McCAFFREY, REV. DENNIS F.
Posted By: Volunteer (email)
Date: 1/7/2005 at 13:07:19
Biography reproduced from page 431 of the History of Kossuth and Humboldt Counties, Iowa published in 1884:
Rev. Dennis F. McCaffrey was born in Leitrim, Ireland, toward the close of the fall of 1846; and there, amid all the pleasures of childhood, were passed some five summers, the fond remembrances of which are still alive in memory. The loss of a father, kind but stern, together with the painful effects of those years of want, necessitated a final change of home. The change came, and came, too, for the better. And here it might be remarked that the family was the second of the race to settle in Providence, R. I. The seventh summer finds him attending the village school, while the next spring shows the lad of not yet eight years taking early lessons in gardening from Capt. Smith, who was, perhaps, more widely known for the oddity of humanity than for the length of years. The seven or eight years that followed only speak of long summers of labor and a few months of school in the winter. During the few years that follow, he filled a position of some importance in one of the mills of Valley Falls. While thus engaged he saw the necessity of night school for the youths who labored all day in the factory. About this time an opening to attend the Lonsdale high school offered itself, and was readily embraced. Some nine months at this institute prepared the way for entering Holy Cross College, situated at Worcester, Mass., in September, 1864, in company with Rev. W. Hines, pastor at East Greenwich, R. I. Six years of college life—years of hope and anxiety, were not slow to pass, leaving footprints of the happiest nature. The fall after graduating he entered the Grand Seminary at Montreal, Canada, and in the third year after, December, 1872, he seeks rest from study, as his health was much impaired by the severe routine of the Grand Seminary. He spent a year and a half with his sister in Pennsylvania. In September, 1873, he was requested to teach a class in his Alma Mater. This position he held for two years, during which time he gave his spare hours to books of no light nature. When strong again, and with the necessary means to complete his studies, he entered the Seminary of Our Lady of Angels, Suspension Bridge, N.Y., and there received ordination from the hand of Bishop Ryan, Dec. 23, 1873. Iowa then became his field of labor, and for about a year and a half he acted in the capacity of assistant in Ottumwa, Des Moines and Fort Dodge. Fairfax, Linn county, was his first mission, where he spent two years, when he was changed to Algona, Kossuth Co., Iowa, where he now resides.
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