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Rev. Leo F. Gabriels, pastor in charge of St. Louis’ Catholic church of Caledonia Township, was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, a son of John P. and Mary (Lush) Gabriels, both natives of Prussia. When young people they came to the new world, settling in Milwaukee, and were there married in St. Joseph’s Catholic church. The father was a cooper by trade and in his younger days had a business of his own and employed a number of people, but afterward worked at his trade in the employ of others. He was born in 1848 and passed away in 1911, while his wife, whose birth occurred in 1852, is still living. He was quite prominent and influential in early days, but did not take an active part in public affairs in his later years. In his family were five children, who are yet living: Rev. Leo F.; Mary, the wife of Dr. A. H. Machleith, a physician and surgeon of Milwaukee; Rev. Joseph H., a priest at Addison, Wisconsin; Elizabeth M., who is in the Training School for Nurses at Fond du Lac; and Grace, who has charge of the candy and drug department in the store of William Steinmeyer & Company of Milwaukee.
Rev. Leo F. Gabriels pursued his early education in the ninth ward public school of Milwaukee, but at the age of seven years became a pupil in St. Joseph’s parochial school. Early determining to devote his life to the church, his studies were directed toward that end at St. Francis seminary, St. Francis, Wisconsin, and he was ordained to the priesthood in 1903. He was first given charge of Holy Trinity church at Milwaukee and afterward was assigned to St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Fond du Lac as assistant. He next went to Addison, Wisconsin, and was pastor of the church of SS. Peter and Paul, there continuing for six years. On the 6th of May, 1914, he assumed the pastorate of St. Louis’ church in Caledonia. The church building is a beautiful edifice and in addition the parish has a large school. The work of the church is well organized in its various departments and societies and under the guidance of Father Gabriels the influence of the church is growing. He is a member of the Knights of Columbus and was very active in that order in Fond du Lac.