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Rev. A. H. Walsh has been the diligent and devoted pastor of St. Patrick’s Church at Kingman for the past thirteen years, and had accomplished a wonderful work in building up and strengthening the power of the Catholic Church in this section.
Father Walsh secured his early education in the Irish National schools. In 1889, at the age of fourteen, he came to America and continued his education in the parochial schools of Chicago. After his career had been definitely determined he entered St. Michael’s College at Toronto, Canada, pursuing the classical course there five years and then remained two years in the philosophical course, graduating in 1900. He took his theological work in St. Bernard’s Seminary at Rochester, New York, where after four years he graduated in 1904. He was ordained in that year in St. Patrick’s Cathedral at Rochester by Rt. Rev. Doctor McQuade, bishop of Rochester. A few days later he said his first mass in St. Patrick’s Cathedral, his assisting priest in the first mass being the Rt. Rev. Monsignor Hartley, Rector of St. Bernard’s Seminary, while the sermon was preached by the Rev. Doctor Nolan, Chancellor of the Diocese of Rochester.
Father Walsh on coming to Kansas spent three months at Wichita as assistant priest at the Cathedral, and on October 16, 1904, was appointed rector of St. Patrick’s Church at Kingman. At that time the church had three missions, Pratt, Castleton and Turon. With the enthusiasm of one who had just embarked upon his life work Father Walsh took hold of the situation and besides handling the routine duties connected with the pastorate accomplished several things that deserve more than passing notice. He brought about the building of a new church at Pratt in 1908, costing $10,000, and after the church was completed the parish was detached from its former position as a mission and Rt. Rev. Bishop Hennessey saw fit to put a new pastor in charge. Then in 1910 Father Walsh had the satisfaction of laying the foundation for a new St. Patrick’s church at Kingman. This handsome church edifice was completed in 1912, the building and all its equipment costing $35,000. It is a fine brick church, will accommodate 400 people, and is located on Avenue D, West. When Father Walsh came to Kingman he found the parish containing only about ten Catholic families, and his work had been prospered, the parish had grown, and a monument to the zeal of his people and his own exertions is the fine church that is today completely out of debt. The first Catholic priest to visit the region about Kingman came about thirty-nine years ago, holding services in the home of a Mr. O’Neil, who lived about eight miles northwest of Kingman. The first resident pastor at Kingman began his duties about thirty-two years ago, and under his administration a small church was erected. The edifice was blown down and badly damaged, but was replaced and services were held there until the beautiful new St. Patrick’s was dedicated in November, 1912. Many hardships and discouragements beset the lot of the early priests and the members of St. Patrick’s parish, but that chapter of history is now closed, and today the Catholic Church of Kingman is one of the strongest and best organized of any of the religious denominations of the county.