Chawke, Rev William


August 10, 1936

Personal Info

  • Date of Birth:  14 December 1883
  • Place of Birth in Ireland: Granagh, Ballingarry,
  • County: Limerick
  • Education: St Michael’s College, Listowel and St Patrick’s College, Carlow.
  • Date of Ordination: 13 June 1909
  • Place of Ordination: St Patrick’s Cathedral, Carlow, Ireland
  • Ordained by: Rt. Rev. Patrick Foley, Bishop of Kildare & Leighlin

Diocesan Appointments:

  • Assistant – Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, Wichita, 6 weeks in 1909
  • Pastor – St Mary’s Parish in McCracken, 10/1/1909 to 1919
  • Pastor – St Michael’s, LaCrosse, 1913 – 5/8/1919
  • Pastor – St Patrick’s, Kingman, 5/9/1919 – 5/30/1936
  • Pastor – Assumption, Turon as a mission, 1922 – 5/30/1936

In 1911, Father Chawke was credited with establishing a parish at LaCrosse, Kansas which was dedicated to St Michael by Bishop Hennessy. Father Chawke served the LaCrosse congregation as a mission from his parish, St Mary’s, in McCracken. According to the Dodge City Diocese’ Necrology, Father Chawke initially traveled by railroad to celebrate Mass once a month during the week, for the LaCrosse congregation but in 1912, this changed to one Sunday a month.

In 1930, Bishop Augustus Schwertner, Father Chawke and the parishioners of St Patrick’s parish celebrated the dedication of the new parochial school in Kingman, Kansas. As part of the celebration a dance was held in the new school auditorium.

Printed in the Wichita Beacon in 1935 was the story where Rev. Chawke was reported missing and there was a law enforcement search going on for him throughout Kingman, Wichita, Pratt, Harper, Barber and Reno counties. Father was visiting another priest in Pratt when he heard on the radio that he had been reported missing and a search was on. So he telephoned the sheriff in Kingman to let him know that he was well and safe. According to the story, he originally had plans to visit friends in Willowdale and St Leo but enroute changed his mind and drove to Pratt without notifying anyone.

On 10 August 1936, Father Chawke traveled to Immaculate Conception Convent in Great Bend to attend the reception of a class of novices. About the time the ceremony was scheduled to begin, Father collapsed and died.

  • Date of Death: 10 August 1936
  • Place of Death: Great Bend, KS
  • Age of Death: 52
  • Cause of Death: Heart ailment
  • Funeral Celebrant: Most Rev. Augustus Schwertner, Bishop of the Diocese of Wichita, at St Patrick’s Parish Church, Kingman, KS
  • Burial: Calvary Cemetery, Wichita, KS

View full story with footnotes.