REV. TIMOTHY HICKEY. - One of the best and most widely known members of the priesthood of the Catholic church in Illinois is the Rev. Timothy Hickey, rector of the Church of the Immaculate Conception of Springfield. A native of Ireland, he was born in County Cork, in 1841, and in the place of his nativity spent his boyhood days and began his education in the common schools. His studies were further pursued in the national school and then he took up the study of philosophy and theology in the city of Dublin, Ireland, thus preparing for the priesthood, for he had determined to devote his life to the work of the Catholic ministry. He sought a field of labor in the new world, sailing for the United States in 1868.
Rev. Hickey landed in New York and came direct to Springfield, Illinois, to accept the position of assistant pastor in the Church of the Immaculate Conception, under the direction of Father Sullivan, acting in that capacity for three years. He then took charge of the Catholic church in Virden, Macoupin county, Illinois, where he remained for three years, and at the same time he had supervision over the spiritual needs of the Catholics in Pittsfield. From the latter place he removed to Decatur, Illinois, and for five years was the priest of St. Patrick's church of that city, following which he was ordered to Jacksonville, Illinois, where for several years he was pastor of the Catholic church there. Returning to Springfield in 1889 as pastor of the Church of the Immaculate Conception, he has since lived and labored here, but his influence is of no restricted order and few, if any, members of the Catholic priesthood of Illinois are more widely known or more highly esteemed than Father Hickey, whose faithful allegiance to his holy orders and untiring effort in behalf of the church are facts familiar to all who know aught of his history. During his pastorate here the church has increased in numerical strength and in influence and much good work has been done along benevolent lines and through the different church societies. During his pastorate, a fine parish residence has been erected at a cost of eleven thousand dollars - a beautiful structure, well and tastefully furnished.
The membership of the church includes five hundred families, while in the parochial school attached to the church there is an enrollment of about five hundred pupils.