Bishop William Quarter Diary Part V: April 1845 to January 4, 1846

April 28th (?)

Rev. Mr. Ostlangenberg [illegible word]. Threatening to leave diocese. [illegible words] & threatening again.

April 30th
Rev. Mr. McMahan in Chicago again. [illegible words] Taylor’s Settlement on work done [illegible words] of Church. Old Andreas (?) German priest (?) departs for Milwaukee.

May 2nd

Rev. Mr. Rattigan arrived looking for mission. Leaves after one or two days. Rev. Mr. McMahan gone to St. Louis to see his sister.

[p. 30] [There are no entries between May 2nd and September]

September 1845

Together with the foregoing the bishop received a donation of a bell from Felix Ingoldsby priced at $185(?). This bell will be in the steeple of the Cathedral. After a lapse of about 4 months the bishop returned to his diocese and found on his arrival the Cathedral which was being plastered during the summer nearly finished. The plastering was done under the superintendence of Mr. Daniel Sullivan, architect; and liberal contributions were raised from the congregation of Chicago by the active exertions of Rev. W. J. Quarter & the Rev. Jer[emiah] Kinsella.

September 1845 Ordinations

September 8th

On the 8th of September, the feast of the Nativity of the B.V.M., the bishop held an ordination in the Cathedral and tonsured Misters John Bradley, Henry Coyle, James Griffin, Francis Derevin and John M. Herbst (?). On the same occasion Misters Griffin, Derevin, & Herbst received minor orders & the Misters Derevin & Herbst were ordained subdeacons.

September 17th

In quatnor tenke (?), Mr Lawrence Hoey received the tonsure and minor orders. Whilst Mr. Griffin was ordained subdeacon and Mr. Philip Conlon also subdeacon.

September 19th

Quatttuor-tense, feast of St. Januarius

The bishop officiating pontifically ordained the subdeacons Rev. Misters Francis Derevin, Philip Conlon & Griffin deacons.

September 20th
Quattuor-tense the feast of St. Eustachius

The bishop officiating pontifically in the cathedral raised the Rev. Misters Francis Derevin & Philip Conlon, deacons, to the dignity of the Priesthood.

Friday, about 1 ½ p.m. the Rev. Mr. Jong arrived in the “Steamer Empire.” He is of Strasburg, Germany & is appointed pastor of the German congregation Chicago.
September 27th

Died on Saturday morning of the 27th Rev. John Faughnan, pastor of Elgin in the 42nd year & three months of his age. R.I.P.

September 30th

Arrived from N.Y. today Mr. Joseph Rogan to join the seminary.

[the three entries of September 20, 27, & 30 seem in different handwriting than what precedes and what follows]

October 1845

October 5th

The First Sunday of October

The new Cathedral of St. Mary was consecrated by the Right Rev. William J. Quarter, the bishop of the diocese. The ceremony of consecration commenced about 6 a.m. The bishop was assisted by Rev. Jer[emiah] Kinsella as deacon, Rev. Mr. Conlon as deacon & Rev. Mr. Griffin subdeacon. After the consecration the bishop celebrated Mass on the consecrated altar. Rev. Jer[emiah] Kinsella said the next mass. The High Mass at 10 o’clock was celebrated by the Rev. Walter J. Quarter. The Rev. Mr. Conlon acted as deacon & the Rev. Mr. Griffin as subdeacon & Rev. Mr. Jong (German priest) as archdeacon. Mr. Coyle was master of ceremonies. Mr. Lawrence Hoey thurifer. There were present in the sanctuary the following [p. 32] #18 seminarians, viz.: Misters Thomas Aughoney (sacristan), Henry Coyle, Lawrence Hoey, James Kean, Joseph Rogan, young Mr. O’Donnell, brother of Rev. Mr. O’Donnell of Ottawa, John Bradley, Mr. Gallagher & Rev. Mr. Herbst subdeacon. The bishop preached at the last Mass and gave out Vespers. The discourse at Vespers was in German and presented by Rev. Mr. Jong. The Right Rev. Dr. Lefevre [sic] of Detroit was invited, as also the Right Rev. Dr. Henni of Milwaukee. Letters of apology were received from both. Duty & circumstances preventing their attendance.

#18 + As he had done with his description of his first Holy Week in Chicago, so Bishop Quarter provides a thorough description of the consecration of the cathedral. However, he makes no mention of prominent Catholic laity or any civic officials who might have attended.

October 15th

(Feast of St. Teresa) Ordained Rev. Ja[mes] Griffin (deacon) priest.

October 18th

Mr. Hamilton arrived & joined seminary.

October 19th

Administered Sacrament of Confirmation at Little Fort (Waukegan, IL) where Rev. B[ernard] McGorisk is pastor, to 56 persons.

October 21st

Administered the Sacrament [of Confirmation] at Donnelly’s Settlement (Hartland, IL) where Rev. P[atrick] McMahan is pastor to 31 persons.

October 22nd
Visited Elgin. Saw the pastor Rev. Mr. Scanlan. On the 20th the Bishop of Milwaukee was here on his way to Cincinnati.

October 17th

This entry is out of numerical sequence of the previous ones, but this is the way the entry is recorded in the diary.
On this day the workmen began to dig the foundation of “the University of St. Mary of the Lake.” The name of the man who has contracted to build it is James O’Donnell. The name of the architect is Daniel Sullivan. In digging the foundation they found shells, an evidence it would seem, that the lake once flowed there, but has since receded.

[p. 33]

November 1845

November 4th

The Bishop & Rev. John Ingoldsby started today in the buggy of the latter for Galena. They stopped the first night at Elgin. The 2nd night at Rockford. The 3rd at New Dublin where Rev. Francis Derevin is pastor. They found him engaged with several of his congregation in raising a log house for his residence. Next morning they proceeded on their journey accompanied for some miles by the Rev. Mr. Derevin & a young man of the name of Murphy. They dined at the house of a German of the name of Weaver near Elizabeth and reached Galena same afternoon – Friday the 7th. #19

#19 + A search of maps and history of Illinois has not found where “New Dublin” is located. Since Bishop Quarter was headed to Galena (IL), a guess would be that this town is somewhere near Freeport (IL).

November 15th

On Saturday evening of the following week, Right Rev. Dr. Loras arrived in Galena. Bishop Quarter invited him to give Confirmation at the 8 o’clock Mass the following day. He agreed. He preached also at Vespers & left for Dubuque next morning. On the following Tuesday in the afternoon [November 18th] Bishop Quarter left for Chicago in a private carriage, owned and driven by a Mr. Gavin. Rev. Mr. Ingoldsby left for home on the day preceeding (sic). #20

November 22nd

The Bishop reached Chicago on Saturday evening and found the new university under roof. The bishop collected 425 dollars towards building the ecclesiastical seminary in Galena. During the bishop’s absence on this visit, there had arrived the Rev. Mr. Plathe a German priest from Boston who was yesterday [November 25th] appointed pastor of the German congregation at Grosse Pointe & also Mr. McLaughlin from the college at Emmitsburg [MD], a student of theology, [p. 34] and also a young man of the name of Brady who has joined the ecclesiastical seminary.

November 26th

A violent snowstorm commenced early this morning and still continues. Towards the close of this month, the Bishop was waited on by a gentleman of the name of Babbitt from Nauvoo who represented himself as the agent of the Mormons to city and authorised (sic) to make sale of their property to the Catholics. The Bishop wrote to Rev. Misters Hamilton of Springfield & Tucker of Quincy to go to Nauvoo & see what arrangements could be made regarding the leasing at least if not purchasing of the Mormon Temple. #21

December 1845

December 16th

Received today a letter from the Society of the P[ropagation] of the F[aith] of France.

December 18th

[handwriting seems to change again]

This is the coldest day I have experienced for years. And even the snow drifts. It blows hard [from] n[orth]w[est] and freezes tightly.

January 1846 [Handwriting seems to change again]

Heavy rain. O’Donnell, builder, said to be neglecting his building at the university. On 2nd [O’Donnell] confined to prison by Mr. Luckerman, lumber merchant, for not paying his bills. #22

January 3rd

On this day (Saturday) the bishop erected the Stations of the Cross in the Cathedral.

[p. 35] January 4th

On Saturday, D[aniel] Sullivan, architect, served O’Donnell with notice in the prison, that he (Sullivan) would get on in constructing the university, as O’Donnell had violated the terms of his contract. On Monday D[aniel] S[ullivan] proceeded to prosecute the work.


#18 + As he had done with his description of his first Holy Week in Chicago, so Bishop Quarter provides a thorough description of the consecration of the cathedral. However, he makes no mention of prominent Catholic laity or any civic officials who might have attended.

#19 + A search of maps and history of Illinois has not found where “New Dublin” is located. Since Bishop Quarter was headed to Galena (IL), a guess would be that this town is somewhere near Freeport (IL).

#20 + Bishop Mathias Loras was made the first Bishop of Dubuque (Iowa) in 1839. For more on his life see: Shelley, ed., Encyclopedia of American Catholic History, s.v. “Loras, Mathias,” by William E. Wilke.

#21 + After the expulsion of the Mormons from Missouri in 1838, members of the Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter-Day Saints bought property in Hancock County (IL) and established a town they named Nauvoo. Because of continuing social and political tensions, the leaders of the Mormons decided to sell their property. Elder Almon Babbitt was sent to visit the Catholic bishops in St. Louis, Cincinnati, and Chicago. Bishop Quarter’s Diary notes Babbitt’s visit to Chicago on November 26, 1845. On December 2, 1845, Father Tucker (Quincy) and Father Hamilton (Springfield) visited with the Mormon leaders and toured the property. A proposal for the sale of the lands was given to the two priests. Father Tucker suggested that the proposal be published in various Catholic newspapers. Father Tucker offered the opinion that he believed that Catholic men in St. Louis, New York and other cities had the money to buy the property, but he wondered if it could be done on such short notice. The Mormon leaders also indicated that they were willing to lease the Nauvoo Temple for five to thirty-five years. On January 7, 1846, the Elders received a letter from Father Tucker indicating that the Catholic bishop of Chicago could not raise the money to buy the property. However, the bishop was interested in either buying or renting one of the buildings on the condition that he did not have to insure it against fire or mobs. This was not acceptable to the Mormon leaders so no further discussions took place between Bishop Quarter and the Mormons regarding the Nauvoo property. See: Smith, Joseph. History of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1957), v. 7, 537, 539-540, 565. https://catalog.hathitrust.org/api/volumes/oclc/13933046.html [Accessed October 4, 2017]

#22 + McGovern does not include the information about O’Donnell not attending to the building of the university or being imprisoned for failure to pay the lumber bill.

+ McGovern in his entry for January 4th writes: “On Saturday D. Sullivan, architect, stated that there was some difficulty in getting the contractor to do the work…” [p. 77]. McGovern does not have the actual words from the diary “served O’Donnell with notice in the prison that he (Sullivan) would get on…”