Born to Johann Josef Wachter and Susanna Brutscher on the 8th of December 1878, August Wachter was the fifth of ten children. As a young child, he told his maternal Aunt Wilhelmine Brutscher who financed his education that he not only wanted to be a foreign missionary priest but also to be a martyr.
On the completion of his education and Priestly formation, he was ordained on the 6th December 1903 in Brixen, North Italy. The Charity of Christ urged him to march forward bravely. On the 28th of August 1905, he left home for Borneo Mission arriving first in Kuching in September to study Malay on Mount Singai. After five months, his superior saw the need in North Borneo (Sabah) for a poorer and more difficult mission. Father Wachter, a spirit-filled and a man of prayer, being young, talented, and energetic was chosen to take up this new appointment in Penampang, a mission among the Kadazan Dusun. His immediate focus was to take education and evangelization seriously.
Twenty-two years later, when Sarawak and British North Borneo became separate Prefectures, Fr. August Wachter was appointed as the first Prefect Apostolic of North Borneo on the 26th of July 1927. During his tenure, he followed the policy of expansion in depth. He himself would travel widely to those far-away mission stations for days. Bringing the Gospel to those who did not know Christ was his goal wherever he went.