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REV. ODORIC IGNAZ DERENTHAL, 0. S. F., priest among the Indians in Shawano county, was born in Roesebeck, Prussia, Germany, July 14, 1856, a son of Theodore and Mary (Wieners) Derenthal. 

Theodore Derentbral was a farmer, and is a successful man. He now has 140 acres of land, and both he and his wife live on the home farm, which is worked by their son Bernard. They reared a family of children, most of whom died in infancy, and four are still living, as follows: Odoric, subject of this sketch; Bernhard, in Germany; Paulina, Mrs. Gustaf Scheidt; and Augusta, at home with her parents and brother.   Odoric Derenthal was reared at home until twelve years of age, when he began his studies for the priesthood. He attended for three years the High School at Ruethen, taught by the able Rev. Rector L. Becker; for two years at Warburg, and then in 1873, joined the order of Franciscans at Warendorf, Westphalia, where he passed the novitiate; then studied in Europe until 1875, when he came to America, landing in New York June 30, 1875. Coming to Teutopolis, Ill., he studied there one year, and then went to Quincy, Ill., where he took philosophy, remaining two years. Completing his studies there, he took up theology in St. Louis, where he remained three years, and was ordained priest in that city May 16, 1880.

Rev. Odoric Derenthal's first congregation was in Superior, Wis., where he had 125 families. He was engaged chiefly in the Chippewa Indian mission, and was there four years, with another confrere. As a missionary priest he would start out with a guide to his different missions, in a territory some two hundred miles in circuit, lodging in a wigwam, in which the services were held, and remaining in one place about three days would go on to another, and so on, having a repetition of these services in about twenty different places, all from fifteen to twenty-five miles apart. The Indians were at that time in an uncivilized condition. He first gained their conversion, then baptized them, and so performed his missionary duties until he was sent, in 1885, to Keshena, where he has since been. He founded an Indian boarding school of about one hundred Indian pupils, which he has increased to 170 at the present time, while his congregation numbers one hundred families. He has one assistant priest, Rev. Blase Krake, who tends to two other Indian congregations—Kenepowa and Little Oconto.   Together with Rev. B. Krake, five Brothers of the Order of St. Francis, six Sisters of St. Joseph, one lay-teacher and several other employes, he is conducting an excellent Indian school, which has been built up through the efforts of Father Derenthal and his assistant, and received a medal and several diplomas at the Columbian Exposition in 1893. This institution, called St. Joseph's Indian Industrial School, teaches all the pupils, male and female, from six to twenty-three years of age, in the ordinary branches of an English education, and also in different industries and trades, such as farming, gardening, carpentering, shoe-making; cookery, laundering, needlework, dairywork, etc. The Church has been organized since 1892. 

At the time of Father Derenthal's coming here there had been great destruction by fire, February 22, 1884, and he had the loss replaced at an expense of $30,000; they had another fire, in 1891, which caused a loss of about $20,000, which had again to be restored. They now have a school which cost $50,000, and is well-equipped. The government pays a part of the expense of $108 per capita; the contract for the present fiscal year is for 105 pupils, and the rest of the expenses has to be supplied by charity. The missionary priest receives no consideration for his services, even his garb being a present from his benefactors. The six Sisters employed as teachers receive $800 altogether. Rev. Father Derenthal has another mission, the Stockbridge mission, seven miles from here, and they have a church there which cost $2,200, built in 1894, and dedicated November 22, same year.

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