Submitted by: Barbara Theis 

The Daily Herald. CLINTON, IOWA.

Official Paper of City and County.


Wednesday Evening, January 15, 1879.

THE CITY. Local Laconics.

The last ball for the season of the R.C.T.A. Society will take place at the Catholic Temperance Hall on Third street on Thursday evening of next week, the 23d. Bush & Flanagan’s full band of five pieces will furnish music.


Thursday Evening, January 16, 1879.

MOURNING AT ST. MARY’S. Death of Rev. P.V. McLaughlin, for Twelve Years Priest of the Clinton Catholic Parish.

Notwithstanding the fact that for many years their beloved pastor had been ill with that dread disease consumption, and that many times his life had been despaired of, his late serious illness did not become so generally known to the parishioners of St. Mary’s Catholic church as to cause apprehension that the end was near, and the announcement this morning of the death of Rev. P.V. McLaughlin fell unexpectedly upon the ears of his congregation, and has awakened no little interest in the city. The reverend gentleman had presided over the parish so long, had built up the society, in fact, from its very foundation, and had endeared himself so much to his people that his death has created a deep feeling of sadness, and in his congregation a manifest feeling of gloom.

Rev. Patrick Venantius McLaughlin was born in the county of Wexford, Ireland, May 18th, 1844, being nearly 35 years of age at his death, which occurred at 8:30 o’clock this morning. He came to America with his parents when a child, and was educated at St. Thomas academy, Bardstown, Ky, and at Cape Girardeau, Mo., Seminary, finishing at St. Francis’ Academy, Milwaukee, where he received the orders of sub deacon and deacon. He received other orders subsequently at the hands of Bishop Smith at Dubuque. He was ordained a priest of this diocese by Bishop FeEhan, of Nashville, at St. Louis in 1866, and was assigned to the Clinton parish, then just organizing, early in 1867, having been the pastor of St. Mary’s congregation for about twelve years. Early in his ministration he developed the disease which finally ended his existence and for the past six years has had an assistant, and has taken frequent trips for his health, once to California, but without any perceptible improvement. His present assistant was Rev. Father O’Reilly, a worthy young priest.

Through the labors of Father McLaughlin St. Mary’s congregation has grown from a society of 65 members to a society embracing over three hundred heads of families. He built the church, school house and parsonage, founded the Catholic Temperance Society and was instrumental in various other ways in building up one of the most prosperous Catholic societies in Iowa.

In accordance with custom and the wish of the deceased, the remains will be buried under the altar of the church where he has so long labored. His remains, kept from view during the day, will be taken to the church this evening and will lie in state, guarded night and day by the R.C.T.A. society, in regalia, until next Tuesday morning, when, as now arranged, they will be interred with imposing ceremonies.

During his closing hours deceased was faithfully attended by his brother and sister, Rev. E.J. McLaughlin, of Sigourney, Iowa, and Miss Lizzie J. McLaughlin, of Dubuque, the latter having been with him several weeks. Jas. N. McLaughlin, Esq. and wife, of Dubuque, the parents, have been sent for. There are also present to-day, assisting in the funeral preparations, Rev. T.P. Hodnett, of Dixon, and Rev. Stephen Trant, of Highland, Wis., classmates of deceased, who were visiting him. Further announcements of the funeral will be given.


January 17, 1879.

The Late Father McLaughlin.

The remains of the late Rev. P.V. McLaughlin were conveyed from his residence on Sixth avenue across to the Catholic church this afternoon, in charge of visiting clergy, the Roman Catholic Total Abstinence Society and members of the congregation, and a large concourse of the Father’s late parishioners and others thronged the church to view the remains and attest their esteem for the deceased. The church has been heavily and tastefully draped in mourning, the altar, organ loft, lamp fixtures, walls and ceiling all showing a profusion of blended black and white, arranged in entwined and festooned and other appropriate ways. The remains rest in an elegant case, standing on a heavily draped catafalco, in front of the altar, where they will lie in state and may be viewed at any time, day or night, by those who desire, until next Tuesday morning, when the funeral services and final interment will take place.

Carpenters and masons are constructing a vault under the south end of the altar platform, which will receive the remains and over which will be erected a beautiful memorial slab.

The parents of deceased arrived from Dubuque last night, and Rev. Father Flannery, of Washington, for a long time his assistant, arrived here this morning in response to a telegram.

The Dubuque Times closes a notice of deceased as follows:

“Father McLaughlin was faithful and devoted in his duties as far as he was able to perform them. His parishioners esteemed and loved him for his many good qualities of head and heart. But a short time ago they presented him with a horse and carriage. His memory will long live in the diocese where he has ceased the tasks of life to enter upon the rest of the redeemed in heaven.”

The Dubuque Herald quotes the obituary notice of this paper, and adds:

“During his boyhood in this city he was a carrier on the Herald during the years P.J. Lee, now of the German bank, and John Lenahan, railroad contractor, served in that capacity. His mother and sister were yesterday advised of the sad news, and departed last evening for Clinton, in which city the funeral obsequies will take place and the interment occur.”


Saturday Evening, January 18, 1879.

The Late Father McLaughlin.

The remains of the dead priest lie in state at St. Mary’s church, resting in a beautiful ebony finished black walnut case, with silver mountings, fully draped. The features and crossed hands, viewed through the glass, are serene and perfectly natural looking almost like wax. The dead father is arrayed in the vestments of his ecclesiastical office, and on the coffin is spread his regalia, while his silver cross and Bible and golden chalice are displayed at his head. A large number of people constantly visit the church to view the remains.

Rev. Father B. C. Lenahan, of Sioux City, an old classmate, is expected to preach the funeral discourse Tuesday morning.

The Roman Catholic Total Abstinence Society met at their hall, January 17th, on the occasion of the death of the Rev. P.V. McLaughlin, and the following resolutions were unanimously adopted:

WHEREAS, It has pleased the Almighty God in his wisdom to call to himself from amongst us our beloved pastor, Rev. P.V. McLaughlin, the Spiritual Guide of this Society;

Resolved. That we humbly bow in submission to the holy will of Him who doeth all things well.

Resolved. That it is with the deepest regret and affliction we meet this day to express our grief at the loss we and the parish in general have sustained. Father McLaughlin was the founder of our Society, and had always our interests at heart. It is chiefly owing to his wise teachings and untiring zeal that any good we have accomplished has been attained.

Resolved. That this Society will attend his funeral in a body and that our hall be draped in mourning for thirty days from the date of his demise; and

Resolved. That the foregoing resolutions be spread upon our minutes, and a copy of the same be sent to the parents of our beloved pastor; and be if further

Resolved. That a copy of the same be published in the Clinton HERALD, Dubuque Telegraph and Temperance Union of New York.




CLINTON, Jan. 17, 1879.

“T.P.H.” furnishes a long obituary notice of the late Rev. Father McLaughlin to the Dubuque Herald, closing as follows:

From the intense grief pervading all classes of Clinton society, a fair estimate may be had of the deceased. Protestants vie even with the members of his own flock in doing him honor. Several of the most influential among them have requested to be allowed to participate in the funeral obsequies. This mark of respect, to Dubuquers, will be no surprise, for they know Father Mc. was beloved by all acquainted with him. St. Mary’s, the church which he beautified and adorned, which echoed back softer the words of wisdom that fell from his lips; St. Mary’s, the pride of his priestly love, will receive all that remains of this devoted servant of God. His body will lie in state in front of the high altar of the church. The temperance society with prominent citizens will act as a guard of honor. Tuesday next, at ten o’clock, there will be a solemn mass of requiem preceded by the office for the dead. A great number of priests from various dioceses are expected to take part, and then the earthly tenement of P.V. McLaughlin will be consigned to its last resting place.


Monday Evening, January 20, 1879.

BURIAL RITES. Preparations for the Interment of the Late Rev. P.V. McLaughlin.

The final ceremonies attending the consignment to the grave of the remains of the late Rev. P.V. McLaughlin will occur tomorrow forenoon, commencing with the office for the dead, to be said by the priests, fifty of whom, from various other parishes, have been invited. In addition to Rev. Father O’Reilly, the assistant of deceased, Revs. McLaughlin, of Sigourney, Hodnett, of Dixon, Trant, of Highland, Wis., and Flannery, of Washington, are present, and among those expected are Rev. Dunn, of Lyons, Lenahan, of Sioux City, Lenahan, of Fort Dodge, Conway, of Chicago, McCormick, of DeWitt, and Gaffney, of Center Grove. The Very Rev. Vicar-General Brazil, of DesMoines, will assist.

After the office, about 10:30 o’clock, the ceremony of the solemn requiem high mass will follow, a long, beautiful devotional service, during which remarks on the life and character of deceased will be made by Rev. B.C. Lenahan, of Sioux City, an old classmate and warm personal friend of Father McLaughlin. This high mass and tribute will occupy probably two hours, after which the final ceremony of interment will occur, the casket containing the remains being borne to the vault which has been constructed under the south end of the altar, and lowered to its last resting place with the usual services at the grave and burning of incense. There will be no street demonstration.

It is not expected the church will hold more than a small number of those who desire to attend the funeral. Nevertheless, ushers have been appointed, in charge of J.I. Mullany, Esq., to see that the seats are well filled, and a few of the front pews will be reserved especially for Protestants and others outside the congregation. The public, without regard to sect or creed, are cordially invited, and to give more room for adults the Catholic children will be excluded. The Roman Catholic Total Abstinence Society will constitute a guard of honor, and will be present in regalia. The services will probably be concluded by two o’clock in the afternoon.


Tuesday Evening, January 21, 1879.


The R.C.T.A. ball will be postponed from Thursday night, on account of Father McLaughlin’s death, to some time in the future, of which notice will be given.

A PRIEST’S REPOSE. The Solemn Funeral Obsequies of the Late Rev. P.V. McLaughlin - Thirty-Three Fellow Clergymen Pronounce the Offices of the Church and Hundreds of People Attest their Esteem by their Presence.


The final public rites attending the burial of the late pastor of St. Mary’s Rev. P.V. McLaughlin, occurred at the church to-day, beginning about ten o’clock and closing at one, the sad and solemn services being heard and witnessed by fully fifteen hundred people, every available foot of standing room in the large building being occupied. The audience numbered most of the adult Catholics of this city and two or three hundred from Lyons, besides many Protestants and others, including not a few of the business men of Clinton. The congregation began assembling at eight o’clock, many remaining in the building for five hours, some in a very crowded situation but all coveting the opportunity to be present. The R.C.T.A. society attended in regalia as a guard of honor, and Messrs. Thomas Tierney, L. McMahon, Thos. Spaulding and Michael Monroe officiated as ushers under the leadership of Mr. J.I. Mullany.


opened about ten o’clock, by the chanting of the solemn office for the dead by the brother priests, of whom thirty-three were present, as follows: The Very Rev. J.F. Brazil, of Des Moines, Vicar General of Iowa; Rev. E.J. McLaughlin, of Sigourney, Iowa, brother of deceased; Rev. Thomas O’Rielly of Clinton, assistant parish priest; and Revs. Wm. Dunn and J. Lehrsman, of Lyons; P.J. Conley, of Chicago; T.F. Gunn and T. Kinsella, of Burlington; A. Nierman, H. Cosgrove, and M. Flaven, of Davenport; R. Ryan, C. Johannes and T. Rowe, of Dubuque; D.J. Flannery, of Washington, Iowa; P. O’Connor, of Monticello; P. Smith, of Iowa City; P. Maher, of Anamosa; J.F. Brady, of Farley; Stephen Trant, of Highland, Wis.; John Kilkenny, Fulton; T.P. Hodnett, of Dixon; Jas. B. McGowan, of Bankston, Dubuque county; J. P. Hennessy, of Cascade; T. Lenahan, of Fort Dodge; B. C. Lenehan, of Sioux City; J.B. Gaffney, of Center Grove; Thos. McCormick, of DeWitt; J.J. O’Farrell, of Charlotte; M. Quirk, of Waukoma; M.T. Schiffmacher, of Bellevue; P.J. Farley, of Holy Cross, and R.A. Byrne, of Lawler.

After the office for the dead, chanted by the priests, the


followed, the following priests officiating: Rev. E.J. McLaughlin, Celebrant; Rev. T.P. Hodnett, Deacon; Rev. D. Flannery, Sub Deacon; Revs. P. Smith, Henry Cosgrove, Masters of Ceremonies; P.J. O’Connor and J.B. McGowan, Acolytes. This was a long service of chanting, singing and devotional exercises, participated in by the clergy, the choir being dispensed with in view of the number of male voices at the altar. The mass closed about noon, a half hour of the time having been occupied by Rev. B.C. Lenahan, of Sioux City, with the


this being an eloquent tribute to the life and character of the deceased. The speaker took for his text the words of Job, “Have mercy on me,” and noted the character of this prayer, the solemn services then transpiring, the large audience assembled to do honor to the departed and the good, faithful and honorable character he had left behind. He spoke of the purity, benevolence and high mindedness of deceased; of the fact that of few could so much be said; of the speaker’s association and friendly relations with Father McLaughlin and of the time twelve years ago when the speaker had last addressed an audience from that altar. Then the deceased was a newly constituted priest in the full vigor of youth and health, bound by virgin ties to this church of his first espousal. He was a man of no great renown or brilliant promise, but was a pure, simple boy, an upright man and an honest priest, against whom none could bring aught in moral or religious accusation. He spoke of the interest the deceased had always felt not only in this church but in the affairs of the whole diocese; and said he was not here to praise, but to hold up the good deeds of the departed for the encouragement of those left behind. Father McLaughlin was a positive man, and made more enemies by saying what he believed than he made friends by endeavoring to conciliate. Honesty of purpose and integrity of mind were leading attributes of his nature.

Then the speaker referred to the world at large; to the fact that all have an opportunity of doing some good, but that none are perfect. Christ was the only perfect example. The children of this congregation who have grown up in the last ten years remember Father McLaughlin with great esteem and affection, and all think of him as one of the brightest examples of Christ’s teachings. The speaker counseled the parishioners to practice the good precepts taught by their late pastor that those teachings might redound to his glory. Priests do not say they are perfect; they simply claim that, as they are priests, they may speak with authority of the Great High Priest and His requirements. Closing, he admonished the people to remember that in placing the remains of their pastor beneath the altar so they should put all pride beneath their feet and trample upon and walk over all sin.

After the oration and concluding services of the mass, the


followed, the Vicar General, Very Rev. Father Brazil, officiating. The latter, a man venerable in years and benevolent in expression, spoke a few words in commendation of deceased and in consolation of the many sincere mourners he had left behind.

The priests then surrounded the remains, and with chanting, burning of incense, and other ceremonies, the casket and remains were borne to the grave by the pall bearers, chosen from the R.C.T.A. society, as follows: John McCoy, John Quinn, Wm. Lanagan, Ed. Sheppard, John Delaney and Frank Dougherty. During this ceremony


occurred, the people crowding forward, many eagerly pressing towards the casket to get one more glimpse of the dead priest, and the sobs and exclamations of the women being audible throughout the congregation. There were many tears, and all, even those least interested, felt the deep sadness and solemnity of the occasion.

The coffin was strewn with the regalia of the deceased, and on it rested a beautiful evergreen and floral cross, bearing the letters “I.H.S.” while a smaller similar cross and an evergreen wreath reclined on the casket. Candles were borne beside the coffin to the vault, and on the coffin was a silver plate in shape of a cross inscribed as follows:



the final absolution was pronounced by the Vicar General, the Very Rev. Father Brazil, and then all that remained of the departed pastor was tenderly deposited in the newly built vault of solid masonry, under the south end of the altar, and covered from the last fond view of all his earthly friends. With a benedictory exercise by the R.C.T.A.S. and prayer, the ceremonies closed and the great audience slowly wended its way outside.

The funeral will long be remembered as one of the most notable burials that ever occurred in this city, accorded one who in life was a sincere friend to Catholic and Protestant alike, beloved by his people, an honor to his church and an honorable, public spirited member of the community.


The Des Moines Register pays this tribute to Rev. Father McLaughlin:

The announcement in the Register yesterday morning of the death of this excellent young priest, at Clinton, brought sorrow to many Catholics in Des Moines and many regrets that he was thus taken off in that very time of life in which he could, in the ordinary course of men’s lives, have contributed most to his chosen vocation. Father McLaughlin’s death will be much lamented among Iowa Catholics, as he was as popular and as talented as any in that church ministry in this State. Although born in Ireland, he was in every way an Iowa man, having been raised and spent the greater portion of his ministry here.





Message Boards

  • I hope that, if you have Clinton County newspapers, you will consider submitting articles for us to put online.  You can type them up and email them to me, Nettie Mae or post them to our Documents Board. You can also scan them and send the image in an email.  Please make sure to note the name and date of the newspaper.

    If you don't have the time or  inclination for typing or scanning, please consider sending any old newspapers or copies of articles, obits, etc.,  you have to me via regular mail.  I'd be more than happy to do the typing.  Please email me for my snail-mail address.