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., [155] leaves of plates): ill., maps (some fold.), ports.; 27 cm.

Henry Kluepfel

REV. HENRY KLUEPFEL, O. M. CAP., has some very important achievements to his credit in Western Kansas. He was one of the founders and for a number of years director of the Hays Catholic College, and is now pastor of St. Fidelis Church at Victoria, one of the largest Catholic parishes in Western Kansas.

Father Henry Kluepfel was born at Steinfeldt, Bavaria, September 26, 1876. His parents were Bernard Kluepfel and Catherine Scheiner, the latter still living at Steinfeldt. His father died there in 1914, having spent all his life as a farmer with the exception of two years of service in the Bavarian army. The family were devout Catholics and there were seven children, two sons and five daughters. Father Henry is the only one who came to the United States. He has a sister connected with a religious community whose purpose is to take care of orphans.

Father Henry Kluepfel attended the government schools, and in 1890, at the age of fourteen, came to the United States and entered St. Fidelis College at Herman, Pennsylvania. He was there six years, completed the classical course and in 1897 entered the St. Peter and St. Paul Seminary at Cumberland, Maryland, where he finished the theological and philosophical courses and graduated in 1902. In this same year he was ordained to the priesthood by Cardinal Gibbons. His educational preparation included a year in commercial college work at Daquesue University, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. For five years after his graduation he was a professor and prefect in St. Fidelis College at Herman. In 1908, on coming to Hays, Kansas, he entered actively upon the task of establishing the Hays Catholic College, and remained as its director for nine years. Since then he has been pastor of St. Fidelis Church at Victoria.

The first mission was established at Victoria about 1878 and the parish extends for a radius of seven miles around the town and includes a large part of the Catholic population of Ellis County. The new church is a magnificent building erected during 1908-11 at a cost of about $100,000, The dimensions are 220 by 96 feet. It is a large stone church with inside pillars of Vermont marble. The church was built under the charge of Rev. Jerome Mueller. The monastery was built in 1902 and is of native stone. It comprises also a seminary for candidates for the priesthood where a two-year course of philosophy is taught. The parish is in charge of members of the Capuchin Order with headquarters at Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Page 2120.