Memoirs of Father Anthony Kopp

Book review by Father Leonard Eckroth, Pastor, Saints Peter & Paul Catholic Church, Strasburg, North Dakota

Kopp, Father Anthony. Memoir’s of Father Anthony Kopp. North Dakota State University Libraries, Germans from Russia Heritage Collection, Fargo, North Dakota, 1999.

Reading the Memoirs by Fr. Anthony Kopp interested me for several reasons. My own grandmother on my dad's side of the family was a Katherine Kopp, who was distantly related to Fr. Kopp's family. Also, I have known Herman Kopp, who is knowledgeable of the Kopp genealogy. My interest in the Memoirs includes my connection to Strasburg and Krasna, where Fr. Kopp's family first settled when they came from Russia. I knew Fr. Kopp personally. When I was an assistant at St. Mary's in Bismarck, I met Fr. Kopp, where he visited his brother John who lived in St. Mary's Parish. One day after he offered Mass at St. Mary's, I served him breakfast and we visited a while.

Both of us attended St. Paul Seminary, though he studied there long before my time. The rules hadn't changed much at the seminary even in my time.

On page 64, where he mentioned three residence buildings at the seminary, the names of two buildings were recorded incorrectly: Lawrence should be Loras and Graton should be Cretin. (It was explained that the original manuscript with its typing was difficult to decipher.) I especially appreciated his humble willingness to serve under some difficult times in the early days of the Church in western North Dakota, especially during drought and flu epidemic. No doubt, he was able to do what he did for his people because of the strong faith that was taught him by his parents and family, who had immigrated from Russia to America, first to the Krasna area near Strasburg, then to Harvey and finally to Richardton.

Our thanks to Father Leonard Eckroth for preparing this review. Father Leonard is a native of Mandan, North Dakota. His parents immigrated from the Black Sea German villages of South Russia (today located near Odessa, Ukraine).

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