Msgr. J. S. O’Connor

My grandfather’s oldest brother was Jeremiah Stephen O’Connor, who for most of his life went by “J. S.” He was the first child of Matthew Patrick O’Connor and Mary Doyle. He was born 2 Dec 1868 in Osgoode, Ontario and baptized on 6 Dec at Notre Dame Cathedral in Ottawa.
The details of his youth and travels are not known in any great detail .. for example, how did he end up in Dallas TX in the USA?
Family members have items from his life as a Catholic priest that indicate he was ordained at age 35, on 10 July 1904, by Dallas TX Bishop Edward Joseph Dunne, in the recently completed Cathedral church in Dallas.
His first assignment as a priest, in 1905, was to serve as an assistant in the Cathedral. In a few years, the Bishop appointed him (in 1909) as the Administrator of Sacred Heart Cathedral. He was also the bishop’s secretary and the Chancellor (1909-1912).
When Bishop Dunne died unexpectedly in 1911, it was another priest in the Chancery offices, Joseph Patrick Lynch, the Vicar General, who was chosen as the next bishop of Dallas … and J.S. disappeared from the Chancery and Dallas.
The new bishop named J.S. pastor of Holy Name of Jesus parish, in Fort Worth, TX. He served there as pastor from 1912 to his death in 1942.
Eventually, Bishop Lynch named him to the Board of Diocesan Consultors, a sort of privy council, and he served as a member for 20 years — 1922-1942.
In 1929, age 61, on the 25th anniversary of his ordination, he was named a monsignor.
Throughout his priesthood, J.S. returned home often to Ottawa and performed family baptisms and weddings. In fact, he performed the marriage of my grandfather and grandmother, Daniel Patrick O’Connor and Gertrude Pearl Dolan.
J.S. died at St. Joseph’s Hospital, Ft. Worth, TX on 4 Nov 1942, succumbing to cancer of the intestine.

Those O’Connor Boys!

Fergus Vincent O’Connor (1890-1915) married Harriet Ann (Hattie) Dolan (1889-1923). Joseph Emmett O’Connor (1889-1964) married Agnes Sevina Dolan (1890-1973 ). Daniel Patrick O’Connor (1881-1965, pictured left) married Gertrude Pearl Dolan (1894-1978). Fergus, Emmett and Daniel were brothers — all farmers in the area of Osgoode. Hattie, Agnes and Pearl were all farmers’ daughters in the Dunrobin area.

How did these O’Connor boys end up meeting the Dolans, as Osgoode and North and South Gower are a hefty distance from Renfrew South ?

Cousin Sharon suggests

It could have been in the days of logging down the river.

I remember my Dad saying that his Dad (Daniel P.) had gone by train to visit Pearl. Seems like he said it was the next stop along the train route. Then it was a bit of a ride by wagon.

Don’t know what there was there in the Renfrew area that they would be familiar with at that stop (besides the Dolan girls!), but I will be looking to see what was in Renfrew in those days, hunting down a town directory.

Did they maybe meet in church?

Sharon suggests

Apparently there were big dances at halls, not sure if church halls, or town halls. I suspect the 3 O’Connor boys met the 3 Dolan girls in that manner. It would be about 30 miles from North Gower to Dunrobin. The Rideau River runs close to Osgoode/North Gower and empties into the Ottawa River which travels up by Dunrobin/Fitzroy Harbour.
There was a train that went to Chalk River in those days, which is on the correct pathway. Not sure where they would have boarded .. possibly on a train to Ottawa, and then changed trains.