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Encyclopedia Dubuque


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DUBUQUE CATHOLIC BENEVOLENT SOCIETY. The Dubuque Catholic Benevolent Society was established on January 1, 1872, with a limited membership. John O'Neill was the president. The object of the Society was social and in 1899 there were 175 members. In February 1872 it was decided to abolish the rule that members had to attend funerals of members in full regalia or be assessed a fine of $2.00. The feeling was the rule was a hardship to the living while of no benefit to the dead. It was also decided to hire nurses to attend the sick rather than assign members for this service. (1)

The Society was dealt a blow in November 1895 from Archbishop John HENNESSY. Not only would it not be able to attend a funeral in the regalia of the order, it had to drop the word "Catholic" from its name and never enter a church as a society. It had held a picnic on Sunday, August 15th, the day of celebration of the feast of immaculate conception. This was in violation of a edict from the Council of Baltimore against picnics on holy days. This had been relayed to the society on the morning of August 15th after plans had already been made and expenses paid. The suggestion was made by some local people that the organization be converted to a fraternal insurance organization. (2)

In 1899 the officers were D. Riorden, President; Joseph Rowan, VicePresident; Patrick J. QUIGLEY, Treasurer; M. J. Farley and F. McGinnes, Secretaries ; M. F. Carey, Marshal, and Father Murphy, Spiritual Director.

Meetings were held weekly, on Sunday afternoon, in Mulligan's Hall, and the treasury in 1899 contained a relief fund of an estimated $800.



1. "Municipal Molecules," Dubuque Daily Herald, February 17, 1892, p. 4

2. "Under the Ban," Dubuque Daily Herald, November 26, 1895, p. 8