Second bishop of Davenport, Iowa; b. Williamsport, Pa., Dec. 19, 1833; d. Davenport, Dec. 22, 1906. A few years after his birth, his parents, John and Bridget (Kane) Cosgrove, moved to Hollidaysburg, Pa., then in 1845 to Dubuque, Iowa. There he was educated by pioneer priests, one of whom, Joseph cretin, later first bishop of St. Paul, Minn., was his particular adviser. In 1852 Bp.J. M. P. loras of Dubuque sent Cosgrove to study philosophy at St. Mary's Seminary, The Barrens, near Cape Girardeau, Mo. After a year he returned to study theology at Mt. St. Bernard's Seminary at Table Mound near Dubuque, where he remained for two years. Subsequently he completed his studies at the St. Louis diocesan seminary, Carondelet, and was ordained (Aug. 27, 1857) in the old cathedral at Dubuque by Bp. Clement Smyth, OCSO.
First appointed to St. Margaret's Church in Davenport in September 1857, he became pastor of the same church in 1861. When the new Diocese of Davenport was created (1881), he remained as rector of the cathedral and vicar-general to the first bishop, John McMullen. On the death of McMullen (1883), Cosgrove administered the diocese until his own appointment (July 20, 1884) as second bishop of Davenport, the first American-born bishop appointed west of the Mississippi. He was consecrated at St. Margaret's Cathedral (Sept. 14, 1884) by Abp. P. A. Feehan of Chicago, Ill.
Cosgrove was distinguished as a pastor, preacher, and educator. He built the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart in Davenport (1890–91), where his remains are buried under the main vestibule. St. Ambrose College, founded in 1882, was incorporated and built at its present location in 1885. He founded St. Vincent's Diocesan Orphanage and numerous parishes and parochial schools in his diocese, which grew in Catholic population from about 45,000 with 79 priests in 1884 to about 70,000 with 135 priests in 1906. He was a leader in projects to settle Catholic immigrants in the Middle West and in organizing the Roman Catholic Mutual Protection Society of Iowa.
Bibliography: There is no full-scale work on Cosgrove, but information on him may be found in j. b. code, Dictionary of American Hierarchy (2d ed. New York 1964) 52. g. giglinger, "Rt. Rev. Henry Cosgrove, D.D., Bishop of Davenport: A Biographical Sketch," Acta et Dicta 2 (1909–1910) 211–218. e. c. greer, Cork Hill Cathedral (Davenport 1956).
[r. j. welch]