Rev. Philip Joseph O'Connor
Rev Philip Joseph O'Connor, a well known representative of the Catholic clergy in northwestern Iowa, having for thirteen years served the parish of St Joseph's church at Sioux City, has accomplished substantial results for the benefit of the church and its people.
He was born in Eaton, Preble county, Ohio, June 2, 1854, his parents being Philip and Margaret (Lenihan) O'Connor, natives of Ireland. Following the removal of the family to Ottumwa, Iowa, in 1857, he pursued his education in the public and parochial schools of that city and then began preparation for the priesthood as a student in St Francis' College at Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He afterward continued his studies in the University of Our Lady of Angels near Niagara Falls, New York, and received the holy orders of the priesthood on the 16th of March, 1878, Bishop Ryan of the Buffalo diocese conduction the ordination ceremony.
Immediately afterward Father O'Connor entered upon the active work of the church as assistant to Father McLaughlin in Clinton, Iowa. During the five months there spent he established a school with Mother Cecelia in charge. He was then assigned to the pastorate of the Catholic church in Monticello, Iowa, where he remained for five years and under his there the stone church and residence were built, while the work of the church was carefully organized and augmented.
For eighteen consecutive years he was the priest at Carroll, Iowa, and again was instrumental in erecting a stone house of worship, in addition to which he fitted up the parish hall and also added to the property, which because of the many improvements placed thereon became very valuable.
In 1900 Father O'Connor made a trip to the Holy Land, spending four months in travel and study there. In 1902 he was transferred to St Joseph's Catholic church of Sioux City and entered upon his parish duties in February of that years. There he has since remained and thus for thirteen years has guided the interests of the church, enlarging its field of usefulness in many ways. Schoolrooms have been increased in size and renovated and the convent has been enlarged. He has the entire sympathy of his people, whose interests are very dear to him, and he is frequently their counselor and guide in temporal as well as spiritual matters.
Source: IOWA, Its History and Its Foremost Citizens, The S J Clarke Publishing Company, Chicago, 1915, Volume II, pages 336. 337
Submitted by Norm Prince