The History of Our Cradle Land
by Thomas H. Kinsella

Transcribed by Sean Furniss

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Impressive Ceremonies Mark the Completion of Paola's New $40,000 Edifice Last Monday.


Service Began at Nine O'clock with Blessing the New Church Followed by
Solemn High Mass and Able Addresses by Father Jennings
and Bishop Lillis.

(From The Western Spirit.)

The dedication of the new Holy Trinity church in Paola occurred Monday, April 1st, 1907, and was attended by 1,500 people.

Right Reverend Thomas Francis Lillis, Bishop of the Leavenworth diocese, officiated. The dedicatory services began at nine o'clock a. m. with the blessing of the beautiful edifice.

About 9:30 the Bishop and his assistants entered the church, which was filled to over-flowing. Solemn High Mass was then celebrated, the celebrant being Reverend Father Leo Molengraft, O.F.M., of Kansas City, Kansas, assisted by Father B. S. Kelly, also of Kansas City, Kansas, as Deacon, and Reverend Father Dornsifer, of Rosedale, as Subdeacon. Father B. A. Mohan, of Kansas City was Master of Ceremonies, and the assistants to the Bishop were Fathers A. J. Kuhls, of Kansas City, Kansas, and Redeker, of Westphalia.

The Reverend Father Jennings, of Kansas City, Kansas, delivered the dedicatory sermon. His language was simple and his discourse very impressive. Bishop Lillis also spoke and many who heard him pronounce it the ablest and most beautiful address ever listened to in Paola.

After the other services, confirmation was administered by Bishop Lillis. Besides the resident pastor, Reverend M. Burk, the following out-of-town priests were present and assisted in the exercises: Reverend Father Kuhls, Mohan, Kelly, Bradley, Jennings and Molengraft, all of Kansas City, Kas.; Rev. Father Bernadine, Rev. Father M. J. Gleason, Rev. Father C. M. Scanlan and Rev. Father Macleod, C.Ss.R., of Kansas City, Mo.; Rev. Father Beck of Argentine; Rev. Father Dornseifer, of Rosedale; Rev. Father Michel, of Frankfort; Rev. Father Herberichs, of Lenexa; Rev. Father Scherer, of Greeley; Rev. Father Redeker, of Westphalia; Rev. Father Hohe, of Wea; Rev. Father Heuberger, of Louisburg, and Rev. Father Eloi, O.S.B. of Ursuline Academy.

The dedicatory services over, the priests and congregation repaired to St. Patrick's school, east of the new church, where dinner was served. The priest's table occupied the upper floor, while the downstairs room was used for the immense throng of hungry patrons, but all were looked after in good shape, and everybody enjoyed one of the best meals ever spread on a table. While dinner was being served, the Wea Parish band, under the direction of Reverend Father Hohe, discoursed sweet music, which added greatly to the success of the happy occasion.

The old church, destroyed by fire January 14, 1906, was 50 feet by 80 feet and was built in 1881. Work on the plans of a new church was started immediately after the fire, and the building committee was composed of Jacob Koehler, Henry Allen, P. J. Theno, Peter J. Keenan, John Sheehan, P. W. Goebel, William Schwartz, Martin Langan, M. Fenoughty, John Morris, Bernard Harkins, James Riley, James Dalton and B. J. Sheridan. This committee was duly approved by Reverend Father Burk, who, upon the unanimous request of the congregation was made a member of the committee.

The completion of the foundation of the new church was celebrated in Paola, May 27, 1906, by the laying of the corner stone, Bishop Lillis conducting the services. Work was pushed and now, in its finished condition, furnishings complete, the new Holy Trinity church represents a value of about $40,000.

The structure is 52 feet wide by 115 feet long, and is built of pressed brick and white stone. The larger tower, wherein hangs the $300 bell, donated by William Schwartz, is 110 feet high. A basement extends under the whole structure.

Entering the main door on the north, one steps into a large vestibule, separated from the church proper by three sets of double swinging doors. On the extreme left is a smaller vestibule to which admission is gained by a door at the northeast end of the church. From this room a stairway leads to the gallery. In the center of the balcony rests the large pipe organ, while on the east is a small alcove which may be used to a good advantage when the capacity of the church is taxed, as an arched opening gives full view of the sanctuary.

Six massive white pillars, each adorned with capitals of the composite style, occupy positions on either side of the center aisle, and serve as supports to the arched Gothic ceiling, which is divided into six parts and each projecting shoulder of the groined section meets the immaculately white columns, giving strength as well as beauty to the appearance of the large audience room.

The pews are divided into four division and three aisles, the main one being at the center. On the left side, within the communion rail, is the Blessed Virgin Mary altar, beneath whose canopy stands a statue of the Blessed Virgin. This altar was the gift of the Sodality Society and the statue from one of the parishioners.

The central altar, donated by the altar society, is a handsome piece of work of Gothic pattern, bearing statues of Jesus, Mary and Saint Ann. Standing out in bold relief at the base of the altar is the scene of the last supper. On the west is St. Joseph's altar, which, with the statue, was presented by Paola Council No. 1149, Knights of Columbus.

The sacristies on each side of the altar are conveniently connected by a light, airy passageway which leads from the vestment apartment to the room on the west that will be used by the altar attendants to the priest during services.

Great care was exercised in selecting the church windows. They are of imported cathedral glass and very beautiful. The first on the left is Saint Pete, given by Jacob Koehler. Next comes the patron saint of Ireland--St. Patrick--donated by Michael and Patrick Fenoughty. The third window on the east shows Saint John--a memorial to Mary L. Charland, late wife of John Charland. The large double window is a fine specimen of art, representing "The Ascension." The north half is in memory of James B. and Anne Clark, and the south half is the gift of Joseph Dalton and his sons, Charles and James. Saint Agnes' window is the first on the right of the auditorium, in memory of Miles Finn, and to the south of it is W. F. Killy's donation, St. Rose of Lima, St. Cecilia, donated by Peter J. Theno, is the next window. To the right of the sanctuary is the large double window, picturing Christ blessing little children. St. Patrick's school is the donor. The smaller windows in vestibules were donated by John Sheehan, James Wiest and Thomas McGrath. The rounded frontal over the north entrance was given by Mathew Harnden.

The new edifice ranks among the finest in Kansas and is a structure of which all Paola may feel justly proud. Father Burk, to whom much credit is due for his faithful work in supervising its erection, feels grateful to all for substantial assistance, not only from his parishioners, but from non-Catholics, who contributed generously to the building fund.

Last Wednesday, in company with Bishop Lillis and Rev. Patrick McInerney, of Olathe, Father Burk left for New York, from which point they will sail for Rome. The Bishop's trip is what is known in the Church as the Ad Limina or Bishop's visit to the Pope.

Once in ten years the Bishop of every diocese is required to visit the Holy See in Rome and report on the condition of churches under his charge. It has been twenty-six years since a Bishop of Leavenworth diocese appeared in person before the Pope.

While abroad, Rev. Burk will visit his parents, who live at Wadersloh, Westfalen, Germany. During his three months' absence, Rev. Father Clarence Bradley, assistant at St. Mary's church, Kansas City, will take his place here.

On Father Burk's return from Europe in July of that same year he immediately resumed the important task of finishing the many details left over from the past year's work. His health now restored and his spirits rendered buoyant by the joy of the people at his return.

It took several years to complete the work and to liquidate all indebtedness,--seven years in fact,--but he succeeded completely and left to future generations a perfectly equipped church, beautiful in proportions and stately in its general outlines. In keeping with all this was the new equipment of the rectory. He installed a full set of fine electric fixtures in the church and residence. He laid out the grounds with excellent taste and constructed an extensive system of cement walks. In fact, it would be hard to find a single thing wanting, from the steam heating plant in the cellar to the fine toned bell in the tower. The beauty of the interior of Holy Trinity church is greatly enhanced by the splendid altars and Stations of the Cross, but more especially by the artistic excellence of the stained glass windows. There are fine pews and a large pipe organ.

The vestments and sacred vessels are in keeping with the rest, and the choir, under Sister Cecilia, would do credit to any city church. This was Paola in 1914. The reader, however, must remember that Osawatomie and the State Asylum was then a part of the daily and weekly burden that wore on the health and nerves of this willing worker.

Father Burk felt his health again declining and his nervous system affected so that a change became necessary. He freely and by request exchanged place with Father Kinsella of the Sacred Heart church at Leavenworth on December 4, 1914, and after one year and eight months at the latter place, he was appointed to the important rectorship of St. Mary's church, Kansas City, Kas. This took place September 1, 1916, and the following December the 19th, he was appointed Dean of the Kansas City district and a Vicar General of the Leavenworth Diocese.

A much needed pastoral residence at the Sacred Heart church is the result of his short stay in Leavenworth. The same is true at St. Mary's; he has built a modern, up-to-date residence there, which is regarded by all as the best of its kind in the two Kansas Cities.

It is pleasant now to record that this good priest has retained the esteem and reverence of all who ever knew him in Miami county, and more especially, the people of Paola.


On September 21, 1898, the Very Rev. John F. Cunningham, Vicar-General of the Diocese of Leavenworth, was consecrated in that city, Bishop of Concordia. Born in 1842, in the County Kerry, Ireland, he made his studies at St. Benedict's College, Atchison, Kan., and at St. Francis' Seminary, Milwaukee, Wis., and was ordained priest at Leavenworth, August 8, 1865. After his consecration he devoted himself to the multiplication of schools and institutions of learning and charity.

From 1898 to 1907, 45 churches and 20 schools were built, exclusive of the opening of many new missions and stations. There are 51 secular and 15 religious priests, attending 91 churches, 30 stations, and four chapels. The children in the parochial schools number about 2,482. The Catholic population of the diocese is 26,125.

The Right Reverend Bishop Cunningham Administered the Sacrament of
Confirmation to the Following in Paola, Kansas, on June 26, 1904,
Reverend M. Burk, Pastor.

John Richard Wolfe Mary Hogan
George Bernard Fenoughty Susie Frances Agnes Finn
Walter Leo Maloney Elis Lewis Cecelia Toelle
Forest Edward Cooper Mary Elizabeth Smith
William Joseph Chamberlin Mary Alice Fortz
Edward Thomas Maloney Lola Jerome Obermeyer
Lawrence James Finn Mary Lucy VanKirk
Leo. Charles Nunnink Mary Anna Doroney
Michael Pierce Powers Catherine Theresa Burns
Charles Smith Violette Mary Dillan
William Kilian Palmer Julia Lawrentia Gaffney
Samuel August Harden Amelia Gertrude Vohs
Francis Arthur Edw. Murphy Clara Agatha McCullough
John Joseph Wolfe Elis Theresa Wolf
Anna Marcella Adelaide Keenan Cath. Elis. Theresa Barnes
Anna Marie Alice Papst Sarah Francis McCarthy
Maria Theresa Papst Mary Ellen Wiest
Mary Catharine Lucile McCarthy Mary Monica Koehler
Elsia Ursula VanKirk Theresa Jerome Gaffney
Sallie Philip Drehr Florence Ursula Allen
Gertrude Kepple Catherine Alphonsus Lewis
Alice Veronica Reitinger  


Right Rev. Thomas Francis Lillis was born March 3, 1861, at Lexington, Mo., studied Classics at St. Francis, Milwaukee; studied philosophy at St. Benedict's College, Atchison, Kas.; Theology at St. Michael's Seminary, St. Meinrad, Ind.; ordained in Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, Kansas City, Mo., by Bishop Hogan, August 15, 1885; appointed assistant to Rev. E. Hamill, at Shackelford, Mo.; form 1887 to 1904 pastor of St. Patrick's church, Kansas City; made Vicar General in June, 1903; appointed Bishop of Leavenworth, Kas., by Papal Bulls dated Sept. 14, 1904; consecrated Bishop of Leavenworth in the Kansas City Cathedral December 27, 1904, by Archbishop J. J. Glennon of St. Louis, assisted by Bishop J. J. Hogan of Kansas City, and Bishop J. F. Cunningham of Concordia, Kas,; appointed Coadjutor to the Bishop of Kansas City, with the right of succession, March 14, 1910; Bishop of Kansas City, February 21, 1913.

When Bishop Lillis was transferred to Kansas City, those who knew him as pastor of St. Patrick's church or as Bishop of the diocese of Leavenworth, foresaw that his new field of labor would yield the choicest fruit. Bishop Hogan immediately transferred the administration of the diocese to his new Coadjutor, and since his advent the movement of the Church has been onward and upward.

The Right Reverend Bishop Lillis Administered the Sacrament of
Confirmation to the Following in Paola, Kansas, on April 1, 1907,
Reverend M. Burk, Pastor.

Herman Arthur Vohs Nellie Agnes Coughlin
Paul Francis Clem Lewis Gladys Jontius Sheehy
Frank Thos. Mathew Johnson Florence Agnes Celest Lyon
Peter St. Benedict McCarthy Sarah Agnes McCabe
Thomas Franklin Morris Mary Stella Veronica Vohs
William B. Brueck Antoinette Louise Koehler
John William Morris Stella Mary Louise Kepple
Augustus Thos. Maloney Cath. Ellen Cecelia Sheehan
Noah Mathew Harnden Josephine Mary Woodson
Bernard Emil St. John Cone Maria Strout
Ursula Helen Boyle Grace Mary Toelle
Catharina Anna Lynch Mary Johanna Toman
Angela Maria Coughlin Mary Frances Sheehan
Lucilla Clara O'Leary Regina Elis Bogle
Gertrude Alma Cone Ella Ester Johann
Madalena Carmen Coyle Minnie Mary Toman
Marg. Eva Mary Theno  

The Right Reverend Bishop Lillis Administered the Sacrament of
Confirmation to the Following in Paola, Kansas, on May 22, 1910,
Reverend M. Burk, Pastor.

Mark Joseph Lewis Margaret Helen Cunningham
Ferdinand Levi Hodges Mary Elizabeth Jordan
John Francis Nalty Agnes Ellen Papst
Bernard Donegan Palmer Pauline Bernadette Clark
William Francis Wolf Catherine Toelle
Walter Anton Reitinger Stella Mary Maloney
Herbert Richard Kepple Clara Elis. Theno
John Joseph Chamberlain Cecelia Brinker
Milo Michael Baxter Mary Theresa Barlis
Richard Wolf Elis. Josephine Wolf
John Donald Sheehan Anna Miller
John Francis Conneghan Mary Josephine Kepple
Thos. Francis Baxter Mary Magdalene McCarthy
James Martin Dougherty Mary Elizabeth Cone
Leo Jacob Koehler Josephine Veronica Johnson
Frank Patrick Cunningham Nettie Mary Wolf
Emil Theodore Koehler Anna Mary Daltimeier
Wilbur William Kepple Helen Frances Allen
James Jos. Lewis Rosa Monica Killy
Margaret Ceclia Steinbacher Helen Mary McNamara
Mary Agnes Frances Brinker Mina Koehler
Mary Pearl Elis. Cadden Mary Maloney
Mary Gertrude Masters Lorene Bridget Hodges
Rosa Marj. Agnes McMorrow Pearl Christine Hamm
Lillian Theresa Coughlin  


(From The Leavenworth Times.)

Bishop Ward was born May 23, 1857, in the vicinity of Cleveland, Ohio. He attended the Parish school at Olmstead, Ohio, and passed through High School at Berea. He continued his classical studies at Mt. St. Mary's, Cincinnati, and completed his collegiate course at Sanwich College, Ontario. he took up his studies of Science, Philosophy and Theology under the Benedictine Fathers at the famous institution of learning at St. Meinrad's, Indiana. He was ordained to the Priesthood in the Cathedral of Leavenworth, July 17, 1884, by his lamented and saintly predecessor, Rt. Rev. Louis Mary Fink, O.S.B.

Immediately after his ordination, Father Ward served for some months as Assistant Priest at the Cathedral, with Rt. Rev. Bishop Cunningham as Rector of that time. In November of the same year, he was sent as pastor to Frankfort and Irish Creek where he remained four years. With his people of the northwest, his name, his kindness, his zeal, good work are held in loving memory, not only by the old pioneers and early settlers but by the present generation whom he baptized and instructed in the mysteries of holy religion. In 1888 he was transferred to Parsons, Kansas, which at that time was a part of the Leavenworth Diocese. With seven years in Parsons, his next charge was St. Thomas Church, Armourdale, then the most flourishing parish of the Diocese. Three years later, with the appointment and consecration of Bishop Cunningham to the Diocese of Concordia, Father Ward was sent as his successor to the Cathedral in Leavenworth. Eleven and one-half years as rector of the Cathedral so won a place in the hearts of the Catholics and non-Catholic people of Leavenworth, that his consecration yesterday was their joy and their pride, and they gathered at his feet yesterday morning in the grand old House of Worship he loved so well, to pay him their reverence and homage and childlike devotion.

In the spring of 1909 when the irremovable rectorship of St. Mary's Church, Kansas City, Kansas, was made vacant by the resignation of Monsignor Kuhls, from the concursus Bishop Lillis chose Father Ward as his appointee to the parish. With the recent appointment of Bishop Lillis as Coadjutor to Bishop Hogan, Kansas City, Mo., the name of Father Ward was first on the tongue and in prayers of the people and clergy to receive the exalted estate. His consecration was the consummation of a well earned title, the reward of a priestly and zealous life and an answer to the prayers of his admiring friends within as well as without the Catholic Fold.

His character as seen by those who knew him best, is moulded in traits which make him a pleasant companion, a faithful and affectionate friend, a wise and prudent counselor, a watchful and zealous Father of his people and a churchman to the last. His sense of Justice is exacting, his decisions firm and his principles uncompromising. He will fittingly carry the dignity of his high office, like a prince of the Church, and when he represents her in word or deed, all will know what the Church holds and teaches, and what she expects of her official representatives. May the hopes of his people and cherished friends be realized in a length of years spanning his episcopal administration, as a crown of glory over one of the most flourishing and best dioceses in the new world.


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