Rev. Gregory Robl

Gregory Robl portrait

Carey, Charles Henry. "History of Oregon." Vol. 2. Chicago and Portland: Pioneer Historical Publishing Co., 1922. p. 214.


Rev. Gregory (Robl), O. S. B., one of the prominent representatives of the Catholic clergy in Oregon, is now pastor of the Sacred Heart parish of Portland. He was born in Bavaria, Germany, in 1872, a son of Andrew and Margaret Robl, who in 1875 crossed the Atlantic, becoming residents of Michigan. In 1876 the family removed to Ellinwood, Kansas, becoming pioneers of that section. In 1888 they made the trip to the Pacific coast, arriving at Mount Angel, Oregon, at the request of the Very Rev. Adelhelm Odermatt, O. S. B, Mr. Robl followed agricultural pursuits, taking charge of the church property and operating the farm. He was born April 27, 1827, and passed away April 26, 1907, while his wife died in 1890.

Rev. Father Gregory of this review obtained his education in the seminary at Mount Angel, which he entered in 1888, completing his course there and receiving his ordination on the 16th of December, 1899, Archbishop Christie officiating, Father Gregory being the first priest ordained by that archbishop. He was then made director of the seminary, in which he taught moral theology until September 3, 1903, when he took charge of the Sacred Heart parish in Portland. Here he has since been located and the upbuilding of the parish is largely the result of his labors. When he assumed his duties here there were only forty-five families in the parish and today there are two hundred and twenty. The value of the property at the time he assumed his labors here was about ten thousand dollars, consisting of a newly built frame church and parish house, in which was conducted the parochial school and also four lots. The buildings had just been completed and were furnished by the Rev. Father. Today the property is valued at least at fifty thousand dollars. In 1905 he built a school at an investment of five thousand dollars and in 1907 a hall which cost two thousand dollars, at the same time purchasing the entire block of land. In 1911, at the request of Archbishop Christie, he changed the location of the church property, purchasing the present location on Benedictine Heights, a part of the twenty-four acres owned by the Oregon Railroad & Navigation Company. This was acquired at a cost of ten thousand dollars and thus Father Gregory has in his hands the property for a Catholic settlement. He then sold all of the old property, including the buildings, with the exception of the church, for nineteen thousand dollars and began building the parish residence which was erected at a cost of nine thousand dollars. He also built the school at a cost of twelve thousand dollars, all this being accomplished in 1911. The church was removed to its present location on Center and East Eleventh streets in 1911. Father Gregory built a parish hall at a cost of eight thousand dollars and a convent at an investment of ten thousand dollars. This was likewise accomplished in 1911. Today the church property is very valuable and most attractive in appearance. The new school building is a fireproof structure of brick and tile reinforced. The school has an average attendance of one hundred and seventy-five children, with six teachers, and a music department is maintained in connection therewith. Today the present property holdings of the church are valued at sixty-five thousand dollars. Thus Father Gregory has accomplished a great work since taking charge of Sacred Heart parish.

In 1914 he took a trip to Europe and was an eyewitness of the German mobilization during the first week in August. He spent several months in visiting various points of interest in the old world, returning to his home with a mind enriched by travel and broad experience in European countries.


Submitted to the Oregon Bios. Project in August 2010 by Diana Smith. Submitter has no additional information about the person(s) or family mentioned above.

ORBios Project