Early History of St.
College Point, New York
by Susan Williams nee Sander
parish of St. Fidelis was founded in 1856 when the bishop of the
Diocese of Brooklyn sent Reverend Joseph Huber to Strattenport, now
known as College Point.
Rev. Huber found twenty German-speaking families and
six English-speaking families. These families had been attending
Mass in Flushing provided of course the road was not flooded by the
high tides of Flushing Bay. Father Huber was a native of
Alberschwende, Tyrol, Austria. He was ordained to the priesthood on
May 21, 1853.
The first Mass was celebrated in the home of Anton
Kutger on Seventh Street (now known as 126th St.). With the help of parishioners of Holy Trinity Parish in
Williamsburg, they erected a little frame church on four lots on
Fifteenth Street, between High Street and Third Avenue (on 124th
Street between 14th and 15th Avenue. The
cornerstone of this original small church was layer September 1856. Two months later the first Mass was celebrated. Father Raffeiner
preached the sermon in German; Bishop Loughlin preached in
click images below to
The first pastor, Rev. Huber, worked tirelessly for
the people of Strattenport. When he died at the age of 60, the day
was one of universal mourning – even the factories and stores of the
town were closed out of respect for this priest whom everyone
While Father Huber was ill he asked that Father
Ambrose Schumack come to College Point to assist him. Father Schumack was named the successor in 1889.
Generous parishioners raised $15,000 and the parish
school was moved across the street to make room for the building of
a new, larger church to accommodate the needs of the growing
congregation. The cornerstone of this church was laid in September
1894 and the completed church dedicated on October 6, 1895.
Those of you who are descendants of the citizens of
Glogowatz who settled in College Point may be trying to imagine
exactly what kind of town and church your ancestors found.
At the time the village was first settled as
Strattonport the little town was composed of houses scattered here
and there with much farmland and underbrush. The village is
situated on the East River where the settlers sailed boats and
swam. In the mid-1800’s the village was a thriving farm community
with farmers making hay near Powell’s Cove. By the 1890’s and early
1900’s when Banaters started arriving, the town was in the process
In 1853, Conrad Poppenhusen built his rubber factory
where many of our ancestors found employment. The population of
College Point grew from a few hundred in 1853 to over a thousand in
1855 and to 2,000 in 1860. People poured into the town to take
jobs at the Rubber Factory. Along with the factory, Mr. Poppenhusen built homes for his factory workers.
He built a cobblestone road between College Point and
Flushing. He drained the marshes, brought in pure running water,
tree lined street and gas lines. In 1898 when College Point
became part of Greater New York, it was the only village in Queens
with paved streets and a budget surplus of $60,000. Conrad Poppenhusen gave another gift to College Point – to commemorate his
50th birthday he built the Poppenhusen Institute, a
school to educate men and women in the mechanical arts. In 1870 a
free kindergarten was opened – the first of its kind in the
country. It was open to children of working class people.
The Poppenhusen Institute served many uses for many
people. It was an institution of education, a village town hall, was
the first home of the College Point Savings Bank and even housed a
two-celled jail which can be seen today by visitors to the
Poppenhusen Institute off College Point Boulevard and 14th
For me, the Poppenhusen Institute holds a special
place in my heart. It is where the romance of my own parents, Frank
Sander and Edythe Jedlicka began. Dances were held frequently – but
you had to be a student of the Institute to attend. I know
Mom took typing and sewing classes. My dad may have
taken drafting classes. One week before a big dance, Frank did not have a date
for the dance. His friends insisted he attend but Dad said he
couldn’t attend without a date. His friends at the Institute told
him he should invite the first young lady of his acquaintance to
come walking through the Main Hallway that night! He agreed …. and
along came Edythe Jedlicka!
My dad’s parents were Michael Szander (Sander) and
Sophie Reichert, both born in Glogowatz. They emigrated with their
first three children in 1911. They were not the first to come –
many had come before. According to Dave Dreyer’s manifest, the
Pisa, arrived in New York on 30 March 1906 and
brought the following Glogowatz citizens to College
Paul Begner, Johann Czallner with wife, Anna and Son,
Mathias Daneker, Josef Eder (Adler), Josef Erustein,
Josef Gamber, Josef Gerhard, Andreas Hollich, Johann Kaiser,
Peter Keiher, Franz Kornacker (going to join cousin,
Anton Kornacker), Franz Lorenz, Anton Reingruber, Peter Trehr, and
Johann Zellner. In all fairness, Since Franz Kornacker was joining
his cousin, Anton, this man must have arrived first.
The following entry was made in Dave Dreyer’s list:
Anton Kornacker arrived 25 January 1906 on the
His departure port is listed as New York but now we
know the rest of the story ….. he found his way to College Point.
Other Glogowatz citizens arrived earlier and listed
their destination as New York – these people may have come to
College Point also. What we do know is that it was the beginning of
a new life for all Glogowatz emigrants --- and the chance for all of
us, the descendants of Glogowatz, to be blessed with a life in the
United States of America.
Sources: The Parish of Saint Fidelis of Sigmaringen,
Martyr 1856 – 1956
A History of College Point, N.Y.
Robert A. Hecht
The Pastors of St. Fidelis Church 1856-2004
Point, New York
by Susan Williams nee Sander
Founder-Pastor of St. Fidelis Parish 1856-1889
Right Reverend Monsignor Ambrose Schumack, V.F.
Right Reverend Monsignor Francix X. Wunsch, V.F.
Reverend Ignatius Endres
Reverend Williams J. Osborne
Pastor 1953 - unknown
Reverend Arthur Minicello
Deacon Jack Reichert [a descendant of Johann Reichert and Anna Vegner of
123-06 14th Avenue
New York 11356