When John N. X. Pahls, S.J., (1847-1910) took office in 1895, the institution’s financial situation was dire. It was one of the darkest periods in the University’s short history, and he was forced to withdraw $11,000 from the endowment to meet operating expenses. Fr. Pahls personally appealed to John A. Creighton. J.A. Creighton provided $80,000 for the Medical School, which moved into new facilities at 14th and Davenport streets in 1897. The Creighton Memorial St. Joseph’s Hospital was completed at 10th and Castelar streets with the stipulation that the clinical facilities and hospital should forever be reserved for the use of University students of medicine. St. John’s Collegiate Church was finally given its own parish in January 1897.
In 1895, John A. Creighton was named a Knight of the Holy Roman Empire by Pope Leo XIII for his philanthropy and beneficence to Creighton University and Omaha’s Catholic community.
Fr. Pahls was from Cincinnati. He was on staff at St. Louis University as treasurer and professor of bookkeeping. After his post at Creighton University, he was at St. Ignatius College (now Loyola University Chicago). Fr. Pahls died in Brooklyn, Ohio, in 1910.