HISTORY OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH IN CLARE, WEBSTER,
Clare Souvenir Book 1935
The First Church in Clare [, Webster, Iowa]
In May of 1886, Father Norton went to St. Paul to buy
lumber for a
Church that was to be built in Clare. Mr. Patrick Condon accompanied Father
Norton on this trip. Sickness interfered with his plans, so that Father
Norton had to return home.
A few days later, Peter McCabe went to Manson to
telegraph for a priest
to come and prepare Father Norton for death. He died on June 4, 1886. Father
Darcy carried on the work begun by Father Norton. The first St. Matthew's
Church was built by J.D. Moore.
The building committee for First Church in Clare, 1886:
P.H. Cain, Pres
and Treas., Thos. Donahoe, Dave S. Coughlon, Jerry Coleman, Thos. McMahon,
Pat Condon, Dan O'Hearn, Tom A. Cunningham and Clem Conway.
The Church was completed in April of the year 1887.
Services were held
in the new Church on Palm Sunday of 1887. However, the Church was not
dedicated until Sunday June 8, 1890. Most Rev. John Hennessy dedicated the
Church on that day and administered the Sacrament of Confirmation to a class
of 300 children and adults. Members of the Class came from near and far.
Some from Mallard and Emmetsburg. Arch Bishop Hennessy preached an eloquent
sermon. He urged the people to build a school. Old settlers will speak of
this great day in the history of Clare.
Bishop Garrigan Officiates at Dedication of New Church at Clare, Iowa.
Clare, Iowa, Dec. 23, 1905- In February last, when the
people of Clare
saw their church burned to the ground, they little thought they would
participate this week in the dedication of one of the finest churches in
this part of Iowa. The ceremony was performed on Thursday, Dec. 21, by Rt.
Rev. Bishop Garrigan of Sioux City, assisted by Rt. Rev. Monsignore Lenehan,
V.G., of Fort Dodge, by our able pastor, Rev. M. Darcey, and about
twenty-five priests from neighboring parishes.
The church is built on a basement 3 feet high, the
upper 3 feet of which
is range work. The size is 102 by 50 feet, and the walls are 24 feet high,
faced with Kansas City pressed brick. The windows are of stained glass, pews
and altars golden oak, altars trimmed with gold leaf.
The decoration of the interior is marvelous and the
stations of the
cross are works of art.
The windows are beautiful specimens of work and were
donated by the
following parties: Patrick Doyle, J.F. McCarty and wife, John Hanrahan and
wife, Mrs. Richard Allen and family, the family of James and Ann Donahoe,
Catherine Calligan, James Redden and wife, Bridget Collins, Walter Ford,
M.J. Lahiff and wife, the family of Wm. McElroy, John T. Hood and wife, the
family of Cornelius and Bridget Rial, C.E. Griffin and wife, Thos.
Fitzpatrick and wife, Joseph Martin and wife, Patrick McCabe and wife, John
McMahon and wife, D.P. O'Hearn and wife, J.D. Moore and wife, M.J. Haugh and
wife, and Grosklaus & Kehm. The price was about one hundred dollars each.
The stations of the cross cost fifty dollars each and
were given by the
following: Mrs. James Tracey, Thos. Doran, Wm. Cavanaugh and family, Mrs. M.
Hyde, W. Burke and wife, John Condon and wife, Maggie McMahon, Maggie
McCarville, Mrs. Fenton, Mrs. Ellen Cain, the family of Bridget McMahan,
John Hyde and wife, Willie Condon and wife, Mary Jane Donahoe.
The Blessed Virgin altar was donated by Jeremiah
Coleman, Sr. and
family and the St. Joseph altar by the Total Abstinence Society. The statue
of the Blessed Virgin was donated by Lulu McElroy and the statue of St.
Joseph by Mrs. A Funchion of Dubuque; Mrs. M.J. Lahiff and Peter Donahoe
donated a beautiful imported and hand embroidered set of vestments; Peter
Flanagan, large crucifix; Mrs. Clara Martin, candelabra; A. McDermott, John
Daily and Mrs. Bridget Cunningham a number of candlesticks; Mrs. Campbell,
Baptismal Font. Besides these there were some minor donations.
The Rt. Rev. Bishop preached an eloquent sermon,
people of Clare on their beautiful church, after which he administered the
sacrament of confirmation to a class of 105 boys and girls.
The solemn High Mass of the day was celebrated with
Father D.J. Heelan
of Fonda, as celebrant, Father Costello of Lohrville, deacon, and Father
Butler of Gilmore City, sub-deacon. Father Edmund Heelan of Fort Dodge was
master of ceremonies. The dedicatory collection was taken and over $600 was
donated by the congregation.
The visiting priests were Rev. Fathers Hurly of Rolfe,
Gettysburg, S.D., Daley of Estherville, McInerney of Emmetsburg, McAuliffe
of Manson, McCaffrey of Ruthven, Carroll of Ayrshire, Collins of Williams,
Ressler of Mallard, Pape of Pocahontas, Ryan of Duncombe, heelan of Fonda,
Costello of Lohrville, Butler of Gilmore City, Heelan of Fort Dodge, John
Shea of Vinton, James Shea of Greene, McCarville of North English, Murray of
Clarion, and Monsignor Lenehan of Fort Dodge. A reception to the bishop by
the children of the convent school was a very pleasant feature of the