Thomas Connor, an immigrant from Ireland, was one of Joplin's wealthiest citizens.
With sons and daughters of Ireland calling Joplin home from its earliest days, it’s not surprising to know that the celebration of St. Patrick’s Day is more than a hundred years old in Joplin. The Joplin News Herald noted the events held on March 17, 1908 and claimed that the day began with a “typical Irish fog enwrapping the city,” with every flag pole decorated with the Irish flag. Thousands of green shamrocks decorated the lapels of Joplinites across the city, the paper declared.
In describing the events, the News Herald noted, “The Irishman lives everywhere, and everywhere has he well-wishers who long with him for the time when oppression and wrong in his native soil will cease to be and the Emerald Isle return to the control of the native son.” I
Beyond political discourse, the paper reported that the Irish and those who intended to celebrate the day with them, were to attend an observance at a “little old church that was the religious home of Joplin Catholics for so many years.” The program consisted of a boys’ choir singing “God Save Ireland,” the Catholic priest, Father Clinton singing “The Wearing of the Green,” and a instrumental selection from Miss Margaret Williams, Masters William and John Joseph Hennessey.
Patrick Murphy, also an Irish immigrant, was the benefactor and namesake of Murphy Park.
The instrumental was then followed by a recitation by a Father Lyona, another song, “Then You’ll remember Me” by Miss Anna Toohey, a selection from Mrs. E.F. Cameron, a song from Mrs. Will Moore, another instrumental, “The Irish Dance” again from Ms. Toohey, “The Irish Immigrant” by Mrs. W.F. Maher with another recitation from Father Lyona, “Kathleen Mavourneen” sung by Mrs. Kachelski; a concertino solo and song by D.M. Sayers, and concluded with the boys’ choir singing “My Country Tis of Thee.”
Happy St. Patrick’s Day!
Source: Joplin News Herald