THE IRISH IN IOWA

CHURCH HISTORIES

From The Globe
Date Unknown
St. Thomas Catholic Church
Manson, [Calhoun Co], Iowa


Catholics in the Manson area first attended the country church of St.
Patrick on the Lizard. In 1880 St. Thomas Church was organized. It has the
distinction of being the oldest Catholic Church in Calhoun County.

Once a month for the next three years, Fr. Thomas Lennihan came from Fort
Dodge to offer mass in the Jerry Hallihan home. Fr. Lennihan was later
consecrated of the bishop of the doocese of Cheyenne, Wyoming, and it is in
his honor that the parish bears the name of his patron, St. Thomas.

Land for the church was purchased from Mr. A Kautz in 1883 and construction
of the church began. Though construction was incomplete, the first marriage
ceremony uniting Matthew J. Foley and Mary Clark, was held on November 9,
1885.

In 1890 archbishop John Hennessy of Dubuque appointed Fr. W.C. Daly as the
first pastor. He served the parish and the outlying missions at Barnum and
Pomeroy. During his pastorate a residence was constructed and land was
purchased for the parish cemetery.

All sacramental records before 1902 were destroyed by fire. The first
baptism of record was Agnes Booge, daughter of Francis and Frances Booge, on
October 26, 1902. The first funeral was Ana Lang, wife of Agnes Lang [?],
October 21, 1903, and the sacrament of confirmaton was administered for the
first time by Bishop Phillip J. Garrigan, first bishop of the Sioux City
Diocese, September 20, 1903.

Fr. Daly served the parish as pastor until 1902. Subsequently, St. Thomas
has been blessed with the leadership of the following pastors: Fr. John
McAuliffe, 1902-1908; Fr. Bernard O'Reilly, 1908-1919; Fr. Clement P.
Sweeney, 1919-1922; Fr. Patrick T. Lynch, 1922-1932; Fr. Agust J. Nuel,
1932-1936; James B. Greteman, 1936-1945; Fr. David T. McGoey, 1969-1971; Fr.
Alfred E. McCoy, 1971-1972; Fr. John R. Turza, 1972-1979; Fr. Elmer D. Thom
1979-1985; Fr. Jerome B. Koenig, 1985-1987; Fr. Roger J. Linnan, 1987-1989;
Fr. Robert J. McClintock, 1989-1996. The present pastor is Fr. Jerome A
Degen.

St. Thomas Parish has a proud history of 117 years of Christian service to
the Catholic families, their friends and neighbors, in the Manson area, its
facilities have been maintained and improved through these years with care
and diligence. The present Church and Parish Center, with social hall and
classrooms, was constructed in 1966 at a cost of $216,500. In 1974 the
persent pastor's residence and parish office building was constructed
costing $58,580.

The parish has also been generous in supporting community, diocesan,
national and worldwide social, apostolic and missionary efforts. In 1979 it
offered the use of the to the Mennonite congregation whose churhc was
destroyed by the tornado. It has been active in ecumenical community
projects sponsored by Church Women United, the Manson Ministerial Associated
and other community organizations. Members have been active in Catholic
Daughters of America, Knights of Columbus, Cursillo and other Catholic
fraternal and apostolic organizations. A number of vocations to sacred
orders and religious life have been nutured in the parish.

Rev. Robert M. Kelley, S.J. born in Manson in 1877, entered the Jesuit order
in 1889. He later served as President of St. Regis College, Denver, Loyola
University, Chicago; and St. Louis University, St. Louis.

Florence Adams entered the Sister of St. Francis in 1932 and was given the
name Sister Mary Matilda. She later served as Dean and President of Briar
Cliff College, Sioux Cityand in 1962 was elected Superior Gerneral of the
Franciscan Community in Dubuque. Other women religious from the parish are
Sister Dorothy Sievers, O.S.F., Sister Madonna Lang, O.S.F., and Sister
Reginal Markert, O.S.F.

Rev. Mr. Thomas Lang was ordained a Deacon of the Diocese of Sioux Ciyt in
1982.

Approaching the year 2000, St. Thomas Parish can look forward to closer
cooperation with its neighboring parishes. As part of the Ministry 2000, Our
Baptismal Call project of the Diocese of Sioux City, it has been clustered
with St. Joseph Parish, Palmer, and St. Mary parish, Pomeroy. In the future
years it will be asked to share a pastor and cooperate more closely with the
programs of these parishes.

St. Thomas and St. Mary Parish look to the future, confident that it can
meet these new challenges and continue to be a community of Christians
called by the Father, gifted by the Son, moved by the Spirit, under the
guidance of its pastor, providing through education, services, witness and
worship and opportunity for spiritual growth for its faithful and promoting
the glory of God to all humanity...

The Globe
Thurs, April 4, 2002
Submitted by Pat Martin with the kind permission of editor, Daniel F DeLong

Estherville Parish Named for Local Tie


     It is believed that the first priest who served the Catholic people of
Estherville was Father Aylward. In 1857, he was in charge of the territory
of Northwest Iowa, and was assisted by Father John Smith. In 1881, Father
Norton began to work in the Estherville area, with Father Luke Carroll
taking over duties in 1887.
     In 1890, Father Carroll built the first Catholic church in Estherville
at the time, five families gave Father Carroll assistance in the erection of
the church building. The heads of these five families each had been mamed
after St. Patrick: Patrick Howe, Patrick Sullivan, Patrick Riley, Patrick
Bagan, and Patrick Murray. Because of this coincidence, and also because of
the great personal devotion of Father Carroll to the Irish saint, it was
decided to name the Catholic parish of Estherville, St. Patrick's.
     Father John Kelly, a young priest from Dublin, Ireland, came to
Estherville as the first resident pastor in 1891. Under Father Kelly's
direction, the first rectory was built. In 1898, Father Michael Daly took
over St. Patrick's operations.
     In 1901 Father Michael Daly was succeeded by his brother, Father John
Daly, who remained until 1907. It was during his tenure that the
construction of the red brick church on 9th street was begun. The church was
completed and dedicated on Oct. 13, 1907, and a new pastor, Father Joseph
Murtagh, headed St. Patrick's.
     Father Murtagh served until 1920, and Father Herman Schleier was
assigned to St. Patrick's. Only a few months later, Father Clarence Conway
became the pastor (1920-1927).
     Father William Viet was next (1927-1930), followed by Father L.J.
Savage (1930-1938).
     During Father Savage's tenure, the first religious vocation school in
the parish was formed and the red brick rectory on South 9th Street was
built.
     Father John J Keane (1938-1949) was a leader in both spiritual and
community affairs. Through his efforts, the Sisters of the Sorrowful Mother
of Milwaukee, Wis., came to Estherville and took over operation of the Holy
Family Hospital. They arrived in March of 1944. The Sisters of the Sorrowful
Mother continued to own and operate the Holy Family Hospital until June of
1996 when it was sold to the Presentation Sisters of the Blessed Virgin Mary
of Aberdeen, SD.
     Father J.H. Duhigg (1949-1975) also worked at St. Patrick's.
     In 1951, St. Patrick's School was opened with 120 students enrolled. A
convent was also constructed for the Sisters in 1962.
     In 1962, a new St. Patrick's Church and Rectory were built after a
successful fund drive. Due to staff shortages, the school was closed down in
1971. Religious education classes took the place of the school.
     In 1975, when Msgr. Duhigg retired, the school and social center were
renamed the "Duhigg Center" and Father Albert Grendler (1975-1986) took over
duties. Father Thomas Topf (1986-1993) became pastor next.
     In 1991, Estherville celebrated 100 years of Catholic presence in the
town. There was a reception and Bishop Lawrence D. Soens, presided at the
centennial Liturgy.
     Also, during Father Topf's stay in Estherville, the Duhigg Center
expanded the kitchen greatly. Father Thomas Nash (1993-1999) began to work
in the parish after Father Topf.
     Some of the interesting things that happened at St. Patrick's in the
1990s include: a trip to World Youth Day 1993 in Denver and a trip to
Guatemala in 1995.
     Father Nash became Msgr. Nash in 1998 and was succeeded as pastor by
Father Jerome Cosgrove (1999-present).


The Globe
Thurs, May 2, 2002
Submitted by Pat Martin with the kind permission of editor, Daniel F DeLong

Irish Helped to Form second Le Mars parish


     LE MARS-Before 1883, many Irish-Catholic families migrated to Le Mars
from Illinois and Wisconsin. The only Catholic Church in Le Mars at that
time was St. Joseph's. This was a German-speaking parish. St. James was
organized in September of 1883 with 200 families.
     A frame building was erected at 5th Avenue and 1st Street SW, a block
east of the present church. Father James Barron was appointed the first
pastor. This structure was destroyed by a tornado on June 14, 1885, after
existing for only two years.
     The church was then moved to the present location, constructed of brick
and stone with a modified Gothic front, at a cost of $17,500. The basement
served as the church for two years, 1886-1888. The upper structure was built
in 1892.
     The basement was converted to a school in 1892. The Sisters of Charity
taught for six years and then the Franciscans for four years. The school
closed in 1903 after 11 years.
     In 1900, one of the largest church bells in Le Mars, weighing 4,000
pounds, was mounted in the church bell tower.
     Father Barron's mother built a rectory across the street from the
church and he built a convent for the sisters adjacent to the church.
     Father O'Farrell (1902-1923), Father Cooper (1923-1945), Father Linus
LaVelle (1945-1969), Father Turza (1969-1972), Father George McFadden
(1972-1987), Msgr Michael Sernett (1987-1994) and Father Ries (1994-present)
all served St. James over the years.
     The convent was converted to a rectory during Father O'Farrell's
pastorate. An addition was made to the rear of the church in 1922,
increasing the capacity to 345 people. The present brick rectory was built
in 1924.
     In addition, in 1940, the church was redecorated and the stained glass
windows were replaced. An addition to the church was built in 1951. It
consisted of a new sanctuary, sacristy, winter chapel, kitchen, meeting room
and furnace room. The project cost $50,000. The enlarged and remodeled
church was dedicated on May 2, 1954.
     St. James and St. Joseph united to plan a central school program in
1951. A drive was conducted and $375,000 was pledged and paid. The school,
Gehlen Catholic, was completed in 1954.
     In 1961, Neptune St. Joseph's Assumption Merrill, St. Joseph's Struble
and St. Joseph's Ellendale joined the Gehlen corporation.
     More renovations were completed in 1969 with the recarpeting and
remodeling of the sanctuary. The communion rail was removed and the altar
was updated to comply with Vatican II changes.
     In April of 1988, $150,000 was raised as a three-stage improvement
project was set up. Stage one included a new front entrance with a ramp to
the church hall, plus new restrooms and lobby area. The entire brick
exterior was renovated plus the bell tower. The general contractor was
Kenneth Plueger. On Thanksgiving Day, 1988, the parish used the new entry
for the first time and offered prayers of thanksgiving for this improvement.
     The cornerstone, which had been in place for 102 years, yielded a tin
box which was opened at a ceremony for several hundred parishioners. Msgr.
Sernett found much of the contents disintegrated by moisture, but some of
the small pieces of newspaper gave interesting information as to grain
prices and interest rates from that time. New commemorative items were
sealed in a new box to be opened in the year 2088.
     Stage two of the improvement project included restoration of the
stained glass windows, redecorating the walls, stations, altar and woodwork
in the body of the church.
     Stage three included installation of new pews and carpet in the
sanctuary and body of the church. In the church hall, the flooring was
removed and cement floor was poured. The hall was re-papered and new carpet
laid. Vertical blinds were hung in the hall windows. The entire project was
completed in late 1991.
     St. James was willed about 14 acres of property west of the church by
the R.J. Joynt family in December of 1989. The finance board sold this
property in two parts to the city of Le Mars and to Jerome Dreckman.
     The parish has grown from 200 members to having about 729 families
registered.
     St. James is clustered with Merrill, Assumption and Ellendale, St.
Joseph's.


[Note: the R.J. Joynt, (Robert) mentioned in this article was my
grandfather's brother. He was a dentist of Le Mars, Plymouth Co, IA.]

Submitted by Pat Martin with the kind permission of editor, Daniel F DeLong

The Globe
June 6, 2002


Several parishes of Central Deanery have closed through years

     Several parishes and missions of the Central Deanery have closed over
the years.
     In 1875, Hazard was a mission of Le Mars Saint Joseph. This was the
year Saint Joseph first had a resident pastor, so outreach began
immediately. The man who laid out the town, Mr. Blair, named it Hazard. The
people there did not like Blair, or the implications of the name he gave the
town, so they requested and received a new name for the town-Meriden.
     Father Thomas Parle was pastor in Cherokee (1935-1939), when he began
having services once or twice a month at various stations.
     These included Aurelia, Cleghorn, Larabee, Meriden, and Washta. This
ministry was continued through the 40s and possibly into the 50s, and in
some of them, even into the 60s, according to Msgr. Louis Lynch, who was
chaplain in Cherokee in the 60s.
     Historians or genealogists searching for information about or
on-the-scene experience of Marius or Baum will be out of luck, unless they
know that these were both earlier names for Maryhill. According to Sadlier's
Catholic Directory, Almanac, and Ordo, for 1881-1866, priests from various
locations served Marius.
     In the same source, but from 1898-1901, the Cherokee, Immaculate
Conception pastor served Baum.
     Maryhill's history indicates it was served from 1887-1897 by Father
James Saunders, the pastor of Cherokee. The 1898-1901 Directory indicated
"Visitation" Church, Baum. The 1902 Directory lists Maryhill for the first
time.
     In 1883 Father Peter Peschong, pastor of Odebolt, built a church in
Fletcher. The town disappeared when it was renamed Lake View.
     Later, the same priest saw to the moving of the church from
Fletcher/Lake View to Wall Lake, because it was more centrally located for
most of the parishioners. In its Thursday, June 19, 1902 issue, The Fort
Dodge Evening Messenger listed all statistics for the new diocese.
     It stated Rev. D.J. Kelly as pastor of Wall Lake Saint Joseph's as well
as being responsible for the stations of Auburn, Carnarvon, and Lake View.
     While Fr. James Shanahan was pastor of Wall Lake, he renamed the parish
St. Joseph of Wall Lake, Laek View and Carnavon. Though both Lake View and
Carnavon still exist as towns, they are not mission parishes or stations.

     Grant City. In 1888, Father James Kelly built the first Catholic church
in the Auburn area in the "neighborhood of Grant City," about two miles
north of Auburn. It was a frame building about the size of a rural school
(for those who know how big that was), on the Fred Ellerbrook farm. It was
torn down in 1892, and a larger church was built in Auburn. Records should
be found in Wall Lake.

     Hanson. Although Palmer was once called Hanson, if a genealogist says
some ancestors settled near Hanson, and is looking for Sacramental records,
these early records would probably be in Manson, or perhaps even in Barnum,
Clare or Fonda.

     Palmer. Before 1910, when the church was built, Catholics from Palmer
area attended Mass in Pomeroy, itself a mission of Manson. Pomeroy received
a resident pastor, so Palmer Saint Joseph became its mission. Father Martin
Mackey offered the first Mass in the Palmer Saint Joseph church. Though
Father Mackey was born in Pennsylvania, he was a native of Fort Dodge Corpus
Christi.
     When it celebrated its diamond jubilee in 1985, there were 43
households and 124 parishioners in the parish. One of Palmer's "native
sons," Cletus L. Keleher, later Monsignor Keleher, was ordained by Bishop
Edmond Heelan, on April 4, 1948.
     After Palmer Saint Joseph was clsoed, Palmer parishioners were free to
choose the parish most convenient for them, in Pomeroy, Manson, Fonda, or
Pocahontas.

     Hollingsworth's Ford, strictly speaking, is not a closed parish, but a
bit of information might be helpful for genealogists: It is an earlier
(before 1886) name for Sioux Rapids, a relatively "new" parish, so if
someone is looking for Sacramental or burial records for someone who lived
in or near Hollingsworth's Ford, they would probably be in Storm Lake.

     Newell Saint Mary's was taken care of from Storm Lake. Sometimes it
wasn't listed in the Directory, but was, nonetheless cared for by the pastor
of Storm Lake.
     At first it was a station, but a small church was built there in 1882,
so it became a mission.
     It was first listed as Saint Mary's in the 1922 Directory, although it
may alwasy have been called that, the same as the "mother parish."
     The last directory in which it can be found was 1924, so it was
probably closed sometime in 1923 or early 1924. The church was torn down and
the property was restored to the town.

Submitted by Pat Martin with the kind permission of editor, Daniel F DeLong

The Globe
Thursday, May 2, 2002


Parishes of Northwest Deanery Have Closed Through the Years


     Several parishes and missions in the Northwest Deanery have closed
through the years.
     Calliope- The annexation of Calliope in 1893 didn't particularly affect
the Catholic families there, because they already belonged to Hawarden St.
Mary's.

     Doon St. Mary's-This parish closed on Oct. 1, 1965. J.P. Mueller, J.P.
Fisch, Nick Enders built the first Doon St. Mary Church. The altar in the
Doon St. Mary Church was noteworthy because it had also been the first altar
in the Le Mars Saint Joseph Church. Henry Drier was the main source of
information about the beginning of Doon Saint Mary's, having moved to Doon
shortly after the church was built in 1891.

     Hinton St. Anthony of Padua- This was a mission of St. Michael parish
in Leeds. The baptismal records for Hinton St. Anthony of Padua go from
Sept. 28, 1913 to July 28, 1919.

     Hull, St. Joseph- Father McGoey wrote to Bishop Mueller in September
1951, asking to close Hull St. Joseph mission as of Oct. 1, 1951, so they
could have two Sunday Masses in Rock Valley. People in the other direction
lived farther away than Hull and the Hull families were willing. Bishop
Mueller didn't want them to dispose of the church property immediately
because he thought they could keep a Catholic presence in that area.
Finally, however by April 10, 1964, Hull St. Joseph Church had been torn
down and the basement filled in. Patersonville was an earlier name for Hull.
Records indicate that the people were served from 1880-1886 by a priest from
Sheldon.

     Ireton- It seems Ireton was always a station; Mass was celebrated in a
home or a building with another purpose e.g. school, store, library.
Sacramental records for Ireton people for some years after 1885, should be
found in Rock Valley, for after it had a resident pastor, people of Ireton
were tended by him.

     Maurice St. Mary- Parish history spanned 111 years, from 1884, when the
town was platted and a lot was purchased for the church, until Aug. 15,
1994. Before 1884, Father John A. O'Reilly came form Sheldon to Maurice and
offered Mass in the schoolhouse. A fire destroyed all the 1884-1897
Sacramental records of Maurice St. Mary's.

     Paulina- This community was always a station; however, if the plans of
the Archbishop of Dubuque had worked out, Father Thomas Campbell would have
become pastor of Sioux Rapids with the missions of Peterson, Sutherland, and
Paulina, in November 1898. The 1898 edition of the Official Catholic
Directory shows Paulina was served from Sibley and from 1911-1915, from
Sutherland. Other sources would seem to indicate that Rolfe's pastor served
in the interim.

     Rosbach- This station, was served by Sioux City St. Boniface; and later
from Le Mars St. Joseph. Rosbach later became known as Holly.

     St. Donatus- From 1881-1896 St. Donatus Church was in East Orange
Township, three miles southeast of Alton. In 1896, the church was dismantled
and used to enlarge Alton St. Mary Church.

Westfield St. Catherine- This parish closed between June 15, 1989 and March
15, 1990. The first annual report of Westfield St. Catherine (Feb. 1,
1906-Jan. 1, 1907) listed the cost of the new church as $2600. In the same
report, the total receipts/ expenditures of the Rosary Confraternity of
Westfield Saint Catherine $33.65. Besides finances, the initial report
listed regulations governing families in South Dakota nearer to Akron and
Westfield than to a church in South Dakota.

History of Dubuque County, Iowa; Weston A. Goodspeed, ed. by F. T. Oldt and
P. J. Quigley; Chicago: Goodspeed Hist. Assoc. 1911

The Catholics

     The First Catholic services in Dubuque were held by Father
Quickenbourn, of the Jesuit College, St. Louis, at the home of Mrs. Brophy
the summer of 1833. Services were afterward held the same year at the house
of Patrick Quigley. Early in 1834 Rev. J. Fitzmaurice, a Catholic clergyman,
was stationed at Dubuque.
     "In the fall of 1833, in the south room of Patrick Quigley's two-story
log house, at First and Bluff streets, religious services were held by Rev.
Fr. Fitzmaurice, and during the following winter and for over two years mass
was said by Rev. Fr. Mazzuchelli in the same room."---Statement of J.P.
Quigley
     "The Catholics of Dubuque have subscribed $1,100 for the purpose of
getting a Catholic church built...We have already bought the lumber and let
out the contract, and expect to have it finished before All Saint's day, as
they are far more zealous there than at Galena."--Rev. Fr.Fitzmaurice, in a
letter dated July 28, 1834, to Bishop Rosati, of St. Louis.
     Father McMahan was sent in 1834 by the Bishop of St. Louis to visit the
few Catholics at Dubuque, but died the same year in Galena.
     Although Patrick Quigley had a large family, he nevertheless furnished
Father Mazzuchelli with room; the latter was really architect and builder of
the first Catholic church and also collected and applied the funds. Services
were held at Patrick Quigley's until September, 1836, when the roof of the
church having been put on, meetings, thereafter were held in that building.
The corner stone was laid August 15, 1835.
St. Raphael's Catholic church in Dubuque was at first a member of the
Catholic Episcopal See of Wisconsin Territory. In 1834 the subscription for
the church was commenced. By November, 1835, the subscriptions amounted to
$3,669.87 1/2 and by December 19, 1837, amounted to $4,961,62 1/2 and every
cent had been expended. Included in these receipts and expenditures were the
following sums which had been borrowed: $200 of James McCabe; $200, James
Cunningham; $91, William Burke; $65.75, Patrick Finn; $50, Baker & Cox;
$26.50, Alexander Levi; $19.75, Patrick Quigley and Mr. Butterworth. The
corner stone was laid by Father Mazzuchelli August 15, 1835.
     Rev. Samuel Mazzuchelli, in May, 1836, requested that subscribers to
the new Catholic church fund would come forward and pay up or the work would
have to stop. The total subscriptions were reported at $2,942.87; paid in
thus far, $1,847.87; balance due, $1,095.
     William Gary built the foundation for $809. A school was opened in teh
church in June, 1836.
     While Rev. Samuel Mazzuchelli was the first priest to attend the
congregation here regularly, he did not belong to this diocese; his field of
labor was across the river in Illinois and Wisconsin, but he came to this
mission to minister to the spiritual wants of the resident Catholics. On
July 28, 1837, when this metropolitan see was created, when the diocese of
Dubuque was formed, and when Rev. Mathias Loras was named first bishop of
Dubuque, there were but three churches and one priest in the diocese.
     Very Rev. Samuel Mazzuchelli died February 23, 1864, aged fifty-six
years. In early manhood he came west and established a mission at Priairie
du Chien, to which Dubuque mission was attached in 1832. After the arrival
here of Bishop Loras in 1839, Father Mazzuchelli took up his permanent
residence in Galena.
     Pierre Jean Mathias Loras arrived in New York in October 1838, having
come from France. With him came four sub-deacons, Cuasse, Petiot, Ravoux and
Galtier,and all spent the winter of 1838-9 near St. Louis, learning the
English language and otherwise fitting themselves for their religious
duties. The four sub-deacons came to Dubuque in the summer of 1839, were
ordained deacons in November of that year and on January 5, 1840, were
raised to the priesthood. In the spring of 1839 Dubuque had a population of
about 2,500, of whom quite one-half was Catholic; Father Mazuchelli had not
been idle. In 1838 there came from France with the Father Loras, Revs.
Joseph Cretin and A. Pelamourgues; the latter afterward went to Davenport
and the former to St. Paul. In the spring of 1839 Father Mazzuchelli was
anxious to have Bishop Loras arrive and take charge of the diocese.
     Hoping to bring back the new bishop for the celebration of Easter,
Father Mazzuchelli started on March 19, 1839, on a steamer from Galena,
arrived on the 23d at St. Louis, and in comapny with the good Bishop Rosati
started on horseback to a neighboring French village, where Bishop Loras,
assisted by Father Cretin, was giving a French mission.-(Rev. Louis De
Cailly, in Memoirs of Bishop Loras.) Bishop Loras could not leave at once
and it was not until April 21 that he reached Dubuque.
     The first ten years of the labors of Bishop Loras here were spent in
organizing the Catholics of the diocese. The settlement was very rapid and
he had more than he could do-missions and churches were founded in all parts
of the diocese. In 1839 when he came here there were not to exceed 2,000
Catholics in the diocese; nineteen years later it was estimated there were
forty-eight priests, sixty churches and forty stations and an estimated
Catholic population of 54,000; all this was mainly due to the labors of
Bishop Loras, who passed away in 1858. In 1850 the St. Paul diocese was
separated from this and Father Cretin was named bishop; he died in 1857. In
1885 the Davenport diocese was separated from the Dubuque diocese. In 1856
Bishop Loras asked Rome to give him a coadjutor and in 1857 he received a
rescript from Cardinal Barnobo which stated that the Holy Father had granted
the request and had named as his coadjutor Rev. Clement Smyth, supervisor of
the Trappist Monks in this county, with the title of bishop. During his
ministration of the diocese Bishop Loras had seen the establishment of the
Sisters of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Trappist Monks, Brothers of the
Christian Institution, Sisters of Visitation, and had seen Catholic
education expand to a wonderful degree.
St. Martin's congregation at Cascade was organized back in the thirties
and at first was small and was visited only occasionally. Rev. Father
Predine was one of the first, if not the first, pastor; his successor was
Rev. Fr. Tracy, then stationed at Garryowen. Finally Cascade mission was
severed from Garryowen and attached to Temple Hill, a strong Catholic
settlement. Rev. Fr. McGinnis was pastor at this time. The church was a
small brick building. Among the pastors have been Rev. Frs. Hamilton,
Slattery, O'Connor, Cunningham, Lynch (under whom a fine new building was
erected; also St. Martin's convent and the accompanying schools), Hennessy,
Barron, Roche and others. In 1882 the parsonage of St. Martin's was built.
The new church cost about $45,000 and is beautiful and imposing; the organi
is valued at about $4,000. The interior is tastefully, artistically and
richly frescoed; it was built in 1890; the fine school adjoining cost about
$15,000. Near stands the beautiful convent where the Sisters of Charity,
B.V.M. reside and labor; they have successfully conducted the parish schools
for over forty years.
     St. Joseph's church at Rickardsville was established by the French
settlers before 1837, about two miles south of the present church. Father
Cretin, later bishop, was the first pastor and probably organized the
congregation. In 1860 a large frame church was erected at Rickardsville,
which was nearer the center of the parish. In 1905 a fine brick building was
erected. Among the pastors have been Rev. Frs. Malony, Byrne, Quirk, Daly,
Brody, McCarthy, Mahoney, Clark and others. Adjacent is the school, priest's
residence and cemetery.
  In 1833 and 1834 Mother Clarke, Margaret Mann, Rose O'Toole, Elizabeth
Kelly and Catherine Byrne, came to the United States from Ireland for the
purpose eventually of establishing a convent and school. They first located
in Philadelphia and on the 8th of September began their convent life.
     They became acquainted with Rev. Terence James Donaghoe, who materially
and spiritually assisted them in their efforts; they enabled him to educate
his flock. In November, 1833, Father Donaghoe, having secured the right,
bestowed on the above little community the title, "Sisters of Charity of the
Blessed Virgin Mary." From 1834 to 1843 fourteen young women entered the
community. In the latter year, mainly through the influence of Bishop Loras
and J.J.E. Norman of Dubuque, and Fatehr Donaghoe of Philadelphia, five of
the sisters came to this county, where their services were much needed. They
came here in 1843, accompanied by Bishop Loras, who had gone to Philadelphia
on duties connected with his diocese. The five sisters to come here were
Mary Margaret, Mary Joseph, Frances, Elizabeth and Patrice. They immediately
began their important duties. They opened St. Mary's Academy for day pupils,
soon expanded it, provided a boarding house, and ere long received pupils
from the best families of the West. Thus the most sanguine hopes of Bishop
Loras were realized. But before this date so rapid was the growth he was
forced to call for assistance, and in October, 1843, thirteen other sisters
and Father Donaghoe arrived, to the intense joy of Bishop Loras, the five
sisters already here, J.J.E. Norman and wife and the Catholics of this
county and diocese. The site chosen for this community was a beautiful
prairie tract about ten miles southwest of Dubuque, to which the name "St.
Joseph's Prairie" was applied. In 1844 two other sisters from Philadelphia
joined the community here. On August 15, 1845, the sisters, then numbering
nineteen in all, renewed the triple vow of poverty, chastity and obedience
at the Cathedral in Dubuque. Bishop Loras celebrated mass and Rev. Father
Donaghoe settled affairs in Philadelphia and came here for permanent
residence. He wrote to Bishop Loras," The community brought me to Iowa; it
is the cause of my return (to Iowa); and to its prosperity, or otherwise,
will my continuance be prolonged, which I trust in God may be all the days
of my life." He became vicar general under Bishop Loras, but devoted much of
his time to the community.
     A large frame building was erected on St. Joseph's Prairie, and there
the novitiate and boarding school of the sisters were transferred. Additions
were made, many young ladies attended the school and the community
prospered. On May 22, 1849, the convent, academy and all the adjacent
buildings were totally destroyed by fire, with nearly all their contents.
All the wearing apparel of the twenty-three sisters was burned- the books
and clothing of the pupils were saved. This was a serious blow, but
undaunted they began to build anew and there remained nine years longer,when
they removed to Dubuque, locating on the present site of St. Joseph's
college and later to Thirteenth and Main streets. After about twenty years
the school was transferred to Mt. St. Joseph College, and institution
devoted to the higher education of women. The Thirteenth street academy is
used for day pupils. The boys of St. Patrick's are also taught by the
sisters of the academy. The first parochial school in Chicago was taught by
these sisters; it was opened in 1867 by Sister Mary Agatha. The sisters have
steadily spread their influence until they now have schools at Davenport,
Council Bluffs, Lyons, Boulder, Colo., Petaluma, Cal., Holdlen, Mo., Des
Moines, Milwaukee, and other places. Father Donaghoe died January 5, 1869.
When Mother Clarke died, Mother Mary Gertrude succeeded her, and during the
term of the latter the Mother house was transferred from St. Joseph's
Prairie to Mount Carmel, Dubuque, in 1892. In 1894, Mother Gertrude was
succeeded by Mother Mary Cecelia, but later Mother Gertrude again had
charge; she was the last to die of the faithful band which came from
Philadelphia in the forties.
The Cistercian order is a branch of the Benedictine order and was
founded in the eleventh century by Robert of Moleme. When almost ready to
die it was revived and rejuvenated by St. Bernard. In 1140 Abbe de Rauce, in
the department of Orne, founded the Trappist Monks in teh celebrated abby of
La Trappe.
     In 1849 Bishop Loras visited Mount Melleray, Ireland, and expressed a
strong desire to Dom Bruno Fitzpatrick for the establishment of a colony of
Trappist Monks in his diocese at Dubuque and offered a tract of land
therefor, located twelve miles southwest of Dubuque. Abbot Bruno immediately
sent messengers to inspect the land. They reported favorably and accordingly
twenty-two monks of La Trappe corssed the ocean and came to this county.
This led to the foundation of New Melleray Abbey and Father James O'Gorman
became the first superior. It was first a monastery, but in 1859 was
constituted an abbey and Father Ephraim McDonald became first abbot; the
second was Dom Alberic Dunlea.
     On November 14, 1847, the corner stone of the new Cathedral of Dubuque
was laid. Rev. Samuel Mazzuchelli was orator; Gen. George W. Jones, grand
marshal; Valentine Glenat, master of ceremonies, and his assistants were H.
Gildea, J. Fitzpatrick, William Newman, J.B. Dessere, D. O'Shea. The order
of procession was as follows: (1) Cross bearers and acolytes; (2) school
boys and teachers; (3) young ladies in white; (4) other ladies; (5)
gentlemen; (6) clergy. Bishop Loras agreed to give $5,000 toward the new
cathedral, providing the congregation would raise the balance. All tried,
but the work languished. In 1852, Bishop Loras agreed to pay one-fourth of
the cost as the work progressed. The Catholic ladies' fair netted $375 for
the cathedral in July, 1852.
... In a public meeting in Dubuque in February, 1848, the Catholics of this
locality deplored the speech recently made against their religion by Delazon
Smith at Iowa City. General Jones expressed the opinion that the Catholics
should take no notice of the speech and stated that if he had one hundred
votes he would cast them all against the action contemplated by the meeting.
J.J.E. Norman was chairman of the meeting and B.J. O'Halloran secretary. The
following were appointed a committee to investigate the whole matter and
report at a future meeting: Patrick Quigley, B.J. O'Halloran, Valentine
Glenat, J.J.E. Norman and Hugh Treanor. After a full investigation the
committee reported a series of resolutions which disapproved of the
introduction of religion into politics, denied the accusation of Mr. Smith,
and absolved the Democratic state central committee from blame for the
speech of Mr. Smith. The report of this committee was adopted by the second
meeting.
     In 1850 Bishop Loras lectured on temperance; he was an eloquent
speaker- one of the local favorites. The best lawyers here were willing to
take lessons from his polished dictation and trenchant periods. At this time
Father Matthews, an eloquent temperance priest, was securing hundreds of
signers to the pledge in St. Louis. The Express here said, "Would do Heaven
that some one could have the same influence over inebriates and grog shops
in this community." Bishop Loras was making the attempt and secured scores
of signatures to the pledge. In September, 1851, St. Joseph's Female
Academy, ten miles southwest of Dubuque, was in a prosperous condition
again. In October, 1851, five young ladies there took the white veil from
Bishop Loras; the ceremony was very beautiful; Fatehr Clement, O.T.,
preached the sermon. School was taught by the Trappist Monks in one end of
the old frame church at New Melleray as early as 1851; Fathers Bernard
McCaffery, Francis Walsh and Clement Smyth were the teachers.
     The church and school at Key West were built by Fr. Reiley, the convent
by Fr. Ward, and the priest's residence by Fr. Mortell. Frs. Ward, Norton,
Burns, McMahon, Mortell, Slattery and McNamara attended the congregation.
Opposite the church is Mt. Olivet cemetery.
     St. Joseph's Catholic church, Farley, was established about 1856 in an
old frame building in the northern part of town. Rev. Fr. Elward was the
first pastor and was succeeded by Frs. Bennett, McGauran, Brody and others.
About 1869 they erected a large church at a cost of $10,000. In March, 1856,
Bishop Loras and Father McCabe said mass in the home of James Lyons at
Asbury. A few dozen persons were present and subscription for a church were
started and soon completed. It was immediately erected and was at first
attended by Father Boden from 1857 to 1861. It was known as St. Philomena's
congregation. Father Walsh, fo St. Patrick's, Dubuque, had charge from
1861-1868; Rev. Thomas Reilly, of St. Raphael's succeeded him until 1873. In
the meantime an addition was built to the church and about the same time a
Catholic school was established adjacent. Other pastors have been Frs. Ward,
Stach, Coyle, Hennessy, Reilly, Rowe, Kenny, Minogue, O'Malley. Under Fr.
Kenny the cemetery was established.
The Society of St. Vincent de Paul had been ins existence about six
months by May, 1859,and had done an immense amount of good in that time.
Hundreds of cases of want and destitution were cared for. They gave weekly
relief all winter to from twenty to sixty families. The whole city was
districted and appealed to systematically. The society itself was composed
mainly of poor men. Miss Molony was at the head of a society of ladies which
also did great good. Connected with the relief movements were Andrew
Cummings, Dr. Quigley, Charles Corkery, James Rowan, John Deery, D.A.
Mahony, Rev. P. McCabe of St. Patrick's church, and Revs. Durian and Donelan
of the cathedral.
     In 1859, Rev. Dr. Edward organized St. Clement's parish at Farley; held
services in the residence of Maurice Kirby, who donated the ground for the
church site and for the cemetery site. The Catholics here were early visited
by Rev. Frs. Mazzuchelli and Cretin, and Bishop Loras, long before the
congregation was organized. Soon after the organization a church was
erected. Among the pastors have been Rev. Frs. Elward, Bennett, McLauran,
McGowan, Walsh, Nicholls, Toohill and others. Among the first families
belonging were those of Casey, Kelley, Kirby, Duggan, Murray, Hegarty,
O'Connor, Quirk, Foley, Kennedy, Daly, Barry, Hortnett, Coleman, Guery,
Hogan, Cotter, Ferring, Heiberger, Roach, Wolf, Mallon, Mahoney, O'Hare,
Kerrin, Smith, Callahan, Thielen, Dunn, Kane, Leahy, Vanderscheid and
others.
     Late in May, 1859, the Sunday school children of the Cathedral,
Dubuque, held a picnic on the bluff back of the church, there being present
about 2,000. They were attended by the Germania band. Three little girls,
Mary E. Sullivan, Julia Williams and Yettie Plasten, were crowned queens.
All enjoyed a bountiful repast and a fine day on Kelly's bluff.


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2001 Cathy Joynt Labath