The Rt. Rev. Monsignor James Martin Kirwin

The Rt. Rev. Monsignor James Martin Kirwin (HMXSE)

Location: Galveston, TX 77550 Galveston County
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Country: United States of America
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N 29° 18.184', W 94° 47.405'

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(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, an 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 respected citizens. His body was returned to his hometown for burial.
Marker Number7507
Year Placed1989
Placed ByTexas Historical Commission
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Wednesday, September 24th, 2014 at 5:19am PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)15R E 326142 N 3242893
Decimal Degrees29.30306667, -94.79008333
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 29° 18.184', W 94° 47.405'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds29° 18' 11.04" N, 94° 47' 24.30" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)409, 281
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 722-798 21st St, Galveston TX 77550, US
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