Vornholt who with the assistance of Mr. N. Noel and other Catholic residents of Logan, undertook the building of the present church at a cost of $4,000. The church grounds have since had many other improvements, including a substantial parsonage adjoining the church. The parish was attended by Father Conway, assistant to Father Vornholt, for a year or so, and he was succeeded by Father R. Fox, who in 1912 was made the first resident pastor of St. John's Church. In February, 1914, he was appointed pastor of the Sacred Heart Church at Greenleaf, and was then succeeded by Father Riedel, who has now been the beloved priest of this parish for more than four years and has carried out many improvements in the local parish and has done much to extend the welfare of the church generally over the wide territory above described.
Father Riedel is a son of Frank Riedel, who is still living on his Elm Grove Farm in Bloom Township of Osborne County, Kansas. Frank Riedel was born in Austria in 1852, and in 1868 came to America, first locating at LaCrosse, Wisconsin. He married there, and followed the trade of stationary engineer and was also a farmer for several years. In 1873 he became one of the early settlers in Bloom Township of Osborne County. He bought a relinquishment on a quarter section on Car creek, and that homestead is still his place of residence and the center of a fine farm which has expanded to include 800 acres. He has always been a zealous Catholic, and is a member of St. Boniface Church at Tipton. Politically he is independent. For twenty years he served as a member of the school board in Bloom Township, and in early days held the office of justice of the peace. Everything that has meant the betterment of social and civic conditions in that locality has had his whole-hearted support.
Frank Riedel married Joanna Wanitshka. She was born in Austria in 1855 and was eleven years old when her parents came to the United States and settled near Caston, Wisconsin. Mrs. Riedel died at the home farm in Osborne County in 1918. These worthy people had thirteen children, and several of them have given their lives to the church. The oldest is Theresa, who is a registered nurse in Kansas and also has a certificate as a chiropractor in the State of New York. She is now Sister Ludavica at St. Michael's Hospital, Stevens Point, Wisconsin. The second child, Mary, is still at home with her father. Balbina married John Hintelman, a section foreman of the Missouri Pacific Railway at Beloit, Kansas. Anna is Sister Gerarda, O. S. B., at Clyde, Missouri. Rosa is housekeeper for Rev. H. Regensburger of New England, North Dakota. Cecilia married Ben Ohnsat, a farmer at Leoville, Kansas. Cresentia is the wife of Ben Dubbart, a farmer at Martinsburg, Missouri. The eighth in the family is Father F. G. Riedel. Florian is a farmer near Downs, Kansas. Joanna is the housekeeper for her brother, Father Riedel. Aloysius is a farmer near Glen Elder, Kansas. Augustine lives at home and is now the practical manager of the farm. Michael, the youngest, is also at home.
Transcribed from A Standard History of Kansas and Kansans, written and compiled by William E. Connelley, Secretary of the Kansas State Historical Society, Topeka. [Revised ed.] Chicago: Lewis Publishing Co., 1919, c1918. 5 v. (xlviii, 2530 p.,  leaves of plates): ill., maps (some fold.), ports.; 27 cm.
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