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Re: LYNCH family of Ralls Co, Catholic Church Records?
Posted by: Virginia DeMarce (ID *****0158) Date: August 14, 2011 at 15:25:05
In Reply to: LYNCH family of Ralls Co, Catholic Church Records? by Susan Holley of 463

This at least gives you the name of the priest who served the early Catholic community in Boone Co.

William F. Switzler, History of Boone County, 1882, pp. 821-822
City of Columbia
CATHOLIC CHURCH.

As early as 1835 mass was celebrated in Columbia by Rev. Father La Fevre, at the residence of John H. Lynch, whose family was the only one of the Catholic faith in the town at the time. Those who attended from the country were Cornelius Lynch and family, Mrs. Reed and family, the Keiths and the Robinsons, in all not more than 20 persons. For many years matters remained in this primitive condition. The members were true to their faith, and long distances were not barriers to their attendance on every occasion where the holy sacrifice was offered. Nor were the laity alone in their zeal. The pioneer priests will never be forgotten by those who saw them in the storms of winter and in the. heat of summer carrying the "bread of life" from one cabin to another throughout the sparsely settled country. They knew no nationality, race or color. Almost without "coat or scrip," they administered the sacraments of the church whenever proper and possible and "had souls for their hire." The names of Rev. Fathers Alamande, Cusick, Murphy, O'Brian, O'Neal, Walsh, O'Sheaand McKeuna ought never to be forgotten for their great devotion to religion and the cause of humanity in the early days of Missouri. Archbishop Kendrick's visit to Columbia, in 1845, gave encouragement that a church would one day be built, but many years came and went and every one of the first settlers had joined the church triumphant before the structure was erected, and but few of their descendants have ever seen it. The first attempt at regular services was made by Father C. F. O'Leary, in 1876. He celebrated mass in private houses until after Bishop Ryan's visit in 1877. June 3d, of that year, the bishop himself said mass in the court-house. On the same day he delivered the baccalaureate sermon to the students of the University ; subject, " Christ as a Model." From that time until the completion of the new church, services were held in the court-house.

Years ago the Catholics owned a lot near where the court-house now stands, on which they designed erecting a church some day; but in 1858 the county court condemned this lot for street purposes and allowed damages in the sum of $80. No person appearing to claim this money it was converted into the county treasury, where it lay until in 1880, when it and the accrued interest, the total sum amounting to $180, were paid over to Mrs. Kate Clapp, the duly accredited agent of Archbishop Kendrick, and to her the credit is cine for the investigation which led to the return of this money to the proper hands. In 1880 Mrs. Clapp, Miss McAfee, H. H. Hagan, and G. M. Baumgartner were authorized to solicit subscriptions for the building of the new church. August 16th, 1880, work was begun on the building, and June 19th, 1881, the first services therein were held.

The church stands on the corner of Locust street and Grand avenue, Columbia. It is a frame 30x60 feet in size, has a spire seventy-five feet high, and cost when completed, about $2,000. The lot, which is 125x165 feet in size, cost $400, of which sum Mrs. Clapp paid $200. Many of the articles used in the adornment of the altar and in the proper furnishing of the church, were contributed by ladies of Columbia, of various religious denominations. Many of the Protestant citizens of the town and county gave liberally toward the erection of the church, for which the little Catholic congregation desire it said that they are truly grateful.

In this connection it is but just to say that to Mrs. Catharine Lynch Clapp, before mentioned, more credit is due for the building of this church than to any other person. It was she who secured the greater portion of the subscriptions, who superintended, in a great part, the construction of the building, and saw to its proper furnishing and equipment, and who subscribed herself sums of money much beyond her means. She is still an active, zealous member of the congregation, foremost in every good work.

The church has had for pastors, Fathers C. F. O'Leary, W. T. Stack and John T. Twohey, the present pastor. Services are held monthly.

Practically, the first congregation was organized in 1876, with the following members: Mrs. Catharine Lynch Clapp, Peter Horan and family, Larry Rocheford and family, Chas. O'Donnell and family, Thos. Loftus and family, T. Freeman and family, O. Daily and family,
Winterhalter and family, and G. M. Baumgartner. Mr. Ed. Farley, and Misses Robinson, McAfee and Lunsford have become members since. The present membership is not far from fifty.


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