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Dempsey, Timothy


Founder of charitable institutions; b. Cadamstown, Offaly County, Ireland, Oct. 21, 1867; d. St. Louis, Mo., April 6, 1936. He was the eldest of 11 children of Thomas H. and Bridget (Ryan) Dempsey. He studied for the priesthood at St. Mary's Seminary, Mullingar and St. Patrick's Foreign Mission College, Carlow. On June 14, 1891, he was ordained for the U.S. After seven years as a curate in Missouriat Indian Creek, Moberly, and St. Louishe was appointed pastor of St. Patrick's in St. Louis in 1898, and in 1923 was made a domestic prelate.

Early in his career he became active in the rehabilitation of paroled convicts and then in other areas of social work. He established low-fee hotels for workingmen (1906) and women (1911); a free labor agency (1906); "Exiles' Rest," a burial plot in Calvary Cemetery for the indigent (1909); a nursery and emergency home (1910); a White Cross Crusade to gather discarded articles for resale (1922); and a short-lived home for African Americans (1922). In 1924 he added a convalescent home to the women's hotel, and in 1931 he opened a free lunchroom to meet depression needs.

"Father Tim's" rich personality and sympathy for the unfortunate made him a popular counselor and aided in his success as a peacemaker in industrial disputes and gang wars. He is buried in the "Exiles' Rest," which he established.

Bibliography: h. j. mcauliffe, Father Tim (Milwaukee 1944).

[h. j. mcauliffe]

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