Rev. Aloysius I. Hoeffel

Rev. Aloysius I. Hoeffel, pastor of the Church of St.
Johns the Evangelist at Delphos, whose portrait accompanies this sketch,
was born at Lutzelbourg, Lorraine, Diocese of Nancy, France, May 14,
1832, but he has been a resident of Ohio for many years, coming as a
pioneer priest to many of the now thickly populated counties of this
Father Hoeffel secured his early education at Cowtrey, Belgium,
where his brother Joseph who died in 1898, was at college professor for
a period of 40 years. Father Hoeffel pursued collegiate studies there
for five years and he spent four years subsequently at Fenetrange and
Pont-au-Mousson, France, completing his classical studies. In 1854 he
came to America and in January 1855, was received at St. Mary's
Theological Seminary. After three and a half years there, he was
elevated to the priesthood by Bishop Rappe, June 13, 1858. On July 2d
of that year he was appointed to the parish at Defiance, Ohio, which
included work in six counties, his services of the greatest value. For a
decade following, Father Hoeffel traveled through Paulding, Henry,
Fulton, Williams and parts of Lucas and Putnam counties, carrying to
many secluded homes the comfort of spiritual ministrations and
performing at many points the various offices of the church.
On January 28, 1868, Father Hoeffel was appointed pastor of the
Church of St. John the Evangelist at Delphos, Ohio, since which time he
has been identified with the work and people here. What he has
accomplished fills and important chapter in church history in this part
of Ohio. In 1868 he purchased two lots on which stood a frame house
where worship was held. In 1869-70 a new brick school-house, three
stories high, containing four rooms and hall, was erected; and in 1872 a
Sisters' residence on First street. These narrowly escaped the fire of
1873, when the pioneer church and Sisters' residence were destroyed. In
1875 a new organ was installed in the church, and in 1879 the old wooden
structure, which had out-lived its usefulness, was pulled down. On June
of this year the corner stone was laid for the new edifice, which is now
entirely clear of debt. The beautiful chime of bells were presented to
the church by Father Hoeffel in 1894, when the 50th anniversary of the
church may be found in Chapter VII of this work in the history of
Father Hoeffel is much beloved by his congregation and by the
general public at Delphos, this feeling of general esteem gaining him
the name of the "Good Shepherd" of his parish. After the celebration of
the silver jubilee, the good Father was afforded the opportunity to make
an enjoyable trip to Europe. Although a man of scholarly acquirements
and literary tastes, as will be seen, he is also a man of great
executive ability and most practical ideas.