Sons of the Parish

The first son the parish to be ordained a priest was Father William Book and he offered his First Solemn Mass on November 15, 1873. John William Book was born October 21, 1850 to parents William Book and Anna Marie Engle. Father Book died in Cannelton and is buried in St. Michael’s Cemetery in Cannelton, Perry County, Indiana.

In 1906, the second son of the parish, Father Henry Verst, was ordained at St. Meinrad and celebrated his First Solemn Mass at St. John’s on June 17. Henry Verst was the son Henry Verst and Marie Caroline Tonjes, born on November 21, 1876. Father Verst was pastor of St. Mary of the Knobs Parish and while assigned there wrote and published a history of that parish. Father Verst died July 15, 1953 and is buried in St. John’s Cemetery.

In 1924, the third son of our parish, Monsignor Henry Gesenhues, was ordained and his First Solemn Mass was in Walker, Kansas. Henry Gesenhues was the son John Henry Gesenhues and Teresa Verst, born May 12, 1892. Teresa Verst was Father Henry Verst’s sister. Monsignor Henry Gesenhues died in Hanover, Kansas in 1962.

The fourth son of our parish, Father Bernard Koopman, son of Henry Koopman and Agnes Schmidt was ordained at St. Meinrad and celebrated his First Solemn Mass on May 14, 1961. Bernard Koopman was born September 4, 1935 and died February 26, 1997 and is buried in St. John’s Cemetery.

The Fifth son of the parish was Father Conrad Cambron, ordained in 1976 at St. Meinrad.