Founder of Westphalia Community In 1866 Theodore Rabroker (1835-1905) and his wife Mary Ann (Brucktops) (1836-1886) immigrated from Westphalia Province, Germany. They lived for a time in Pennsylvania and Iowa. In 1877, while moving to Frelsburg, Colorado County, Rabroker saw the fertile land in this area and visualized a German-Catholic community here. In 1879 he and his wife and three children became the first settlers. In 1881 Rabroker purchased 217 acres from William Neyland and became Neyland's land agent, encouraging Frelsburg families to come here. Rabroker provided a place for prospective residents to live until they bought property. Only German-Catholics were invited to settle within a five-mile radius; this resulted in strong community traditions. The Rev. John Lauth celebrated the first Mass in 1882 in the Rabroker home (400 yds. W). The residence served as the center for village religious and civic activities until a church building was completed in February 1884. After a storm destroyed the structure in May, Rabroker led efforts to erect a new church edifice, complete in July 1884. After his first wife died, Rabroker married Theresa Halfman (1854-1932) and they had six children. The Rabroker home was destroyed by fire in 1975.
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