Droste zu Hülshoff

Research by Debbie Blau

My Droste zu Huelshoff Tree at Ancestry.com (needs subscription to view)

The info at my website was Wiki'd in German in March 2009!:
Constantin Maria von Droste zu Hülshoff

Reverend Constantin von Droste zu Huelshoff was a priest born in Germany. He emigrated to America and served as a priest at many parishes in Wisconsin. The following information tells more about his life in Germany, Rome, and the USA.

Reverend Ernst Constantin August Maria Baron von Droste zu Hülshoff

About his name:

  • His first name has been spelled as Constantin, Constantine, and Konstantin.
  • The last name "von Droste zu Hülshoff" and would be indexed under "D" for Droste. 
  • Hülshoff without the umlaut would be spelled as "Huelshoff." 
  • The last name can also be hypenated as such: von Droste-Huelshoff, or abbreviated as v. Droste-Hülshoff.
  • Baron is English for the German word "Freiherr" and is a title of nobility.
  • It is common for males to have the name "Maria" as a middle name.

Reverend Ernst Constantin August Maria Baron von Droste zu Hülshoff

The above photograph is the only known photo of Constantin. It is a photocopy of an original, from Wilderich Frhr. Droste zu Hülshoff. After several years of research, another photo of Constantin has not been found at any of the parishes in Wisconsin where he served as a priest. 

Constantin was born on January 22, 1841 and baptized in Münster, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany. He was the third son and fifth child born to his parents, Joseph and Julie. Constantin's first-cousin-once-removed, the famous poet Elisabeth Anna "Annette" von Droste zu Huelshoff, wrote that it was she who suggested that Constantin be named "August Maria." Annette said Constantin was the largest child she had ever seen and when he was six weeks old, he looked just like his mother. Annette attended the baptism before returning to the Rüschhaus. The baptismal sponsors were Annette's uncle Constans and Annette's mother. Constantin's grandfather, Maximilian von Droste zu Huelshoff, and Annette's father, Klemens August von Droste zu Huelshoff, were brothers.

Constantin's family

  • Father: Dr. med. Joseph Johann Maria Freiherr von Droste zu Hülshoff. An eye doctor, he was the son of the composer, Maximilian Friedrich Freiherr von Droste zu Hülshoff and Bernardine Engelen. In 1840, after his daughter's death, Joseph became ill for many weeks. It is believed that Joseph is buried in Münster, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany.
  • Mother: Maria Anna Juliane (Julia) Josephine "Julie" Kock. She was the daughter of Karl Rudolf Adrian Kock. Julia is buried in St. Martin Cemetery, Veitschöchheim, Kreis Würzburg, Bavaria, Germany.
  • Brother: Max Friedrich Aloys, born May 18, 1832, he was married 2 times, to Johanna Graefin von Praschma in 1858 (she died in 1880), and to Isbella Edelsperger in 1887. Max had no children from either marriage.
  • Sister: Constanze (Constantina) Theresia Franziska Feliziana, born about October 1833 in Münster. She died at age 6 years 6 months on April 26, 1840 at Haus Alst. She was buried in the Ueberwasserfriedhof on April 28, 1840 in Muenster. Poet Annette von Droste zu Huelshoff wrote a poem, "Die Mutter am Grabe," at the request of Constanze's mother, who was deeply saddened by her daughter's death. Julie named her next child "Constantin" in memory of her daughter.
  • Sister: Maria Franziska, born August 23, 1835 at Haus Alst, she was a nun and died in 1914 in Würzburg.
  • Brother: Eduard Engelbert, born 1838 at Haus Alst, he was a Prussian Captain and Knight. He was never married; he died January 6, 1878.
  • Self: Constantin, born January 22, 1841 in Münster. He became a priest and emigrated to America in 1869. He died December 30, 1901 in LaCrosse, LaCrosse County, Wisconsin.
  • Brother: Werner Karl, born 1843 in Münster, he died after 1881 after which time there is clue as to his whereabouts. He was not married.
  • Sister: Therese Friederike, born May 28, 1845, was married to Julius Sophus "Felix" Dahn in 1873. They had no children; however, Felix Dahn had a son from a previous marriage. Therese died January 21, 1929 in Breslau (Wroclaw), Poland.
  • Sister: Johanna Maria Theresia Philippine Huberta, born April 28, 1847 in Münster; She was married to Ludwig IV Karl Maria Gemmingen von Massenbach in 1869. They had 7 children. Johanna died September 18, 1925 at Bad Reichenhall, Berchtesgadener Land, Bavaria, Germany.
More about the family can be found at Wikipedia

Constantin lived in Münster, at Haus Alst (Wasserschloß Alst) near Leer, and in Veitshöchheim in Germany

For a short time, Constantin lived with his parents and siblings in a castle surrounded by water called Wasserschloß Alst (Ortsteil Leer, Kreis Steinfurt, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany), also known as "Haus Alst." The Droste zu Huelshoff family lived at Haus Alst from 1832 to 1843.

During the time they lived at Haus Alst, the family also had a residence in Rüxleder Hofe on Kuhstrasse in the Überwasser section of Münster (Muenster), Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany. Their address was also listed as Domplatz 21 in Muenster.

The Haus Alst castle is now privately owned by the Carlfried Graf von Westerholt family. In August 2007, Carlfried said that people mistakenly think owners of castles are rich; in fact, the owners need to have a regular income to sustain the historic buildings and 100 hectare area.

Wasserschloß Alst

After Constantin's father, Joseph, died in 1850, Constantin's mother Julie and her children moved 238 miles from Münster to Veitshöchheim am Main, located only 5 miles north of Würzburg (Wuerzburg), Bavaria, Germany. Veitshöchheim has a palace and large rococo courtyard and garden called "Schloss und Hofgarten." The castle is owned by the Bavarian crown and was used as a summer palace of the Prince Bishops of Würzburg. The garden has many natural alleys and walkways, decorative hedges, a pond with water fountains, nearly 300 sculptures, a grotto, and several pavillions. It is believed that the oldest brother of Constantin worked at the castle garden in Veitshöchheim. The oldest brother would have been Max. The next oldest brother, Eduard, was a soldier and is buried at St. Martin cemetery in Veitshöchheim. Mother, Julie, is also buried there.


An explanation of Freiherr and Baron

As the Wikipedia website says, "All sons of a Freiherr are Freiherren and can be referred to as Baron. The wife of a Freiherr is called Freifrau (literally "Free Lady"), and a daughter of a Freiherr is called Freiin (short for Freiherrin). It is considered correct in some circles to address a Freifrau or Freiin as "Baroness" (in German "Baronin"). Female former titles have been legally accepted as part of the last name after 1919 by a still valid decision of the German former High Court, the Reichsgericht. After the dissolution of the Holy Roman Empire (1806), Reichsfreiherr (Freiherr of the Empire) had no particular title or rank other than Freiherr." Please read the full text at Wikipedia to learn more about Freiherrn and Barons.

Obituaries at the time of Constantin's death reported that he gave up the life of a nobleman to become a priest. Constantin probably did not use the title Freiherr or Baron after he became a priest, but his school records at the University of Würzburg show the title Freiherr. And since all sons of a Freiherr are referred to as Baron, it is not actually correct to say that a title descended to him after his father's death. As one obituary incorrectly states, "He was the eldest son and the title descended to him upon the death of his father. He gave up the life of a nobleman to devote his entire work to the church. It was only in his private life which he used his title of Baron and this was very seldom." Constantin was not the oldest son, but was the third son.


Constantin studied to become a priest at the Priest Seminary at the University of Würzburg in Bavaria, Germany

Records from the Verzeichnissen (Directories) book at the University of Würzburg:

1862/63: Page 28: Name: v. Droste-Hülshoff, Constantin, Frhr.; Geburtsort: Münster; Land: Preussen; Fach: theol.; Wohnung, Dist. u. Nro.: I. 213 1/2 (Winter Semester)

1863: Page 28: Name: v. Droste-Hülshoff, Constantin, Frhr.; Geburtsort: Münster; Land: Preussen; Fach: theol.; Wohnung, Dist. u. Nro.: I. 213 1/2 (Summer Semester)

1863/64: Page 27: Name: v. Droste-Hülshoff, Constantin, Frhr.; Geburtsort: Münster; Land: Preussen; Fach: theol.: Wohnung, Dist. u. Nro.: Seminar (Winter Semester)

1864: Page 27: Name: v. Droste-Hülshoff, Constantin, Frhr.; Geburtsort: Münster; Land: Preussen; Fach: theol.; Wohnung, Dist. u. Nro.: Seminar (Summer Semester)

Verzeichnissen were mailed July 4, 2008 from Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg, Zentralverwaltung, Ref. 1.2, Zentrale Dienste, Untergeschoss, Zi. 13, Sanderring 2, 97070 Würzburg. 

Note: No photo of Constantin was found at the University archive.


1863 October 26: Constantin began studying in the Seminary in Würzburg.

1864 January 12: He received the Tonsure [shaving of the head; or symbolic cutting of a few tufts of hair]. [Latin document below]

1864 July 5: He received the Niederen Weihen [low(?) Holy Orders; ordination] from Bishop Georg Anton von Stahl. [Latin document below]


1864: Alumnen im I. Jahre. [Students in the first year].
Namen und Geburtsort [Names and places of birth]: von Droste Hülshoff, Constantin, Freiherr a. [aus] Münster.
Geburtszeit [Birth date]: 22. Jan. 1841
Source: Page 11: Personal Schematismus d. Bistums Würzbg. 1864

From a June 27, 2008 email from Dr. Norbert Kandler:
Im ersten Alumnenkurs des Würzburger Priesterseminars ist er lediglich im Würzburger Personalschematismus des Jahres 1864, S. 11 zu finden. 
Translation: In the first alumni course of the Wuerzburg seminary, his name is written in the personal schematism in the year 1864, on page 11.


Schematismus: 

http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schematismus 

Google translation of the Wiki page: 

The schematism is the official organizational structure of a diocese. It is the current directory of each diocese or religious order. Here all important addresses and appointments to posts can be found.  

During the past year a printed version appeared, they are now only once every two to three years. Instead, it is usually the electronic versions in various formats regularly updated. 

The schematism a diocese contains information about the cathedral chapter, episcopal authorities, Offizialat to Generalvikariat and Dezernate of the episcopal Ordinary. In addition, the members of the Diözesankirchensteuerrats, priests Board, the ecclesiastical universities and schools as well as the training facilities in the diocese. T

he directory also lists the priests retired and deceased priests of the diocese (necrology).


January 1864 and July 1864 events - Tonsure and Niederen Weihen

DAW Würzburger Ordinationsmatrikel 1853-1899, S. 61f.
Diözesanarchiv Würzburg Ordination Book dated from 1853-1899, page 61f.
[page 61 has 2 pages - left & right].
Annus Mensis et Dies [Date]: 1864 die 5. Julii [1864, July 5]

Ordinans et locus Ordinationis [Ordination by]: Rmus [reverendissimus] Dominus Georgius Antonius [Georg Anton] Herbipolensis [Würzburg] Episcopij in Ecclesia Seminarii cleric ad Past. [Pastor] borum.

Ordinandus [Person ordinated]: Constantinus lib. baro de Droste Huelshoff e. [ex] Münster. [Constantin Freiherr von Droste Huelshoff from Muenster].

Dispensatio in [Dispensation]
Aetate [age]: sine [without]
Jnterstitiis: cum [with]
Tempore [moment]: cum [with]

Adnotatio Dimissorialium: Alumnus clericus Herbipolensis.
Ordo susceptus: Quatuor Ordines Minores
Documenta huc pertinentia: Ziff. [Ziffer] 602 [number 602].

*****

From a June 27, 2008 email from Dr. Norbert Kandler, Translation, Latin to German:
Am 12. Januar 1864 die Tonsur und im selben Jahr am 5. Juli durch Bischof Georg Anton von Stahl die Niederen Weihen erhalten hat (DAW Würzburger Ordinationsmatrikel 1853-1899, S. 60f). 

Translation, German to English: January 12, 1864 he received the Tonsure [shaving of the head; or symbolic cutting of a few tufts of hair]; and in the same year on July 5, he received the Niederen Weihen [low(?) Holy Orders; ordination] from Bishop Georg Anton von Stahl (DAW Würzburger Ordinationsmatrikel 1853-1899, S. 60f).

[DAW is probably initials for Diözesanarchiv Würzburg]


Tonsure: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tonsure
Tonsure is the practice of some Christian churches, mystics, Buddhist novices and monks, and some Hindu temples of cutting the hair from the scalp of clerics, devotees or holy people as a symbol of their renunciation of worldly fashion and esteem. 


Constantin studied in Rome, Italy, and was ordained as a Priest

1864 October 17: Constantin entered the Pontificium Collegium Germanicum et Hungaricum in Rome, Italy. He studied theology and philosophy. The Collegium Germanicum et Hungaricum is a German-speaking seminary for Roman Catholic priests in Rome, founded in 1552. Since 1580, its full name was "Pontificium Collegium Germanicum et Hungaricum de Urbe" after Pope Gregory XIII merged the Collegium Germanicum with the Collegium Hungaricum (Hungarian College). 

1867 April 20: Constantin was also ordained a priest in Rome on April 20, 1867 (DAW Schottkartei).

1867 August 3: Constantin left the college in Rome. 



Constantin was a chaplain for a short time at St. Gertraud Catholic Church in Würzburg, Bavaria, Germany

1869: In the Wuerzburg personal Schematismus (page 15), he appears again in 1869 as Chaplain at St. Gertraud in Wuerzburg. 

At this time, Constantin entered the Order of Saint Francis (O.S.F.). The Franziskanerkloster in Würzburg, Germany, has no information about Constantin because records were all destroyed in the night of bombing at Würzburg which occurred on March 16, 1945.

***********
Namen der Pfarreien und ihrer Filiale [Name of the parishes and their branches]: Pfarrei Pleichach ad S. Gertrudem [Parish Saint Gertraud in the area called Pleichach], K [Kirche]. Viele andere ausserhalb der Stadtmauer in der Markung der Stadt befindliche Wohnungen. [Many other properites and residences outside and inside the city walls.]

Seelenzahl [number of souls in parish]: 2761

Namen, Geburtsort und Stand der Personen: 
Hr. 
Constantin Maria Frhr. [Freiherr] v. Droste-Hülshoff a. [aus] Münster, Capl. [Caplan]. [Münster in Westphalen].
[Mr. Constantin Maria Baron von Droste-Hülshoff from Muenster (Westphalen), Chaplain].

Tag und Jahr der Geburt [Day and year of birth]: 22. Jan. 1841

Tag und Jahr der Priesterweihe [Day and year of ordination to the priesthood]: 20. April 1867.
Source: Page 15: Schematismus d. Diöz. Würzbg. 1869.

Source: June 27, 2008 email from Dr. Norbert Kandler (below)

As a member of the Franciscan Order, Constantin became a missionary in America in 1869

Source: June 27, 2008 email from Dr. Norbert Kandler (see below)
Source: Abschrift ACGU Best. 10, Teil A, Nr. 1, Eintragung 438, S. 158 (see below)

Letter from the Diözesanarchiv Würzburg

Email dated June 27, 2008, from Dr. Norbert Kandler of the Archiv und Bibliothek des Bistums Würzburg, Diözesanarchiv Würzburg Domerschulstr. 17, 97070 Würzburg.

Auf Ihr Schreiben vom 19. 6. 08 teilen wir Ihnen mit, dass wir Ihre Fragen leider nicht alle beantworten können, da wir keine Personalakte zum genannten besitzen und da er nur vereinzelt in den uns zur Verfügung stehenden Hilfsmitteln zu greifen war.

Sie fragen nach dessen Schulausbildung in Veitshöchheim. Hierzu fehlen uns die Unterlagen, wir vermuten aber, dass er dort nicht die übliche Dorfschule besuchte, sondern vielleicht durch einen Privatlehrer unterrichtet worden ist.

Auch wann er das Studium begann, können wir nicht genau feststellen. Möglicherweise war er an der Würzburger Universität in der Theologischen Fakultät immatrikuliert. Die bisher veröffentlichten Universitätsmatrikel aber enden bereits vor der in Frage kommenden Zeit.

Wir wissen, dass er ins Würzburger Priesterseminar am 26. Oktober 1863 eingetreten ist (DAW, Schottkartei) und dass er am 12. Januar 1864 die Tonsur und im selben Jahr am 5. Juli durch Bischof Georg Anton von Stahl die Niederen Weihen erhalten hat (DAW Würzburger Ordinationsmatrikel 1853-1899, S. 60f). Im ersten Alumnenkurs des Würzburger Priesterseminars ist er lediglich im Würzburger Personalschematismus des Jahres 1864, S. 11 zu finden. 

Da er im Oktober 1864 bereits in das Germanicum in Rom eingetreten ist, wird er wohl erst dort die eigentlichen theologischen und philosophischen Studien begonnen haben. In Rom wurde er auch am 20. 4. 1867 zum Priester geweiht (DAW Schottkartei). 

Im Würzburger Personalschematismus taucht er erst wirder [wieder] im Jahre 1869 als Kaplan bei St. Gertraud in Würzburg auf (S. 15) und danach ist er nicht mehr zu finden, weil er ja nach Ihrer Mitteilung in die USA ausgewandert ist. 

Nach der mehrfach zitierten Schottkartei (Klerikerkartei im Nachlaß eines Würzburger Geistlichen) sowie unseren Schematismen ist er nicht am 21. sondern am 22. Januar 1841 geboren und am 31. Dezember 1901 ist er in Milwaukee gestorben. 

Weitere Quellen zu ihm finden sich bei uns leider nicht und die Daten zur amerikanischen Zeit wissen wir dankenswerter Weise erst durch Ihre Mitteilung.

Translation of June 27 email: 
In reply to your letter of June 19, 2008, we inform you that unfortunately not all of your questions 
can be answered, because we have no personal file referring to him [Constantin], and there are only scattered resources available in our grasp. 

You asked about his education in Veitshöchheim. We are missing the documentation, but we suspect that he didn't attend the regular village school, but perhaps a private tutor was provided.

We can't exactly determine when he began studying. Perhaps he was enrolled in the Faculty of Theology in the University of Wuerzburg. The published University matrikel [register] ends before the time in question.

We know that on October 26, 1863 he started in the seminary in Wuerzburg (DAW, Schottkartei) and that on January 12, 1864 he received the Tonsure [shaving of the head; or symbolic cutting of a few tufts of hair]; and in the same year on July 5, he received the Niederen Weihen [low(?) Holy Orders; ordination] from Bishop Georg Anton von Stahl (DAW Würzburger Ordinationsmatrikel 1853-1899, S. 60f). In the first alumni course of the Wuerzburg seminary, his name is written in the personal schematism in the year 1864, on page 11.

Since he was already in the Germanicum [German-speaking seminary] in Rome in October 1864, it is probably where the actual theological and philosophical studies had begun. He was also ordained a priest in Rome on April 20, 1867 (DAW Schottkartei). In the Wuerzburg personal schematismus, he appears again in 1869 as Chaplain at St. Gertraud in Wuerzburg (page 15), and after that it is impossible to find more, because he is, according to your message, in the United States.

After repeatedly citing the Schott register (clerics register in an estate of Wuerzburg clergy); just as our schematism says, he was not born on January 21, but rather on January 22, 1841, and on December 31, 1901, he died in Milwaukee.

Unfortunately, we cannot find other sources about him, and the dates of his time in American we know for the first time, with deserving thanks, from your message.

Note: a photograph of Constantin was not found at the Diocese archive.


Letter from Pontificium Collegium Germanicum et Hungaricum in Rome, Italy

Email dated December 10, 2008 from the Pontificium Collegium Germanicum et Hungaricum in Rome, Italy: 

Ich bedaure, Ihren Erkenntnisstand über Konstantin von Droste-Hülshoff nicht wesentlich erweitern zu können, da in unserem Archiv ausgerechnet für das Jahr 1864 keine Aufnahmepapiere ausgewiesen sind. Auch sind keine Briefe Droste-Hülshoffs vorhanden. Nachweisbar ist, dass Droste-Hülshoff das Kolleg am 3.8.1867 verließ. Im Matrikelbuch ist über die unmittelbar darauffolgende Zeit vermerkt: "1869 ingressus est O[rdinem] S[ancti] Franc[isci] (?) et in Americam missus" (Best. 10, Teil A, Nr. 1, Eintr. 438) Diese Bemerkung ist aber bereits bei ihrer Entstehung mit einem Fragezeichen versehen worden. Ein Archiv der deutschen Franziskanerprovinz(en) könnte Ihnen darüber sichere Auskunft geben. Ebenso müsste das Archiv der Diözese Würzburg sagen können, ob Droste-Hülshoff nach seinem römischen Aufenthalt in sein Heimatbistum zurückkehrte und welche Aufgabe er damals gegebenenfalls überahm. 
Mit meinem Bedauern, Ihnen nicht weiter helfen zu können, verbleibe ich mit freundlichen Grüßen, 
Br. Markus Pillat SJ, Kollegsarchivar. 
Pontificium Collegium Germanicum et Hungaricum, Archiv, Via S. Nicola da Tolentino, 13, 00187 Roma, ITALIEN. 

Translation of December 10, 2008 email:
I am sorry, I cannot expand upon your knowledge about Constantine von Droste-Hülshoff because in our archive, only for the year 1864 there are no admission papers. Also are there are no letters available referring to Droste Hülshoff. It is verified that Droste Hülshoff left the college on August 3, 1867. In the church book (Matrikel) was the following note from this time [written in Latin]: 1869 entered the O.S.F. [Order of Saint Francis] (?) and went to an American mission. ([book reference numbers] Inventory 10, part A, paragraph 1, item 438).  This entry, however, was already marked with a question mark. An archive of the German Franciscan Province(s) could surely provide you with information. Also, archives of the diocese of Wurzburg could say whether Droste-Hülshoff returned to his home diocese after his stay in Rome and what role he assumed at this time. With my regret, I cannot help you further, I remain yours sincerely, 
Brother Markus Pillat SJ, College archivist.

Latin text from Brother Markus Pillat, College archivist, Pontificium Collegium Germanicum et Hungaricum

Source: Abschrift ACGU Best. 10, Teil A, Nr. 1, Eintragung 438, S. 158. Original text was sent in December 2008 by Pontificium Collegium Germanicum et Hungaricum (
Bruder Markus Pillat), Archiv, Via S. Nicola da Tolentino, 13, I-00187 Roma.
„Constantinus Droste-Hülshoff, dioec[esis] Herbipolensis. Natus 22 Jan[uarii] 1841 Monasterii Westphal[orum], sed transiit in dioec[esem] Herbipol[ensem] ante ingressum in Coll[egium] nostrum. Studuit li[teris] hum[anioribus] in gymn[asio], et per annum Theologiae in universitate Herbipolensi. Venit in coll[egium] 17 Oct[obris] 1864, commendatus a R[everendissi]mo ep[iscop]o Stahl (n[otum] 47)1 et a D[omino] Renninger (n[otum] 297). Discessit 3 Aug[usti] 1867 sacerdos. In coll[egio] parum satisfaciebat ob ingenium paullo <sic!> levius. Quare compositis utcumque studiis abire permissus est. 1869 ingressum est O[rdinem] S[ancti] Franc[isci] (?) et in Americam missus. Ibi agit parochum ad s[ancti] Jacobi in oppido Megnon dioec[esis] Millwaukeensis <sic>. 1877 par[ochus] Delonae. dioec[esis] Cross[ensis]”2 [1 Bei Notum 47 und 297 handelt es sich ebenfalls um Eintragungen im vorliegenden Matrikelbuch. Die beiden genannten Herren waren auch Studenten des Kollegs. 2 La Crosse, Suffraganbistum der Erzdiözese Milwaukee]. 


Translation from Latin to German: Constantin Droste-Huelshoff, aus der Diözese Wuerzburg. Geboren am 22 Januar 1841 in Muenster Westfalen, zog aber, bevor er in unser Kolleg eintrat, in die Diözese Würzburg. Er studierte auf dem Gymnasium die Literatur und Humanistik [im Deutschen ist "Schöne Wissenschaften" gemeint; die umfasste Grammatik, Rhetorik, Poesie und Geschichte], und das Jahr hindurch Theologie an der Universität Würzburg. Auf Empfehlung des hochwürdigsten Bischofs Stahl (notiz 47) und des Herrn Renninger (notiz 297) kam er am 17. Oktober 1864 in das Kolleg. Dieses verliess er am 3 August 1867 als Priester. Im Kolleg überzeugte er wegen seiner etwas zu leichtsinnigen Natur zu wenig. Aber er bekam nach dem Studium doch die Erlaubniss. 1869 trat er in den Sankt Franciscus Orden ein und missionerte in Amerika. Dort versah er die Pfarrei zu St. Jakob in der Landstadt Mequon, Diözese Milwaukee [in Wisconsin, USA]. In 1877 Pfarrer in Dellona, Diözese La Crosse [in Wisconsin, USA]. 1. Bei Notum 47 und 297 handelt es sich ebenfalls um Eintragungen im vorliegenden Matrikelbuch. Die beiden genannten Herren waren auch Studenten des Kollegs. 2. La Crosse, Suffraganbistum der Erzdiözese Milwaukee.

Translation from German to English: Constantin Droste-Hülshoff, from the Diocese of Wuerzburg. Born on January 22, 1841 in Muenster, Westphalia, but before entering our college, was in the Diocese of Würzburg. At the college preparatory school, he studied literature and the humanities [in German, it is the "beautiful sciences" meaning grammar, rhetoric, poetry and history], and this year theology at the University of Würzburg. On the recommendation of the Most Reverend Bishop Stahl (note 47) and of Mr. Renninger (note 297), he came on October 17, 1864 to the college. He left this [college] on August 3, 1867 as a priest. In college he satisfied too little because of his somewhat too easy-loving nature. But after graduating, he received the diploma. In 1869 he joined the Order of Saint Francis and was a missionary in America. There he worked in the parish of St. James in the country town of Mequon, Diocese of Milwaukee [Wisconsin, USA]. In 1877, he was priest at Dellona, Diocese of La Crosse [Wisconsin, USA]. 1. Notes 47 and 297 are entries in the church book. These two gentlemen were also students of the college. 2. La Crosse, Suffragan Diocese of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee.

Comments and corrections of the text from Rome: 
  • "Megnon" is Mequon. In 2008, Mequon's church was called St. James Catholic Church; it was rebuilt in 1891. A reference to a new 1890 St. Jacob church in Mequon was found online. 
  • LaCrosse is missing the prefix "La." 
  • Dellona is a township in Sauk County in the Baraboo metro area in Wisconsin

Constantin left Germany and emigrated to America in 1869

At age 28, Constantin emigrated to America with 7 other missionaries from Würzburg on September 18, 1869. The SS Steamship Weser sailed from Bremen, Germany to the Port of New York. "Constantin de Droste" was listed as passenger number 106, occupation "Missionair" from Würzburg, age 35. [Note that the age seems to be incorrect]

September 18, 1869 Ship Passenger List
Click image for a larger view

The Augsburger Postzeitung (Augsburg, Bavaria, Germany), issue published September 11, 1869, page 1666, had a long article about the eight missionaries, listing them by name, and included "P. [Pater] Constantin v. Droste-Hülshoff, aus Preußen, Priester-Novize". 
[Link to page 1666: http://goo.gl/2t5a4y] 
The full transcription and translation is HERE.

The New York Times, published September 19, 1869, reported on the passengers of that ship:
"Passengers Arrived. Sept. 18 -- In steamship Weser, from Bremen. . . Constantin de Droste . . ."
[Link to the New York Times article: http://tinyurl.com/3bqmkd]

CastleGarden.org website: Constantin De-droste, Missionary, age 36, male, arrived 18 Sep 1869


In America, Constantin served as priest at several parishes in Wisconsin
(The following dates may not be exact)
  • 1869-1870: Syracuse, Onondago County, New York. Diocese of Albany. Church of the Assumption: "Rev. Constantine De Droster, O.M.C." Source: Sadliers Catholic Directory, Almanac and Ordo. For the Year of Our Lord 1870, page 116.
  • 1870?Archdiocese of New York. Ellenville, Ulster County, St. Mary's (German)?? 
  • 1870: Census: Name not found yet. Not listed in Syracuse.
  • Nov 1870 to Apr 1871: St. Jacob (St. James) parish in Mequon, Ozaukee County, Wisconsin, in the Diocese of Milwaukee.
  • 1875: St. Bridget's Catholic Church, Ettrick (Beaver Creek), Trempealeau County, Wisconsin.
  • Jun 1875 to Mar 1877: St. James Catholic Church, Rising Sun, Crawford County, Wisconsin.
  • 1877 to 1882: All Saints Church, Dellona (near Baraboo), Sauk County, Wisconsin. Mission church along with St. Patrick's Church of Winfield. 
    Source: History of Reedsburg and the Upper Baraboo Valley, by Merton Edwin Krug, Publ. February 1929 by the author. Printed by Democrat Printing Company, Madison, Wis.,  Page 187-207.  
    Source: 
    Pontificium Collegium Germanicum et Hungaricum in Rome, Italy.
  • 1880 June 17: Census: Dellona, Sauk County, Wisconsin. Line 43, Van Drostn[?] Con, white, male, age 39, single, occupation Clergyman, born Germany, father and mother born Germany. 
    Others in the household were Constantin's housekeeper, Bridget Mehan[?], widowed, age 36, parents were born in Ireland; and Bridget's two children Nellie and Thomas (parents born Ireland).
  • 1882 to 1885: St. Joseph Catholic Church, Menomonie, Dunn County, Wisconsin.
  • 1883 June: A church festival was held at St. Joseph in Menomonie. Alf. Curtis won a prize which was a photograph of "Rev. Van Droste." (Dunn County News).
  • 1883: Immaculate Conception Catholic Church, Menomonie, Dunn County, Wisconsin. 
  • 1884 November 3: Applied for citizenship (Declaration of Intention), Dunn County, Wisconsin.
  • 1885 to 1894 summer: St. Patrick Catholic Church, Mauston, Juneau County, Wisconsin.
  • 1886 to 1901: He served in parishes in the Diocese of LaCrosse, Wisconsin (15 years prior to his death).
  • 1894 July to 1895 October: St. Josephs Catholic Church, Rice Lake, Barron County, Wisconsin.
  • 1895 Wisconsin State Census: June 1895. Constantin's name not found in Dunn County (some of the census pages are too dark to read).
  • 1895 October 6 to 1896 June 1: St. Luke Catholic Church, Plain, Sauk County, Wisconsin.
  • 1895 October 6 to 1896 June 1: St. John Catholic Church, Spring Green, Sauk County, Wisconsin (St. John was a mission church of St. Luke's in Plain).
1896 November 28: Ship passenger list shows "C N Von Droste" age 55, citizen of Holland, Port of Departure: Liverpool, England; Ship name Campania; Port of Arrival: New York, New York. Could this be Constantin? If so, he was not a citizen of Holland. But could he have taken a trip back to Europe in 1896?
          • 1897: St. Patrick's Catholic Church, West Superior, Douglas County, Wisconsin. [Research notes: The current 2012 Google map shows no "West Superior." The Diocese of Superior website lists three St. Patrick churches: in Hudson, New Richmond,  Minocqua, and Centuria.] 
          • 1897 to 1901: St. Charles Borromeo Catholic Church, Genoa, Vernon County, Wisconsin.
          • 1900 June 21: Census: Genoa Township, Vernon County, Wisconsin. Line 77. Name: von Droste Constantine M.[illegible]. Relationship: Head; White; Male; Born Jan. 1841; Age 59; Single;  born Germany; parents born Germany; emigration 1869; number of years in the United States: 30;  Naturalized; occupation Catholic Priest; can read, write and speak English; Home.
            Also in the household was Constantin's housekeeper, Bridget McIvor[?], widowed, age 59, two living children of 4, parents born in Ireland.
            • 1900 September to 1901: St. Mary's Catholic Church, Keyesville, Richland County, Wisconsin. He served at this parish until "he was stricken with the illness that proved fatal." (see "Obituaries, Death Certificate, Probate" link below).

            Constantin's illness and death
            Constantin was hospitalized for several weeks in LaCrosse due to an illness of 6 months duration. He died at age 60 on December 30, 1901 at St. Francis Hospital in LaCrosse, LaCrosse County, Wisconsin.

            He was interred in a crypt under the altar of the Chapel of the Blessed Virgin of the Seven Dolors (also known as Our Lady of Sorrows Chapel) in the Catholic Cemetery on Losey Boulevard in LaCrosse, LaCrosse County, Wisconsin. 


            Grave marker inscription

            E. CARCERE COELESTIA
            APETTO
            HIC JACET SAC.CONSTANTINUS MARIA,
            EX BARONIBUS v. DROSTE-HUELSHOFF.
            NAT A.D . 1841, ob. DIE 30 ma. M.DEC.1901
            R.I.P.

            Translation:
            "Released from his earthly prison to his heavenly home.
            Here lies the priest Constantin Maria,
            ex-Baron von Droste-Huelshoff.
            Born in the year of our Lord 1841.
            Died on the 30th day of the month of December 1901.
            May he rest in peace."


            Constantin von Droste zu Huelshoff crypt

            Chapel of the Blessed Virgin of the Seven Dolors (also known as Our Lady of Sorrows Chapel) in the Catholic Cemeter in LaCrosse, Wisconsin. 

            Constantin's grave marker is in the crypt in the basement of the chapel


            Chapel of the Blessed Virgin of the Seven Dolors in LaCrosse, WisconsinConstantin von Droste zu Huelshoff crypt



            Obituaries, Death Certificate, Probate 

            Who Are They?

            Ancestry of Constantin von Droste zu Hülshoff