Biography - P Carroll

FATHER P. F. CARROLL, the popular Priest of St. Mary's Cathedral of Litchfield, was born in Janesville, Wis., on the 10th of September, 1857, and is the son of William and Alice (Farrington) Carroll. He received his primary education in the schools of his native place, in Rock Township, where his father was a farmer. After completing the course of study in the home schools, he entered St. Francis' Seminary, near Milwaukee, where he pursued both his classical and theological studies, and completed the prescribed course. June 29, 1881, he was ordained to the priesthood at Alton, Ill., and for a short time he was stationed at the cathedral in that city. He was sent to this charge in August, 1882.
The young priest possessed energy and enthusiasm, and immediately after coming to Litchfield began to look about for some way in which he could best assist his parish. He found the small brick edifice entirely inadequate for his congregation, which consisted of two hundred and ten families, including the German communicants. Soon after taking charge, in May, 1883, he called a meeting of his parish, and an assessment was decided upon, and immediately the work of collecting money for a new building was commenced. He was so successful that in 1884 the foundation was laid for a beautiful new church, which was dedicated in July, 1888. This structure combines some of the most elaborate architectural designs in its construction, and is an ornament to the city. It is 136x58 feet in dimensions, and the nave is fifty feet from the floor to the ceiling. The vestry is appropriately furnished and the chapel is also in fine order.
Although the church was not dedicated until 1888, it has been used since 1886. After the Germans withdrew from the congregation it left only one hundred and sixty families, but the number now is about two hundred again. Bishop Ryan, of Alton, conducted the dedication services, which were very interesting, and Bishop Spaulding, of Peoria, preached the dedicatory sermon, and a large number of clergymen were present. The parsonage was built in 1890 and is one of the finest in the country, being of a pleasing style of architecture, two stories in height with a garret. It is located on the same plat of ground with the church. In connection with the church is a Sisters' school, which Father Carroll has had repaired and remodeled. The cost of the church has been $30,000 and the cost of the house $7,000. The church property covers the entire front of one block. Father Carroll has not spared himself since beginning his work here. His duties in the hospital are many, but there is nothing too hard or too disagreeable for him to undertake when others may be helped thereby. He has the confidence and regard of his parishioners, and has accomplished a wonderful amount of work since he has been among them.

Extracted 10 Jan 2017 by Norma Hass from 1892 Portrait and Biographical Record of Montgomery and Bond Counties, Illinois, pages 391-392.

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