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The Holy Family Window

The Holy Family window is inscribed "Donated by Mr. P. Dawson In Memory of Mrs. Cath’r. Dawson".  Peter Dawson was born May 5, 1844 here in Lake County, Illinois.  He married Catherine Redmond Dawson on October 28th, 1879 in St. Patrick Church.  Catherine is the daughter of Thomas Redmond and Mary Jane Yore who are mentioned in article on our Gethsemane window that was donated by her brother, Frank Redmond.  She is the granddaughter of Michael and Roseanne Yore and was born on December 20, 1855.


Peter’s father, Patrick Dawson was a pioneer of Deerfield Township settling in the area in 1846. He was born in 1808 in County Sligo, Ireland and came to Canada in 1833. He and Mary Murphy were married in Quebec in 1833 and came to the United States to Albany, NY in 1838. They then came to Lake County, Illinois in 1840 and to Deerfield Township on December 22, 1846 where Patrick was granted 80 acres of land and added by quarter section to eventually own 240 acres of land. He farmed his land until his death on September 4, 1875. His wife survived him nearly ten years and passed away on January 19, 1886. Both were consistent members of the Catholic Church, and were buried in Saint Patrick Cemetery. Mr. Dawson was a Democrat in political sentiment, and was a man highly respected in the community. He was an eyewitness to the greater part of Lake County's growth, and, as far as possible he aided in its development. He was Deerfield Township Town Clerk for three years then Township Supervisor 1873-1876, School Treasurer for two years, Justice of the Peace for one year and a member of the Board of Education. From the"The History of Deerfield" and information from Margaret Dawson.


Peter and Catherine Redmond Dawson had 10 children between 1880 and 1898.  Catherine Redmond Dawson was born December 20, 1855 here in Lake County and passed on April 26, 1902 at the age of 47 years old.  She died on the same day as her daughter Rosanna.  The family had gone down to the woods on the farm where some people from the city had been picnicking and Rosanna picked up a handkerchief that had been left behind by the picnickers.  It is believed that she contracted Scarlet Fever from the handkerchief.  According to a newspaper article published at the time “Scarlet Fever rages in the Dawson family, who live just east of Half Day.  Early Saturday morning Mrs. Dawson and her seventeen year-old daughter died, and the father and remaining children are all sick with the disease, some being very low.  The family is being given every care possible, but their conditions pitiable, more particularly since they are now deprived of a mother’s care.”


Peter Dawson recovered from Scarlet Fever and passed away on June 3, 1914 at the age of 70 and is interred at St. Patrick Cemetery.  He donated the window, in a newly built St. Patrick church to honor his wife whom he’d lost about 12 years earlier.

Peter Dawson, Catherine Dawson, St. Patrick Church, Lake Forest, Illinois, The Holy Family Window
Peter Dawson, Catherine Redmond Dawson, St. Patrick Church, Lake Forest, Illinois, The Holy Family Window
Peter and Catherine Dawson
Peter and Catherine Dawson's homestead
Peter and Catherine Dawson's homestead in 1873
1873 Map of Dawson Homestead
Peter and Catherine Dawson, St. Patrick Cemetery, Lake Forest, Illinois
Peter and Catherine Dawson's headstones in St. Patrick Cemetery
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