Palo Alto Co, Iowa USGenWeb Project

From the Emmetsburg Democrat, Thursday, March 19,1931:


Dedication of St. Mary's Gymnasium

Jolly Banqueters Number Over 400. Rich Decorations, Choice Viands, Stirring Music, Snappy Toasts




Program continued for Four Hours Without a Dull Moment. Humorous Introductions and Witty Comebacks.

The sumptuous banquet given in the fine large new gymnasium of St. Mary's Academy, which was dedicated last Sunday evening, was a red letter event in the history of the institution and the Assumption parish. The spacious room, which was becomingly arranged and artistically decorated, has a seating capacity of perhaps 425-the equal of most banquet halls in the state with the exception of a few in the large cities. Every seat was taken and quite a large number were served in the chapel and at side tables. The menu was unusually fine considering that it is very difficult at this season of the year to serve banquets when certain kinds of food are hard to secure. There were six long tables the full length of the room and a cross table at the north end for the toastmaster and the speakers. Above speakers' table hung two fine large pictures of Very Rev. J.J. Smith and Monsignor P.F. Farrelly, former rectors of Assumption parish and heads of St. Mary's. Another spelndid picture of Very Rev. J.J. Smit hadorned the south end of the hall.


 The Menu

Fruit Cocktail

Whipped Potatoes                   Brown Gravy
Roast Beef                           Country Club Corn
Perfection Salad
Celery and Olives                      Pickles
Ice Cream                           Angel Food 
Coffee                                        Mints


30 Young Ladies Served

The serving was done by 30 of the young ladies of St. Mary's under the direction of capable, experienced Miss Margaret Pierce of the Kermore hotel. J.H. Moore, the landlord, was also present and did everything within his power to assist the ladies and others in charge. The young ladies wore special uniforms and everything passed off like clock work. Special credit is due to them, the many ladies who worked so laboriously and so tirelessly in preparing the splendid food and the young men and others who assisted in the entire affair.

Among the visitors seated at the speakers' table, aside from those who were on the program, were Judge F. C. Davidson and the following named priests: Fathers Kelly of Graettinger, Dunn of Ayrshire, Neppel of Mallard, Kenny of the Rosebud locality, South Dakota, and McNerney of Emmetsburg.


Jolly, Clever Toastmaster

Rev. L.J. Savage, former assistant pastor of the Assumption parish, now pastor at Estherville, was toastmaster. For humor, readiness and cleverness he is perhaps unsurpassed by any other toastmaster in our state. All of the introductions were given in a manner that delighted the mammoth audience and he was ready to respond with wit and keen references to every comeback directed against him during the evening. He was the chief factor in the electrifying humor that kept the house in an uproar.

The invocation was given by Very Rev. J.G. Murtagh, rector of Assumption Church.

"St. Mary's -It's History", was the subject assigned W.I. Branagan. He gave a short description of the founding of the institution during a time when there were not to exceed six or seven other Catholic schools in the territory now comprising the Sioux City diocese. There were not so many at that time in the state. Hence St. Mary's was a pioneer institution. We give elsewhere in this issue a few facts and dates too numerous for the short space allowed us in the present article.


Father O'Brine on Athletics

The next speaker was Father Geo. O'Brine of Humboldt, also a former assistant pastor of the Assumption parish. "Athletics in Education" was his topic. It was handled in a sensible, practical, telling way. Father O'Brine has served for some time as a member of the board of the Iowa Catholic Academy Athletic Association and he has done a great deal in the way of organizing our state in company with Earl Walsh of Des Moines, formerly Notre Dame star, and J.S. Deneen of this city and a number of others. He referred with much interest to his experiences as an officer and he paid a warm tribute to J.S. Deneen, who suggested the organization and tioled unceasingly for several years to make it a success. Father O'Brine is one of the brightest, headiest priests in Iowa and is as ready and witty as he is brilliant. Emmetsburg listeners are always glad to give him a hearty round of applause when he speaks on such occasions and to learn of his successful participation, not only in church and educational work, but also in events like the one that was witnessed Sunday evening. His response was one of the gems of the evening.


J.S. Deneen's Happy Response

"St. Mary's - It's Students" by J.S. Deneen, was one of the practical, sensible, timely responses of the evening. Mr. Deneen, who has done so much for athletics in St. Mary's spoke of his experiences as a student in the school, of his trials as a boy and of his excuses to Father Smith when he went fishing or played hooky in other ways. However, he always found his venerable pastor large hearted and loyal. He was proud of the record of St. Mary's "Over There" and in many other ways in which devotion to duty guided its students in the various affairs of life. He thanked our many citizens who aided in moving the gymnasium from the old location and those who allowed trees to be cut out so that the building could pass along the street. Mr. Deneen is perfectly at thome with an audience and does not yield to embarrassments. We enjoyed his toast very much.


Father McEvoy Fills Vacancy

Owing to another engagement, Father B.A. Hunt of Moorland could not attend. His subject, "Religion in Education", was assigned Saturday to Father McEvoy of Ruthven. Father McEvoy had only a few hours for preparation but he discussed his assignment with ability, clearness and pleasing effect. He referred at some length to Gen. Robert E. Lee, who, after leading the armies of the Confederacy for four trying, perilous years, and going down to defeat,  devoted the remainder of his life as a president of Washington college, a religious university. As an army officer he realized the importance of encouraging a high standard of morality for public and army officials, industrial captains and others who have large responsibilities. Father McEvoy is a student and shows in all that he does, the fruits of his thorough investigations and painstaking labors.


Justice Morling Spoke Half and Hour on Culture in Education

Judge E.A. Morling of the Iowa Supreme Court spoke in a thoughtful and argumentative vein for perhaps half an hour. His subject was "Culture in Education". Mr. Morling is president of the obard of trustees of Morningside college and he has given unusually close attention to the subject assigned him. He has has high regard for the discoveries, the experiments and the conclusions of recognized scientists but science has little influence in elevatin the ideals or the conduct of the individual. Man has free will. The average person is not guided fatefully by the promptings of his natural inclinations and the effect of the good opinion of his fellow citizens does not reach down to his conscience. He can decide to do good or he can yield to evil. Every rational being must realize that there is a divine directing power and that revealed truths will assist him in doing what is right in life's grials. There can be not real culture without religion. Judge Morling expressed his grativication in seeing St. Mary's giving first consideration to the spiritual in the individual and in constantly strenghtening humanity against temptations and evil of every kind. The speaker was warmly commended by toastmaster and by Father Murtagh for his timely and thoughtful discourse.


Father Mahoney Gifted and Ready as Well as Witty

"Society in Education" by Rev. J.D. Mahoney, professor of English literature in Columbia college, Dubuque, was an effort that would have been recognized as one of high merit on any after dinner program in our land. Father Mahoney showed in his admirable address, that he is thoroughly familiar with the best there is in modern literature and that he has a fund of treasured informatino that is a very helpful asset when appearing before audiences. Sentence after sentence, as they fell from his lips, revealed his versatililty and his ripe scholarship. He proved that he was as ready and as pleasing as he is resourceful and self-possessed. His side splitting comebacks following Father Savage's punch-in-the-rib introduction, the speaker appearing as serious as a bishop, brought down the house. The many who heard Father Mahoney voted him a favorite on the evening's program. They will be anxious to have him speak in Emmetsburg on some future occasion.


Judge Davidson Called Upon

Judge Davidson, though not on the program, was called upon by Father Savage for a few remarks and he responded pleasingly, happily and most creditably. He is a speaker of discerning judgement and tact and he invariably talks to the point. He was anxious to see the old high school gymnasium converted into a community building of some kind and he was more than gratified that St. Mary's had secured it. Such structures should not be used for housing cattle when it is possible to make them a place for wholesmome amusement for young ladies and young gentlemen.

The Emmetsburg orchestra, directed by Frank Breennan, played several choice selections during the meal hour, which added very much to the pleasure of the many in attendance.

Jack Jackson, Gordon Brodigan, Joe Galliger, and Wm. Petit sang two or three numbers that were received with every evidence of warm appreciation. They are members of St. Mary's High school classes. They certainly did their bit for the success of the evening's program.

Miss Frances Duhigg of the Algona High School teaching force, who is always a favorite in Emmetsburg audiences, sang two or three of her choice vocal numbers. She is one of the judicious and gracious entertainers of our community.

At the close, Very Rev. J.G. Murgagh, who prepared and arranged the speaking and musical program, reviewed briefly but with scrutinizing comment the efforts of the various speakers and musicians of the evening. He showed clearly that he can talk wit ha becoming grasp of situations as they are presented to him and that details are not overlooked. His remarks were a befitting summary of individual efforts in one of the best programs that has ever been given to Emmetsburg on an occasion of this kind.


Several Who Were Absent Send Checks for Tickets

Those who sent $1 each - J.R. Pratt, Duluth, Minnesota; P.H. Donlon, Des Moines; Nettie Sammin, Whittemore; Bertha Bosold, Emmetsburg; John Hefley, Ft. Dodge; Madeline Phillips, Planada, California; Alice Jackman, Woolstock, Minnesota; Anne Rutledge, Houston, Texas; Mary Bosold, Spencer; Mrs. C.P. Neary, Cedar Rapids, and Sarah Crowley, Corning.

Morgan Ward, Omaha, $1.50.

J.P. Neary, Cedar Rapids, $2.

Those mailing checks for $5 - Henry Geelan, Whittemore; John D. Rutledge, San Francisco; Mary B. Carney, California; R. B. McNally, Cedar Rapis; Father Leo Berger, Sioux City; Neary sisters, Emmetsburg; Genevieve Bigley, Father Leo McEvoy. Total $55.50.

Postmaster Mayne also sent a $1 check. 

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