REV. A. ZURBONSEN, is the spiritual director placed over the St. Michael's Catholic Church of Staunton, Macoupin County, and has held the pastorate since January 12, 1888. the church has a following of about one hundred heads of families and is strong in every way, the parish being well looked after by its able young pastor. Both church and parsonage are first class structures, perfect in all their appointments, the former containing some fine works of art, whose subjects are of course taken from the Scriptures. the buildings were erected in 1867, under the direction of Father O'Hellenran, who founded the church and laid the corner stone, but the edifice was completed by his successor and has been in good running order ever since, although our subject is the first resident priest stationed in the place, and the beautiful parsonage has been erected under his direction, as has also the parochial school known as St. Michael's School. This last named institution has an enrolled membership of one hundred pupils in daily attendance.
Father Zurbonsen, since coming here, has established a new parish at Mt. Olive known as the Church of the Assumption, which was dedicated January 1, 1891, with a charter membership of sixty-five families. The pastor has not spared himself as a worker since coming here, having followed the precepts set by the Master. Although yet a young man our subject has entered his work with such a love and desire to accomplish much that he has lived a long life as accounted by the amount he has accomplished. The property over which he has an ecclesiastic jurisdiction is now entirely free from debt and this is due to the efforts of him of whom we write.
Prior to coming here the original of our sketch was stationed at Grand Fork, Madison County, Ill., where he had charge of the St. Gertrude Church and also of the school of the same name and this was the first parish of which he took charge, having taken orders in 1885 under the late Archbishop Heiss of Milwaukee after which he was at once assigned to the parish of Grand Fork, Ill. Father Zurbonsen is a graduate in the classical course in the seminary of Metropolis, Ill., finishing with the Class of ‘80. He later made a specialty of the study of philosophy at Montreal, Canada, and graduated in that branch in 1882. Later he entered the St. Francis Seminary at Milwaukee and completed his theological course in 1885, soon after taking orders and was licensed to preach the same year, as before state.
Our subject was reared and educated in this country, having come hither when a small child from Germany. The reverend gentleman is a skilled linguist, being master of French, German and English. He comes of good parentage and has been well reared and carefully educated. He is a broad-minded man to whom the dogmas of religion must appear broad before he can accept them. He is a genial, well-bred young man of more than ordinary ability as a church worker.