Hannibal students learn about famous black priest

History came alive for the student of Holy Family School in Hannibal.

W.T. Johnson, the assistant principal of Veterans Elementary school in Hannibal became Father Augustus Tolton to the students Tuesday morning.

Father Tolton is famous for being the first black priest in the U.S.

He started his life in the days of slavery and endured prejudice and ridicule from both blacks and whites.

Johnson says that there are some important lessons for children in the life of Father Tolton.

He says that with perserverance, faith and a good family they can become anything they want to become.

Father Tolton was born in Ralls County, Missouri in 1854.

He and his family escaped slavery by coming to Quincy where he attended St. Boniface.

He was ordained in 1886 and served in Quincy for two years before moving to Chicago.

He died in 1897 at the age of 43 from a heatstroke.