1932-1937: Fr. Joseph Keany is Pastor of St. Patrick; Depression Hits and School Closes in 1934

Father Joseph Keany followed Father O’Connor as pastor of St. Patrick’s in 1932. He was only 33 years old, but he had to guide the parish through the troubled times of the Depression, a challenge that would have been a daunting task even for a much more experienced priest. Father Keany witnessed the steady decline in parish families as the Depression took jobs away and the weather destroyed crops, and he was forced to close St. Patrick’s school in 1934. That must have been a blow to his parish families. In spite of his efforts, the picture grew ever more grim for St. Patrick’s. He was reassigned in 1937 to Dawson, Nebraska. He became a chaplain in the U.S. Army from 1941-1942. Upon his return, he served in a number of parishes, and then retired to his native Ireland in 1968.