Nodaway County’s early pioneers were the settlers of The Reading Colony at Conception in 1858.

The Reading Colony, originating in Pennsylvania, came to Conception via St. Joseph.

Many of those people were of Irish descent with surnames of Brady, McCarthy, Growney, Sullivan, Fagan and Reilly. Reverend James Power and William Brady laid out the town of Conception and a chapel in the town’s cemetery was erected to honor Power and his brave band of pioneers. Later the original St. Columba Church was built in 1867 along with a small monastery in 1873.

The present day generation of those families have placed a memorial bench to commemorate the Irish Catholics who were instrumental in the area’s development.

The unveiling and dedication of the bench, placed in the middle of the cemetery, will be at 1:30 pm, Sunday, October 17, exactly six months from St. Patrick’s Day. Abbot Benedict from the Conception Abbey will deliver the blessing and Father Peter will give the psalm and Sister Ruth will present a reading, plus a new family history book written by Tom O’Connor, a great-grandson of William Brady, will debut at the event. A reception will be hosted by the Abbey in the visitor’s center after the ceremony.

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