Miami Union

October 16, 1875 

BAKER, JAMES - The Union last Saturday mentioned an accident to a switchman of the P. C. & St. L. R. R., at Piqua.  The man, named James Baker, has since died, and his death bed was disgraced by an exhibition of Roman Catholic intolerance which is despicable.  Baker was an Odd Fellow, his friends Catholic.  When it was found that he was dying, a sister and brother who were nursing him insisted on sending for a priest.  At first the dying man refused to consent, but finally yielded, and Father Donahue was sent for.  He came, but informed Baker he could do nothing for him unless he renounced Odd Fellowship.  This Baker refused to do, but afterwards, in a semi-unconscious state did.  The following from the Helmet shows some more 'doings" of the Priest:

  "On arriving he found the wife in a fainting condition, and the man very low.  At once he ordered that either the wife, and all Protestants present, should leave the room, or that the dying man should be carried out.  As it was entirely impracticable to do the latter, it was finally agreed to carry the swooning woman from the room, if one or the other must be done.  This was done and the door locked until the ceremonies were performed, after which the door was opened and the now bereaved wife was permitted to return to the side of her husband.  Though the dying man had, in his weakness, consented to the ceremony, yet his whole soul revolted at the thought whenever a lucid moment would return, and whatever manipulations may have been performed by the Priest, he could not be a Catholic.  With his own hands he took the insignia from his neck, and would have thrown it out of the window had opportunity offered, and he had not been dissuaded."

When Baker returned to consciousness he regretted renouncing his order, and requested his Brother Odd Fellows to take charge of his body after death.  To this the Priest and Catholics raised objection, and considerable excitement was raised over the matter, but the Odd Fellows finally buried him.


Miami Union (Piqua Items)

October 16, 1875  

BAKER, JAMES - The funeral of Baker, the switchman who was killed on the railroad in this city, took place yesterday.  There was some contention between the Catholic Church and I.O.O.F. concerning the conducting of the ceremonies, which it was feared by some would cause trouble, but the apprehensions on the subject were not realized.

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