John Joseph Kain

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John Joseph Kain
Archbishop John Joseph Kain.jpg
Born (1841-05-31)May 31, 1841
Martinsburg, West Virginia
Died October 13, 1903(1903-10-13) (aged 62)
Occupation Roman Catholic bishop

John Joseph Kain (May 31, 1841 – October 13, 1903) was a Roman Catholic priest who would eventually become Archbishop of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Saint Louis, and the first native-born American to hold that office.


He was born in Martinsburg, West Virginia in 1841. After completing schooling in Catonsville, Maryland, he enrolled at St. Mary's College and was ordained to the priesthood in 1866. He was then stationed in Harper's Ferry, West Virginia, where he served the needs of Roman Catholics living in eight West Virginia counties and four Virginia counties. During his time there, he restored the churches of Harper's Ferry and Martinsburg, and rebuilt churches in Winchester, Virginia and Berkeley Springs, West Virginia that had been destroyed during the American Civil War.

He was consecrated as the bishop of Wheeling, West Virginia in 1875, and served there through 1893. During this period, he had roughly three dozen priests under his jurisdiction, meeting the needs of about 20,000 Catholics. In May, 1893, he was appointed coadjutor bishop with Peter Richard Kenrick of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Saint Louis, and created a titular archbishop the next month. On Kenrick's death, in 1896, he succeeded him as Archbishop of St. Louis, and served in that capacity until his own death in 1903.

Archbishop Kain is the namesake for an all-girls Roman Catholic high school, Rosati-Kain, located in the Central West End in the city of St. Louis, Missouri, located next to the Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis.


  • Who Was Who in America, Vol. I:1897-1942. Chicago:The A.N. Marquis Company, 1942.

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Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
Peter Richard Kenrick
Archbishop of St. Louis
Succeeded by
John J. Glennon