Father William Keegan (1824-1890), Brooklyn, New York
June 19, 2013 by Leave a Comment
The New York Times, May 11, 1890
Vicar General William Keegan of the Catholic diocese of Brooklyn, rector of the Church of the Assumption, York and Jay Streets, in that city, died early yesterday morning, in the sixty-seventh year of his age, of pneumonia, super-induced by an attack of chills and fever. He was attended in his last moments by his brother and sister, and by Mr. and Mrs. George M. Nichols. Drs. Carey and Young were in attendance all night, and remained until death ensued. Father Keegan’s old classmate, the Rev. Joseph P. O’Connell of the Church of St. Mary Star of the Sea, administered the last sacraments of the Church.
In point of service he was one of the oldest Catholic priests in Brooklyn, having been connected with the Church of the Assumption as assistant priest and rector for thirty-seven years.
He was born in Kings County, Ireland, April 22, 1824, and with his parents took up his residence in Brooklyn in 1842. After his preparatory studies he entered St. John’s College, Fordham, from which he was graduated in 1853. Oct. 16 of that year he was ordained priest by Cardinal Bedini, Papal Nuncio, in the old St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Mott Street, and was assigned to duty in the Diocese of Brooklyn as assistant priest to the Rev. David W. Bacon., then pastor of the Church of the Assumption. Dr. Bacon was shortly afterward consecrated Bishop of Portland, Me., and Father Keegan succeeded him in the pastorate, a position which he has filled ever since with signal ability. He was noted for his executive tact and capacity for business, and was for this reason selected in 1880 by Bishop Loughlin for his Vicar General.
He was also a member of the Bishops’ Council, Chaplain of the Brooklyn St. Patrick’s Society, and a Trustee of St. Mary’s Hospital and other charitable institutions. His only living relations are two nephews—William S. Keegan of Brooklyn and Michael Keegan of Rexville, Steuben County—and a niece, Sister Louise Vincent of the Sisters of Charity attached to St. Patrick’s Church, Mott Street.
The flags on all the public buildings and on many private ones were placed at half mast yesterday out of respect to Father Keegan’s memory. The funeral will take place on Tuesday, but all the arrangements have not yet been made. Everything has been left to Bishop Loughlin, who will officiate in person. The body will be buried in the Holy Cross Cemetery at Flatbush.