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Proceedings of Fifteenth Annual State Council,
Held at Omaha, May 21, 1919


8:00 A.M.--High Mass, St. Mary Magdalene's Church.
9:30 A.M.--State Council Meeting, K. of C. Hall.
10:00 A. M.--First Session of Convention.
1:00 P. M.--Lunch.
1:30 P.M.--Second Session of Convention.
4:30 P.M.--Automobile Ride for Delegates.
6:30 P.M.--Banquet, Blackstone Hotel.
7:30 P.M.--Musical and Speaking Program, Captain Charles F. McLaughlin, Toastmaster:
        Prayer--Rev. P. C. Gannon. Selection--Orchestra.
        Address--"Essential Requirements," J. F. Keefe, North Platte.
        Address--"Over There," Rev. John Palubicki, Stanton.
        Song--"Star Spangled Banner."

State Officers

State Deputy
Edward H. Whelan, O'Neill
State Chaplain
Rev. L. A. Dunphy, Sutton
State Secretary
Francis P. Matthews, Omaha
State Treasurer
James F. Burke, Sutton
State Advocate
John H. Barry, Wahoo
State Warden
Michael V. Ruddy, Albion

Representatives to Supreme Council
State Deputy, ex officio
Edward H. Whelan, O'Neill
Louis Tanney, Lincoln
Past State Deputy, ex officio
George F. Corcoran, York
James F. Crowley, Hastings
Associate Delegate
Francis P. Matthews, Omaha
James Boler, Greeley
Associate Delegate
Frank M. Colfer, McCook
John H. Barry, Wahoo
Associate Delegate
John W. Guthrie, Alliance
William J. Donahue, Albion
Insurance Delegate
Mark Burke, Columbus
H. J. Hammond, O'Neill

District Deputies
District No. 1
John J. Hinchey, Omaha
District No. 2
P. F. O'Gara, Hartington
District No. 3
Dr. E. G. Zimmerer, Lincoln
District No. 4
Dr. F. H. Morrow, Columuhs (sic)


District No. 5
John W. Guthrie, Alliance
District No. 6
Judge F. M. Colfer, McCook
District No. 7
C. J. Pass, North Platte
District No. 8
John H. O'Malley, Greeley
District No. 9
J. Howard Heine, Fremont

Proceedings of the Convention

     Convention called to order in due form by State Deputy George F. Corcoran of York. In the absence of Warden M. V. Ruddy of Albion. who was serving as a Knights of Columbus Secretary in France, the password was taken by the State Secretary, Fransis P. Matthews.

     Opening prayer was offered by the Worthy State Chaplain, L. A. Dunphy of Sutton.

     Roll Call of Officers--All officers answered present excepting State Warden M. V. Ruddy. The State Deputy appointed William J. Donahue to act as State Warden during the session of the convention.
The State Deputy then announced the appointment of the convention committees as follows:

     Credentials--Francis P. Matthews, Omaha, Chairman; E. J. Brady, McCook; Dennis Radford, Fremont; E. P. Hirschmann, Hartington; M. T. Foley, Kearney.

     Audit--P. A. Tomek, David City, Chairman; Charles Reilly, Beatrice; William Kloke, Norfolk.

     Resolutions--W. C. Fraser, Omaha, Chairman; L. G. Brian, Lincoln; J. C. Morrow, Alliance; J. H. Barry, Wahoo; Edward H. Whelan, O'Neill.

     Mileage and Per Diem--L. P. Worth, Falls City, Chairman; Dr. G. A. Colfer, Hastings; John H. O'Malley, Greeley.

Address by F. W. Simeral, Master of the Fourth Degree of Nebraska.

     While the Committee on Credentials was preparing its report the State Council had the privilege and pleasure of hearing an address from E. W. Simeral, Master of the Fourth Degree for Nebraska. Mr. Simeral pointed out the appropriateness of members qualifying for the highest degree at this time. He announced that exemplification of the fourth degree would be given in Lincoln under the auspices of the Fitzgerald Council, No. 833, in the very near future, and urged the delegates present to extend an invitation to members of their respective councils to take advantage of this opportunity for advancement in the order.

Report of the Committee on Credentials

     Omaha, Neb., May 21, 1919. To the Worthy State Deputy and Members of the Fifteenth Annual Convention of the Nebraska Knights of Columbus:
We, the Committee on Credentials, do respectfully report the following delegates present representing their respective councils and entitled to vote in this state council meeting:

F. P. Matthews, W. C. Fraser
H. B. Coyne, F. E. Marrin
F. J. Moersen, F. W. Leonard
J. C. Morrow, W. H. Buechoenstein
J. A. Colfer, John T. Biglin


Grand Island
Dr. Leo Felon, W. H. Laughlin
North Platte
J. R. Carol, Carl E. Simon
A. Hirschman, G. B. Hirschman
J. J. Kennedy, Joseph P. Ryan
Falls City
L. P. Wirth, Emmett Murphy
Dennis Radford, Henry J. Barrett
David City
P. A. Tomek
Dr. Charles Reilly, Henry F. Lang
P. J. Mullen, John B. Wolf
Dr. J. C. Tighe, F. H. Taylor
William F. Kloke, Frank J. Schula
Charles J. Thielen, Peter Wagner
Edward L. Klotz, J. E. Vlach
Peter Peets, John A. Simones
A. J. Dewald, Herman Weeke
M. T. Foley, R. B. Daugherty
Parley Hyde, Rev. M. E. Dolan
James P. Boler, John H. O'Malley
Charles Rastratter, E. J. Brady
S. J. Oliverius, James T. Brady
George F. Kearney, George J. Walsh
C. J. Driscoll, C. V. Dun
Rev. Robt. F. Moran, L. G. Brian
John Buttell, Charles P. Cronin
Theo. A. Helmig, M. J. Moran
St. Paul
J. F. Webster, James S. Zochall

Respectfully submitted,


Committee on Credentials.

     On motion the foregoing report was adopted and the delegates named were declared to be entitled to seats and votes in the convention.

Adjournment for Noon Intermission

     At this time, the hour of 12 o'clock having been reached, the State Council adjourned for lunch, to convene again at 1:30.

Afternoon Session

     Promptly at 1:30 p. m., the delegates having assembled in the council chamber, the State Deputy called the convention to order and the password was taken up by Acting State Warden William J, Donahue.

Report of the State Deputy

     The report of the State Deputy being the next item to be considered in the regular order of business, Worthy State Deputy George F. Corcoran rendered his report as follows:


Omaha, Neb,, May 21, 1919.

To the Officers and Members, Nebraska State Council, Knights of Columbus: Gentlemen:
     Since our last meeting at Grand Island, the intervening space is measured by a short period of time, in fact one short year, but in the work and history of our Order it comprehends a wonderful stride. At that time our country was engaged as really the controlling force in determining the issue of the greatest war in the history of the world. In this terrific contest our noble Order was playing its very important part, and its membership everywhere "doing their bit," in a manner which will redound credit upon their memory in the ages to come, By their activities here and overseas the Knights of Columbus have written their names high upon the scroll of fame. Not only will our true knights be honored in this, our beloved land, but in the hearts of the people of every civilized country upon the globe. We may properly congratulate the people of our own country at this time upon the result attained by the valor of American arms. The great war has been brought to a close, and instead of the terrible carnage of a year ago, American effort and American representatives are now engaged in closing the terms of & victorious peace. In all of this record of achievement the Knights of Columbus, under the invitation of our government, has proven itself one of the official agencies, and a great agency in the winning of the war. The service rendered to the men in the ranks proved to be a great factor in preserving the morals of the American Expeditionary Forces, and was a service which grew with each succeeding month until it attained almost stupendous proportions.
     While our members are generally familiar with our part in the war work it may not be out of place to refer to the figures, and thereby preserve to posterity the facts which are bound to be given a prominent place in the history of our times which may be written in the future. Our organization penetrated every camp and cantonment in this country and there brought to the American soldier of every race and creed, not only the advantages of religion, but every creature comfort within our reach, rendering the hard life of the soldier more endurable, and had the tendency of making him a better soldier, and for this reason enabling him to render a better service to his country. All of this was accomplished, so far as the soldier or sailor was concerned, without money and without price, and was for that reason all the more welcome, and the more appreciated by the objects of our bounty. We have today in operation in the camps of this country 294 buildings, 27 tents, in place, of buildings, which are managed by 674 secretaries. In addition to this we followed the army across the seas, and established and have maintained 250 camp buildings in France, Belgium, Italy, Germany and Great Britain. In connection with this foreign service we have over 1,000 secretaries employed, and have it this time ninety of these secretaries engaged in ministering to the wants of the returning soldiers on the transports which are bringing our boys home from Europe. The work has not stopped here, but we have followed the, American soldier to every station to which he was ordered, and are now, engaged in extending the service to the men stationed in the Hawaiian Islands, the Phillippine Islands, in Panama, Porto Rico, and with the American forces in far-oc (sic) Siberia,


     To accomplish this marvelous undertaking has required great sums of money. This we received from the bounteous purse of our co-religionists, and from the great, generous and noble-hearted people of our country. Up to the first of this month we had received in contributions the splendid sum of $13,280,477.12, and in addition to this had received from the United War Fund drive of last November, the further sum of eleven million dollars. To our own fund the State of Nebraska had contributed on the first day of the present month the sum of $216,652.66. When all of our share of the United Fund has been collected and paid to us, we shall have received and expended a total of approximately forty million dollars.

     Our friends may be at a loss to understand how so great a sum could be expended in the short space of two years. In addition to the erection and maintenance of the buildings, providing the equipment, secretaries and chaplains, we have shipped to the different cantonments in Europe, for free use and distribution, hundreds of phonographs and talking machines, supplied with thousands of records, ink by the thousands of gallons, writing paper and envelopes running into the millions; playing cards by the thousand gross; soap and towels by the hundred thousand; thousands of sets of athletic outfits; papers and reading matter of all kinds; hundreds of thousands of pounds of tea, coffee, and chocolate; tens of thousands of cases of condensed milk; millions of beef cubes; tens of thousands of cases of chewing gum; millions of pounds of hard and soft candy and chocolate; hundreds of thousands of pounds of both chewing and smoking tobacco; millions of pipes, millions of cigars; hundreds of millions of cigarettes. In addition to all of these things was the great problem of inland transportation, and for which we were compelled to provide hundreds of motor vehicles, including trucks and motorcycles with side cars and a great number of field kitchens. It must be remembered that none of these things mere peddled to the soldiers, but were distributed freely without any charge, and when the men have all returned from service they will furnish the final receipt as to whether these things were received by them, and whether they were appreciated. It was service of this kind which kept the soldier in fighting trim, and made possible the wonderful achievement of the American arms on the Marne, in the Argonne and at Chateau Thierry.
     What was true in the army was also true in the navy, as is well shown in the letter of Acting Secretary Franklin D. Roosevelt, to our national officers:
     "The Department desires to express the gratitude of the officers and men of the United States navy for all the many good things the Knights of Columbus have done for them during the World war. The efficiency of your organization has been well matched by the constant desire of the individual worker to serve the men to the best of his or her ability.
     "This helpfulness and efficiency has proven a wonderful aid to the contentment and fighting spirit in the Navy.
     "The Department is desirous that your excellent work be continued and that the Naval service, whether the country be in peace or at war, have the benefit of your splendid co-operation. There is a very constant need for your services."
     In much the same spirit was the commendation by Chairman Fosdick, chairman of the Commission on Training Camp Activities,


who journeyed from his office at Washington to appear before our Supreme Convention, in New York City, to acknowledge the debt of gratitude from our government for the work accomplished by our organization among the men in the service.
     But let the soldiers themselves speak. The following is from a soldier, Edward M. Reisman, 921 Trinity avenue, New York City:
     "I am not a Catholic, but I want to pay lasting tribute to the Knights of Columbus. They helped me in the training camp at home; they came with me overseas; they helped me in France and were first to come to aid me on the battlefield; they comforted me in the hospital; they were with me on the transport returning home; and they have found a job for me back in civil life."
     This fairly expresses the general feeling as to the service rendered to the boys with the colors, and shows just how we kept our pledge to "See him through."
     Our members must not feel that we can rest upon our laurels. We have our work cut out for us, and we must continue to see the boys through until they are back again in their homes, or have found employment which will render them independent. This is our work for the future. Let us perform it with a will.
     It would be well to stop here and inquire what have our councils in this state been doing in this regard? Have you a committee whose duty it is to look after the men as they return to your localities, and see that they have a chance to secure decent employment at living wages? The whole Order is being organized for this work, with the headquarters at the national office at New Haven, and if you need information write for it.
     Your attention is called to the fact that a history of the Order is being written, and it is desired that it do justice to all. In order to do this the officers in charge of the work desire information as to every member of the Order. It will include a history from the beginning, and, of course, our war activities will occupy a prominent place. Send in every fact connected with any member, any photographs of value, and everything of interest, to 461 Fourth Avenue, New York. Good use will be made of all such data.
      Our work is not completed. We need more secretaries, both in this country and overseas. Good, live, clean-cut, able-bodied, willing men, with a heart ready to do service for the boys in the army and navy, and for our cause. The regular age limit is from twenty-five to forty-five, but in special cases and for good reason these limitations may be varied. If you know of a good man send his name to the Overseas department, and you will be rendering a valuable service.
     It is desired that every council provide itself as soon as possible with a club, or home for the center of its activities. It is not intended that we should adhere to the old-fashioned selfish idea of a club for ourselves alone. It is hoped that every Knights of Columbus home will become the social center of the community for our Catholic people whether members or not. All such homes should be open to the returning soldiers, and to soldiers on leave or furlough, and every effort put forth to make their stay in your city pleasant and profitable.
     We are very fortunate in having a great periodical as our official organ, and I am often at a loss to know if we make the best possible use of the Columbiad, Read it and pass it along to others, even to


non-Catholics. It will perform a good service, and giving others a chance to read its pages and peruse its many splendid articles, we can promote the Apostolate of the printed word.
     We should also stop and inquire if each council is doing its share toward increasing the mmbership (sic) of our Order, and to thus assist the officers in reaching the coveted one million members in 1919. There is no good reason why every man who is a practical Catholic should not become a member of this organization and have his part in its work. We have been favored by a letter from each of the three Bishops in this state commending our Order as a proper one for our men to join. These letters have been printed in circular form and a supply sent to each council. It is intended that these circulars should be used to advise good men who do not know the particulars of our plan, of the facts concerning us, and how we are regarded by the authorities of our Church. In short they have been printed and sent you to aid in securing new members. Make the best possible use of them. Every member should take a live interest in this undertaking. If an organization of half a million members can do the things and accomplish the wonders which we have done in the past two years, an organization with double the number, a million members should be able to accomplish much more. A special effort should be put forth to largely increase our insurance membership. We are the one great fraternal organization which collects an adequate rate to carry its insurance risks. This is a pointed fact which should be brought to the attention of every applicant who has dependents. Our insurance is sound, practical and safe. It has demonstrated its superiority over all others, and no argument should be required to induce the applicant to protect his family in the very best of all the fraternals. We paid out last year the enormous sum of two million dollars to the beneficiaries of our members, and in most cases the money was paid to widows and orphans, who were left little, or nothing else. It is our duty to help others to help themselves. Let us teach them their duty to their loved ones and dependents. Let the opportunity be presented at least to every Catholic resident of Nebraska to thus protect his family.
     I hope the officers of the councils will be up and doing. See that you have interesting meetings. If the lecturer is slipping, remove him if necessary. Have an officer who will make the meetings attractive, or have none.
     Despite the war and other conditions which might detract from interest in the increase of membership, we have made a record for the year which is entirely creditable. On April 1st we had 459,447 members, as against 397,211, showing the largest gain in any one year for a great many years. We have now 1,826 colncils (sic) of the Order, as against 1,792 last year. The insurance membership is. now 133,794, and it was 124,547 in 1918. Our total assets on April 1st was 840.49, and when compared to the liabilities, we are rated by the actuaries as 119.32 per cent solvent. This is a slight decrease from last year, which is due to the enormous sums paid out during the past eight months on account of the excessive death rate due to the influenza epidemic. The number of deaths per thousand members, due largely to this cause, increased to 15.04, as against 7.7 for the year previous. The average age of our insurance membership remains at 35, which was the average a year ago. The cost of management has


slightly increased, being 74c per capita instead of 70c for the previous year. This slight increase is due entirely to the extra expense occasioned by the war activities of the Order.
     Since our last meeting the buildings erected at the various camps in this state have been turned aver to the officers of the Supreme Council. These buildings, three in number, were erected by a committee representing this body at Fort Crook, Fort Omaha and Florence Field. When all of this equipment was received by the national officers, the state of Nebraska was given credit for the sum of $49,362.79, as though the same was paid in cash. This total represented the cost of the buildings and equipment and the expense of their maintenance up to the date when their management was assumed by the national officers, which was September 10, 1918.
     The membership in Nebraska has enjoyed a healthy increase during the past year, but is not in any degree what it would have proven to be had it not been for the influenza epidemic which prevailed in all parts of the state from early in the autumn of 1918 until late in the past winter. During the period of this affliction many of the councils attempted to hold no meetings of any kind and but few attempted the preparations for the reception of classes of candidates into the Order. Omaha Council, No. 652, was an exception to this rule, and has to its credit the magnificent record of having received into its membership ten large classes of candidates since December 1st. The report of the Supreme Secretary shows that on April 1st we had 2,221 insurance members and 5,627 associate members in the 32 councils of the state.
      Two new councils were instituted during the past year--St. Stephen council, No. 1906, at Lawrence, and St. Peter and Paul council, No. 1918, at. St. Paul. A charter has been granted for Father Juan de Pa Dilla council at Plattsmouth, which will be instituted on June 8th.
     Due to the war activities and financial conditions incident thereto, but little progress has been made by the councils during the past year towards the permanent home movement. A notable exception to this general condition should he noted in the case of Fitzgerald council at Lincoln, which council during the past winter acquired title to a splendid, modern club building which is a great credit to that council and the Order at large. It is with great pleasure that we learn that the master of the Fourth Degree in this jurisdiction has arranged to confer the Fourth Degree in this new home of Fitzgerald council on October 12, next, and we trust that the councils in that part of the state will take an interest in the matter and secure for the Master a large class of candidates for this beautiful, patriotic degree of the Order. The time is entirely fitting and the opportunity is presented to our Third Degree members to take the degree near their homes with a substantial saving in expense and time.
     We wish here to refer in passing to an incident of local legislation during the past few months, which, while not affecting our Order, is a matter of more than ordinary importance to our families and to those near and dear to each one of us. We refer to the extremely radical and pernicious legislation, both attempted and accomplished, interfering with the natural rights of parents in the education of their children. We feel that the great majority of the people of our beloved state are fair-minded and do not, in any sense, endorse the policy referred to. That more objectionable legislation was not enacted is


largely due to the unselfish and untiring efforts of a committee of gentlemen who presented our cause to the legislative committees. The intelligent work of thesse (sic) gentlemen secured a modification of attempted legislation which is very creditable to the fair name of our state; and thereby rendered a notable service. We do not intend to deprive any individual of due credit, but wish to especially note the conspicuous service rendered to every fair minded citizen of Nebraska by the Hon. Paul L. Martin of Omaha, and Hon. Lawson G. Brian of Lincoln, and those associated with them. The splendid service rendered by these gentlemen can never be measured, can never be compensated.
     The reports of the State Secretary and State Treasurer will furnish you with information in detail with respect to the membership and financial matters reflecting our real conditions. These matters, therefore, I have decided to omit from this report and thus avoid needless repetition. I deem it proper to suggest, however, that neither the reports of the above mentioned officers nor the figures heretofore mentioned in this report show the full extent of our present membership, and for the following reasons: All of these figures are based upon reports made some months or weeks in the past. We have experienced a great influx of new members in the two months just closed and it is believed that none of the many new and large classes are included in the membership figures; and the further fact that many financial secretaries permit considerable delay in reporting the admission of new members to the National office. Until these reports are received at New Haven, no information can be furnished from the Supreme Secretary which will accurately reflect the true figures. We are entirely safe in assuming that our membership in Nebraska is considerably in excess of 8,000, and that we have made the largest gain of any year of our existence as a state organization. With the present campaign for new members which we hope will result in Nebraska doing its full share to attain the million members in 1919, we should be able, before the close of the coming year, to so increase both clases (sic) of our membership that by the next meeting of this body we will find that we are entitled to elect two additional representatives to the Supreme Council, one for each class of membership. This is a goal worthy of our efforts and we should assiduously devote our energies to its successful accomplishment.
     It appears to be again necessary to direct the attention of the officers of the councils to the matter of arranging for the conferring of the major degree. Many councils often appoint committees to arrange with or invite certain officers and degree teams to perform this work. This gives rise to constant confusion and is directly in violation of our laws. It should be remembered that the matter of conferring this important part of our ceremonial is placed by law in the hands of the District Deputy having jurisdiction of the particular council. No arrangements should be made or attempted without first consulting the District Deputy. If that officer delegates the power to the council, then the council should act, but not otherwise. We hope that future State Deputies may not find it necessary to refer to this subject.
     I again renew my former recommendation that on public occasions and functions a few representative citizens be invited to partake as our guests in whatever we may have to offer. The experience of

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