Memoirs of Father Anthony Kopp

By Father Anthony Kopp

Germans from Russia Heritage Collection, North Dakota State University Libraries, Fargo, ND, 1999, softcover, 145 pages, English language.


The Germans from Russia Heritage Collection is pleased to announce publication of Memoirs of Father Anthony Kopp. The original manuscript of Father Anthony is housed in the archives of the Assumption Abbey Library, Richardton, ND. Our appreciation to Jolenta Fischer Masterson, Sequim, WA, a native of Strasburg, ND, who worked closely in the completion of this valuable addition to the literature of North Dakota's heritage and history. The book is a literate story of his German-Russian youth and his life in North Dakota capturing the unique dialectal German speech as he himself directly translated into English text.

Father Kopp was born on December 11, 1891, in Krasna, Bessarabia. Anthony Kopp attended elementary schools near Harvey, ND. He completed high school, college and theological studies at Assumption Abbey, Richardton, ND. Father Kopp finished his seminary studies at St. Paul Seminary, St. Paul, MN. He was ordained a priest for the Diocese of Bismarck, ND, on June 21, 1917, at St. Mary's Catholic Church, Richardton.

Father Kopp served five parishes in the Bismarck diocese including Rosebud, Odense, Mott, Bowbells and Foxholm. He was the pastor of St. Mary's Catholic Church at Foxholm from 1933 to 1962. Father Kopp died at Garrison, ND, on July 10, 1964. He is buried at Assumption Abbey Cemetery, Richardton, ND.

Jolenta Fischer Masterson writes in the Foreword: "Several years ago, I received a copy of the Memoirs of Father Anthony Kopp. The document was a bit hard to read, because Father Anthony thought in German and wrote in English. He started telling his life story in 1964 while he was Chaplain at the Garrison Hospital in Garrison, ND. The typewriter that he used was certainly not new in 1964; many of the letters were blurred and difficult to read.

Father Anthony's phrasing was so reminiscent of the language familiar to those of German-Russian descent. We very likely spoke that way ourselves as we were growing up in North Dakota. When he spoke of Father Bernard Strassmeier, I remembered that I had met that venerable old priest when I was eight years old.

The opportunity to work with Father Anthony's autobiography has been a privilege for me. I have learned much about the life and time of my grandparents and their family and relatives during their early years in this country. I hope that my efforts will help preserve their precious story."

Father Anthony Kopp, Foxholm, North Dakota, circa 1950. John Kopp Sr. and Carolina Pastler family. Back row, left to right: Pius, Anthony, Melchoir, Angela; front row, left to right: John Jr., John Sr., Celestina, and Carolina, Harvey, North Dakota, circa 1902. Anthony Kopp, Harvey, North Dakota, age 11.

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Memoirs of Father Anthony Kopp

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