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By the grace of God all the Beacoms remained steadfast and true to their Catholic faith. Father Jeremiah Trecy, promoter of the first Catholic colony in Nebraska, and his brother John J. Trecy arrived from Dubuque, Iowa June 25, 1885, in search of a location to establish a Catholic Colony. After exploring the country they selected the land where the following spring old St. Johns. Also called St. Patrick’s colony, located on the Missouri River about one mile north of Jackson, Nebraska, was founded by a colony of Irish from Dubuque Iowa.
On the second day of June, 1856, the Catholic colony arrived on the town site. The group consisted of eighteen wagons and about sixty persons, some remained in the village, others selected claims in what now is St. Johns, Summit, and Elk Creek.
Father Trecy reported his mission of St. John’s to Bishop O’Gorman of Dubuque Iowa on August 4, 1859. He wrote “The oldest mission in the territory is St. John’s. It was commenced on the 24th of June 1855 with a congregation of eleven souls, the number today is over one hundred fifty souls.”
In 1855 Father Trecy set out with a small group of men to look for a suitable location for the projected colony. They had a team of mules drawing a wagon which was painted “Going where no one lives”. Enroute they stopped at Cascade to rebuild a Catholic church which the no nothings had burned. After deciding on a site for future settlement in Dakota County, Nebraska, territory, they returned to Garryowen to gather colonists for an early start the following spring. John, Father’s brother remained behind to hold claim for the territorial records show that on September 25, 1885, John Trecy was appointed sheriff of Dakota County and that he resigned his office.
Father Trecy spent much of his time during his colony’s period of adversity in missionary activities to neighboring cities such as Omaha, Sioux City, and among the Indians, going even into Dakota Territory. He also made two trips back to Dubuque, Iowa to report on his colony and to interest people in his work in the west which each time he returned he had more people with him for his new colony.
St. John’s consisted of the church, a hotel, and school, fifty dwellings and two mills. In 1858 the government demanded that the settlers at St. Johns prove up their claims. Some of the colonists had taken up several hundred acres of land which was more than they could pay for or even be permitted to retain. Many had borrowed funds to come to Nebraska and though some sold their stock or borrowed money at exorbitant rates, others abandoned their claims. This caused a panic of the people. Some of the colonists seemed to blame father Trecy for their sufferings from blizzards, Indians, and even from the panic. His people became so incensed against him that he had to flee in order to escape the consequences of their indignation. He ended his connection with St. Johns colony January 1860 for when he heard of he was acting chaplain during the Civil War. There had been a scattering of population from St. Johns in 1860, some returning east, others moving to the new town of Jackson, which was incorporated in 1865.
Thomas and Michael Beacom Sr. and their sons Michael and Michael M. Beacom came to Nebraska with Father Trecy’s colony and settled.