Pennsylvania USGenWeb Archives
St. Francis of Assisi Parish
Compiled for the
Centenary of the Founding
of the Parish
Laying of the Cornerstone
of the Present Church
1832 1936 1886
July 23, 1936
transcribed for the Clearfield County PA USGenWeb by
JOSEPH BOONE. The records are not clear with regard
to the arrival of Joseph Boone in this part of the country. There is a story
that he came here from the locality which is now Washington, Pa. It is said that
he endorsed a note for a friend and later assumed the responsibility for its
payment. He and the friend then made an agreement whereby Mr. Boone was given
the property on which our first church was erected. Mr. Boone conveyed to Bishop
Conwell of Philadelphia the title for the ground on which the old church was
CHRISTOPHER KRATZER. Came to this country soon after
1824. He was a cabinet-maker by trade, and took up his residence at the corner
of Front and Cherry streets. Mr. Kratzer, during his many years of life in the
town, had been identified with much of its progress. He founded the first
newspaper in the county, in 1827; had engaged extensively in lumbering and other
branches of trade; was twice made county treasurer, and otherwise prominently
before the people for over half-century. His son, Harry A. Kratzer, was one of
the leading merchants of the borough, having had a place of business on Market
JOHN LYTLE was one of the family of George Lytle, a pioneer of the "upper country" in the vicinity of Lumber City, and came to Clearfield town about 1840. He lived on Cherry street, back of St. Andrew's Church. John G., William J., and James H. Lytle were sons of John Lytle. The firm of Lytle Brothers had been composed of John G. and James H. Lytle.
ST. FRANCIS TRUSTEES
J. A. Breth, J. S. Beahan, LouisT. Gaulin
A. E. Leitzinger, Walter Welch,
Lawrence Rougeux, S. J. Waterworth, M. D.
HUGH LEAVY came from New York about the time the
Catholic Church was built. He was a bricklayer by trade, and was employed on the
church edifice. He married Sarah Wrigley, by whom he had several children. Of
these, James L. Leavy was an extensive lumberman, and one of the firm of Leavy,
Mitchell & Co. He was proprietor of a livery stable at Clearfield, and conducted
stage lines between Clearfield and DuBois, and Curwensville and DuBois. He also
had a business as undertaker and funeral director.
JOHN McLAUGHLIN was born in the county Donegal,
Ireland, and came to this country in 1825, and to the county in 1832, where he
settled on the ridges south of the town. In his family were ten children. James
McLaughlin, son of the pioneer, became proprietor of the Smith House in 1872,
but made extensive alterations and changed the name to the St. Charles.
PETER A. GAULIN, one of four children, sons and
daughters of Francis Augustine Gaulin, was born in France, and came to this
country in 1832, locating in Centre County. Peter A. Gaulin enlisted in Co. G.
51st Pennsylvania Vol. Inf., as a private, but by several promotions for
meritorious service was raised to the rank of captain. About the year 1848 the
family moved to Karthaus Towship, this county. He came to Clearfield Borough in
1865. The succeeding year he was appointed postmaster and held the office
THE HAMILTON AND DAUGHERTY FAMILIES came to this
locality from the County Tyrone in Ireland and settled just outside of
Philadelphia at a place called Leepers which is now known as West Chester. After
remaining there for some time they decided to go to Ohio for the purpose of
farming. They reached our neighboring town of Tyrone and there learned that the
bridge was out and that they could not proceed further at that time. They came
therefore, to Clearfield and settled here.
JOHN DAUGHERTY was born in 1806 in county Tyrone in
Ireland and came here with the Hamiltons in 1822.
WILLIAM MORGAN, a laborer, is recorded in Clearfield
about 1840. He had married Sarah, a sister of Hugh Leavy. He came to Clearfield,
no doubt in order that he might be with the other members of the Leavy family.
GEORGE NEWSON was the husband of one of the sisters
of Hugh Leavy. He came here about 1840.
JOSEPH SCHNELL is recorded as the first town constable.
St. Francis Altar Boys - 1936
The same day I baptized Thomas, the legitimate son of Hugh Brady and Mary Greene- The sponsors were John Rafferty and Josephine Schnell. —Patrick Leavy.
Mary Jane Hamilton
Adaline Boone departed this life Sept. 7, 1829 — aged 17.
OLDEST LIVING PERSON BAPTIZED IN ST. FRANCIS CHURCH AND STILL RESIDING HERE
Mr. Hugh Daugherty of 308 Park Avenue is the oldest member of St. Francis at present. He has been living a retired life since 1931. He was born on April 18, 1855, and was baptized by Rev. T. Ledwith. Ten years of his life was spent working in hotels and nineteen years was spent working for the New York Central.
At the time mentioned above the men of the
parish assisted in the erection of the bells. Among them was John F. Wachtel, an
uncle of A. E. Leitzinger and Mrs. Mary Usher. After their erection Mr. Wachtel
rang the "Angelus" for the first time.
Headed— "Clearfield Settlement, February 5, 1801. My Lord:" Ends with "I have the honor to remain with profound respect, my lord, Your most humble and obedient servant, Augustine Demetrius Gallitzin, Priest of Clearfield"
(The above information was taken from Sarah M. Brownson's Life of Demetrius Augustine Gallitzin—pages 132, 129, 121).
Girl Scout Troop No. 4
Senior Banquet in St. Francis Auditorium
ST. FRANCIS CENTENARY HYMN
The People's stay in hours of woe:
Full many a wound thy word did heal,
With Christlike Love and Peace aglow.
Thou gavest to the Poor and Lowly
Bright realms of Gladness pure and holy:
O let thy Charity's golden ray
Illumine our own love-lost day!
The days are dark with Strife and War:
The Bonds of Faith are discord-riven
And Right and Hope are fled afar.
O stir with Songs of a happier Morrow
Men's souls, bowed low in Sin and Sorrow,
And in thy Festive Year restore
The Love that ruled in Days of Yore!
St. Francis of Assisi Church
Interior of St. Francis Church
Right Reverend Bishop T. Mullen, D. D., of Erie.
Right Reverend Bishop McGovern, of Harrisburg.
Promptly at 10:30 the bell rang for the
dedicatory service and a procession of those who were to perform the ceremonies
was formed as follows: Censer Bearer, David Sackett. Cross Bearer, Rev. L. P.
Kumerant, attended by Acolytes Leo Souders and Sheridan Beahan. Rev.'s Cavanaugh
and Meagher. Rev.'s Brady and Dwyer. Rev. Gormley and Rt. Rev. Bishop Mullen.
With solemn tread they encircled the outer
walls performing the ceremony as laid down in the ritual. Entering the Church,
they encircled the interior in the same manner and ended by consecrating the
The dedicatory ceremony was followed by a sermon by Bishop McGovern. (It was our intention to have published Bishop McGovern's sermon, but through a misunderstanding we failed to receive the copy until the Journal was almost ready for the press, and the great length of the sermon makes its publication impossible at this late hour.)
The new pipe organ has a magnificent tone and was skillfully handled. The singing throughout the service was good, and during the celebration of the Mass, they sang with excellent effect "Concone's Mass", incidental to which was a solo, Millard's "Ave Marie" by Miss Cavanaugh, and a duet "Ave Verum" by Mrs. Strayer and Mr. Duffy.
The gothic windows are of fine quality cathedral glass and are truly handsome. They are three feet wide by twelve feet high, each one containing a life-size figure of one of the Saints, wrought in colored glass, and surely no better or more appropriate design could have been devised. They cost $125.00 each, and every one of them was donated to the church and inscribed to the memory of the donor, or as otherwise desired.
The auditorium, which includes the nave and
the two wings, will comfortably seat six hundred people. It is seated with
handsome pews made of a combination of oak and ash in natural finish. They are
massive and elegant in appearance and harmonize perfectly with their
The acoustics are perfect, enabling persons in
all parts of the house to hear distinctly words spoken from the altar in a low
The organ loft is reached by means of a spiral
iron stairway from the vestibule. The new Hammil pipe organ was put in at a cost
of $1,000.00 and was not completed until late Saturday night previous to the
dedication. It was made at Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Taken throughout, the church is handsome,
substantial, comfortable and convenient in all its appointments. Its total cost
has been about $19,000.00."
Since the dedication of the church a new organ was purchased in 1906 from The Felgemaker Company of Erie, Pa., by Father Cavanaugh. The price of this organ was Fourteen Hundred Dollars. It is the organ which is in the church at the present time.
Ellis Michaels, Clearfield County PAGenWeb Archives File Manager
Copyright 2009, USGenWeb Archives