Saint Antonius' Catholic church, of Streator, has, as its pastor, the Rev. Father Meier, who has accomplished and is accomplishing a great work in this community. His executive and financial ability, as well as his zeal and helpful sympathy to every individual of his flock, render him worthy of admiration and respect by everyone, whatsoever his creed.
A son of Gerkene and Mary (Richter) Meier, the Father was born in Covington, Kentucky, in 1851. His parents were both natives of Germany, whence they removed to the United States in 1835. They made a permanent home in Covington, and there passed away some years ago.
In his youth the subject of this biography attended school in his native city, receiving excellent advantages in an educational way. After he had completed his preliminary preparation for the serious task to which he had early dedicated his life, the ministry, he went to Cincinnati, Ohio, where he continued his collegiate studies, and was graduated in 1874. He then served for some time as an assistant priest, and in 1874 was ordained in Louisville, Kentucky, by Bishop McClosky. Then, going to Lafayette, Indiana, he w'as assistant to Father Beine for two years, after which he was assigned to Reynolds, same state. Subsequently he was the pastor of two or three different congregations in Indiana, and in 1879 was sent to Emporia, Kansas. There he had the responsible position at the head of the hospital and high school, and for six years he labored with most gratifying results in that important post of trust. In 1885 he was placed in charge of the church of St. George, in Cincinnati, Ohio, where he continued as pastor for two years.
Twelve years ago he came to Streator, and during this period the many departments of work connected with the church over which he presides have prospered wonderfully. His zeal has prompted his people to great undertakings, as may be plainly seen when it is stated that the splendid church edifice, erected at a cost of thirty thousand dollars, a substantial school building valued at ten thousand, and a home which cost nine thousand dollars have been built within a few years. Thus, altogether, the church property is very valuable, and a wide field of usefulness opens before the devoted congregation, which is now equipped fully for future work.
Extracted by Norma Hass from Biographical and Genealogical Record of LaSalle County, Illinois published in 1900, volume 1, pages 30-31.