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Pioneer Priest: The Life of Father Bernard Donnelly with Historical Sketches of Kansas City, St. Louis and Independence, Missouri
Pioneer Priest The Life of Father Bernard Donnelly with Historical Sketches of Kansas City St Louis and Independence Missouri Author:William J. Dalton Irish-born Bernard Donnelly was a remarkable man. Answering a mid-life call to priesthood, Fr. Donnelly left his comfortable existence as a school teacher in Lancaster, Ohio to become a pioneer pastor and missionary in Missouri. Between 1845 and 1880, Fr. Donnelly traveled to Independence, Kansas (Kansas City), Deepwater and "the balance of Miss... more »ouri down to Arkansas and west to the Territory." He communicated with settlers and natives alike, in their own languages - including French, Spanish, and the Osage Indian dialect.
An intelligent, far-sighted man, Father Donnelly predicted the future expansion of Kansas City, and worked to promote that expansion by bringing in Irish craftsmen to build streets, sewers and a gas factory. He also set up and worked in his own brickyard, providing building materials for the church properties as well as a saleable commodity.
This biography is an interesting glimpse of Missouri's early days. A generous peppering of first-hand accounts of events make this book good reading. Descendants of Missouri pioneers, those with Irish roots, and Catholics everywhere will feel a pride of kinship with the pioneer priest, Fr. Bernard Donnelly.« less