THE IRISH IN IOWA

ST. PATRICK'S DAY

Emmetsburg Democrat
Emmetsburg, Palo Alto,Iowa
Wednesday, March 21, 1917

ST. PATRICK'S DAY IN EMMETSBURG
The Exercises Were, As Usual, Successful and They Were Very Largely Attended

St. Patrick's day, which fell on Saturday, was as usual, fittingly observed
in Emmetsburg. The day was fairly pleasant, though the preceding three days
were rather stormy and the roads were in bad condition.

At nine in the morning the members of the A.O.H. paraded in a body to the
Assumption church where they attended high mass. Father Maynard of Algona
was the celebrant and at the close he preached a scholarly and most
instructive sermon, on the spiritual achievements of St. Patrick and the
loyalty of the Irish people to the faith they had received from their great
apostle. At various times the British government resorted to most inhuman
methods to crush the religion of the Irish but they never waivered in their
devotion to its principles. Father Maynard's pleasing personality, his
modesty and his readiness as a speaker make him very popular with his
audience. The people of Emmetsburg will, we are sure, be glad to have Father
Maynard with them again on some future occasions.

At the noon hour and in the evening meals were served in the basement of St.
Thomas church by the ladies of the Assumption parish and there was also a
bazaar and a flower sale. There was a large attendance and all present
enjoyed themselves. The total receipts were $356.10.

"Old Dublin Bay" presented by the A.O.H. at The Iowa was one of the
interesting features of the day, Large crowds turned out for both the
afternoon and the evening performances. Many found difficulty in securing
seats.

Tom Coonan, as Maurice Powers, satisfied the high expectations of the
audiences. His winning personality and the spirit with which he threw
himself into his part made him at all times in sympathy with its listeners.
His songs "Peggy Gilroy", Just Because I Never Met before a Girl Like You,"
and "Rose, Rose, Rose," met with a hearty reception.

Clem J. McNally, as John Farley, was exceptionally good. He displayed a
self-possession which is quite uncommon among amateurs. His part was strong
and he convinced all of his sincerity as a financier.

R.J. Mullins met the requirements of his part as Martin Ferguson. This was
Mr. Mullins initial appearance in an affair of this kind and certainly
showed that he has considerable stage ability.

Frank Meade, as Sir John Davies, the official spy, proved that he can do
more than indulge in athletics. His part was exceedingly well portrayed. We
doubt if a professional could have done better. His characterization of
Signor Saplo, an Italian singing master, was very clever. This part was
really difficult and he used the foreign accentuation to advantage. When he
sat down at the piano, three fourths of the audience thought he was
accompanying Mr. Coonan in teh song "Just Because I Never Met a Girl Like
You." Nearly every movement of his hands corresponded with the player behind
the scenes. It was truly a clever piece of acting. We predict that a very
bright future for Mr. Meade in this line of work.

Michael Miller as Captain Wharton, partner of Sir John Davies, rendered his
part well and displayed his usual self possession.

Miss Mildred McNally was the surprise of the day. As Peggy Gilroy she was at
her best. Her effort would have been a credit to older and more experienced
players. She was ready and attractive and brought out well the Irish
maiden's characteristics. Undoubtedly her services will be sought for future
entertainments of this kind.

Miss Bernadette Bough took the part of Rose Stratton, Mr. Farley's ward. She
always makes an excellent impression on an Emmetsburg audience. She has a
pleasing, winning appearance and invariably takes her part creditably.

Ann Gilroy was rendered by Miss Bernadette O'Brien. She took the part of the
fascinating widow. Although the character was somewhat difficult for one of
her limited experience, her efforts  were crowned with success. The committe
on program showed good judgment in selecting her.

As Mrs. Martin Ferguson, Miss Helen Mulroney seemed to feel right at home.
The assignment was a most suitable one and the readiness with which she
acquitted herself contributed much to the success of the play.

The part of Irene Ferguson was taken by Miss Bertha Martini. She has special
ability for dramatic work and really needed a stronger character to do
justice to herself. She has appeared before Emmetsburg audiences before and
our people know what she is capable of doing. Her efforts on Saturday were
faultless.

Eugene O'Brien, P.J. Walsh, Wm. Lynch, Wm. Nolan and Maurice Laughlin did
admirably in their respective parts. In fact there was not a weak
participant in the cast. The special scenery was well suited for the
production and the stage effects were very pleasing. The costumes were as
fine as were ever seen by an Emmetsburg audience.

The total receipts of the afternoon and evening were $445.05.

Mr. Joseph Farrell, who had charge of the rehearsals, labored hard for a
month or more and he secured results that were very gratifying not only to
those who were participants in the paly but to the large audiences as well.
He returned to his home at Iowa City Monday forenoon.

[Actor Clem McNally and Actress Mildred McNally mentioned in the above
article were siblings of my grandmother, Elizabeth McNally Joynt.]

For a pic of the Emmetsburg "Irish Players" of 1908 and St. Patrick's day
1908 festivities see:
http://www.celticcousins.net/paloalto/emmetsburgplayers1908.htm

For a pic of 1909 St. Patrick's Day Dinner, Emmetsburg, Iowa, 1909
http://www.celticcousins.net/paloalto/stpats1909.jpg

~~~~~~~~

Emmetsburg Democrat
Emmetsburg, Palo Alto, Iowa
Wednesday, March 23, 1921

ST PATRICK'S DAY EXERCISES FINE
Stirring Address at the K.C. Hall by Mr. Tuohy of Bloomington, Ill.

The St. Patrick's day exercises held in Emmetsburg this year were, from every standpoint, very creditable. The day was bright and pleasant and was almost as warm as a May morning.
At 9:30 high mass was celebrated at the Assumption church, Father Savage officiating. Many of the members of the Ancient Order of Hibernians attended in a body and the church was fairly filled with other members of the congregation.
A splendid dinner was served by the Ladies' Aid Society of the Assumption parish in the basement of St. Thomas' church. They were liberally patronized. The net receipts were something over $285. Many strangers who were in the city enjoyed the feast and they pronounced it better than meals they had often paid from $1 to $1.50 in the cities. We need not say that the ladies feel grateful to the many who patronized them.
The evening exercises were held in the K.C. hall. There did not begin to be standing room for the large number who attended. The room was tastily decorated with American and Irish colors. P.H. Donlon presided. A number of young ladies from St. Mary's academy rendered a lengthy medley of splendid Irish songs. They acquitted themselves with great credit and were warmly applauded for their efforts. A few young ladies from St. Ellen's academy followed, giving a patriotic production with delsarte effect. It was a high class number and was well suited for the occasion. William Coonan, Jr. sang the beautiful song composed by Russel Hennessey of this city some time ago. It more than pleased the large audience. Mr. Coonan, as usual, was the favorite with his hearers.
The address by Attorney  J.M. Tuohy of Bloomington, Ill. was one of genuine merit. In his preliminary remarks, he referred at some length to the eight years of struggle of the American people for the right of self-determination. Every individual who truly prizes liberty, naturally sympathizes with those of other lands who are battling for the privilege for which we struggled from 1775 to 1885. The people of Ireland have for centuries fought for the right to govern themselves. The same power, which by force tried to crush our republic in 1776, and during subsequent decades, is now resorting to the most disreputable and oppressive of methods to hold the people of the Emerald Isle in economic slavery and to deprive them of the blessings of free government. The people of struggling Ireland do not want the United States to go to war to assist them. All they ask is recognition by our government the same as we have recognized fourteen other republics in our past history. Why should we not sympathize with any people who are earnestly striving to organize our form of government? There are two kinds of authority in Ireland today. One is based on the will of 80 per cent of the people of our country-a large majority than was ever given to an American president. The other government rests exclusively on brute force exercised by a foreign monarchy. Which government shall we, as champions of free government, recognize? If we favor rule by force, by the sword, we must cease boasting of our undying zeal for the cause of human rights. Mr. Tuohy referred to the timely aid the people of Ireland had given to the Allies during the world war and the great assistance they had rendered at other times and in other lands,  to those who were fighting for liberty and justice. He also called attention to the long and heroic struggle which Ireland has made for home rule-a compromise measure-from 1886, when William E Gladstone, championed their cause, until a local self government measure was passed in 1914 and was signed by the king. But the British government, true to its record, broke faith with John E Redmond as the official spokesman for the Irish people. Public sentiment in every land where liberty is prized is with the people of Ireland, and they are bound to win.  Mr Tuohy is a gentleman of pleasing personality, is clear headed, logical and convincing, is earnest and forceful in his delivery and made a splendid impression on his large audience. He was at all times on the best of terms with his attentive hearers and he was applauded again and again for the admirable manner in which he handled his subject. The people of Emmetsburg hope to have the pleasure of hearing him again on some future occasion.


Return to Iowa Irish


Comments, Suggestions, Contributions, Criticism or Praise?

2001 Cathy Joynt Labath