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Champaign County, Illinois

Biography - John H. Cannon

SOURCE: "History of Champaign County, Illinois," by J. O. Cunningham, 1905

SURNAMES: CANNON


REV. JOHN H. CANNON was born in Henry, Marshall County, Ill., January 20, 1868. A few years later his family moved to Joliet, Ill., where he spent his boyhood. He was educated at St. Ignatious College, Chicago; Niagara University, Niagara Falls, N. Y., and St. Viateurs College, Bourbonnais Grove, Kankakee, Ill., finishing his classical course at Niagara and his course in philosophy at St. Viateurs. He studied theology at St. Mary’s Seminary, Baltimore, Md., and was ordained to the priesthood by the most Rev. P. A. Feehan, late Archbishop of Chicago, June 25, 1894. He was first assigned as assistant rector to the Rev. Thomas Mackin, of St. Joseph’s Church, Rock Island, Ill., until 1898, when he was appointed rector of Our Lady of Lourdes Church, at Gibson City, Ill., and while filling this pastorate he built St. John’s Church at Belle Flower, and the Sacred Heart Church at Farmer City, organizing the church congregation at the first named placed. In 1901 Rev. Father Cannon was assigned to the work of organizing a church in Urbana, the Catholic citizens of that city having previously attended services at Champaign. In St. Mary’s Church, on Sunday, June 30, 1901, Father Cannon preached what was, to them, his first sermon. At the service he promised that they should attend Mass in their own church the following Sunday. True to his promise, thirty=seven hours after commencing the work, he had a temporary edifice completed in which the parish was organized the next Sunday, and in which services were held until the present church, St. Patrick’s, was completed. His pastorate has continued until the present time (1905), and during this period he has firmly established his parish, having erected what is conceded to be the finest church in either Champaign or Urbana. The results achieved by him during his brief pastorate are a sufficient evidence of his constructive ability, his force of character, and tenacity of purpose. While a stanch Catholic churchman, his broad liberality has brought to him the friendship of all classes and the generous assistance of citizens of all denominations. He has projected and made church improvements costing, in all, more than $49,000, and has collected and paid out over $30,000.


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