Rev. Fredoline M. Eckert, pastor of St. Joseph's Catholic church at Cabery, was born at Grand Deipe, Baden, Germany, January 3, 1839, and acquired his early education in the fatherland. In 1859 he crossed the Atlantic to New York, settling first at Lincoln, Illinois. He became a citizen of the United States in 1875. His early education was received in the schools of Freidburg, Briscow, and subsequently he studied in St. Francis Seminary at Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Owing to delicate health he desired a change ol: climate and resumed his studies in Peoria College at Macon, Georgia.
He was ordained to the priesthood in Macon, May 21, 1875, after which he returned to Germany for the benefit of his health. Being greatly improved thereby, he returned after three months to Savannah, Georgia, and took charge of a negro church, remaining at that point for six years, during which time he built a fine cathedral. Again failing health prompted him to return to the fatherland in 1880, where he was greatly benefitted by the climatic change and after four months he returned to Bellevue, Iowa, where he remained for six months, when he located at Lourdes, Woodford county, Illinois. He was in charge there for seven years, being appointed to the Uniontown, now the Loretta congregation. During that time he built a convent and school. After eleven years in charge of the Loretta congregation he came to Cabery in 1898, and in 1904 he began the erection of a new house of worship, which has recently been completed. For four and a half years he had Cabery as an out mission from Loretta. He has spent the last twenty years in this part of the state in three missions — Lourdes, Loretta and Cabery. The present church has a membership of fifty families.
As stated, St. Joseph's Catholic church at Cabery has recently been completed, the cost being ten thousand dollars. It is built in Roman style, thirty-six by eighty-five feet and has a seating capacity of three hundred. The altar is of Roman style, twenty-three and a half feet high and hand carved. There are also two side altars and the church is adorned with seven pieces of statuary, including the Sacred Heart of Mary, the Sacred Heart of Jesus, St. Anthony, St. Boniface, St. Patrick, St. Joseph and St. Francis. The church is heated by steam and is thoroughly modern in its equipment. It is a credit to the village as well as to the congregation. Father Eckert is doing excellent work here among his parishioners and has the respect of people of other denominations as well.

Extracted 16 Oct 2016 by Norma Hass from History of Ford County, Illinois, From Its Earliest Settlement to 1908, author E. A. Gardner, Volume 2, pages 571-572.

Templates in Time