Cottonwood County MN Biographies--Francis Prokes
"History of Cottonwood and Watonwan Counties of Minnesota, 1916"



The Rev. Father Francis Joseph Prokes, pastor of the Catholic church of St. Francis Xavier at Windom and one of the most popular clergymen in this part of Minnesota, is a native of the state of Illinois, born in the city of Chicago, but has lived in Minnesota since he was six years old and is therefore as ardent and loyal a son of Minnesota as though "native and to the manor born."

He was bom on April 4, 1886, son of John and Catherine (Koranda) Prokes, both natives of the kingdom of Bohemia, who came to America in 1882 and located at Chicago, where John Prokes engaged in business as a contractor in general masonry work and where they made their home until 1892, in which year they came to Minnesota and settled in Jackson county. Mr. Prokes bought a farm there and on that farm made his home until his retirement some years ago, since which time he and his wife have resided at Jackson. They are the parents of three sons, of whom the subject of this sketch is the second in order of birth, the others being Joseph, who resides at Jackson, this state, and Wesley, who is operating the home farm in Jackson county. Mr. and Mrs. Prokes are earnest members of the Catholic church and their sons were reared in that faith.

Francis Joseph Prokes was about six years old when his parents moved from Chicago to this state and he was reared on the farm in Jackson county. Upon completing the course in the local schools he entered St. Procopius College at Lisle, Illinois, from which he was graduated in June, 1908. He had early consecrated himself to the service of the church and upon leaving college entered the St. Paul Seminary at St. Paul, for the further prosecution of his theological studies, and after two years' study in philosophy and four years in theology was graduated in 1914. On February 15 of the latter year Father Prokes was ordained to holy orders and on may 15, 1914, was given patoral charge of the church of St Francis Xavier at Windom, where he since has been located and where he is doing a noble work. Father Prokes also has charge of the missions at Westbrook and Jeffers and under his excellent administration his parish is advancing rapidly, both spiritually and materially.

Father Prokes is public-spirited and energetic and takes a warm interest in the general affairs of the community, being held in the highest esteem, not only by the members of his immediate parish, but by all throughout this part of the state who have come under the genial influence of his kindly personality.