Rev James Flemming

Photo added by KWH

Rev James Flemming

  • Birth 25 Dec 1832 Ireland
  • Death 28 Feb 1908 Shieldsville, Rice County, Minnesota, USA
  • Burial Saint Paul, Ramsey County, Minnesota, USA
  • Memorial ID 92528682

Father Flemming
James Flemming was born at five o'clock on Christmas morning, 1847 in Kilkenny, Ireland. We know the hour as he used to say the first Mass on Christmas day at five o'clock on that account.
He was ordained to the priesthood on June 24, 1872. He labored successfully as pastor at St. John's, St. Paul, St. Canice's, Kilkenny and at Shakopee. In 1900 he came to [St. Patrick's] Shieldsville.
Father James J. Flemming was kind and good and holy. He saw no evil in anyone. He knew the deep affection the Shieldsville people had for Father Slevin [the priest before him] and when he got orders from the bishop to take Father Slevin's place, he was scared to death. He said he expected a high board fence to keep him out. There was no fence. Father Slevin taught us that a priest is a priest and Father Flemming was greeted with open arms.
He was so gentle, and humble, and pious that he would not ask for funds, not even his salary, and though the majority of our parishioners willingly support the church and pastor, we are no more than human, and money was very elusive in those days so Father Flemming got along as best he could. His happiness was keeping others happy and comfortable.
His means of transportation was one bay mare named "Maude". If she wanted to travel, she did, otherwise the trip was postponed. Her harness was kept on the newel post in the house so it would be warm. She was allowed to wander, foot loose and fancy free, and the window in Father Flemming's bedroom was kept open so she could stick her head in at any time and get an apple. No screen was ever put on there. Once, after Father Flemming's death, she found the window closed and broke it but found no apple. Poor Maude, when her friend was gone she had a hard time.
In 1909 there was an epidemic of pneumonia and Father Flemming wore himself out calling on the sick and dying. He died Feb. 27, 1909*. His sexton, Joe Duhamel, died the same week.
In his great love for animals Father Flemming had a barn built for the horses on Sundays. He couldn't think of having them tied out in the cold while their owners were at Mass. The "Horse Palace" was nice for the horses, but it would not do for a garage so it is gone.
Father Flemming's sister, Catherine, was his housekeeper while he was here. Other members of his family live in St. Paul and he is buried there. He made his influence felt in a powerful way. On his tongue was the law of kindness and what his friends love to remember is his impulsive, generous sympathy, his cheery, happy comradeship and his loyal and steadfast friendship. Source: Meet Shieldsville by Mary L. Hagerty, 1940, reprinted in 1973. * MN Death Certificate index. Contributed by M.L. Ihrke


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  • Created by: FJE
  • Added: 25 Jun 2012
  • Find A Grave Memorial 92528682
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Rev James Flemming (25 Dec 1832–28 Feb 1908), Find A Grave Memorial no. 92528682, citing Calvary Cemetery, Saint Paul, Ramsey County, Minnesota, USA ; Maintained by FJE (contributor 47781287) .