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Middle West. For years it was he who must appear on any public occasion to represent our people. For years it was he who must have membership and activity in historical societies to keep us in countenance. For years it was he who must guide and advise the inexperienced and unskilled in political policies. For years it was he who must stand out as the leading Catholic layman of the West.

Is it any wonder, then, that naturally and unconsciously he came to assume before the whole American people a position of prominence. His place among the laity of America was comparable to the place held by his illustrious friend, Archbishop Ireland, among the hierarchy. These two devoted friends were not the only great leaders we have had, but each was mighty and zealous, most venerable and most honored. It was this perhaps more than anything else in the life of Mr. Onahan which made him peculiarly beloved and trusted throughout the length and breath of America. It was no mere rhetorical flash in the pan which dubbed him universally, "The Premier Layman of America".

A service so distinct and peculiar as to call for special remembrance he also performed. Perhaps I may best express it without offense by saying that he added public respectability to the Irish colony in the Middle West. Like that fine spirit, Colonel Mulligan, he was anxious that the Irish-American name should be honored, the Irish-American spirit respected, Irish-American dignity and taste always vindicated and sustained, and hence whatever was tawdry or low-toned, or unrepresentative, he fought and vanquished and banished from our community life. To the end of his days this fine enthusiasm burned bright and hot. His zeal for the Church and his patriotic passion for the people from whom he sprang made him intolerant of anything that was low-class or inferior.

This is not the place to evaluate his services in the political life of this city. Another will do this in his own way and with better understanding. But at least it may be

said that Mr. Onahan bore his share in the responsibilities and solicitudes of national and local citizenship. Lifted up to a high and venerable place in the confidence and affections of the people of Chicago, he served them with conspicuous brilliance and scrupulous integrity. No finer example of the Catholic man in politics has been seen in our country. Mr. Onahan had vision also. "Where there is no vision," says the prophet, "the people perish." And, indeed, people were perishing-our Irish-American people were perishing spiritually, physically and economically in the overcrowded tenements of the city and in dark, dirty spots where life and health and wholesomeness could not come to them. At the same time in the great virgin prairies and opulent valleys in the West and Northwest lay vast domains, vacant and smiling to the sun. There were great figures in the hierarchy who saw an opportunity to serve both the nation and the Irish-American immigrant. But the layman who, above all others, saw and appreciated the opportunity and the duty was William J. Onahan. There are vast communities in the Northwest whose forefathers were saved to the Church and placed on the crest of opportunity by the foresight and enthusiastic energy of bishops like Ireland and Spalding and such a layman as Mr. Onahan.

It would require a volume to enumerate the large parts this striking figure has played in the public life of the nation, but it is impossible to close even this fragmentary sketch without mention of the great Catholic Congresses of Chicago and Baltimore which were organized chiefly by Mr. Onahan and whose success are in such large measure due to his wisdom and initiative. Always the dreamer of great dreams, always the doer of great deeds, always the leader with prophetic gift and unfailing judgment and sure instinct; always the loyal and self sacrificing servant of his Faith and his Fatherland and America, this chivalrous knight who, in spite of his modernity and practicality made one think sometimes that he had just stepped out of some ancient century away back in the ages of Faith, moved with

grace and dignity down the highways and byways of life, receiving and giving blessings, enjoying honor, prosperity and acclaim from all good men. Universities deemed it an honor to themselves to confer degrees upon him. Notre Dame pinned upon his bosom her choicest distinction when she made him the Laetare Medalist of 1890. The Holy Father himself, from those ancient watchtowers upon which he sits in solitude to look out over the whole wide world, deigned to single him out for what was then a most signal honor, by making him a Count of the Sword and Cape.

And so, he went his gentle, beneficent way through life and so, in God's good time, in a spirit of faith and fortitude, he fell asleep in God. His body lies in the midst of those whom he knew and loved best in life, and his spirit is with the saints. May his memory be his benediction!

At the conclusion of the ceremonies the Most Reverend Archbishop George William Mundelein pronounced the last absolution and all that was mortal of the distinguished dead was tenderly borne to Calvary cemetery for interment, followed by the esteem and prayers of a multitude of friends who could not but wish that they each when their hour shall come might be credited with a similarly righteous and useful life and that they might be assured of a death that held such promise of peace hereafter.


Mrs. Ella Flagg Young, former superintendent of schools of Chicago, died October 26, 1918 at Washington, D. C. a victim of Spanish influenza. She was 73 years old.

Stricken in Cheyenne, Wyo., about two weeks before, while speaking for the Liberty Loan, Mrs. Young refused to yield to the disease and continued her trip through Wyoming and Utah. She returned to Washington a week later. Pneumonia developed within a few days and she died at 9:30 A. M., October 26, 1918. Mrs. Young had been a member of the woman's liberty loan committee since the campaign for the second loan but she made no speaking trips until this fall.


Miss Mary Synon, Mrs. George Bass, Mrs. Kellogg Fairbank and Mrs. Antoinette Funk, the four Chicago members of the committee were appointed by Secretary McAdoo to represent the treasury department at the funeral which took place at Rosehill on Monday. Mrs. Bass and Miss Synon came to Chicago with Mrs. Young's body.

"Mrs. Young died in the service of her country, working like a soldier", Secretary McAdoo said.

Miss Laura Brayton for thirty years the friend and companion of Mrs. Young was unable to attend the funeral. Miss Brayton had been suffering from the influenza for several weeks and was too ill to travel.

Mrs. Young devoted more than fifty-five years of her life to active educational work. For the greater part of this time she was recognized as a leader in educational progress. The climax of her career, perhaps, was when in 1909 she was chosen superintendent of Chicago's public schools. When this

responsibility was placed upon her, she stepped into a salary of $10,000 a year. But at the same time she became the active business head of $50,000,000 worth of property, also she became the directing chief of some 6,000 teachers who were guiding the education and shaping the lives of nearly 300,000 children. Six hundred janitors worked at her will. She was then 64 years old and the widow of a Chicago merchant.

It was claimed for her that she was the first "$10,000 woman" in public life. Mrs. Young initiated many reforms in the schools of Chicago, among them being the teaching of sex hygiene, the enlargment of the kindergarten course, an increase in the scope of vocational training and the simplification of the curriculum of the primary grades.

She was born in Buffalo, New York on Jan. 15, 1845 and was brought to Chicago by her parents when a young girl. She was graduated from the Chicago public schools and was appointed teacher in the primary grade in 1862 when she was 17 years old. William R. Harper, former president of the University of Chicago, who opposed the appointment of women to important posts, made an exception of Mrs. Young and offered her a professorship in the department of pedagogy in 1899. Mrs. Young at first declined, saying:

"I haven't a doctor's degree, and I don't want to be teaching those who are working for their higher degrees when I haven't one myself."

"It is the woman we want, not the degree," said Mr. Harper. Finally she consented to take the place on the condition that she should first earn the degree-which she did.

Mrs. Young was a pioneer publicist, one of the pioneers in advocating suffrage—always in a dignified way—and had a keen insight into public matters.

Owing to the health regulations the only services held in Chicago over the body of Mrs. Young were at the grave at 10 o'clock Monday morning at Rosehill.

Brief but impressive were the funeral services for this notable woman, former superintendent of the Chicago public schools who died in Washington fighting for the success

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