graduates are readily accepted by the higher universities; and a good number have master's and doctor's degrees from the University of Chicago. Public speaking is made prominent. In the last ten years its orators have taken first place five times in state oratorical contests. In the halls of the main building, silent now as its students have entered military service, is hanging a banner showing seventy-nine stars; four of them are gold, a mute but eloquent witness to the spirit of loyalty of its students. We have not space here to tell its story; in fact no pen can write that story. It is told by the privations and toils of its leaders and instructors; by the gifts and sacrifices of its friends and patrons; by these we read the story of its early struggles, its heroic labor, its noble achievements. A financial campaign has begun for the securing of $250,000 endowment for the college. President Jorden and his helpers have collected in cash and pledges about $40,000 of that amount.
   As we close this sketch the canvass for endowment is being pushed energetically by the educational commission of the state convention, led by Rev. Ray E. York, secretary of the convention. In addition to this, $50,000 to $60,000 will be expended on the property in repairs and improvements. The future is bright with promise that in the years to come the college will continue a factor for great usefulness, and in its further development will bring yet larger gifts of mental and moral worth to the denomination and the state.
   In closing this brief review of Nebraska Baptist work it is well to remember the hardships they endured and the difficulties they overcame who labored here in these first sixty years. The Civil War, the grasshopper scourge of 1873, the unprecedented drought of 1893-1895 were events that brought weakness and disaster to the forces of the churches. Thousands were driven back to eastern homes or elsewhere, necessitating the abandoning of scores of churches, many of them never to be revived. As a natural sequence it was doubly difficult to secure ministers to lead the work, especially to get competent men to man needy and important fields. Another fact or condition that proved a hindrance to denominational growth, a fact that still exists, is the shortness of the ordinary pastorate; a practice too easily allowed in Baptist government. By a study of tables in the state annals it is clear that pastorates of a year or two, because of their brevity, show very meager results in permanent up-building of the churches. The. principle holds true with regard to the general missionary of the state, the leader and executive of the work. Here very clearly long administrations have been marked by the largest. results, per annum. Unity of purpose and action, however, have been with Baptist workers in Nebraska during these three score years; and it is our privilege to recall with just pride what is history today, and to look forward with confidence to the future. But our confidence should be tempered by humble endeavor.
   In the halls of All Soul's College, Oxford, is an old sun-dial bearing this inscription from the poet Martial: "Percunt ct Imputanter," tersely translated: "Spent, but Charged," or as more freely given in Webster: "(the hours) passed will be charged to your account." That dial was framed by Christopher Wren, who, after the great fire of London, built from the ashes the cathedral of St. Paul's with, many other structures. For two centuries that dial by its inscription has reminded students that hours passed idly by will be accounted for on some examination day. The examples and memories of those who nobly lived and toiled and victoriously went to their reward must be considered in the accounting. Past records point to present duty and properly studied may prepare for future responsibilities. Our fathers labored for the good of society and the state, intellectually, morally, and religiously. A review of this calls for sincere appreciation of the set-vice of these pioneers and their successors in their day, as well as a. lively sense of the Divine Presence. and "the good hand of our God" ever directing the work and the workers.



   If it be true that Quivera was situated within the present boundaries of Nebraska, it follows that the Rev. John de Padilla, Fran-



ciscan friar, and native of Andalusia, Spain, was the first Christian clergyman to officiate within the limits of our state, and Nebraska enjoys the distinction of being the last resting place of the first Christian martyr of the North American continent. Father Padilla accompanied Coronado to Quivera in the year 1541. As the territory did not afford the worldly riches expected, the disappointed Spaniards returned in disgust to New Mexico. Padilla, however, saw something in Quivera more precious in his sight than treasures of silver and gold -- the souls of the benighted natives -- and as a consequence he determined to return and attempt to convert the people. Taking with him some Quivera Indians as guides, and accompanied by Andrew del Campo, a Portuguese, a negro, and two Zapoteca Indians of Michvocan, he set out on his missionary journey from New Mexico, in the month of April, 1542. Arriving at Quivera, he departed thence to visit a neighboring Indian tribe, but on the way he was attacked by a roving band of savages and killed.
   From 1670 to 1776 the region now called Nebraska was under the ecclesiastical jurisdiction of Quebec. From 1777 to 1787 it was subject to the diocese of Santiago de Cuba. Subsequently it fell again under the control of the French ecclesiastics. In the year 1851 Nebraska and Kansas formed what was known as the "Vicariate Apostolic of the Territory East of the Rocky Mountains." On the 6th of January, 1857, Nebraska was established as a separate and relatively independent vicariate apostolic. October 2, 1885, the diocese of Omaha was erected, and included Nebraska and Wyoming. The first vicar apostolic of Nebraska was Rt. Rev. James O'Gorman, titular bishop of Raphanea, consecrated May 8, 1859, died in Omaha, July 4, 1874. The second vicar apostolic of Nebraska was Rt. Rev. James O'Connor, titular bishop of Dibona, consecrated August 20, 1876; appointed first bishop of Omaha. October 2, 1885; died in Omaha, May 27, 1890. The second bishop of Omaha is the present incumbent, the Rt. Rev. Richard Scannell, consecrated bishop of Concordia, Kansas, November 30, 1887, transferred to Omaha, January 30, 1891.
   The present chancellor of the diocese is Rt. Rev. A. M. Colaneri, V. G.
   Until the arrival in Omaha of the Rt. Rev. James O'Gorman, the few Catholics in the territory of Nebraska were under the spiritual jurisdiction of the Rt. Rev. J. B. Miege, S. J., whose residence was at Leavenworth, Kansas. The first official report of the vicariate of Nebraska appears in Sadier's almanac for the year 1860. This report is very brief and meager. It is as follows: "Bishop, 1; priests,



4." Of these priests one was a Benedictine, another a Jesuit, and the remaining two secular.
   The report for 1861 runs as follows: "Secular. priests, 4; priests of religious orders, 4; priests on the mission, 4; total number of priests, 8. Stations 8; churches, 1. Churches in course of erection, 3 or 4; clerical students, 1; Catholic population, including Indians, about 7000." In 1865 the vicariate of Nebraska comprised the territories of Nebraska, Dakota, and Idaho. The report for that year is as follows: "Priests, 7; churches, 5; churches building, 2; chapels, 5; stations, 19;



clerical students, 7; convent, 1." The vicariate of Nebraska in 1867 was composed of Nebraska, Dakota, Montana, and Wyoming. The report for the year showed: Priests, 10; churches, 7; churches in course of erection, 2; chapels, 3; stations, 17; clerical students, 3; convent 1. This report states that of the church edifices "except two, our churches are all built of wood, some of rough logs." In 1868 there were in the vicariate: Priests, 10; churches, 7; churches building, 2; chapels, 3; stations, 17; clerical students, 3; convents, 2. The report for the following year gives the number of regular priests, 6; secular priests, 13; churches, 15; churches building, 2; stations, 22; convents, 2. By the report for 1870 the vicariate, then composed of Nebraska, Montana, Wyoming, and part of the territory of Dakota, was as follows: Regular priests, 6; secular priests, 15; churches, 20; stations, 45; convents, 2. In the year 1885, when Omaha was made an episcopal see, the new diocese embraced the state of Nebraska and the territory of Wyoming. The report for that year is interesting as showing the progress made from the year 1870. It is as follows: Bishop, 1; priests, secular, 59; priests, regular, 22; religious communities, men, 3; members, 41; women, 8; members, 163; clerical students, 25; parishes, 64; missions with churches, 147; missions without churches, 69; chapels, 12; monasteries, 2; convents, 2; hospitals, 3; orphan asylum, 1; orphans, 22; academies, 7; pupils in academies, 606; college, 1; students in college, 180; parochial schools, 22; pupils in parochial schools, 1,911; marriages, 486; baptisms, 2,881; families, 10,179; Catholic population, 58,395. In 1888, the year following the diminution of its territory, when the diocese of Omaha comprised that part only of the state of Nebraska north of the south shore of the Platte river, the following report was made: Priests, secular, 44; priests, regular, 17; school children, 2,680; marriages, 336; baptisms, 2,070; deaths, infants, 405; adults, 303; families, 7,064; Catholic population, 41,320. For the year 1900 the diocese of Omaha, with the same limits as in 1888, gave the following report: Diocesan priests, 95; regular priests, 23; parishes, 84; church edifices, 152; university, 1; colleges, 2; students, 325; academies for young ladies, 6; females educated in higher branches, 376; parochial schools, 38; Pupils in parochial schools, 3,008; orphan asylum, 1; orphans, 86; industrial and reform school, 1; inmates of industrial and reform school, 80; total young people under Catholic care, 5,989; hospitals, 3; baptisms, 2,689; marriages 541; burials, 680; families, 10,390; Catholic population, 65,175.
   Were it possible for Coronado and the venerable Father Padilla to return to life and go once more in search of Quivera how strange the scene that would meet their wondering



gaze! The one would encounter a manifestation of worldly wealth and progress such as had never entered into his most glowing dreams. The other would find the ancient faith which he loved more than his life, strong, vigorous, and progressive, careless and indifferent as regards royal smile or frown, disenthralled, rejuvenated, and as pure and free as the air of Quivera.
   The history of the Catholic church in Nebraska is certainly interesting to the citizens of that faith dwelling within our borders; but it is to the history of the church in the city of Omaha that many will turn with the fondest attention. There are men and women still resident in Omaha who were present at the first mass ever celebrated on the site, now covered with stately public and private buildings, of Nebraska's metropolis. As one lady who was present on the memorable occasion



expresses herself: "It was a bright, warm work-day, the 14th or 15th of May, 1855." The priest, the Rev. W. Emonds, who is yet amongst the living, and now a resident in Oregon, was brought from St. Joseph, Missouri, by Jere Dee, who had gone thither for supplies. The following correspondence is interesting as it settles a dispute which at one time was somewhat active:

SpacerOMAHA, NOV. 20,1878.
Rev. Father Emonds:
   MY DEAR SIR -- As some parties here are inclined to discredit my statement regarding matters and things connected with the location; etc., of our old church, and especially the house and place where you first offered up the holy sacrifice of the mass, I will ask you to write and aid me in settling that question.
SpacerYours,SpacerTHOMAS O'CONNER.

SpacerIOWA CITY, IOWA, November 25, 1878.
Mr. Thomas O'Conner, Omaha:
   DEAR SIR -- April or May was the month when the first mass was said in Omaha, rather think May, 1855,-- you ought to know. It was in the court room of the old state house, built of brick -- about the only brick building in the capital -- not far from the raised ground joining the river. Governor Cuming assigned us lots, a part of a so-called park. We commenced digging the foundation. Some folk objected to have the park thus disposed of. We kept on digging, notwithstanding pistols being threatened. This ground, I think, was nearer the river bank, on the raised ground.
SpacerYours in Jesus and Mary,
SpacerW. EMONDS.

   Father Emonds did not remain to see Omaha's first Catholic church built. He was called away, and the building was abandoned even before the foundation was laid. In the spring of 1856, however, contracts were made for the building of the new church edifice. Two lots were donated by the Nebraska and Iowa Ferry Co. The building was to be of brick and 24 x 40 feet. The stone foundation was laid by James Ferry, still a resident of Omaha, and Mr. Jenkins. The brick work was done by Bovey & Armstrong. While the church edifice was building Rev. Father Scanlan of St. Joseph, Missouri, arrived in town and celebrated the second mass in the parlor of the residence of Acting Governor Cuming, Nineteenth and Dodge streets. When it was completed the new church was dedicated by the same Father Scanlan, and was named St. Mary's Church. To Messrs. Ferry, O'Conner, Murphy, and Mrs. Cuming, wife of the acting governor, is due the credit of having started the subscription list and of having managed the construction of the building. Father Scanlan remained only a few weeks after the dedication of the church, and was



succeeded by Father Kavanaugh, who came from Illinois, but who remained only three months. In the fall of 1858 Father Cannon, a Benedictine, was installed as the first regular pastor of St. Mary's. In the latter part of May, 1859, Rt. Rev. James O'Gorman came to Omaha as vicar apostolic of Nebraska. The new bishop found only two clergymen in Nebraska, charged with the spiritual interests of about 300 families scattered along the river counties. He was undecided for a time where to reside, and inducements of the most tempting kind were held out to him by the citizens to determine him to decide in favor of Omaha. One offer was the promise to



donate sixty-three full city lots to the church. This offer the bishop declined, but finally he decided to take up his residence in Omaha.
   Father Cannon was succeeded as a pastor of St. Mary's by the Rev. William Kelly, now of Omaha, who was ordained a priest in the church on the 25th of June, 1859, and thus enjoys the distinction of being the first man to be ordained on Nebraska soil. Some of his successors were Fathers Dillon, Laurence, McMahon, Hayes, Daxacher, Curtis, Groene-



baum, and Egan. The old church was plain to an extreme, being devoid of ornamentation interiorly as well as exteriorly. A simple wooden cross on the western gable indicated the nature of its uses. After the completion of St. Philomena's church, Ninth and Harney streets, in March, 1867, the old church became a parochial schoolhouse. In the early part of the year 1882, on the breaking out of the memorable "dump riot," which excited Omaha for several weeks, and which led to the calling out of the state militia and a large part of the regular army, the old church was turned into a barrack for the militia, and when the trouble of the riot had disappeared was taken possession of by the Burlington & Missouri R. R. R. Co., and shortly afterward was totally removed. Thus disappeared Omaha's first Catholic church edifice.
   In the year of 1901 Omaha and South Omaha possessed fifteen Catholic church edifices, ten parochial schools with an attendance of 1,858 pupils, one university, one hospital, four academies for young women, one industrial and reform school for fallen women, three convents, and one monastery. The Catholic population of the city was estimated to be about 18,000.
   The Sisters of Mercy were the first religious community to take up their residence in Omaha. They came from New Hampshire, and of after a long and dangerous journey by way of St. Joseph, Missouri, arrived in the city on October 21, 1864. Theirs is the credit of having started and managed Omaha's first hospital -- St. Joseph's. The Sisters now devote their time and labor exclusively to teaching in their two academies and the parochial schools of the city, and to the care of the orphans.
   The second religious community to appear in Omaha were the "Poor Clares," of the order of St. Francis. Their work is chiefly prayer, and the practice of evangelical poverty. They took up their abode in the city August 15, 1878. The next religious society to arrive were the Sisters of St. Francis, who, since April 17, 1880, have had charge of St. Joseph's Hospital. They were followed August 28, 1881, by the Ladies of the Sacred Heart, a teaching society of French origin. The Sisters of the Good Shepherd came April 4, 1895, and have charge of the industrial and reform school for fallen women.
   The Jesuit Fathers -- Society of Jesus -- came to Omaha in the year 1878, and have had charge ever since of Creighton college and university. The Franciscan Fathers took charge of St. Joseph's church, Omaha, in the year 1895, and in connection therewith have built a large monastery. In the year 1879, through the efforts of the Rt. Rev. James O'Connor, the Irish Catholic Colonization Society bought several large tracts of land in Greeley county, Nebraska. Since that date Greeley county



has been rapidly settled, and at the present time there are two large Catholic communities within its limits. With very few exceptions the Catholics who have settled in Greeley county have prospered to a marked degree.
   Since the year 1894 Omaha has received a large number of Syrian Catholics. These strange people, who come from the neighborhood of Mt. Lebanon, and who are certainly lineal descendants of the first gentiles converted to the Christian religion, have been organized and now form a congregation by themselves. They have a priest of their own, a Syrian, Rev. E. Aboud, and are making arrangements for the erection of a church edifice.
   As will be seen from this brief sketch, the Catholic church is deeply and widely rooted in the state of Nebraska. Its progress has been as rapid and as marvelous in its way as that of the state at large. The good Catholic earnestly hopes and prays, of course, that his church will continue to grow and prosper. He takes pride in the fact that he has helped to found and build up an institution that will endure as long as the state itself -- a monument, more durable than brass, of his self-sacrificing devotion to the faith of Jesus Christ. As life's eve approaches and the shadows begin to fall, he derives sweet consolation from the fact that he has been a strenuous participant in the temporal and spiritual edification of the state. As he is conscious of having done everything in his power to do, in order to provide for the happiness of his posterity here and in the never ending hereafter, he feels prepared to sing his "nunc dimittis" in confidence, and leave to younger and stronger hands the work of making our beloved Nebraska the paragon amongst states of every excellence possible.


   The little village of Forest City is located on a high plateau about two miles east of the conjunction of the Platte and Elkhorn rivers. A beautiful valley, well watered and timbered, extends north and south from the village, and it was in this valley that many of the early settlers of Sarpy county made their homes. Many of these pioneers were Catholics from the Emerald Isle. The Irish people are strong adherents of holy mother church, and the teachings of St. Patrick abide with them in whatsoever clime their lot may be cast. It follows, then, that these early settlers did not forget the early teachings received in their native land. The Catholic priest is also solicitous for the spiritual welfare of the faithful; therefore the children of St. Patrick located at Forest City were not left without the consola-



tions of religion. The Catholic priest, with true missionary zeal, sought out these people and brought to them the comforts of holy church. The names of the priests who ministered to the people of Forest City are Fathers Cavanaugh, Cannon, Dillon, McMahan, Daxacher, Kelly, Bohne, Curtis, Groenebaum, Lonergan, Keenen, Bernerd, Martin, Emblen, and Wallace. The five last mentioned were resident patsors (sic), the others paid only periodical visits. The first church was a log structure, built by Father McMahan in 1859. The logs used in the construction of the church were



donated and put in place by the members. John Thomas, Anthony Thomas, William Morrison, and Bernerd Monahan did the building. This Church was used for about ten years, and then replaced by a larger and better building. In the summer of 1869 Father Lonergan built a substantial frame building 30 x 60 feet in size, the membership at this time being about 186 souls. This church was used for twenty-six years and became known far and wide. In those days Forest City was fifteen miles from a railroad, and although called a city it possessed very few of the characteristics of a city. Its buildings consisted of the church, a schoolhouse, a general store, and the postoffice, the residences being extremely few in number. In the summer of 1886 the Burlington R. R. Co. built the Ashland shortline from Ashland to Omaha, and the town of Gretna was located two and one-half miles northeast of Forest City. The birth of Gretna marked the decline and fall of Forest City. Shortly after the town of Gretna was established it became necessary to erect a new pastoral residence and for this purpose a block of land in Gretna was purchased by Father Wallace, the purchase price being $150. This block is on the most commanding site in Gretna, and on September 1, 1890, ground was broken for the new residence. It was completed in January, 1891, and Father Wallace moved into it the following month. Mass continued to be said in the old church at Forest City until Easter Sunday, 1895. On May 1, 1894, work



Built in 1869

was commenced on the new St. Patrick's Church at Gretna, and completed in March, 1895. It was solemnly dedicated on April 17, 1895, by Rt. Rev. Bishop Scannell of Omaha, and the dedication was an event long to be remembered. The ceremonies were participated in by a large part of the residents of Sarpy county. The dedication mass was celebrated by the pastor, Rev. J. V. Wallace. Rev. George J. Glauber, of St. Mary Magdelene Church, Omaha, was deacon; Rev. D. W. Moriarty of St. Agnes Church, South Omaha, subdeacon; Rev. S. F. Carroll, of St. Philomena Cathedral, Omaha, master of ceremonies; and Rev. J. E. English, of St. Bridget's Church, South Omaha, assistant priest. Rev. M. J. Barrett, of St. Francis Borgia's Church, Blair, preached the dedicatory sermon; and Rev. John Smith, of St. Patrick's Church, Omaha, and Rev. J. Daxacher, of St. Joseph's Hospital, Omaha, were deacons of honor. After mass a class of twenty-six received the sacrament of confirmation. The church and house occupy the most commanding site in Gretna. The church is gothic in style and cost $9,000. The house cost $2,700. In 1859 the membership of St. Patrick's Church consisted of sixteen families. At the time of the dedication of the new church at Gretna the membership included about sixty families, or about 300 souls.


   The history of this college may be briefly



outlined as follows: Mr. Edward Creighton, after whom the college is named, had proposed in life to form a free institution of learning, but died intestate on November 5, 1874, before making provisions for the fulfilment (sic) of his project. His wife, Mrs. Mary Lucretia Creighton, inheriting both his fortune and his noble purpose, determined to carry out her husband's wish, but did not live to behold its realization. Her death occurred on January 23, 1876. In her last will and testament, dated September 23, 1875, she made, among others, the following bequest:

   Item: I will and bequeath unto my said executors the further sum of one hundred thousand dollars to be by them received, held, kept, invested and reinvested in like manner, but upon the trusts nevertheless and to and for the uses, intents and purposes hereinafter expressed and declared of and concerning the same, that is to say, to purchase the site for a school in the city of Omaha, or within . . . miles thereof and erect proper buildings thereon for a school of the class and grade of a College, expending in the purchase of said site and the building of said buildings, and in and about the same, not to exceed one-half of said sum and to invest the remainder in securities, the interest of which shall be applied to the support and maintenance; and the principal shall be kept forever inviolate. When said buildings shall be ready for occupancy for such school, the said executor shall convey all of said property, including said site, building and securities, to the Rt. Rev. the Bishop of the Roman Catholic Church having jurisdiction in Omaha and his successors in office, upon trusts to be aptly expressed in the deed of conveyance securing said property to the purposes aforesaid. The said school shall be known as The Creighton College, and is designed by me as a memorial of my late husband. I have selected this mode of testifying to his virtues and my affection to his memory, because such a work was one which he in his lifetime proposed to himself.

   Acting on this bequest, the executors, Messrs. John A. Creighton, James Creighton, and Herman Kountze, purchased the present site and proceeded to erect what is now called the main building. The entire property and securities were duly conveyed by the executors to the Rt. Rev. James O'Connor, D.D., bishop of Omaha, July 1, 1878.
   Under and in pursuance of "An act of the legislature of the state of Nebraska (February 27, 1879) to provide for the incorporation of universities under certain circumstances, Rt. Rev. James O'Connor, D.D., vested the entire property and securities of The Creighton College in a corporation, designating the legal title of said corporation to be The Creighton University, and appointing five members of the Society of Jesus to constitute



the board of trustees. The Creighton University was thus incorporated on August 14, 1879.
   By deed of trust executed on December 4, 1879, the Rt. Rev. James O'Connor, D.D., conveyed all the property and securities of The Creighton College to the above-mentioned corporation, The Creighton University. By this conveyance the entire trust passed from the Rt. Rev. Bishop and his successors to The Creighton University and its successors, the trust to be held and administered upon the same terms and conditions and for the same purposes, for and under which it was originally bequeathed by Mrs. Mary Lucretia Creighton The position, therefore, of The Creighton

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