William James Dalton, a
pioneer Catholic Priest of Kansas City for thirty years rector of the
Church of the Annunciation, was born in St. Louis, Missouri, August
12, 1848. His parents were Richard and Bridget Dalton, of
Ireland. The father was a merchant in St. Louis from 1839 to
1864. In the parochial and public schools of that city Father
Dalton began his education, which was completed at the Catholic
seminaries at Milwaukee, Wis., and Cape Girardeau, Mo. Two and
one-half years before reaching his majority, by special dispensation,
he was ordained to the priesthood, and came to Kansas City June19,
1872, by appointment of Archbishop Kenrick.
In 1889 he was one
of the thirteen freeholders to draft the present city charter.
From 1879 to 1884 he was editor of the Western Banner, the first
Catholic journal published in Kansas City. The twenty-fifth
anniversary of his ordination to the ministry was celebrated by a
great mass-meeting, presided over by J. V. C. Karnes, at the
Auditorium Theater, in 1894. The encroachments of commerce and
manufacturing crowded Father Dalton's parishioners out of the West
Bottoms, and in 1902 he moved to a new parish in the southeastern part
of the city where he is erecting a new church building.