Father Hogan, born in 1829 in Bruff, County Limerick, Ireland, immigrated to the United States in 1847, attended the diocesan seminary in Saint Louis, and was ordained a priest in 1852. He initially was pastor in the towns of Old Mines and Potosi, in the lead mining region of Missouri, and in 1854 organized Saint Michael's parish (at 11th and Clinton, destroyed by construction of the Mark Twain Expressway) on the near north side of Saint Louis. He also served at Saint John Apostle and Evangelist in downtown Saint Louis, which was for a while an Irish immigrant Parish. See Saint Louis Celtic Cross Monument, which is located in front of St. John's.
Map of Father John Hogan's missions
On the Mission in Missouri
MISSIONARY OPPORTUNITY.Father Hogan borrowed a horse from a contractor of his acquaintance.
"In June, 1857, the Most Reverend Peter Richard Kenrick, Archbishop of St. Louis, yielding to my repeated request to be relieved from city parochial duty, accepted my resignation of St. Michael's parish in St. Louis... this gave me what I was looking for - an opportunity to go into the interior of North Missouri where there was no priest, and there build a chapel or two as nucleuses of congregations. My purpose proposed to His Grace the Archbishop of St. Louis, received his sanction so far as that I was at liberty to go into the country and see it first."
"I turned my face towards North Missouri. The North Missouri Railroad was then open for passenger business to Warrenton. West of Warrenton many men were at work, leveling hills, filling hollows, building culverts, erecting bridges. It was a busy scene..."
"I set out, keeping the main road that led to the prairies of North Missouri. The weather was hot, being then the last days of July. I passed through Montgomery, Audrain, and Randolph counties...on the Fourth of August, I instructed and baptized two grown persons, I proceeded northward into Macon county and thence westward towards Chariton river. As I was crossing the Chariton swamp - a wide stretch of alluvial lands on the confines of Macon and Linn counties, I was over-taken by a well dressed young man, mounted on an elegant horse in bright new trappings...I told him I was a Catholic priest seeking a location for a church in these parts. He said, "there are no Catholics here, what then is the use for a church?" Seeing he was prejudiced and displeased with my purpose, I replied, "True, sir, there are no Catholics here now, but they will be here before long, and you and I may live to see the day when there will be a Catholic church on every hill around here." "Yes," said he, "when the Chariton goes up stream, good-bye"...This was a foreboding of conflict that would last well into the twentieth century. But there were other conflicts as well, among the Irish railroad builders themselves.
MULHOLLANDISTS AND MURPHYITES.Father travelled through Linn and Livingston Counties, and turned back eastward at the high open prairies of Caldwell County, later meeting with holy Irish railroad workers who were sober and who knew the places and people of his childhood back in Ireland.
"Hearing of a disturbance going on a few miles distant, on the line of the Hannibal and St. Joseph Railroad, I determined to go there. I found contractor Mulholland with about a hundred men encamped on the east side of the Muscle [Mussel] Fork of the Chariton river. On the hills to the west side of the same stream, contractor Murphy was similarly encamped with fully as many men. Both camps had sentinels posted along their fronts. To the right and left of the camps were the shanties of the warriors in which their wives and children were crouching in terror. Surveying the situation, I resolved to enter one camp first and then another, and by passing from camp to camp to bring both parties to terms; my ultimatum being that they should stop drinking and retire in peace to their homes. Before long, all were at home or at their work again. I stayed there some days cementing anew the friendship that was disrupted but for the moment, and that, as I afterwards learned, continued firm and lasting."
At Brunswick, Father Hogan went aboard the packet steamboat Spread Eagle, headed for Boonville, eighty miles downstream, and the location of the only Catholic church in the region of his travels. It was the eve of the Feast of the Assumption, very hot, and the swarms of attacking mosquitoes made sleep impossible. The steamboat made stops at New Frankfort, Glasgow, and Arrow Rock.
On board the boat were slaves:
"of whom there were about fifty on board, all athletic men, suffered many cruel hardships. Their keepers, a few armed men, held them chained together in squads, so as to hinder them from getting away at landing places. At night, formed into line, shoulder to shoulder, their faces turned one way, manacled with iron hand-cuffs man to man, they were made to lie down on their backs, on the boiler deck of the boat, without pillow, mattress, or covering - a position they could not change for one instant during the whole night, not even so much as to lie on one side. The groans of the poor fellows, as they clanked their manacled hands against the deck, or dragged and slashed in pain their booted heels on the rough boards on which they lay, were truly heart-rending. They were accused of no crime, were torn away without a minute's notice from their homes, husbands separated from wives and children, sons separated from parents, brothers, and sisters. All were forced to leave dear friends and loved scenes behind them. Love of money caused it all. Traders had bought them and were taking them to trade them again, and for a much higher price, in the slave marts of St. Louis and New Orleans. Seven years before, when a student of the Theological Seminary of St. Louis, the task was given me to write an essay on liberty, which, like all such essays, was to be read and criticized before the rhetoric class. My subject led me to make some comments on negro slavery, and somewhat in the strain of Thomas Moore and Daniel O'Connell on the same subject. "Young man," said the Professor to me, "I have nothing to say to you on the merit of your essay, but this: when you go on the mission, if you give expression to sentiments such as these, you will be driven from home decorated with a coat of tar and feathers, and fortunate you will be, if nothing worse befall you."The Church has always opposed slavery, but in the early 19th century, Catholicism was weak and distrusted in the United States, and many thought that the Church shouldn't be too visible on public matters to avoid persecution. So, for pastoral reasons, the Church had little to say about American slavery. It was a Great Awakening of Protestants in this country that started the moral opposition to slavery. In like manner, because of the hard-won acceptance of American Catholicism in the wake of the Second Vatican Council, many clergy do not want to be too highly critical of our culture, even when it goes against even the most common moral principles.
But Father Hogan saw some hope.
"But slavery had a better side. The poor negroes had many virtues, and a gentleness of character altogether their own. Never, in my acquaintance with them, were they ever disrespectful or offensive to me, or to any one else so far as I could see. When on the mission at Old Mines, in Washington county, in 1852 and 1853, I taught a class of about forty negroes their catechism, day after day for several months, preparing them for First Communion, their progress being quite satisfactory and their behavior a pleasure to me. The negro Catholics of that congregation, and they were many, were devoted to the Church. The young men and young women, though not able to read or write, being debarred from such knowledge by statute, had nevertheless learned by heart the Gloria and Credo of the Mass, and several Psalms and Hymns, which they heard in the church, and which they took delight in singing as they followed the plough in the fields, or enjoyed the pleasures of home by their humble firesides. Their masters did not engage in the business of buying and selling slaves, hiring them out for payment, or separating wife from husband or parents from children. They employed them on the farm to make a support for themselves and for those under whose care they were, and to whom they were oftener a burthen than a benefit. The black and white families went to the same church together. They lived in friendship and in neighborship, mutually aiding and depending on each other. The same parish priest ministered to their spiritual wants. They same family physician attended them in their aliments. They lived for each other, died near each other, and were buried near each other. The "Massa and Missus" and faithful servants, choosing in death as in life not to be separated. Surely before the Holy Altar of the one God, Master of all, and under the sacred influence of humanity divinely redeemed, there was and could be neither "bond nor free." The Church knew how to heal the bruises of the slave and to soften the severity of the master, and had her influence been allowed to prevail, it would have saved us from a calamity now and forever to be deplored, and which neither blood nor tears can ever erase from the pages of our history. Like Rachel, the Church has ever to mourn and without consolation her children's misfortunes, usually none other than the dire results of selfish greed and atrocious political strife."The American view of slavery was opposed between property rights of slave owners versus immediate emancipation through violence. Another, more peaceful way, that of the Church, was ignored, and instead the barbarity of the American Civil War has scarred our country for the past century and a half.
Hearing news of another railroad-worker riot, this time between the Jaegers and Hibernians, Father Hogan headed to Otterville. It turned out to be just a drunken scuffle, and ended happily. Father headed back to Saint Louis by steamboat, landing at Jefferson City and Hermann, and disembarking near the mouth of the Loutre River. He travelled by horseback back to Warrenton, and by train arrived back in Saint Louis.
He got approval from Archbishop Kenrick to build a series of missions, from Saint Louis to Omaha, Nebraska.
Father Hogan started his mission on September 8th, the Feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, under whose patronage Father entrusted his works. He started on his way at the 14th Street depot of the Missouri Pacific Railway, and journeyed by train to Jefferson City, then by steamboat to Brunswick, and then by stagecoach to "Center Point, a new town on paper, in Linn county, on the east fork of the Yellow Creek, confidently supposed, on account of its central location, to become the great central town of Northwest Missouri, on the railway then building from Hannibal to St. Joseph." Center Point consisted of exactly one house. "a one story two-room shed, sides, floor and roof of cottonwood rough boards, but without plastering of weather-boarding, and used for a store." It was a failed business. "Under the influence of the speculative fever that gave the place a name, I rented the wooden shed from the man who had come to be a failure. One of the rooms I converted into a chapel, the other into a study... My congregation consisted of a few railroad laborers living in shanties near by." Father Hogan was kept awake a night by hogs who would root around in the stagnant water underneath the shed, and was finally driven out by a huge hog that threatened to demolish the shed. Local railroad workers were kind enough to build him a new log shanty, twelve feet square and eight high, built of sticks, and limbs, with sawn logs for floor and roof, with furniture of like construction. "I taught catechism and said the rosary and night prayers in the shanty, where also I entertained visitors, who were not a few, whether on business or curiosity. I was a favorite with the railroad civil engineers, a pleasant class of gentlemen who often came late at night seeking shelter under the community roof, as there was no hotel in town... Gradually under careful consideration of the situation, I became suspicious of Center Point. My ideas, brightened by experience, began to lead me to think, that Center Point was not much of a place, was not to be the Center Point, as in fact it never came to be; the coveted destiny being in abeyance for Brookfield the center point to come."
Chillicothe and MilanFather went by horseback to Chilicothe, a place of a thousand inhabitants. He stayed at the city hotel, which was the center of operation of the major stagecoach lines. Father asked quietly about the nature of the inhabitants; they were mainly Kentuckians, and that there was only one Catholic in town, an educated, refined woman, married to a prominent non-Catholic lawyer, who later converted. Father Hogan was successful in Chillicothe, had the support of the local newspaper, and gave a lecture series in the county courthouse. Joseph Graves, the oldest citizen and founder of the town, donated land to build a Catholic church. Father decided to make Chillicothe his central mission station, although there were no Catholic settlers in the area, and only transient railroad workers.
"Having heard of Sullivan County, I imagined, as the name seemed to suggest, that it might be perhaps a Catholic settlement. I determined to go there. Inquiring how to go to Milan - the county seat - I was told that there was no direct way to it, and that the best way was to go by the county road eastward to Linneus twenty-five miles, and thence northward to Milan thirty miles... Approaching Milan, with its few and primitive dwellings in sight, I was suddenly and without previous notice, brought to a stop, by the wild behavior of a disorderly crowd of young men and boys, dressed in ragged jeans and coon-skin caps, seemingly under the influence of liquor, who with boisterous language were firing volleys of rifle shots across my way, from the woods on one side of the road where they were standing, against a target fastened to a tree on the other side."Father Hogan correctly assumed that there were no Catholics in the place and quickly turned around. He was unable to make it to Linneus by nightfall, and instead stopped at a log farmhouse, where he was received very graciously by the family.
AN AFTER-SUPPER COLLOQUY.Father Hogan gives us a dialogue at the farmhouse:
"After supper, my good friend, the man of the house, engaged me in conversation."Father Hogan had a very enjoyable sleep that night in a small, but very clean and comfortable apartment in the farmhouse. In the morning, quite refreshed, he had a good breakfast, his horses were fed and watered, paid expenses to his hosts, and started on his way. Upon parting he said to his host:
"May I as you sir, your name?"
"My name, sir, is Hogan."
"You said you were going to Linneus. Linneus is our county seat. I know almost everyone in Linneus, but I have not seen you there. I suppose you do not live in Linneus?"
"Indeed, sir, I am a stranger in Linneus, and in this part of the state. Being on a journey towards Linneus, I hoped to get there before night, but failed to do so, my horses being tired."
"I see you are not accustomed to work, as I may judge by your appearance; your hands and clothes do not show that you follow the plough as I do."
"True, sir: though not accustomed to work, I nevertheless regard farm work as a very honorable occupation."
"You may be a doctor, then?"
"No, indeed, sir. The practice of medicine is a very responsible profession, and I have not aspired to it."
"Perhaps you are a lawyer, and going to Linneus to open a law office?"
"No, sir; the practice of law is not to my taste, and besides, I have not ability enough to enter that profession."
"What then, may your calling be?"
"Indeed, sir, I have no worldly calling in particular. I am a young man, not long out of college. I was told that North Missouri was, as I find it is, a beautiful country, and I am seeking a place to settle in it, if perchance, I may be suited."
"May I ask, where you journeyed from today?"
"I have come from Milan this afternoon. I passed by here this morning, going to Milan from Linneus. Yesterday in the afternoon I travelled from Chillicothe to Linneus. At Chillicothe I have been staying some days, having travelled there from St. Louis, which I may call my home."
"As you have mentioned Chillicothe, is it not a great place for churches and preachers?"
"There are several churches and preachers in Chillicothe, as I have been told."
"Has there not been a great controversy there lately between the Methodists and Universalists? Have you attended it?"
"No, indeed, sir; I have not attended the controversy. To my mind, it is too late now to discuss the question, as to which of the churches has the true religion. We now cannot be very reliable witnesses of facts that took place nearly two thousand years ago, and if the Christians of the first ages have not settled that question, it would seem useless for us to try to do so. Besides, I do not see how preachers now-a-days, can tell us anything that is not already known on the subject of religion."
"But what do you think of these Universalists?"
"Their doctrine, sir, if I understand it, seems strange to me. I had always thought that there was a difference between right and wrong, virtue and vice, righteousness and unrighteousness; but according to the Universalists, there would seem to be no difference, as least so far as the consequences of acts of whatever kind are concerned, since they say that a bad man is as well off in the end as a good man, that sinfulness ends in righteousness as much as sanctity, that Judas impenitent and the Impenitent Thief are in Heaven as well as St. Peter and St. John the Baptist. If this be so, the virtues we prize most, that truely make men great, and that are necessary to uphold morals in society, are no better than empty names; for why should we be honest, or chaste, or pious, or merciful, if these heroic virtues be nothing; and who will venture to say they are nothing? To me it would seem, that man must be created again different from what he is, and that society must be re-cast and on a new plan, before what the Universalists say can be true."
"That suits me. That is my doctrine out and out."
"I thank you. I feel quite flattered, that you approve of my humble opinion."
"But what do you think of these people caled Papists? The old priest comes along regularly, down here on the railroad, and pretends to forgive sins. The Papists confess their sins to him, and give him lots of money to be forgiven. The old priest goes away and as soon as he is gone, the Papists are as wicked as before. What do you think of that?"
"It seems strange indeed. But, upon reflection, since the people pay their lawyers, doctors and preachers, I suppose in like manner, the Papists may be allowed to pay their priests."
"But don't you see the wickedness of cheating the people out of their money, by pretending to forgive them their sins?"
"True, in that light, it would be a wicked thing. But, it is more likely that Papists do not see it in that light. For myself, I will not say that I am much of a religious or learned man. Nevertheless, I will say that I read a little in the Bible, and that I found there these words spoken by Christ to His Apostles: 'Whose sins ye shall forgive, they are forgiven them.' Papists believe that by those words Christ communicated power to His Apostles to forgive sins. And because Christ said that He would be with His Apostles until the end of the world, these Apostles must be in the world yet, because the world has not yet come to an end. These Apostles, that is, the ordained ministers of Christ, whoever they be, have this power to-day as fully as when Christ first gave it. This is the belief of the Papists in regard to their priests, and the reason no doubt, why they go to the priest to forgive them their sins. It fact it would seem to be a belief as true as the Bible itself. In other respects, too, it would seem a reasonable belief, and one that is practised every day in our state affairs. For instance the Governor of the state is Bob Stewart. Bob Stewart is said to be not a very exemplary citizen. In fact, as I believe, it is well known, that he drinks quite freely, and is often so under the influence of drink as not to be able to attend to his official duties. Nevertheless, should Bob Stewart, governor of this state as he is, go at any time to the state penitentiary, and say to the warden of that penitentiary: 'Warden, there are three men here that I pardon, one of them is a murderer, another is a robber, and the third is a horse-theif; I pardon these, let these go;' are they not by his words, then and there expressed fully pardoned, and their sins against the state forgiven them? And if the state of Missouri can, and does, give the power to forgive sins, to one of its citizens, and he by no means the best or worthiest citizen, to be exercised for purposes of mercy; why may not Almighty God give a like power for a like purpose, even to an unworthy man, such as people say the old priest is? for myself, I will say, that I have often meditated much on this matter, and the conclusion I have to to, is, that this must be the reason why Catholics believe that the priest can forgive sins."
"I thank you, sir, for this explanation which is very interesting and which never occurred to my mind in such light before. Perhaps, after all, if we could understand the priests and the Papists, they might not be such as we think they are."
"My dear sir, I assure you, your kindness to me I will never forget, and I hope it may come to be in my power to serve you as kindly as you have served me. May the good God bless and reward you, and lead you unto all that is good. Furthermore, my dear friend, I have to say to you, not knowing how you may regard it, whether as an honor or otherwise, that you entertained a Catholic priest last night. I am the Catholic priest who attends the railroad men in the southern part of this county. My dear friend, I hope to see you again. Once more I say, God bless you. Good bye."On the Abnormal Conditions of the Irish in Saint Louis
Irish immigrant women in Missouri could easily find work, while the men could not. This led to severe social problems.
ABNORMAL.Much of the government land in northern Missouri had been given to the railroads as incentives for construction, and so land prices were $10-$20 per acre, too high for poor immigrants.
"During the years 1854-55 on the mission at St. John's church, St. Louis, I observed that the Catholic servant girls attending that church were not less than three hundred or more. They were regular communicants, usually going to confession Saturday night after supper, their day's work being then done, and to Holy Communion on Sunday morning at 5 o'clock Mass, which was celebrated for them at that early hour, so that they could return in time to prepare breakfast for their non-Catholic employers not yet risen from their beds. And the numbers of Catholic girls attending several other Catholic churches in St. Louis, was even much greater than at St. John's. The Catholic young men, likewise for the most part emigrants from Ireland, not finding work in the cities, and there being no work for them on farms in competition with slave labor, were obliged to seek employment on the railroads, and to live in camps and move from place to place, as the shifting nature of their employment required. The total separation of these emigrants, one party not finding employment where the other did, was in a most anomalous condition, resulting in practically debarring them from intermarriage, and from marriage of whatever sort, since they could not, without sacrifice of principle, intermarry with those habituated to deride their Christian faith, or who regarded marriage as only a civil contract to be dissolved under frivolous pretexts for divorce, that served but to open a way for marriage infidelity and licentiousness. To their honor, be it said, that sooner than degrade marriage to the sacrilegious level of a mere civil contract - alike destructive of religion and society, they chose to decline altogether the formation of family ties that would but lead to a dishonored posterity and an unchristian civilization.
"Profoundly impressed with these facts, it seemed to me to be my duty to do whatever might be in my power, to aid these people to rise from their condition of servitude, to ownership and cultivation of land, so as to secure for them, beyond doubt, a settled and permanent mode of existence, that would accord better with their higher social aspirations and religious principles. This however, could not be done in North Missouri, where land was held at too high a price."
"I had heard that there were still large tracts of government land in southern Missouri, that could be bought for one dollar an acre, and some of it for a less price; and that it was of a moderate fertility, though much inferior to the land in North Missouri."Northern Missouri is nearly lacking in mountains, and consists of mainly gentle rolling hills made of soil, with rock outcroppings being very rare. This area was heavily glaciated in ages past, and is overlaid with a thick, rich layer of fine soil left behind by these glaciers. Northern Missouri is mainly prairie, an extension of the vast tallgrass prairie that covers most of Iowa and Illinois. The area is relatively flat, and makes large-scale farming possible. Its streams are sluggish, muddy, and shallow, and do not cut deep ravines. The Missouri River, which divides northern and southern Missouri, roughly marks the southernmost limit of glaciation, and indeed, is said to have been formed by the melting glaciers. Southern Missouri is home to the Ozarks, believed to be the oldest mountain range in the United States, and is very hilly and rocky, and has poor, thin soils overlaying gravel and rock. Agriculture is often limited to the good soil along the narrow river valleys, which are deeply cut into the plateau. This area is spectacularly beautiful, and is famous for the transparent water of its streams and many springs and caves; its hills are covered by oak and tall pines. The area is so hilly that only a limited percentage of the land is easily buildable, and farms are relatively small.
"One dollar an acre seemed to me, to be within the possible reach of comparatively poor people. Having procured from the district land office at Jackson, Cape Girardeau county, Missouri, plots and surveys of wide tracts of vacant government lands in the said region of the country, I lost no time setting out and journeying to these lands.May the reader forgive me for quoting in detail Father Hogan's travels, but these are familiar places to me, and I have fond memories of family vacations here.
"Traveling by way of Brunswick, Jefferson City, St. Louis, Old Mines, Potosi, Iron Mountain and Frederick Town, I halted at Greenville, in Wayne county, where I hired a surveyor familiar with the country. I examined the lands on the headwaters of Little Black River, Cane Creek, Brushy Creek, in Ripley (now Carter) county, and entered four hundred and eighty acres in a body on Ten Mile Creek, making arrangements at once to put men thereon, opening and cultivating it. With the surveyor, I rode westward, across the Current River, by Van Buren, up Pike Creek, thence southward over the great divide east of Eleven Points River as far as the head waters of Buffalo Creek, thence eastward along Buffalo Creek and its tributaries to a ford on Current River. At this place there was a man named Appollinaris Tucker; he and his family were the only Catholics known to be residing at the time in that district." Father Hogan was the first priest to visit that region, and gave the dying Mrs. Tucker the Last Rites.
Father Hogan and the Reverend James Fox, rector of St. Joachim's church in Old Mines, started out on a journey in late November.
"Traveling by way of Caledonia and Edgehill, we passed trough Centerville the county seat of Reynolds county. Thence entering Shannon County, we descended Blair Creek, remarkable for its alternate lime-stone and red porphyry hills. Afterward we crossed the Current River at the mouth of Jack's Fork, thence to Eminence, thence to Pike Creek, thence to Van Buren, thence to Ten Mile Creek. Reynolds county we found entirely unfit for settlement, not one tenth of the land being tillable. Shannon and Oregon counties had much tillable land, perhaps one-third of the whole area, but none of it of prime quality except the river alluvial bottoms. Everywhere through these two last named counties, there was good stock range and abundance of valuable pine forest."Father Hogan returned to Chillicothe in December, ministering to the railroad workers and settlers. Conditions were often severe:
"[T]raveling along the railroad line, at a point where work was seemly suspended, I was passing by an apparently deserted shanty, into which, however, I happened to look, not supposing anyone to be in such a place. To my surprise, I saw several little children, poorly clad, crawling on the bare earthen floor, and near them, on a sort of bed made of sticks and twigs covered with hay, a woman lying speechless and in the agony of death. There was no fire in the little cabin which seemed like a deserted stable. Through the open door and the wide open chinks between the logs, the cold damp wind was blowing. Each minute seemed likely to be the last for the poor mother. And the perishing little ones on the floor, too young to know anything of their sad condition, gave symptoms by their cries that death would soon end their miseries likewise. Convinced from all the circumstances that she belonged to one of the railroad camps, I tried to arouse her to consciousness, but my effort was in vain. Kneeling by her bedside, I gave her Absolution, Extreme Unction, and the Plenary Indulgence, Then going as fast as I could to the railroad camp about two miles distant, I informed the people there of the deplorable condition of the poor family in the open stable, on the river bank near the hill side. They had known of such a family, but had thought that the husband was in care of them. Hastening to the place, they arrived in time to see the poor woman die. The children were saved however. The husband had gone forty miles away looking for work. When he returned, his little children were cared for by strangers, and his beloved wife was lying near by in the woods in her grave."In the last days of January 1858, Father Hogan again traveled to southern Missouri, this time with the Reverend William Walsh, pastor of St. Peter's Church of Jefferson City, who took "the greatest possible interest in every effort made to lead the good Catholic Irish people from the railroad shanties and the back streets and cellars of the cities, to locate them on lands." Father Walsh, nearly died of pneumonia after getting wet during the crossing of the Black River, but he recovered. The information they gathered was
"that Ripley, Oregon, and Howell counties afforded good advantages for settlement to people of small means and of patient, frugal, and industrious habits. The country as we found, was quite healthy. Land was cheap. The land was by no means all good, but enough of it was good to support many inhabitants, if not a dense population. About one-third of the whole area could be tilled for orchards, vineyards, or the usual vegetable or cereal crops...There was plenty of timber of good quality everywhere..Springs and streams of pure, clear water were abundant except in a few localities... The price of government land was from twelve and half cents to one dollar and twenty five cents per acre. The best cultivated lands, of which there were many farms along the river and streams, with houses, stables, barns and fences, could be bought for ten dollars an acre, buildings and improvements included."This was much better than even unimproved land in northern Missouri; the weather was even better, with much less severe winters. The plentiful local timber made costs even cheaper in southern Missouri; such timber had to be imported in the northern part of the state.
A New Church
"I now turned my attention to the erection of the church at Chillicothe, for which I had got a site some time previous. The building was to be frame, seventy feet long, twenty five feet wide, eighteen feet story, with bell tower, sacristies, altar, communion rail, pews, confessional, choir gallery, and staned glass windows." The first general contractor, paid in advance, substituted inferior materials and then skipped town. A new contractor was hired, and some manufactured materials were shipped from Saint Louis by boats via the Missouri River and Grand River. The windows were made in Saint Louis at Miller's Stained Glass factory, shipped by boat to Hannibal, and then by rail to Shelbina, and the rest of the way by waggon; not one pane was broken in transit. "Alas, the windows which were really beautiful, were not suffered to shower their rainbow tints very long over the secluded little sancuary. A rather too warm sermon from the fervid young missionary, against forbidden secret societies, brought the gentlemen of grips and signs to visit his chapel at the midnight hour, and to belabor with barbarous sticks and guns, the artistic little gems, brought like gems from afar, that were willing to live on and shine for God, even in the depths of the wilderness. Chillicothe's first little Catholic church had to humble itself to the level of its surroundings. Henceforward, its windows were to be of vulgar glass." This church became a center of Catholic settlement.
The current Saint Coumban church in Chillicothe was built in 1879. Parishioners who lived far from the church traveled by wagon and camped nearby; a campfire got out of control and burned this first church.
A New Settlement
Not being able to secure another priest for Chillicothe, in November 1858, Father Hogan took it upon himself to leave there for a while, and go back south. Finding the land he previously wanted for his settlement already taken, he went forty miles further west, in Ripley and Oregon counties, along the tributaries of the the Current and Eleven Point rivers, twenty miles north of Arkansas.
"On a wide and fair tract of ground bought and donated by Reverend James Fox of Old Mines, Missouri, a one story log house forty feet square was erected and partitioned into two apartments, one for a chapel and the other for the priest's residence. Soon improvements went on apace; cutting down trees, splitting rails, burning brushwood, making fences, grubbing roots and stumps, building houses, digging wells, opening roads, breaking and ploughing land, and sowing crops. Already in spring of 1859, there were about forty families on the newly acquired government lands, or on improved farms purchased, east and west of Current River, in the counties of Ripley and Oregon; and many more were coming, so that the settlement was fairly striding towards final success. The little chapel amid the forest trees in the wilderness was well attended. Mass, sermon, catechism, confessions, devotions, went on as in old congregations. The quiet solitariness of the place seemed to inspire devotion. Nowhere could the human soul so profoundly worship as in the depths of that leafy forest, beneath the swaying branches of the lofty oaks and pines, where solitude and the heart of man united in praise and wonder of the Great Creator.Father traveled to a visit a sick person on Mill Creek in Ripley county, about one mile north of the Arkansas state line and thirteen miles south of the settlement. He brought along a sword cane, but "I felt very much dissatisfied with myself, and was even shocked to think that I should have with me, for my protection, so murderous a weapon, when I should rather depend, and entirely so, on the Real Divine Presence with me when on an errand of mercy." He rode back home and left the weapon there. After the sick call, he stopped by the residence of Judge Hutcheson, and was confronted: "At that moment, one of the workmen, a gigantic, active young man...requested that he had something private and important to say to me." The man led him further into the woods. "He at once darted for and grabbed my horse's bridle...He eyed me fiercely with the look of a murderer; and that instant, seizing me in his powerful hands, insulted me past all endurance by acts that were disgustingly vile and shockingly brutal. It was the moment to use the sword cane, but I thank God that I had not it...Judge Hutcheson, who was in time to save me from direct harm." The man was a noted criminal and ex-convict, but Father did not press charges.
SOCIETY IN SOUTHERN MISSOURI.
"In keeping with these scenes were the simple, quiet ways of the early settlers of southern Missouri, who were mostly from North Carolina and Tennessee, and of whom much may be said in praise. They were kindhearted, honest, sincere, and sociable. No stranger ever travelled amongst them without feeling his heart warmed with the fullest conviction, that, if worthy his presence gave them pleasure, that he was treated to the best they had or could afford, and that his person, money and property were safe and sacred in their keeping. Vice was little known amongst them. Intemperance was nowhere observable, although usually took as a matter of course, their morning dram, or a drop with a friend, for a keg of the best, distilled by themselves or by some neighbor willing to share or barter on accommodating terms. Everyone smoked, men, women, young and old. The WEED grew abundantly, and was usually the best tended patch of crop on the place. There was no need of manufactured tobacco or of fancy pipes. Home growth and home manufacture found favor. Corncob popes were easily made, and for pipe stems cane was abundant. It grew along the streams and by the water's side. The maidens and swains married young, usually before twenty, often at sixteen, and their married life was remarkably virtuous and happy. The marriage dowry was usually a one room log house. The young man was fortuned by his father with a yoke of oxen and a plow. The bride was dowered by her mother with wealth of homespun dresses and household fabrics of like manufacture. Timber from a neighboring saw-mill was easily framed into a variety of articles of household furniture, and the eyes of the young couple were none of the less delighted with it, for being pure of veneer or varnish, of which their rural surroundings gave them no knowledge whatever. Uncle Sam had given them a homestead of three hundred and twenty acres, at twelve and a half cents per acre. There was no reason in the world why they should not be happy. Moreover, the young wife had been taught by her mother, to knit, spin, weave and sew. The young husband had been taught by his father, to tend sheep and cattle, and to cultivate cotton and corn. The education of husband and wife could be depended upon to procure them a living. The plow cultivated plots and furrows in the field. The wheel and loom wrought fabrics at home. There was no need of the merchant's ship, bringing goods from afar. No need of town fashions, or of store clothes. Willing hands and humble hearts made the one-room log cabin a sacred place and a happy home.
"The old settlers were anxious to get acquainted with the priest, many of them having travelled quite a distance for the purpose. their manner showed curiostiy more than prejudice towards the Catholic Church. Many of the said, as their names indicated, and as was told them by their parents, that they were descendants of Irish Catholics, who had been driven or forced to emigrate in early times. They could not explain why they were not Catholics, as their forefathers were, except by the fact that there were no priests or Catholic churches where they and their parents for generations were brought up. They had therefore fallen in with the prevailing churches of their surroundings..." Father instructed these on the Faith, but "This aroused the displeasure and opposition of the preachers, of whom there were several in the neighborhood."
REV. TIM REEVES.
"The preachers began to hold meetings and revivals near the Catholic settlement, and in those places were the parties lived who were known to be inclining to the Catholic Church. At one of these meetings, a preacher named Tim Reeves, who was afterwards a notorious guerrilla leader during the war," gave a speech against the Romanists in Cape Girardeau, who reportably prostrated themselves in front of idols, and that their priest was getting wealthy from donations. "What seemed strange, ridiculous and wicked, to Tim Reeves, was no doubt very pious and praiseworthy to Catholics. But it would be useless to explain this to such men as he, who can see nothing but malice..."
Traveling in Missouri
"Two years and a half before, when setting out from St. Louis, the railroads in course of construction from that city into the interior of the State, had been completed to the following places, namely: the North Missouri to Warrenton, the Iron Mountain to Hopewell, the Hannibal and St. Joseph to Shelbina, the Missouri Pacific to Jefferson City. With the exception of these short distances, journeys in Missouri were made by steamboat, stage, or on horseback. Travelling by steamboat was pleasant, but practicable only along the large rivers. Inland travel afforded much rougher experience. East and West throughout North Missouri, between Hannibal and St. Joseph, a distance of two hundred miles, there was daily, each way, a line of four-horse stage coaches, carrying passengers, mail, and express. The schedule time from Hannibal to St. Joseph, or vice versa, was forty eight hours, continuous travelling. The stage fare was sixteen dollars, and refreshments during the journey cost about four dollars additional. The incessant jolting and shaking, cramped in a close vehicle amongst a crowd of weary passengers, without sleep or rest, to say nothing of the parching heat in summer and the freezing cold in winter, was as much as the stoutest could endure. And there were, besides, many dangers, disappointments, and delays that were not on the schedule,"the main problem being the spring rains, which ruined roads and swept away bridges.
GOD'S UNSEARCHABLE WAYS.Father Hogan's Mass schedule for the year 1860 was: 1st Sunday, Chillicothe; 2nd Macon City; 3rd, Brookfield; 4th Sunday, Mexico; and every three months there happened to be a 5th Sunday, and Mass was said in Cameron. This schedule was followed for several years, with occasional changes. Father traveled ten thousand miles per year; with the railroad presidents waiving the fare, which would have cost four hundred dollars per annum. Likewise, he was not charged for use of the telegraph.
"It was also my good fortune in early boyhood to have had placed in my hands...the American Catholic Almanac, which I scanned with delight from page to page, dwelling especially on the gracefulness and beauty of the several engraved cathedrals...Amongst these there was one, that of St. Louis, with its lofty cross-crowned spire piercing the skies, that I found myself constantly looking at, and that above all won my admiration. But how could I know then what the wonderful ways of God have since so happily brought to pass; that in the far off Western Hemisphere and within that cathedral I was to receive ordination as Priest, and from the consecrated hands of the Venerable Archbishop, whose jurisdiction grasped the whole extent of those boundless and beautiful missionary fields...."
WHITE FOR THE HARVEST.
"At the time I entered upon the duties of the the mission in North Missouri, that is to say in the month of November, 1857, there were in that part of the interior of the State thirty-two counties in a contiguous body of land, perhaps the finest in the world, having an area of sixteen thousand square miles, being once and a half as large as Belgium or half as large as Ireland, without a Catholic church or priest, and having exclusive of transient railroad laborers, not more than a dozen resident Catholic families...I thought it best to name four principal places, at each of which to say Mass once a month on a stated Sunday; and likewise to name about a dozen less important places...to say mass once every three months..."
THE SAVAGE RUSSIANS."In the summer of 1860, happening to be at Macon City, my attention was aroused by a hubbub at the railway depot...On the platform of the railroad depot there was also a curious crowd of gazers gathered around a pile of trunks of rough foreign manufacture of untanned cowhide. On one side of the pile stood a band of foreigners, mostly young or middle-aged men, dressed in black or blue blouses, and weary tight fitting travelling caps." A railroad friend explained ""why there is a pack of savage Russians here. Every man of them has a half dozen trunks. Look a the horrid pile. Why, they are a car load. And these fellows won't pay a red cent extra baggage for them. They can't understand me, and I can't understand their jabber, and I don't know what to do." Noticing that some of the savage Russians were speaking among themselves, I listened to them awhile, and soon discovered that I could solve the problem. The language they spoke was not Russian, but French. I soon learned their story. They apologized for their neglected begrimed appearance, saying that they were after a long and rough voyage from Harvre to New York, and that since they had left New York, being already several days and nights on the road, they had no opportunity to make themselves presentable. Furthermore, they said that their journey had cost them more than they had anticipated, and as missionaries they had thought that their baggage, which contained only books, vestments and clothing, would not be charged for." They were priests and students going to mission among the Indians; they were not charged.
"Eighteen hundred and sixty from beginning to end was a year of tremendous excitement and inauspicious portent. Four great national parties, having their respective political platforms and chosen leaders, entered the arena contending for dominancy. But one party could be victorious."The Democratic, Whig, and Know-Nothing political parties were internally divided over slavery. Only the new Republican party was undivided, and its candidate, Abraham Lincoln, won the presidential election of 1860.
"The vanquished, or those who so considered themselves, rushed on to the bad principle of national disruption. the party elected to office aligned itself, as it duty bound, to defend national unity. Peace proposals were thrown to the winds. The sword was drawn to decide the issue. Thirty millions of people begirding themselves with deadly weapons and falling into antagonistic battle lines, their hearts filled with hatred of each other, was a scene that can never be witnessed again until the world's final tribulation has come. Property became at once of no value. Home afforded no shelter. Friendship, and even the closest family ties, fell off into party lines. Churches and schools, religious and benevolent associations, public works and private enterprises, were suddenly suspended or paralyzed. All that was, was comprehended in one word -- war. The tread and tramp of armies on foot and on horseback, the clatter of cannon wheels and the clanking of weapons, the hoarse commands of military men marshalling their forces, made a constant din and a never-ending pageant. Soon, with appalling force, the two tidal waves of wrath and power fell upon each other. Out from their recoil came shouts of victory and moans of defeat; and, with both, the wails and cries of widows and orphans, to whom the strife, end as it may, could bring no hope or comfort. The peacefully inclined fled in terror withersoever they could, to places of safety - to the Pacific shores, to the Canada borders, to countries beyond the sea."In December, 1860, Southern States started pulling their representatives from the United States congress. Missouri's governor, loyal to the South, started seizing U.S. Army weapons depots. Union regiments were formed "to maintain and keep open the railways recently built through Northern Missouri." Southern regiments had as
"Missouri as a Border State, and consequently a battle ground, lost it tens of thousands - fully as many by flight as by combat. My poor settlements suffered irretrievably. The one in Southern Missouri especially became broken and scattered; all who could, having fled therefrom. Ripley County, in which my Southern Settlement was principally located, suffered more than any other part of the State. Campbell's Gazetteer of Missouri, in a few words, records its sad fate. "The County suffered severely during the Civil War, being occupied alternately by both armies, besides being invaded by marauding parties and bushwhackers, who murdered peaceful citizens, and destroyed houses, fences, and crops, until towards the close of the war scarcely a male citizen was permitted to remain at home, unmolested. The County Seat was first pillaged and then burned, only two or three houses of the entire town being saved." ...Alas! the devastations of war and the woes and sorrows that follow after it. Who will now build up these waste places? Who now will lead back the poor scattered settlers to their humble but ruined homes? Who will now rekindle for them the light of faith or preach the word of God to them in their little chapel beneath the pines in the forest? Has all that was done and endured there, been for nothing? Is there no hope for a place once so dear and so sacred? To the most adorable will of God, whose ways are ever full of mercy and above our understanding, we must profoundly bow."
"their first assigned duty being to destroy the lines of communication that the Union men had aligned themselves to defend. Hence the first fierce war struggles in North Missouri occured in my mission, along the lines of the Hannibal and St. Joseph and the North Missouri Railways; the passing trains being fired upon from every convenient ambush, and the bridges and trestles being burnt and rebuilt many times in succession. No one then travelling on these railways could be sure of his life for one minute. And many a life was lost by the flying bullets that smashed and splintered through the cars, and by the derailed trains hurled down over precipices and embankments."Not all of the railroad wrecks were due to war, some were due to neglect, since this property was now worth nothing to their owners. Soldiers and war supplies were the major cargo, and repairs were hasty and poorly done. But the opposing side hated the railroads and all who traveled on them, military or civilian alike.
THE DEATHLY CHASM.
"It shall always remain fresh in my grateful memory, that I am indebted to Almighty God's Infinite Mercy for my safety in twenty-one railway wrecks of more or less destructiveness, through which I passed in those times so wasteful of human life. Indeed it used to seem to me that death was very near me, ever hovering at my back and shoulders...I had learned through sense of duty to disregard danger."
"A notable example of this occurred almost at the very outset of the war, at Platte River bridge, Buchannan County, where a train full of people were sent down to death through a dark chasm, in the night; all timely notice to the approaching train, of its danger, having been prevented by the men who destroyed the bridge, and then patrolled the neighborhood, waiting to see the inhuman results of their cold-blooded planning. I had travelled on that train that evening from Macon City to Chillicothe...Three hours later, these...were forever at their journey's end, down in the bottom of the Platte, in the heap of the dead."Father Hogan opened a school in the Seminary building in Chillicothe, and on opening day, he was glad to see "happy children flocking from all directions toward the school, their books, slates and papers in satchels over their shoulders..." Father formed several classes with the more advanced students as teachers, and himself as the teacher of these leaders, allowing him to teach school during the week and to go on mission on the weekend. He taught "Catechism, Bible History, Greek, Latin, French, Rhetoric, Geometry, Algebra, Grammar, Elocution, Philosophy, Reading, Writing, Arithmetic, Lessons in Music..." "I had got the hopeful twigs where I could bend them to some purpose. And with the strain on them, ever urging them on, there was no longer any time for fugues or refrains or parrying thrusts about Yankeedom or Dixie. It was a matter next to life worth contending for..." The school continued for two years until the Public Schools could be reorganized.
ONE HUNDRED MILES OF FIRE.
"There seemed to be no hope whatever of peace. And no one could forecast results. In order to be more centrally situated in my mission, and for the purpose of having shorter distances to travel, I changed my place of residence from Chillicothe to Macon City for the time being. At Macon City, the more strategic point, and the greater center of activity, there was constant movement of troops southward...the North Missouri Railroad was the great artery for conveying troops from Iowa and Kansas to these southern battlefields."
"In the midst of these events, and as a happy omen of cessation of warfare, multitudes of North Missourians...came flocking home; tired (as they said) of the war, and resolved henceforward to live and die in peace with all men...They preferred, they said, to stay near the Union camps, lest going home and scattering here and there unprotected, they would be liable to be murdered by roving bands of confederates for having deserted the confederate cause. All of a sudden their real purpose flashed out to heaven, in the light of all that was combustible of one hundred miles of the North Missouri Railroad, stretching out from Macon City towards St. Louis - ablaze at the same moment and as if ignited by one hand. Telegraph poles were cut down as if by the single stroke of an ax; and the wire, broken and in coils, was hauled away several miles, into the woods and fields. Bridges, culverts, trestles, tanks, station houses, were all set on fire. Yokes of oxen were harnessed to the ties, which were hauled out of place, then piled together to burn; and on the blazing heaps, the railroad iron, molten red in the center, fell down at the ends in crooks and twists, thereby rendering it unfit for use, until taken to some rolling mill or foundry to be straightened or recast. Not less than ten thousand men, acting in concert along that hundred miles, could have in the space of two or three hours produced dire results. The plan was deep laid, the secret well kept, and the work thoroughly done. The confederate spies were soon back to their camp again, without loss of a man...My change of place of residence, in so far as I had hoped to be in greater safety, was a disappointment. The one hundred miles of burning railroad, between me and St. Louis, showed clearly that the smoke of battle had changed from front to rear. So "about face" I marched back again to Chillicothe."
STRAIGHTENING THE TWIGS.
"The financial straits, together with the civil and social disturbances caused by the war, brought the educational interests of the country into a very disorganized condition. In the rural districts and country towns the schools without funds or teachers, were generally suspended. In consequence, the children, instead of acquiring the learning and disciplined habits necessary for them, went about idle and uninstructed, associated with dangerous companions, and engaging in the exciting war talk everywhere prevalent at the time...In this state of things the parents, Catholic and non-Catholic alike, besought me to take the children under my care, and to rescue them from the disorderly habits in which they were growing up."
BUSHWACKERS AND GUERRILLAS.Father was travelling to Mexico, Missouri to say his monthly Mass, but was diverted to make a sick call. He had to go by handcar in the dark of night; suddenly "in the flash of our headlight lantern, we saw armed men ahead of us, with leveled revolvers calling us to a halt. We halted. A number of them mounted our handcar, and with a harsh command to us from their captain to go on, on we went. They stayed on our handcar for several miles..." His journey took him past federal pickets, and he had three military passes, allowing him to cross the lines. After the sick call, he eventually got to his destination:
"The dangers encountered in travelling through Missouri, increased rather than lessened with the continuing years of the war. According as the contending armies moved southward, the territory they vacated became a prey to roving bands of murderers and robbers, privateers in the Confederate cause, who made raids for revenge and plunder. In North Missouri, the counties of Linn, Chariton, Boone, and Randolph, suffered most from these wicked men."
"I knelt before the altar in the parlor of a private residence in Mexico, where as yet we had no church. Having recited the Matins, Lauds, and Little Hours of the Divine Office, I was prepared to begin the duties of hearing confessions, preparatory to the celebration of Holy Mass. Gradually the people began to arrive, and soon not only the chapel parlor but likewise the halls and adjoining rooms were entirely filled. All seemed anxious to receive the holy sacraments, for which they had been; during the previous month devoutly preparing themselves; and all the more so as in those dangerous times, life was very uncertain. Their wishes were granted. At Mass nearly all who were present partook of the Holy Communion. After thanksgiving, at which no doubt many fervent prayers were offered up to God for heavenly favors, according to each one's pressing needs, and especially for the restoration of peace..."A Constitutional Crisis
OH, THE HORRID CRIME.
"The train from St. Louis arrived...I was soon reversing the journey I had made two nights previous on the handcars. Nothing unusual transpired on the way until we had reached Centralia, where as the train was passing out from the Station, a troop of horsemen, moving rapidly across the prairie north of us, came in sight, halted, and quickly formed a line facing the train. Knowing well from their appearance, and as they wore no uniform, that they were guerrillas, we feared a volley from their guns every moment. In anticipation of this, some federal soldiers who were aboard the train, brought their muskets to a ready to return the volley. But their was no firing, however; the train having passed quickly out of range. There armed horsemen were, no doubt, outposts from Bill Anderson's guerrillas, four hundred strong, then encamped in the woods and ravines in sight of Centralia, and waiting for an opportunity to attack some passing train. The ill-fated train that the attack fell on was the first following the one I was on....As it approached the Centralia Station, the guerillas, with savage yells rushed out from their hiding places, and throwing obstructions on the track, commenced firing on the train which had to stop. Then the robbing began. Money, gold watches, jewelry, were dragged off the persons and pulled from the pockets of the passengers, men and women, indiscriminately. The express safe was broken open and rifled. Packages and boxes of express goods, and trunks were broken open and emptied of their valuables. A number of federal soldiers on the train were ordered out, put into a line, and shot dead on the spot. A major of the the federal army commanding one hundred and fifty mounted men, sallied out from a neighboring military post to give battle to the guerillas. These being vastly in the majority and likewise better armed and equipped, fell upon the federals and slew them almost to a man. The railroad train, depot, and cars, were fired and burned. Never was there a more heart-rending scene of carnage and devastation; and for the like of it, for cold-blooded and cruel atrocity, we look in vain in the annals of military history, even of savage nations."
In January 1865, in the last months of the war, a constitutional convention was held in in Missouri, and a Radical constitution was narrowly approved. One problematical portion of this constitution was the Test Oath:
'I, A. B., do solemnly swear that I am well acquainted with the terms of the third section of the second article of the Constitution of the State of Missouri, adopted in the year eighteen hundred and sixty-five, and have carefully considered the same; that I have never, directly or indirectly, done any of the acts in said section specified; that I have always been truly and loyally on the side of the United States against all enemies thereof, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the United States, and will support the Constitution and laws thereof as the supreme law of the land, any law or ordinance of any State to the contrary notwithstanding; that I will, to the best of my ability, protect and defend the Union of the United States, and not allow the same to be broken up and dissolved, or the government thereof to be destroyed or overthrown, under any circumstances, if in my power to prevent it; that I will support the Constitution of the State of Missouri; and that I make this oath without any mental reservation or evasion, and hold it to be binding on me.'
The next clause of the constitution stated that a wide variety of professions would be required to take this oath:
SEC. 9. No person shall assume the duties of any state, county, city, town, or other office, to which he may be appointed, otherwise than by a vote of the people; nor shall any person, after the expiration of sixty days after this Constitution takes effect, be permitted to practise as an attorney or counsellor at law; nor, after that time, shall any person be competent as a bishop, priest, deacon, minister, elder, or other clergyman of any religious persuasion, sect, or denomination, to teach, or preach, or solemnize marriages, unless such person shall have first taken, subscribed, and filed said oath.
Legally, one could not perform priestly duties without taking the oath, which was a rather un-American restriction on religious freedom.
Clergy were allowed until September 3rd, 1865, to file the oath. Father Hogan says "On Sunday, September 4th, the first day after the sixty day's grace had elapsed, I was in Chillicothe; and, not having taken, subscribed, or filed the peacher's oath, I preached three times that day; at first Mass, at high Mass, and at Vespers..." In November, a Grand Jury of the Circuit Court was sworn in, but they refused to indict anyone regarding the Test Oath; this jury was driven out and a Radical jury put in its place.
INDICTMENT.Regarding turning the other cheek, Father said that "I had already been slapped on both cheeks." Unexpected, Father Hogan's arresting officer was deputy sheriff Drury, who happened to be a friend and also a choir (although not church) member.
"The State of Missouri, 17th Judicial Circuit, in the Circuit Court of Livingston County, November Term, A.D., 1865, begun and held on the 20th day of November, A.D., 1865. Livingston County, to wit: The Grand Jurors for the State of Missouri, in and for the body of the County of Livingston aforesaid, being duly empanelled and sworn, upon their oath present, that John Hogan on the third of of December, A.D., 1865, at said county, was a priest of a religious persuasion and sect called the Roman Catholic Church, and at the County aforesaid, and on the day and year last aforesaid, the said John Hogan did unlawfully and with force and arms, exercise the function of Priest by preaching to divers persons whose names are to the Jury unknown, and at the time the said John Hogan so exercised the functions of priest aforesaid, more than sixty days had elapsed from the time of the taking effect of the present constitution of the State of Missouri, and the said John Hogan had not at the time he execised and performed the functions aforesaid, taken, subscribed and filed the oath of loyalty prescribed by and contained in the 6th Section of the 2nd article of the constitution of the said State, contrary to the form of the statute in such case made and provided, and against the peace and dignity of the State."
"There is an old saying, that to cook a hare you must catch him first. I was the hare. The Missouri Radicals no doubt intended to cook me. And naturally enough I made up my mind, that the harriers at my heels, should take some twists and turns and doubles with me, before I would be finally run down. In a word, there was to be some fun at the hunt."
At the arrest, Father Hogan says "...I quickly dressed in full canonicals - Soutane, surplice, stole, birette; and then taking a large crucifix in my right hand, and in my left a large Folio Bible..." "I am a priest; I plead guilty; I confess that I preached the gospel without authority from the State to do so; and if I will have to go to jail for it, you will have to take me there." Bail was paid, and Father was free to go: "The dramatic scene between Drury and myself had the happy effect of allaying much of the excitement and wounding shame the arrest had caused. But the Catholic people were not to be soothed or palavered by any by-play in the matter. To say that the deepest anger and indignation had swayed them, would not half portray the intensity of their feelings."
Catholics at Brookfield were among the first to denounce the Test Oath: "we regard the arrest of the Reverend John Hogan as an act of unmitigated tyranny, alike revolting to our feelings and provoking to our passions; and that we do here now publicly rebuke that act, in itself, and in its agents and abettors, as a most shameful and atrocious outrage." Father Hogan replied:
"...You term Religious Liberty a God-given right. So it is. Let me add. You need not thank anyone but God for it. God is the source of Right and Power...His authority is ours...The Civil Authority has been, ever from the days of Herod, the enemy of Christ...This rash assumption of authority by the Civil Government, in a matter that does not belong to it, and over which it has no control, is as weak, silly, and tyrannical as the act of Xerxes, flogging with chains the tossing waves of the sea to make them do his will. One would think that the Civil Power would now at least in this more enlightened age of the world, cease its impotent rage against the Church, knowing as it does that...the Church will only obey its maker, and that chains and prisons have no terror for it."The Test Oath was declared unconstitutional, for the reason that no bill of attainder or ex-post-facto law shall be passed; and that the Missouri law presumes the guilt of clergymen, and which presumption is removed by the expurgatory oath. "Rev. John A. Cummings...was discharged and suffered to go free...the case against Rev. John Hogan of Chillicothe, Missouri, was dismissed..."
"The question now pending is not one merely of loyalty or disloyalty, past, present, or perspective. The issue is, whether the Church shall be free or not, to exercise her natural and inherent right, of calling into or rejecting from her ministry whom she pleases; whether yielding to the dictation of the civil power, she shall admit those only who, according to its judgment, are fit for the office..."
"...let me bid you be neither despondent or disheartened. God is with you; who then can be against you....Liberty and truth, ever superior to force, will defy the torturer to subjugate them...out from those dark dungeons and dreary cells, will shine forth a cheering light, to bid all good men hope...Be firm, yet patient, in the defence of right. This is the christian's struggle for the christian's crown. Let no violence characterize your actions as evil. Bless and pray for those who persecute you, for they are your rulers still. Respect and obey them, consistently with the reverence and obedience you owe to God. To-day, as of old, the religion you profess is ever the same. It bids you, if needs be, to die for Christ, but not conspire against Caesar."
THE CUMMINGS CASE.
"Rev. John A. Cummings, pastor of the Catholic Church at Louisiana, Pike County Missouri, exercised the functions of Priest at that place without having taken the Test Oath that became of obligation in Missouri after September 3, 1865. Forthwith he was arrested, indicted, and convicted in the Circuit Court of Pike County. He appealed to the Supreme Court of the State, where the judgment of the Circuit Court was affirmed. He then took his case to the United States Supreme Court on writ of error, where the case was argued in December, 1866."
"The diablerie of the Missouri Test Oath, against which I fought to the end, had not terrorizing power to compare with that inspried by a very ferocious character, with whom I had to wage a hand to hand encounter a short time previous."Father Hogan here writes of Spiritual Warfare against the Devil and his minions.
WHERE GOD IS DENIED, THERE THE DEVIL HAS POWER.This was an era when spiritualists and mediums ruled the popular imagination, were supported by the elite, and even invited by Mrs. Lincoln into the White House.
"The unlimited power of the devil among the pagans, and among so-called Christians, who deny the faith and miracles of Christ, and who give themselves up to the diablerie of spirit rapping, table turning, and the dark mysteries of the tripod, is no other than the result of their idolatry, whereby they acknowledge that there is no God but Satan , and that not God but Satan can do signs and wonders, and that to Satan alone belongs the knowledge of the future, and the holding of the destiny of mankind in his hands..."
BRING IN THE PRIESTS OF THE CHURCH.The girl went to St. Louis to undergo an operation. She was cured, got married, and had a child. Catherine, however, on the Baptismal day of her daughter Elizabeth, fell sick again: "For weeks she lay writhing in madness of the most violent and uncontrollable kind...I found the dear child in one continuing paroxysm, ever requiring strong and tender hands to keep her in bed, and to prevent her from biting and lacerating her arms and shoulders, and from doing like injury to those around her." The old magician, claiming powers, but not from God, again sought to cure the girl, and he was not allowed near her. She was again restored to health.
"In answer to a sick call from Hickory Branch, in Chariton County, I took the evening train from Chillicothe for Brookfield, twenty-six miles distant. There I was met by a man on horseback, who was leading a horse already saddled and bridled for me...We rode on, through the hours of the night, a journey of eighteen miles, in a south-easterly direction, across the several branches of the Yellow Creek, through the timber and over the prairies, of Linn and Chariton counties, until we came to the Mulholland Place...a young lady, faint and almost lifeless, over whose features and emaciated form a pallor like death had spread. There was no time to be lost. The immortal soul, the pearl of value beyond price, was to be prepared to worthily meet with God. I reverently administered the last sacraments...The anxious mother told me that their family physician, having consulted with other physicians in that part of the country, hand concluded that nothing in thier power remained to be done..."But", she added, "there is an old man, living in this county, who has the reputation of having cured many by some charms or supernatural agency that he has, and he has sent we word, that if I would send for he would cure my Catherine."" Father replied, "Oh, no, no, no, your dear child belongs to God, she is God's chosen one, she puts her trust in God, who is able to keep her, and restore her to health if such to be His Holy and Adorable Will. She has received the Last Sacraments, and is willing and ready to go with her Heavenly Bridegroom, to the Heavenly Marriage Feast...She is not afraid of the future...I advise you in God's name, and for her sake, to take her to St. Louis, and put her under the care of the eminent physicians you will find there..."
THE HAUNTED HOUSE.People fled their homes and moved to the towns for safety.
"It was now the autumn of 1864, the fourth year of the war. The wildest terror overspread North Missouri. Bushwackers and guerrillas were everywhere. Murders, robberies, and burnings were of daily occurrence. And above all places, Chariton County was the theatre of dark and atrocious crimes."
"One of the Shaughnessys, with his family, occupied temporarily the vacant residence of Squire Sportsman, close by the railroad, on the east bank of East Yellow Creek, near Center Point; the Squire having fled from the place and gone to California at the beginning of the war. The Squire's log mansion, the first built and longest inhabited house in that part of the country, did not, as the event proved, entirely suit the tastes of the newcomers. No doubt it was so, because they were the first to make the sign of the cross within its walls, and to shake the holy water over its foundations...."The Shaughnessys
"called on me for consultation and advice. They said that since they had occupied the Sportsman residence, they were subjected to terrors of an extraordinary kind. That, commencing with sunset, and between that time and nightfall, loud knocking noises were frequently heard, within, outside, and under the floor of the house; and these noises were so strange and unusual as to cause the dogs to howl, and the fowls to fly off their roost. They said also, that at these times, a man, strange and unknown to them, was usually seen walking outside, around the house...and upon search being made for him, he was nowhere to be found. Furthermore, they averred, that during the hours of the night, the beds, doors, windows, and furniture of the house rattled and shook, and that the house itself seemed to move and sway on its side. Yet, when they arose and lighted the lights, the commotion usually had ceased, and nothing seemed disturbed or out of order. The strange visitor that was so often seen around the premises, was noticed by persons outside the house, to pass out directly from the door; and yet, upon inquiry, the inmates had no knowledge of the presence of such a person amongst them...Those that I examined were persons above suspicion of collusion or deceit...the case was one of supernatural agency."For this exorcism, Father Hogan prepared to make a spiritual retreat for several days of prayer and fasting, for his safety and to gain virtue. He scarcely begun this retreat, when he had to go on a sick call.
"So, taking the first train that came along, which happened to be a freight train, I was soon on my way westward...Naturally my mind reverted to the Sportsman Log House, now become a place of grave concern to me, towards which the train was hurrying, and close by which the train was to stop, at a water tank at East Yellow Creek. I remembered, from my many former journeys on freight trains over the same place, that with the engine at a stop, taking water at the tank, the caboose, always the hindmost car of the train, rested so near the Sportsman house, as to be within a few feet of it, across the fence, by the side of the track. Accordingly, as the train approached the place, I prepared myself for the opportunity by holding the ritual open in my hand, with the words of Exorcism on the page before me. Going on the rear platform of the car, as it came to a stop at the spot, I read from the ritual, the command to the evil spirit in possession of that place, in the name and by the power of Jesus, to depart therefrom, and never again to return thereto."The Shaughnessys later said that the house was no longer haunted.
FROM AN ILL END DELIVER HIM, O LORD.Father Hogan was sometime later called back to the Sportsman Log House, this time to visit a dying man who lived in a little adjoining house.
"I found the patient, an old, decrepit little man, very sick, and almost in immediate danger of death. I explained to him the mercies of our Heavenly Redeemer, the Son of God, who died on the cross to save sinners, and who was ever willing to pardon sinners if they would but repent of their sins, and return to Him with sorrow for what they had done, and with love for Him in their hearts. For hours I stayed by the side of this poor sick man, leaving him betimes to himself to think of himself and his God; then again returning to encourage him with suggestions and promises by renewed hopes and consolations. Through God's all-powerful and all-merciful grace, my prayers and exhortaions were not in vain. The poor dying man put his hope and trust in God, and continually prayed to God for mercy and pardon. Seeing his good dispositions I administered the Last Sacraments to him, according to his great needs. Then, helping him to make his thanksgiving, and to renew his acts of Faith, Hope, and Love for God; also recommending to him to invoke the patronage and intercession of the Blessed Mother of God, and that of St. Joseph, I imparted to him the Last Blessing and Plenary Indulgence for the dying. Reluctant to leave the little dark cabin that was now a sacred place, I fondly cast a last look on the paling features of the poor man that was so dear to me...Shortly afterwards, the soul of the dying Christian departed. His mortal remains were borne by loving hands, and laid side by side with the saintly dead, in the secluded little cemetery, set apart in that neighborhood for Catholic burial, in a grove on the hillside, on the verge of the prairie. It was whispered among the mourners, as they departed from the sacred place; that he who was that day laid to rest, had been once a noted magician in Chariton County; and that the extraordinary occurrences at Squire Sportsman's of late, must have resulted from his presence as a dweller there."Missouri's Climate
"Missouri, the center of a large level continent, remote from the shelter of mountain ranges and the influence of sea breezes, is subject to varying temperature, according as the winds that blow over it, come from warmer or colder climates. Generally the climate is mild, balmy, and pleasant. Occasionally extremes of heat and cold of short duration, alternate with the prevailing moderate weather. The frosty breezes following close on the winter solstice, sometimes register twenty degrees below zero. Also, in the calm, following the summer solstice, ninety degrees in the shade, and one hundred and twenty in the sun, mark the other limit. These extremes, however, seldom continue long, as more temperate weather returns with change of the veering wind."A Promotion
"No climate is more delightful that the Missouri Indian Summer, usually ranging from the middle of September to the middle of November, when the blue azure sky, aglow with warm sunlight, appears mellowed and tinted by the calm autumnal haze that permeates the whole firmament, near and far away, in the immeasurable zenith and the limitless horizon. Then in the noiseless melody of nature, the little birds seem to forget their songs, the waving boughs of the forest lose their swaying motion, and the babbling brooks cease their clamor; so intent does creation seem, to enjoy its siesta, during which the human mind yields much of its turmoil to the happy hour of prevailing restfulness."
"But these soft hazy hours are not to be trusted too much, especially in the waning year, they take wings and vanish, before the bold advance of winter. The traveller on our prairies who would dream of unchanging sunshine in the latter days of November, would be apt to be rudely undeceived, as I often was in the guileless days of my youth not long since gone by...."
"Dark, blustering mid-winter in its undisguised severity, on the honest principle of forewarned and forearmed, is far less dangerous to health, than flattering autumnal sunshine. An equipment of over shoes, buck skin gloves, fur cap with ear lapels, and heavy overcoat, makes a man ironclad, against the assaults of winter."
Father Hogan received a letter dated January 26th, 1868, from Alexander Cardinal Barnabo, Prefect of the Sacred Congregation of the Propogation of the Faith in Rome. Father Hogan is to become Bishop Hogan of the newly-erected Diocese of Saint Joseph, Missouri, and later Bishop of Kansas City, Missouri. He later helped found Conception Abbey. He was to remain a bishop for 44 years.
"O beautiful prairies of Missouri, so often and for so many years the joy of my heart, well I have said in my younger days, when first I heard of your transcendent loveliness, and when friends would tempt my youthful feet to other climes; O no, leave me my joy; Missouri is my home; I love her for her woods and praries; amid these let my grave be made; under the bending boughs of her forests I long to die."— Bishop John Joseph Hogan