Proceedings of Twelfth Annual State Council,
Held at Fremont, May 12, 1916
|State Deputy--Judge George F. Corcoran||
|State Chaplain--Rev. L. A. Dunphy||
|State Secretary--Frank M. Colfer||
|State Treasurer--Patrick J. O'Donnell||
|State Advocate--John H. Barry||
|State Warden--W. H. Bueschsentein||
Representatives to the Supreme Council
|George F. Corcoran--State Deputy||
|Thomas P. Redmond--Past State Deputy||
|Luke Mundy--Insurance Delegate||
|James F. Boler--Alternate||
|Associate Delegate--Edward W. Simeral||
|Associate Delegate--James T. Brady||
|Associate Delegate, Alternate--F. W, Koerber||
|Associate Delegate, Alternate--J. J. Hinchey||
|No. 1--Dr. F. H. Morrow||
|No. 2--L. G. Brian||
|No. 3--E. A. Coufal||
|No, 4--Judge J. H. Mullin||
|No. 5--Dr. F. J. McRae||
|No. 6--E. H. Whelan||
|No. 7--Frank J. Doran||
|Master of Fourth Degree--Edward W. Simeral||
NOTE.--(For particular designation of District Deputies' territory, councils, etc,, see page 34 in the minutes.)
9:00 A.M.--Convention Called to Order,
10:30 A.M.--Solemn High Mass, St. Patrick's Church.
1:30 P. M,--Convention re convenes.
5:00 P.M.--Auto Tour, "Seeing Fremont."
6:30 P. M.--Banquet to Delegates, Commercial Club Rooms.
9:00 P. M.--Reception and Dance. Hosts, Members of Phil Sheridan Council.
Convention was called to order at 9:30 a. m. by State Deputy George F. Corcoran. Password taken up by State Warden W. H. Bueschenstein. Prayer was offered by the Worthy State Chaplain, Rev. L. A. Dunphy. Thereupon, the State Deputy appointed the following committees:
Credentials--James T. Brady, Albion, Chairman; Frank J. Kain, Creighton; Bart Kernan, Hastings; John H. Barry, Wahoo; M. J. Moran, Wymore.
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Audit--James F. Burke, Sutton, Chairman; J. W. Herrod, Columbus; John Morgan, York.
Mileage and Per Diem--Frank J. Cleary, Grand Island. Chairman; L. P. Wirth, Falls City; Dr. J. A. Colfer, Chadron.
The Committee on Resolutions having been previously appointed by the State Deputy (prior to the convention date) is as follows: L. G. Brian, Lincoln, Chairman; John W. Guthrie, Alliance; Edward W. Simeral, Omaha; J. E. Sullivan, Greeley; John C. Mullen, Falls City.
Report of Committee on Credentials
May 9, 1916.
To the Worthy State Deputy:
We, your committee, beg leave to report the following delegates entitled to seats at this convention:
1. Omaha--Leo Hoffmann, J. J. Hinchey.
2. O'Neill--M. H, Horiskey, J. P. Golden.
3. Lincoln--L. G. Brian, D. G. O'Connor.
4. Columbus--Fred W. Gerber, J. W. Herrod.
5. Alliance--J. W. Guthrie, Peter Becker.
6. Hastings--J. T. Biglin, B. T. Kernan.
7. McCook--James McAdams, John L. Rice.
8. Chadron--Jacob Kass, Dr. J. A. Colfer.
9. Grand Island--G. J. Bauman, F. J. Cleary.
10. North Platte--C, J. Pass, W. H. Maloney.
11. Hartington--George Beste, J. P. O'Furey.
12. Creighton--Frank J. Kain, Henry Schwartz.
13. Wymore--M. J. Moran, Rev. D. J. Cronin.
15. Greeley--J. E. Sullivan, George O'Malley.
16. Falls City--John C. Mullen, L. P. Wirth.
17. Fremont--J. G. Wadhelm, Henry J. Barrett.
18. Sutton--James F. Burke, F. K. Weston.
19. York--George J. Walsh, John Morgan.
20. David City--Rev. G. Boll, Rev. E. Mock.
21. Beatrice--Leo Werner, Joseph Karnath.
22. Kearney--R. B. Daugherty, A. H. Berbig.
23. Friend--J. M. Campbell, Thos. J. Woulf.
24, Albion--James T. Brady, Dr. F. J. McRae.
25. Madison--Dr. A. K. Gadbois, J. G. Ostidick.
26. Norfolk--F. W, Koerber, F. J. Hartlieb.
27. Humphrey--Charles J. Thielen, John J. Malone.
28. Wahoo--P. P. White, John H. Barry.
|JAMES P. BRADY, Chairman,
JOHN H. BARRY,
FRANK J. KAIN,
M. J. MORAN,
B. T. KERNAN.
The report of the Credentials Committee was, on motion, adopted.
State Deputy reminds delegates present that, according to Laws of Order, all District Deputies will be entitled to a voice and the State
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Officers designated by laws will be entitled to a voice and vote in convention proceedings.
Moved that the reading of the minutes of the previous meeting of State Council be dispensed with, the same having been duly printed. Carried.
At this juncture the Secretary had the pleasure of reading numerous telegrams from Hastings and Alliance urgently requesting the designation of the respective cities by the Knights for their 1917 Convention.
Greetings, extending the compliments of the various State and Council at Lincoln. This occurred but a few years ago and Fitzgerald Worthy State Deputy, were acknowledged by the State Council in session, the said communications having been previously answered and greetings extended from Nebraska to the various State and Territorial Councils by the Worthy State Deputy.
Mileage and Per Diem
The place of meeting for the 1917 Convention not having been determined, moved that report of Mileage and Per Diem Committee be deferred until same was requested by convention. Carried.
Annual Report and Address of State Deputy
Fremont, Nebraska, May 9, 1916.
Worthy Brothers and Sir Knights:
Referring to the very able address of the Past State Deputy made to our convention a year ago, I cannot do better than to paraphrase his words and say that the Twelfth Annual State Convention of the Knights of Columbus meets under conditions very similar to those which surrounded us last year. The terrible conditions which he so vividly portrayed as then existing in the principal European countries continue to the present with very little change in conditions there. I can do no better than refer you to the very eloquent language of Past State Deputy Redmond in his address to you at O'Neill last May.
The past year I believe to have been one of average prosperity for our Order in Nebraska. We have made no phenomenal gain in membership but I think that each and all of the councils have maintained a healthy growth, have become more careful in their selection of their new material, and that the net result is undoubtedly for the good of the Order.
According to the report of the State Deputy last year at the time of the State Convention, there were twenty-six councils of the Order in our state; shortly thereafter the new council at Norfolk was instituted and within the past month another new council was organized at Wahoo in the Third Nebraska district with a membership of sixty. This makes the number of councils in Nebraska twenty-eight.
The organization of the new council at Wahoo furnished a rather convincing proof of the rapid growth of our Order at large. Probably every delegate here present remembers the organization of Fitzgerald Territorial Councils now in session at this date, and addressed to the Council was given the number 833; last month when Wahoo Council was organized it made the number of councils in the order 1833; thus it will be seen at a glance that between the organization of Fitzgerald
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Council at Lincoln and Wahoo Council, just an even thousand new councils were received into membership in the Order.
That part of the report dealing with the figures and statistics of the order in this state I shall leave very largely to the State Secretary and other officers having records from which they can report more intelligently. It will be of general interest, however, to know that from the reports of the Supreme Secretary it appears that the total membership of the Order on April 1st, 1916, had reached the figure of 356,401 as against 335,537 a year ago, an increase of almost 21,000. There are now 1,739 councils as against 1,693 a year ago.
The business or insurance side of the order has reached very respectable proportions. We have now a total of 112,782 insurance members, carrying insurance for the protection or their families in the enormous sum of $119,383,636.07. We paid on death claims for the past year $802,902.24, and have paid out for this purpose since the organization of our order $8,736,877.50. The report also shows total assets for the protection of our policyholders of $6,689,180.26. Our Insurance Reserve Liabilities on the first of the present year, as shown by the Actuaries' calculations, were $4,673,023.00. The cost of management of this enormous business for the past year has been 70 cents per member. The average age of the membership is 35 years, and the deaths per thousand insurance members for the year just closed is seven.
While Nebraska undoubtedly maintains about the usual average of insurance and associate members as compared with other states, still it Is a fact to be regretted that more of our men who are eligible to carry insurance do not embrace the very attractive features of the insurance side of our Order. As the record stood on the first day of April, the associate members in Nebraska numbered 3,861, while the members carrying insurance was only 1,531. Any organization offering its attractive a contract as that offered by our order should receive a much greater and more liberal patronage. No organization, I believe, in the fraternal world offers as much to the member seeking protection for his family and those dependent upon him for the price asked as that offered by our own organization. And when we look over our own records and find that many of our members carry no insurance with us--while they do have some so-called protection in many of the other more or less shaky fraternal organizations--I feel constrained to say that it is a matter to be regretted. Our insurance feature is safe and sound, and the scientific research and best efforts of some of the greatest actuaries in the insurance world have been devoted for years to perfecting a plan an(] fixing rates which are and will remain absolutely stable.
I earnestly recommend in this connection that council officers during the next year press this matter upon the attention of the uninsured members of the different councils in the state and make an earnest effort to greatly increase our insurance membership before the next state convention.
Since our last state convention your State Deputy was honored by the Supreme Knight of the Order by appointment upon the important Committee on Laws which met at Chicago prior to the meeting of the Supreme Council at Seattle. This important appointment carried with it the pleasant privilege of meeting all of the Supreme Officers and of forming intimate relations with each and all of them,
KNIGHTS OF COLUMBUS OF NEBRASKA
followed by the pleasant journey together from Chicago to the convention city of Seattle. The representatives of the Knights of Columbus to that convention certainly enjoyed the opportunity afforded them to meet the great men of our organization, and to contribute in their small way to the work of carrying forward this great business corporation of ours; but I believe that each and all of the representatives felt the disadvantage of attending the Supreme Body for the first time. I realize fully, I think, the honest desire of our members in these state conventions to pass these honors around and give worthy members in the different councils an opportunity to attend the Supreme Council of the order. It is a very fortunate arrangement in one way; that is, it affords an opportunity to a great many of our worthy members in the course of a few years to attend the National Convention; but like all rules, it has its exceptions; and I think the Nebraska delegates to Seattle realize that the states having the greater influence in the Supreme Body were those states which kept their delegations in a large measure composed of the same members each year. Men acting in a delegate capacity largely accomplish the objects desired through their acquaintance with the other members of the same body; the old member who has attended many gatherings has a distinct advantage over the new representative appearing there for the first time; and while I do not ask our members in Nebraska to change the old rule of passing these honors around, still I deem the subject of sufficient importance to mention the view which I have just stated. The secret of the strength of many of the states of our union, notably those of the south, in the congress of the United States, is largely due to the fact that these particular states maintain their delegations in the congress of the United States with but very little change. The new member in congress, as in any other national body, is, as before stated, suffering a decided handicap. There are of course exceptions to this rule--as where the individual is a man of great eloquence or other remarkable feature which attract attention to him; but these instances are comparatively rare. The representative who accomplishes most for the people who send him to these bodies is the one who, after attending a number of meetings, acquires an acquaintance with the men who form that body and who thus obtain a standing with them. As before stated, I do not desire to ask this State Council to change its policy in this regard; but do ask that you earnestly consider the suggestions which I have herein made, and bear them in mind when selecting your representative to future meetings of the Supreme Council.
Probably the most important matter considered at the last State Council was the arrangement made to provide for missionary work among the scattered Catholic population of the western part of Nebraska. At the time it was made to appear that many members of our church were scattered over the western portion of the state and almost entirely deprived of any opportunity to practice their religion; that these people were in many instances in poor circumstances and could not well afford the expense of bringing a clergyman into their several localities. The State Council, realizing the importance of aiding in this good work, by a unanimous vote and amidst great enthusiasm adopted the following resolution:
"Resolved, That a levy of twenty-five cents per member per annum be levied by the State Council, based upon the membership of the
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Knights of Columbus in Nebraska for the purpose of providing for missionary work in Western Nebraska and that the same be collected from the various councils in the state in the manner provided for in the collection of other assessments, and that said assessments be paid on or before January 1, 1916, and upon the first day of January and for three years thereafter; that the said fund be disbursed by a committee consisting of the State Deputy, State Chaplain, State Treasurer and the Bishops of Western Nebraska."
This assessment was unanimously made upon the councils of the state and has been in a large measure collected. On the first day of December the State Deputy sent a notice to each council in the state, containing a copy of the resolution with an urgent request to remit twenty-five cents for each member of the several councils to the State Secretary by January 1. Considerable correspondence has since been had with respect to the collection of this fund; but your State Deputy regrets to report that even at this date a few councils have not remitted their assessment for this purpose.
During the collection of funds a few months ago, a legal question arose as to whether or not the councils were lawfully obliged to pay this assessment, or whether its payment was a matter of voluntary contribution. Desiring to set the question at rest, your State Deputy submitted the question to the Supreme Advocate of the Order, who in turn suggested that it was a matter of importance, and sent the whole matter to the National Board of Directors at their meeting on April 2. At that meeting the Board of Directors passed the following resolution:
"VOTED: On the communication of George F. Corcoran, State Deputy of Nebraska, that a special assessment of 25 cents for the purpose of promoting missionary work in Nebraska, is in the opinion of the Board a special assessment requiring its approval. This assessment can, of course, be made entirely voluntary on the part of the members or councils. In some state jurisdictions the Per Capita Tax is made larger than required for necessary expenses and the amount gained in excess is used for such purposes as you describe."
This matter should be finally settled by this convention. If we are to insist upon this assessment being paid by the councils, we should submit the resolution to the Board of Directors for their approval; or we might adopt the alternative suggested by the National Board of Directors and include the amount in the annual per capita tax each year.
This, as before suggested, is an important matter; in fact, it is about the first commendable move made by the State Council to do something, of a substantial nature. We should not allow it to become a failure by neglect or by a failure to realize the urgent need which was sought a year ago to be met and remedied by this plan. Many good people of our faith in the affected locality do not have opportunity to even see a clergyman once a year; and the Knights of Columbus, as the greatest Catholic organization in the state, can do no better work, nor perform any greater act of charity, than to provide the means, small though they may be, to supply this pressing want. I hope and trust that this meeting will approach the subject with a true fraternal feeling and do whatever is necessary to make our first effort of this kind a success worthy of the more than Five Thousand Knights living in Nebraska.
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No meeting of the Commission named in the resolution to disburse the fund has been called for the reason that the fund has not all been collected, and it cannot be known even at this time what amount we will be able to distribute. As soon as we have this knowledge a meeting of the Commission will be held and the matter properly attended to in that respect. I leave the matter with you, fully trusting that your action will be wise; and when once taken, will not be abandoned until carried to ultimate success.
The Past State Deputy recommended that a small assessment be levied upon the membership of this state to provide for a Lecturer to visit the different councils of the state and furnish an entertainment of that character. I am sorry to see that no action was ever taken upon this recommendation. Without question the greatest need of a majority of our councils is that of proper entertainment. The councils find it difficult to arrange entertainment for their members of a class in keeping with the high objects and dignity of the order; and as a substitute, and probably in most cases the only remaining alternative, they turn to dances and social entertainment of that character. These are well in their way, but certainly an order with our professed high objects and aims should be in a position to furnish something just a little more intellectual than an ordinary neighborhood dance. Knowledge is Power; and we, through our different councils, should be in a position to disseminate knowledge by discussion of proper and fitting subjects to our members. I hope that the State Council will not despair of their ability to meet this pressing need. There are a great number of splendid public speakers within our reach; and if a united effort were made, their services could be secured at a very low cost per capita. Do not abandon this idea; it is worth pushing to the front; and so long as your State Deputy remains a part of the State Council, you may expect to have him continually harping upon it.
The Supreme Convention for this year meets on the first day of August in our neighboring State of Iowa in the city of Davenport. While all cannot hope for an opportunity to attend this meeting of the Supreme Body as delegates, still every Knight who can afford the time and slight expense should make an effort to do so. Our brothers in Iowa are making great preparations to entertain a large crowd on this occasion and we, as their nearest neighbors, should not disappoint them. It will prove quite an undertaking to entertain this large body of men in a city the size of Davenport, but we feel assured that the Knights of Iowa will acquit themselves very well in the undertaking, An opportunity will be afforded to all who can attend to meet the Supreme Officers of the Order and to become more closely in touch with its work as a national body. I know that every Nebraska Knight may be assured of a cordial welcome and that he will feel repaid if he makes the sacrifice.
During the past year I have used my best endeavor to perform the duties enjoined upon me when I accepted your election a year ago. I have accepted invitations whenever possible to attend functions given by our order in all parts of the state and have attempted to serve our friends in this respect to the best of my ability. I have enjoyed these meetings and the opportunity to meet our brothers in different councils and feel fully repaid for whatever little sacrifice was caused thereby.
I wish to extend my cordial thanks to the various deputies, state
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officers and council officers for the uniform courtesy extended to me at all times and under all circumstances, and beg to wish you all God-speed for the coming year.
All of which is respectfully submitted.
GEORGE F. CORCORAN,
Moved that the report of the State Deputy be accepted, filed and printed in minutes and that State Council extend to the Worthy State Deputy its thanks for the excellent character of said report. Carried.
Report of State Secretary
Worthy State Deputy and Brother Knights:
I respectfully submit herewith the report of the work done in the past year by the State Secretary.
In accordance with an established custom, the Minutes of the 1915 State Council held at O'Neill were prepared and published by my predecessor, Brother C. J. Pass, of North Platte, Past State Secretary. This work was very well done and I wish to publicly express my thanks to Brother Pass for the kindness thus shown.
Resolution Number Eleven, adopted at the 1915 State Council, provided for a per capita tax of 25 cents to be levied for the purpose of providing funds to be used by the Bishops of Western Nebraska in carrying on missionary work in that portion of the State. The resolution was adopted at the solicitation and earnest suggestion of our Worthy State Chaplain, Rev. L. A. Dunphy of Sutton. The responses thereto were most generous and I herewith desire to express the thanks of the officers of the State Council for the Christian charity thus displayed. The State Deputy, upon request, construed the resolution as providing that said contributions should be voluntary in nature and the Worthy State Chaplain desires to particularly express his gratitude for the good work thus accomplished.
The receipts of such assessment to date amount to the sum of $1,215.03 and a detailed account of the various Council assessments will be found in the statement and report of the State Treasurer, included in the published Minutes of this convention.
Two new Councils have been instituted during the past year at Norfolk and Wahoo. They are both thriving and appear to be in the hands of excellent officers.
I also submit herewith a detailed report showing the membership of the various subordinate Councils with increases and decreases of membership for the current year specifically indicated. A summary of this report shows:
Twenty-eight councils now in State, with a total membership of 1,683 insurance and 3,754 associate members with a total membership of 5,437. The suspensions during the year indicate a healthy condition in the membership of the local Councils. The detailed report above referred to is as follows:
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