William S. Hogan, BiographyPorter County biographical sketches . . . .

Transcribed biography of William S. Hogan

REV. WILLIAM S. HOGAN. None can fully gauge the vast influence of the great mother church of Christendom, whose missionaries have been the forerunners of civilization throughout the habitable world, and Indiana has been specially favored in the work accomplished within its borders by the Catholic church, which here sent its missionaries in the earliest pioneer epoch and which has here builded up strong and noble institutions, including flourishing parishes in all sections of the commonwealth. In the upbuilding of the important parish of St. Paul's church in Valparaiso there has been no lack of consecrated zeal or of historic interest, and it is pleasing to be able to give in this publication a record concerning the same, both in the specific religious chapter and in connection with the data here presented concerning its honored and loved pastor of the present time. It is a matter of record that about the year 1845 Valparaiso began to receive irregular visitations from members of the Catholic clergy and among the first of these was Rev. Father Couitet, C. S. C., who scattered the gracious seed from which has been propagated the most effective fruitage. Between 1853 and 1857 visitations were made to the embryonic city by various priests from venerable Notre Dame University, at South Bend, and prominent among the number were Fathers J. Curley, E. B. Kilroy and E. Le Veque. They celebrated mass in the old court house on Washington street, and otherwise gave pastoral ministrations to the Catholic families then resident of this local city. The number of such families at the time was about twenty and most of them were of Irish birth or lineage, there having been a few French Catholics in the community. In 1858 Valparaiso was made a formal missionary parish, and about that time was completed the first church edifice, -- a frame structure one hundred and ten by fifty feet in dimensions. This early sanctuary represented an expenditure of two thousand dollars and the building was erected under the pastoral regime of Rev. Paul Gillen, who became the first resident pastor and who occupied a small and simple cottage just south of the church, which latter occupied a site at the corner of Indiana avenue and Chicago street. In connection with the construction of the line of the Pennsylvania Railroad, many more Irish Catholic families were brought to Valparaiso, and the building of the Grand Trunk Railroad increased the number of French families of Catholic faith, with the result that the little parish of St. Paul's church found itself ministering to about two hundred families, with an aggregate of about nine hundred persons. Father Gillen retained pastoral charge from 1857 to June, 1858, and was succeeded by Rev. John H. Force, who was the incumbent from July of the latter year until the 27th of the following December. Rev. G. A. Hamilton assumed the pastorate on the 1st of January, 1859, and continued his gracious ministrations until the 7th of the following August, when there came to the parish Rev. J. Alexius Batti, whose pastorate, marked by earnest and effective labors, continued until September 19, 1862. The parish had no regular pastor thereafter until January 17, 1863, when Rev. Michael O'Reilly was installed. Father O'Reilly served long and faithfully as shepherd of this flock and his name is revered in the community which so long represented his home and was the field of his devoted and consecrated endeavors. He was an able executive as well as a zealous and gentle pastor, and under his long pastorate the church prospered along both spiritual and temporal lines. He remained the loved pastor of St. Paul's until he was summoned to the life eternal, on the 4th of August, 1887, and his incumbency thus covered a period of nearly a quarter of a century. Then came another to whom it was given likewise to serve long and benignantly as pastor of this now important parish. This was Rev. John Dempsey, who remained from August 25, 1887, until May, 1898. Rev. J. H. Bathe succeeded him, but was soon assigned to another field. Rev. L. A. Moench was pastor from July, 1898, until February, 1902, and he is also remembered with love and veneration in this community, as had been his predecessors. The present incumbent, Rev. William S. Hogan, assumed the pastorate of St. Paul's church on the 26th of February, 1902, and well has he continued the work and service of those who have preceded him in his high and holy office. His consecration is on a parity with his high attainments and under his administration the activities of the parish in all departments have signally prospered, the while he has gained secure hold upon the confidence and esteem of the entire community, as well as the affection and solicitous loyalty of the people of his flock.

Father Hogan finds a due measure of satisfaction in reverting to the old Hoosier commonwealth as the place of his nativity and he is gratified also in being able to carry forward within its borders his earnest labors in the service of the Divine Master and in the uplifting of his fellow men. He was born in the city of Fort Wayne, Indiana, on the 9th of October, 1869, and is a son of Patrick and Margaret (Whalen) Hogan. The present pastor of St. Paul's church gained his earlier educational discipline in the parochial schools of his native city, where he was afforded the advantages of the excellent institution conducted by the Brothers of the Holy Cross. His literary or purely academic education was principally obtained in Mount Calvary College, at Mt. Calvary, Wisconsin, in which he was graduated as a member of the class of 1892 and from which he received the degree of Bachelor of Arts. In preparation for the work of the priesthood he entered Mount St. Mary's Seminary, in the city of Cincinnati, Ohio, where he continued his philosophical and ecclesiastical studies for five years and in which he was graduated as a member of the class of 1897. He was ordained to the priesthood by Rt. Rev. Joseph Rademacher, bishop of the diocese of Ft. Wayne, on the 24th of June, 1897, and holy orders were thus conferred upon him in the Cathedral at Ft. Wayne. Soon after his ordination Father Hogan was assigned to the position of assistant pastor of St. Vincent's church at Logansport, Indiana, and he retained this incumbency three years. His first independent pastorate was that of St. Joseph's church at Lebanon, Indiana, and thereafter he held successive charges at Dunkirk and Goshen, this state, in which latter place he was pastor of St. John's church from September until February, 1902, when he came to Valparaiso to assume his present charge, as already noted in a preceding paragraph.

Reverting more specifically to the affairs of St. Paul's parish, it may be said that in 1866 Father O'Reilly purchased four lots, each sixty by one hundred and thirty-two feet, facing West Chicago street and lying between Academy and Campbell streets, besides two other lots of the same dimensions at the corner of Campbell and West Chicago streets, all of this property having been secured for parish uses and the original cost of the same having been only eighteen hundred dollars. The present priest's house, a substantial, two-story, brick structure, was erected in 1870, at a cost of six thousand dollars, and its equipment has been kept up to modern standards. The corner stone of the present church edifice was laid by Bishop Dwenger, on the 8th of October, 1883, and the building was dedicated and consecrated on the 4th of July, 1886. The church is of attractive and consistent architectural design and its ecclesiastical appointments are of superior order, representing the devoted work of pastors and people. It has a seating capacity for one thousand persons, and the total cost of the building and furnishings was sixty-five thousand dollars, -- a figure which indicates that this is one of the fine church edifices of this section of the state. On the property secured at the corner of Academy and West Chicago streets was erected in 1867 the parochial school-building, which is a brick structure of two stories and which is ninety by fifty feet in lateral dimensions. Its four school-rooms provide accommodations for two hundred and fifty pupils, and its admirable work is conducted by three devoted Sisters of the Holy Cross, who reside in a house that was on the property when purchased by the church. The school building represented an original expenditure of nine thousand dollars, and it has been kept in excellent repair, as have also the various other church properties of the parish. The school has an average attendance of one hundred and fifteen pupils. The congregation of the parish now numbers about two hundred families, and all relations are most gracious and harmonious, with a noble consecration of effort and devotion on the part of both pastor and people. Father Hogan is indefatigable in his labors in his high calling and also manifests a lively interest in all that touches the welfare of the community at large, his attitude being essentially that of a broad-minded, progressive and public-spirited citizen.

Source: Lewis Publishing Company. 1912. History of Porter County, Indiana: A Narrative Account of its Historical Progress, its People and its Principal Interests. Chicago, Illinois: Lewis Publishing Company. 881 p.
Page(s) in Source: 647-649

This biography has been transcribed exactly as it was originally published in the source. Please note that we do not provide photocopies or digital scans of biographies appearing on this website.

Biography transcribed by Steven R. Shook


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