Tama County Iowa Biographies

A History of Tama County, Iowa Vol II; Chicago: Lewis Pub. Co., 1910.

Rev. P.J. Carroll has been pastor of St. Patrick's Roman Catholic church atTama since the fall of 1887, when he was transferred from Fonda, Iowa, totake charge of what was a weak but struggling parish. Under his inspirationand downright hard work, the spiritual and material conditions of the chargeassigned to him have completely changed. The Catholic families which hefound in the parish were inspired with hope and faith in the work of thechurch, new households were brought into the fold, and in 1893 educationalaffairs had become so prosperous that the erection of a school wascommenced. It was opened in the fall of the succeeding year; later, the fineparochial residence was completed, and May 28, 1901, the handsome brickchurch now occupied was thrown open to worshipers. The church property isvalued at $30,000, the school property at $10,000 and the parsonage at$5,500, while the charitable and spiritual labors are performed by FatherCarroll, and under his counsel and supervision, are invaluable according toearthly standard. The parochial pupils, numbering about one hundred andtwenty, are directly taught by the Franciscan Sisters of Mount St. Clair,Clinton, Iowa. They are divided into twelve grades, as to their regularstudies, and are also taught music and other special branches.

Father Carroll is a native of Macon, Georgia, born November 29, 1857, and isa son of Patrick Henry Carroll. In 1847 his father emigrated from Tipperary,Ireland, where he was born, and spent the first few years in this country asa railroad foreman, engaged in the handling of large construction gangs.While thus employed he married Miss Frances Tucker, a native of Frankfort,Kentucky, and of an old southern family, who some years afterward became aconvert to Catholicism. Mrs. Carroll owned a plantation in her own name,upon which the couple lived for a number of years, when the family settledin Macon, Georgia, where the husband engaged in the wholesale grocerybusiness. In the fall of 1868 the family homestead was transferred toJackson county, Iowa, where Mr. Carroll purchased the Wright and Sullivanfarms. In that locality, just south of Dubuque, the parents spent some ofthe later years of their lives. When the father retired from active work thefamily home was fixed in Dubuque, where he died in the summer of 1878, atthe age of sixty-eight years. The mother survived him, spending severalyears with her son after his ordination to the priesthood and finallypassing away at Fonda, Iowa, in 1885.

Rev. Father Carroll was primarily educated in the south; completed histheological course at St. Joseph's College, Dubuque, and was ordained May28, 1882. His first charge was at Fonda, Iowa, where he built up a strongchurch through the arduous and trying labors of a missionary priest. It wasthe nature of his work in that field which caused his transfer to the moremetropolitan field at Tama. In addition to his labors there in directconnection with the church and school of his parish, Father Carroll has beenforemost in the establishment of such societies approved by the Catholicauthorities as the Foresters and other church societies, and irrespectiveof religious faith, he is held in the highest respect by the people of thecommunity.

Submitted by: Cathy Joynt Labath
The Irish in Iowa

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