Date: October 29, 2005
Creator: Belden, Dreanna L.
Description: Photograph of a historic plaque in Galveston, Texas. It reads: "The Right Reverend Monsignor James Martin Kirwin (July 1, 1872 - January 24, 1926). A native of Circleville, Ohio, young Catholic priest James Martin Kirwin arrived in Galveston in 1896. He was soon appointed Vicar General of the Diocese of Galveston by Bishop Nicholas A. Gallagher. As Rector of St. Mary's Cathedral, Father Kirwin's work as a civic and religious leader was felt throughout the city. In 1900, following the disastrous Galveston storm, Kirwin was instrumental in forming the Committee for Public Safety, which provided oversight for relief efforts and control of the devastated city. Together with his friend Rabbi Henry Cohen, Father Kirwin was a leading force in rebuilding Galveston. He helped lay the cornerstone of the Galveston Seawall in 1902 and participated in ceremonies marking its completion two years later. Kirwin was also instrumental in settling labor disputes on Galveston's docks and in forming the Galveston Home Protective League, and organization whose purpose was to remove saloons from residential neighborhoods. He led in the fight against the local Ku Klux Klan in the 1920s. When Monsignor Kirwin died in 1926, the whole city mourned one of its most ...
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