Prof. Casper Frederick Artes

by Edmund Starling, 1886


was born at Merken Saxe, Meiningen, Germany, March 29th, 1816. He was recognized as a youth of remarkable talent, and at the University which he attended in his native town, his wonderful talents won for him the sobriquet of Little Mozart. During the Revolution of 1848, '49, in which he participated, he became dissatified, and determined to immigrate to America. In 1851 he came, bringing letters of recommendation to leading persons in New York. He married at his native home Miss Catharine Bierschenk, and she and four daughters and one son accompanied him across the sea. After his arrival, owing to his limited means, he was at a loss what to do, but, chancing upon a morning paper, he read an advertisement, signed Charles F. Lehman, Henderson, Kentucky, Principal of the Female Academy, wanting a teacher of music; there-upon he determined to come West and seek his fortune. Entering into correspondence with Mr. Lehman, whom he found to have been a Colonel in the German army, he engaged to come to Henderson. Leaving his family in New York, he set out on his journey, and, in due course of time, landed in Henderson. He accepted this position tendered him by Mr. Lehman, and returned to New York for his family, whom he soon brought to this place, then the far West, where there were few of his people to be found.

The father of Prof. Artes was Burgomaster of his native place, and at one time during the winter the Duke of Saxony visited his town, and, in recognition of his visit, the Burgomaster caused the streets to be cleaned of snow, the town decorated, and all the cordialities of a muncipality accorded him. In recognition of this attention, the Duke dined with the Burgomaster, and, during his stay, requested young Artes to go to the church and play the organ for him. With this request he complied, and in return was granted a royal recognition. It is said that whenever there was to be a royal or ecclesiastical festival, Casper F. Artes was invariably called upon to preside at the organ. A few years after his arrival in Henderson, Prof. Artes was employed as organist of St. Paul's Episcopal Church, and, as remarkable as it may seem, he performed that irksome duty for nearly thirty years, without missing one single Sunday service from any cause. On the twentieth day of November, 1886, in the city of Evansville, Prof. Artes departed this life, leaving a devoted wife and large family of children to mourn his death. He was a master of the organ, a master of music and a man of profound intelligence upon all matters requiring study. He was a man of strong impulses, devoted to his friends, and yet diffident and deferential. Mr. Charles F. Artes, Evansville's leading and most successful jeweler, and a gentleman of the highest character, is the eldest son of Prof. C. F. Artes.

The History of Henderson County, Kentucky by Starling 1887 page 802-03;

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