THE IRISH IN IOWA

PARISH HISTORIES

Thanks to Pat Martin for a scan of this article.
Thanks to Daniel DeLong, Editor of the Globe, for permission to post

The Globe
April 4, 2002

Northeast Deanery Trivia

Q: If one's ancestors lived in Algona area before 1880, what parish would
they have to contact for sacramental records?
A: To 1880, the priest from St. Joseph's (P.O. Bode, now) cared for Algona
as well.

Q: Before 1893, if you lived east of Armstrong, you went where for Mass, and
if you lived west of Armstrong, where did you go?
A: Before 1893, the "east-siders" went to Bancroft and the "west-siders"
went to Estherville for services.

Q: What was the Catholic Benefit Society at Sacred Heart in Ayrshire called
when it was begun in 1911?
A: The original name of the Catholic Benefit Society in Ayrshire was the
Daughters of Erin.

Q: What are the earliest Sacramental records for St. John Bancroft and where
can the ones be found from 1882?
A: The earliest sacramental records for Bancroft would be at Corpus Christi
in Fort Dodge, but from 1882, they would be in Algona and later Estherville.

Q: Where were the stained glass windows in St. Benedict church created?
A: The stained glass windows in St. Benedict's church were obtained from
Regenburg, Austria.

Q: In the early days of Father John Smith's pastorate of Emmetsburg, how far
would he sometimes travel for sick calls?
A: Father John Smith often traveled forty or fifty miles away.

Q: What was somewhat unusual about the second and third resident pastors of
St. Patrick's in Estherville?
A: Perhaps nothing unusual about the persons, but at the death of Father
Michael R. Daly, the second pastor, his brother John R. became the third
pastor.

Q: For the first couple of years where did priests offer Mass in Everly?
A: Until they built their first church, Mass was offered in the second floor
hall of the drugstore.

Q: What was the date of the first Baptism Father Eberhard Gahr, OSB
registered for St. Benedict parish?
A: The first Baptism registered by Father Gahr for Saint Benedict's was
April 25, 1876.

Q: What anniversary does St. Benedict celebrate during the centennial year
of the diocese?
A: Saint Benedict celebrates its 125th anniversary in 2002.

Q: Why might there be some confusion about the county placement for St.
Joseph (Bode)?
A: Although Bode is in Humboldt County, St. Joseph, the church and town, are
in Kossuth Co.

Q: What was an earlier name for West Bend?
A: Ives was an earlier name for West Bend.


Past and Present in Allamakee County, by Ellery M. Hancock. 2 vols. Chicago:
S. J. Clarke Pub. Co., 1913.


[p. 365]
St. Patrick's Church and School
     St. Patrick's church at Waukon was built by Rev. Denis Brennan in 1868;
Andrew Johnson being president of the United States and John Hennessy,
archbishop of Dubuque. During Rev. Father Brennan's pastorate the membership
was small, but what it lacked in quantity it possessed in quality. Father
Brennan was succeeded by Father Lowery; and next came Father McGowan, who in
turn was succeeded by Father Hawe, who is now pastor of the Catholic church
at Decorah. Father Hawe was followed by Father Byrnes, who died shortly
after; and in 1885 Rev. Father Walsh was sent here. In 1906 he was made an
irremovable rector by Most Reverend John J. Keane, archbishop of Dubuque.
     In 1910 Rev. Father O'Donnell was appointed assistant to Father Walsh
whose failing health caused him to resign in 1911, and the present rector,
Rev. M.K. Norton is an eloquent speaker, and is regarded as one of the
leading theologians of our country. He is one of the diocesan consultors and
a member of the official family of Archbishop James J. Keane of Dubuque.
     The beautiful new church which is being built this year under Father
Norton's direction is to be of the Spanish renaissance or mission style of
architecture. It will be 160 feet long and sixty feet wide, of white pressed
brick with stone trimmings, marble altars, rails, and vestibules,mosaic
floors, and Munich glass windows.
     St. Patrick's congregation is composed of about 200 families, and
numbers some 1200 souls. The members are engaged in most of the callings of
this busy life: the sturdy farmer, the strong workman, the brainy mechanic,
the real live [pg 366] merchant and the thoroughly competent professional
man. Like our own glorious America they have grown from small beginnings to
their present grand proportions. They are God-fearing, patriotic, honest,
and generous in their donations to religion and every other good cause. They
believe that all they possess came from the hand of God, and in a spirit of
gratitude they offer to the Great Giver of all good a liberal share of their
earnings. They remember the stories of hardships told by their pioneer
fathers and mothers; they rejoice that they are citizens of the best and
greatest country on God's green footstool, and that they enjoy blessings,
religious, political and social, greater than were ever accorded to members
of the human family since the dawn of human history.

St. Patrick's School
     St. Patrick's congregation at Waukon takes a special pride in its
parochial school, which is a large, imposing structure, ninety feet long and
four stories high. The building was started by Rev. Father Hawe about thirty
years ago, who invited the Presentation Nuns of Dubuque to act as
instructors. This order is a teaching body of cloistered sisters who came
from Ireland to Dubuque in 1879 and opened a convent on West Hill. The first
superioress in Waukon was Rev. Mother Presentation, who with two assistants
conducted the school for about five years.
     The school is now twice its original size and has an enrollment of 220
pupils with seven sisters in charge. The course of study covers twelve
years, and includes the curriculum of the public schools. Music,
stenography, and a normal teachers course, form special features of the
institution. The kindergarten is in charge of Sister Martina; primary
grades, Sisters Inviolata and Rita; intermediate, Sister Sacred Heart;
grammar school, Rev. Mother Clementina; and the high school and normal,
Sister M. Charles. The music school is ably managed by Sister M. Anicetus, a
niece of Rev. P.A. Walsh, a former much loved pastor. The graduates of the
school number over 150 young men and women who have gone out into the
various walks of life, making good in every case, and each in his own way
reflecting credit on himself and his alma mater.
     In addition to the foregoing contribution by Mrs. Cain, and old
history published in 1882 supplies the following facts, further
supplemented by the county records and newspaper files:
     "In 1855 Rev. Father Kinsella bought forty acres of land northwest of
town and built thereon a log church, in which his people worshiped for many
years. In 1864 they purchased the property of Lewis H. Clark in Waukon,
being a part of block 4 in Shattuck's addition, corner of School and High
streets, and converted his dwelling into a place of worship. This soon
became too small for the growing congregation, and in 1868 the present large
brick church was erected on the site of the old building, which was moved a
short distance to one side, to the rear of the parsonage. March 9, 1896, the
old building was destroyed by fire, in which the records were lost, and this
sketch is necessarily incomplete. Since Father Kinsella its priests have
been Farrell, Nagle, Lowery, Brennan, McGowan, and Hawe, who still preside
over this charge. The church membership is about 100. The church a few years
since purchased a part of block 5, opposite their place of worship and
parsonage, the site of the old public schoolhouse- [pg 367] whereon they
have this season (1882) erected a fine brick edifice, three stories above
the basement, with mansard roof, at a cost of $5,000, for the purpose of a
sisters' school."
     The school was opened in 1883, and in a later year this fine school
building was added to, doubling its size. The deed of the present church
site in 1864 was first to Mrs. Mary McDevitt, who soon after re-conveyed it
to the Rt. Rev. Clement Smyth, of Dubuque. James and Mary McDevitt came to
Waukon in 1855, and built a frame dwelling with a basement for Mr.
McDevitt's shoe shop, on the corner of Main and Pitt streets, where it was a
landmark for many years. The corner is now occupied by Dr. Cain's handsome
brick block. James McDevitt died December 11, 1870, and Mrs. McDevitt later
married John Quigley. She was again widowed, and was finally provided with a
home in St. Francis hospital in LaCrosse, where she passed her last days.
Father Brennan did not remain long after the erection of the old church, and
in 1869 went to Europe because of failing health. Father McGowan was here
during 1874.
     St. Patrick's church became incorporated under the Iowa statutes
November 28, 1911. Archbishop James J. Keane, ex-officio president; Pastor,
Rev. P.A. Walsh, ex-officio,vice president; who, with Rt. Rev. Roger Ryan,
vicar general, and lay members, Hugh O'Donnell and Thomas McGeough,
constituted a board of directors.

 

 


Return to Iowa Irish


Comments, Suggestions, Contributions, Criticism or Praise?

2001 Cathy Joynt Labath