Memoirs of Father Anthony Kopp

Book review by Jo Ann Winistorfer, Associate Editor

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

There's no shortage of books by North Dakota authors, and a good place to start looking is at the collection of the Germans from Russia Heritage Collection, housed at the North Dakota State University Libraries in Fargo, The collection features books ranging from ethnic cookbooks to histories of this immigrant group, many of which are available for purchase.

One such book is Memoirs of Father Antony Kopp written by Strasburg native Jolenta Fischer Masterson, now living in Sequim, Washington.

Masterson's book is based on an autobiography penned by one of the state's early priests. Father Anthony Kopp, a German from Russia, emigrated in 1894 (at age 2) with his family from Bessarabia, Russia, settling eventually at Harvey, N.D. He was ordained into the priesthood in 1917 at Bismarck. Over his lifetime he served the communities of Rosebud, Odense, Mott, Bowbells, Foxholm, Minot (where he was dean of the Minot deanery) and Garrison (serving as chaplain of Garrison Memorial Hospital). He died in Garrison in 1964.

The original book is housed in the library of Assumption Abbey, Richardton, where Father Kopp himself once attended school and is now buried.

Perhaps as much as anything, the book is a family history that includes church and community history, and stories of pioneer days, childhood antics, early-day travel, the 1918 flu epidemic, and life in the priesthood.

While Father Kopp's personal recollections end in the mid-'20s, Masterson's version continues with Father Kopp's poetry and letters, the last one dated in 1960. She rounds out the book with a brief summary of his life, adding photos of Kopp and his family.

Memoirs of Father Antony Kopp is available for $20 (in U.S. dollars, plus $3 shipping in the U.S.). Make check or money order payable to NDSU Library; mail to: Germans from Russia Heritage Collection, Father Anthony Kopp Book, NDSU Library, P.O. Box 5599, Fargo, N.D. 58105-5599.

Write to the same address to request information on other books available through the Germans from Russia Heritage Collection. Or visit the following Website: http://www.ndsu/library/grhc/order/

Reprinted with permission of the North Dakota REC/RTC Magazine (

Permission to use any images from the GRHC website may be requested by contacting Michael M. Miller