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[Illustration: "She taught us how to live, and Oh, too high The price of knowledge taught us how to die."]

Katie was born in Ireland, but at an early age her parents emigrated to this country and settled in Brooklyn, not a great distance from the Lee Avenue Sabbath school. She was one of a family of ten children, of whom several were older than herself, yet from her earliest childhood she appeared to be a ruling spirit among them. Naturally quick and apt to learn, she readily adapted herself to the manners and customs of the new people she was with, and it was her earnest desire that her family should do the same.

Katie was not beautiful, nor even pretty, but there was an earnest look in her large dark eyes, and an expression of frankness in her countenance. Her amiable disposition endeared her to every one, and the influence she possessed among both old and young was truly surprising. At an early age she began to take charge of the younger children; and here her care was like that of a mother. She was anxious they should learn habits of order and cleanliness, and she used to offer some little reward to the one who excelled for a certain length of time in these virtues.

It is related of Katie, as showing her obliging disposition, that when at home, it was her custom on every Monday, the general wash day, to collect around her all the children of her acquaintance, and amuse and entertain them, to the intense delight of their grateful mothers; for the little ones all loved Katie, and would oftentimes yield to her a more willing obedience than to those better entitled to receive it.

Katie's connection with the Sabbath school began with its organization, her name being the tenth enrolled upon the register. And little did the Secretary think, as he glanced upon the little Irish girl standing so timidly before him, that beneath that rough exterior was hidden such a noble spirit as was afterwards manifested nor that the humble name then recorded was yet to be known throughout the land, and that its sound was to bring tears into eyes which never beheld the owner.

From the first, Katie manifested the most absorbing interest in the school, which continued unabated till her death. The second Sabbath she brought all her younger brothers and sisters; and during the entire period of her sojourn here, though the school increased from ten to ten hundred members, there was not one more regular and punctual in attendance than they. None were more entirely devoted to the interest of the school than Katie. It was to her more than meat or drink. No weather was so inclement as to detain her from any of its meetings. There was no clothing, however poor and dilapidated, which could not, under Katie's skilful fingers, be made to assume an appearance of neatness, at least long enough for her to attend Sabbath school. Is not here a lesson for many a richer child who, with every possible advantage, yet seizes upon the slightest pretext for remaining absent from her class, careless alike of the blessing she refuses and the pain she causes an anxious teacher.

Katie was always the first one of her class present, and here her sweet disposition manifested itself most forcibly. Extremely neat in her own person, the want of neatness in others annoyed her exceedingly, and that any one should come to school with soiled clothing, or dirty face and hands, was to her almost an unpardonable sin; therefore each new arrival was scrutinized most closely, and the pump near the school room has witnessed many and many of her charitable ablutions. She generally carried a small comb in her pocket, which she never scrupled to use; and it was often difficult to recognize in the clean faced, smooth haired child who returned with her from one of these cold water expeditions, the wretched little object she had "carried out."

Katie was one of our home missionaries, and a more devoted, faithful one it would be difficult to find... Continue reading book >>

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