Pastor Carl M. Noack

In the gay--for some--nineties,
Germans enjoyed a happy enclave,
safe from the wars in their fatherland,
cushioned by a closeknit community
with common language,
common customs.
With the new century came Carl Noack.
Familiar, reassuring,
the glue between families,
a hook to the past.
Father of fifteen, one adopted,
he'd raised a family in Iowa
before ever he came.
And now a second, with his second wife,
as pastor of St. Peter's for forty years.
German turmoil stalked his people
into their chosen refuge
with a war that rattled German/Americans
not yet secure
among their new countrymen.
War speeded acculturation
forcing English to reluctant German lips.
To reluctant German ears.
Pastor Noack was the last pastor to preach
solely in German. Selling war bonds no longer
proved loyalty.
His days were spent in his study
when he was home--"maybe to get
away from the children"--his daughter teases,
and visiting his flock.
Whether walking in the town,
or taking his carriage into the countryside,
he brought to his transplants
the concern of a pastor,
the aplomb of certainty,
and the memory of a homeland.
Father John Linden

There was no room for extra Catholics
at churches in Buffalo Grove
or Des Plaines in 1902.
Father Linden pumped a handcar
borrowed from the North Western
up the tracks to Arlington Heights.
He said Mass in Temperance Hall, second floor,
at Evergreen and Eastman--
community site for lectures,
plays, banquets, Old Settler reunions,
and graduation exercises.
When northwesterlys blasted him,
he wrapped in a blanket for the ride
and warmed somewhat
at the hall's potbellied stove.
His comment is not on record, but Myrtle Lauterburg
called those Masses "terrible experiences.
They burned soft coal in that stove.
We went to church clean.
We came home black."
Churchgoers in Buffalo Grove
were otherwise generous.
When Father Linden wanted a statue of Mary,
Myrtle's mother hired a horse and buggy
from the livery stable
and canvassed Buffalo Grove farmers,
begging for statue funds,
morning to evening.
Myrtle: "I was a little kid.
I had to go with her. The people
would feed the horse and feed us and then say,
'Now go to the next place.'
"Sometimes my mother got so much money
she was afraid to drive home."
Father Linden got his statue.
It didn't keep him warm on the handcar.