Rev. John Elias Duerschner, A. B., A. M.
City of Troy

This biography is from Troy and Rensselaer County, New York, Volume III, by Rutherford Hayner, Lewis Historical Publishing Company, Inc., New York and Chicago, 1925. It was submitted by Debby Masterson.

REV. JOHN ELIAS DUERSCHNER, A. B., A. M.—From the earliest history of Rensselaer County, New York, the church has borne its part in the progress of the people, participating in the education and uplift of the community, and leading the people ever to higher planes of moral and spiritual attainment. Rev. John E, Duerschner is now one of the leading representatives of Christian effort as pastor of Trinity German Lutheran Church, of Troy, New York. He is a son of Conrad Duerschner, who was born in Bavaria, Germany, and was educated for the missionary service in East Africa. His preparation for this work was very broad, his training having comprised both that of the clergyman and the physician, but he was led to come to America where he was placed in charge of a large pastorate in Central Missouri. There he served the people both as preacher and physician, doing incalculable good in a district remote from centers of population, where the physical as well as the spiritual needs of the people were great. He died in 1895, deeply beloved by the people to whom he had ministered. He married Cathrine L'Amerand, who was of French Huguenot descent, who died in Troy in 1912, at the great age of ninety years.

John Elias Duerschner was born in Galena, Illinois, July 20, 1859. The family removing to Missouri shortly afterward, his education was begun at the public schools of Pyrmont, in that State. He later attended an academy in Saint Louis, Missouri, then as a young man entered Wartburg College, at Galena, Illinois, from which he was graduated in 1876, receiving the degree of Bachelor of Arts, and from which institution he later received the degree of Master of Arts. He then went to the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Mendota, Illinois, from which he was graduated in theology in the class of 1879. He was shortly afterward called as assistant pastor of the German Lutheran church at Dubuque, Iowa, thence went to Pyrmont, Missouri, as pastor, after which he was sent to Toledo, Ohio, as pastor of the German Lutheran church in that city. After several years of faithful service at Toledo, Mr. Duerschner was sent to Plainfield, New Jersey, as pastor of the German Lutheran church. In 1911 he was called to his present pastorate in Troy, and his labors in this city have done much not only for the growth and advancement of the church but for the general uplift and well-being of the people. He commands the respect and esteem of his contemporaries in the religious work of the city of whatsoever denomination or creed, and among the people of his church he is looked up to as a beloved leader and spiritual guide. He is at the present time (1923) president of the Albany Conference of the German Lutheran church, of which also he is a director and a member of the executive board, and he is a member of the Troy-Albany Ministerial Association.

Mr. Duerschner married, on April 23, 1892, at Wilton, Iowa, Emma Opitz, and they have four children: 1. Adolph, educated in the grammar and high schools of Plainfield, New Jersey, and the business college of Troy, New York, now identified with the Wilbur-Pike Thermometer Company of Troy. He married Emma Doring of Troy, and has one child, Ruth Helen. 2. Alfred D., educated in Lansingburg grammar and high schools, and graduated from Muhlenberg College, Allentown, Pennsylvania, also Albany Medical College, class of 1919, with the degree of Doctor of Medicine; he served as interne and house physician in the Albany Hospital, and is now connected with the State Tubercular Hospital, also doing special work in tuberculosis prevention for the United States Government in connection with the activities of this nature at Plattsburg, New York. 3. Helen, educated in the Lansingburg grammar and high schools, and the Albany State Normal School, now acting as a private tutor. 4. Bertha, whose education was the same as that of her sister; she is now teaching at Mill Creek, New York.

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