One of the most prominent and influential citizens of Plymouth is the Rev. Edward J. Meyer, who for twelve years has been priest at St. John's and during that time has wrought many and extensive changes in the parish. He has worked tirelessly in the interest not only of his congregation but the whole community, and by his kindly, helpful spirit and the charitableness he has at all times manifested has greatly endeared himself to the people at large. He is a native of this state, having been born at Barton, Washington county, on the 28th of April, 1867, and is of German extraction as the name would suggest.
His father was Lieutenant Joseph Meyer, the descendant of a family that has for many generations been prominently identified with the military circles of Germany. He was born in Treves, Germany, January 21, 1832. The father's brother was the burgomaster of Andemach, a well known and historic city in the Rhinelands. Lieutenant Meyer, the father, subsequently came to the United States and after a brief sojourn in Chicago went to Minnesota with his wife. There he enlisted in the army when the first call came for troops in the early days of the Civil war. Later he was transferred to an Illinois regiment, and was subsequently promoted to the rank of second lieutenant of the Twelfth Louisiana Volunteer Infantry. He was honorably discharged on the 16th of March, 1864, and on the 20th of September, 1868, he passed away and was buried in the cemetery at Barton, Washington county, this state.
The mother of our subject, whose maiden name was Barbara Thoma, was also of German birth. Her parents were natives of Treves, Germany, whence they emigrated to the United States, locating in Chicago during the early days. Later they removed to Washington county, Wisconsin, which thereafter was their home.
Practically the entire life of Father Meyer has been passed in this state. His early education was pursued in the parochial school at Barton, and later. he entered St. Francis' Seminary at Milwaukee, beginning his studies there in 1883 and terminating them in 1891, upon the completion of his ecclesiastical course. During the succeeding two years he served as assistant priest at St. Michael's parish, Milwaukee. At the expiration of that time the Bishop assigned him to Dotyville, Fond du Lac county, Wisconsin, where for seven and a half years he was in charge of St. Michael's parish. During that time he erected a new church, school and parsonage and strengthened the parish in every way, leaving it in a much better condition because of his enthusiastic and diligent work among the people.
In 1900, he was assigned his present post and during the twelve years of his pastorate here has achieved notable results. Soon after beginning his duties in St. John's parish he erected a new school building, and in 1906 he built the beautiful church they are now using. Not only has he promoted the material welfare of his parish but he has strengthened it spiritually, the congregation having largely increased under his ministrations. In addition to his work here, Father Meyer is in charge of St. Friedolin church at Glenbeulah, this state.
Father Meyer is unusually well qualified for the manifold duties of his profession, not the least of his gifts being a winning personality, strong, forceful character and kindly, helpful spirit, all of which unite in gaining him the confidence and esteem of those with whom he comes in contact. A fine mind, retentive memory and scholarly instincts united with good powers of organization and executive ability well endow him for the duties of spiritual advisor and business director in both of which he has manifested high efficiency. He is very popular not only among his parishioners but in the -community generally, where he has won many stanch friends by reason of his progressive spirit and appreciative helpful nature.
Information gathered and adapted from History of Sheboygan County, Wisconsin, Past and Present
Carl Zillier, Editor
Pubished by The S.J. Clarke Publishing Company, 1912, Chicago, IL