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Father Berthold. That the Church of the Sacred Heart at Emporia is now one of the strongest and most efficient Catholic parishes in Kansas is due primarily to the devoted services of its pastors, and more particularly to Father Berthold, who had been in charge there for the past ten years. The record of the parish during this time is sufficient evidence of Father Berthold’s excellent ability as pastor and church executive, but with these qualities he also unites an equally important one of spiritual adviser to his people.
A small number of Catholic people located in and around Emporia a few years after the first settlement was made there, and in earlier times this population was served by priests who visited Emporia from Topeka. Later a parish was organized and a church erected, but in the last ten or fifteen years the congregation increased so much that the edifice became too small, and in 1912 the present modern church building was erected with a seating capacity of 500. At the present time there are 650 parishioners. Other institutions of the parish are a modern parochial school with ninety-five scholars in regular attendance. The old church building is now used as a parsonage, but plans are under way for the erection of a new building. The modern church is at the corner of First Avenue and Exchange Street, and the other buildings are close by. Father Berthold had practically all the responsibility of looking after this numerous congregation and much of its increase and prosperity have fallen within the period of his individual pastorate.
Father Berthold, whose full name is Berthold Staubach, was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, September 12, 1876, a son of John B. and Margaret (Fahs) Staubach. His grandfather Ambrose Staubach was born in Hesse, Germany, came to Cincinnati when a young man, and married there Lena Laemster, who was also born in Hesse. They both died in Cincinnati, where Ambrose Staubach followed the business of brass moulder. Father Berthold’s maternal grandfather, Michael Fahs, was born in Bavaria and also settled in Cincinnati, where he and his wife died when Father Berthold was quite young. John B. Staubach was born in Cincinnati in 1850 and died there in 1910. He was quite prominent in official affairs and in business. For a time he was connected with the waterworks department of Cincinnati, in 1888 was elected a member of the State Legislature of Ohio, and after the expiration of his term became cashier in the Cincinnati postoffice. Later he was in the internal revenue service, then again with the waterworks department of the city, and was finally secretary and treasurer of the Felss Flour Milling Company. His wife, Margaret Fahs, was born in Cincinnati in 1850 and is also deceased. Father Berthold was their only son and his sister Elizabeth is the wife of William Feldhaus, a shoe merchant at Cincinnati.
Father Berthold attended the parochial schools of Cincinnati, graduated in the classical course from St. Francis College, spent a year in philosophic studies in the Cincinnati Seminary and a year in philosophy in the Louisville Seminary, and then pursued a three year course in theology at Oldenburg, Indiana, during 1897-1900. He was ordained to the priesthood August 12, 1900, and for three years served as professor of St. Francis College.
Since 1903 his labors have been in Kansas. He was pastor of the church at Hartford until 1906, when he came to Emporia as pastor of the Church of the Sacred Heart.