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Rev. Lawrence F. Roche
Born 1850
REV. LAWRENCE F. ROCHE, Pastor of St. Martin's Catholic Church of Cascade, was born in Ireland in 1850. He received his education in that country and was ordained by Archbishop Patrick Tealey, of Cashel, Ireland. He came to America in 1872 and settled in Dubuque. He was afterward given charge of St. Peter's Church at Temple Hill, Jones County, and in 1876 was transferred to St. Anthony's Church at Davenport, where he remained five years. Returning to Dubuque at the expiration of that time our subject took charge of the Cathedral in that city and continued as its pastor until he came to Cascade.
This congregation was originally attended by the Rev. Father Predine about fifty years ago. It was then a small mission and the pastor only visited them occasionally in order to attend to their spiritual wants. He was succeeded by Rev. Father Tracy, who was stationed at Garry Owen. The Cascade Mission was separated from Garry Owen and attached to Temple Hill, which was a flourishing Catholic settlement in an early day as it is at present. The Rev. Father McGinnis, now deceased, was pastor of the church at that time. The building in which they met for worship was a small brick structure near where the present large church now stands. Resident priests supplied the congregation for some time, among whom was the Rev. George A. Hamilton, who remained with them for six months; Rev. James Slatterly succeeded, and in 1860 the Rev. J. O'Connor took charge, remaining for one year. He was followed by Rev. James Cunningham, whose death occurred two years later. Rev. Michael Lynch was then called and for eleven years he faithfully served the church. During his pastorate the present commodious building was erected and also that of St. Martin's Convent and accompanying schools.
In 1876 Father Lynch was succeeded by the Rev, John Hennessy, who administered the affairs of St. Martin's until 1880. Then Father James P. Barren occupied the pastorate until June of the following year, when our subject assumed control. He has the spiritual welfare of one hundred and forty families to look after. Since coming to Cascade he has made many valuable improvements in the church property, among which was the large church tower and the priest's residence, which was built at a cost of $5,000, and a school building at about $1,000. The church proper is a solid stone structure, nicely furnished, and when completed cost $16,000. There is a fine school for boys, the building occupying two lots on Keene Street. The girls' school is situated in the Convent of St. Martin's and the total scholarship is one hundred and twenty. Six Sisters of Charity of the Blessed Virgin Mary are employed as teachers and instruct the pupils in all branches of education. Rev. Father Roche gives his entire attention to his church work and is highly respected in the community in which he lives.

Source: Dubuque, Jones, and Clayton Counties History, 1894, pgs. 482-483.
Submitted by: Becky Teubner


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