Biography of Rev. James T. Dougherty

When De Nonville and his French army, in 1687, destroyed the Indian village of Gannagaro and Gaudougarae, the inhabitants were driven eastward and formed a village near the foot of Canandaigua Lake, which village and lake have since then borne that name. Among the Indian inhabitants in those days were many Catholics, some of them Senecas and most of them Hurons and Algonquin captives, the result of fifty years of missionary labor of the zealous Jesuits. Even in our day the beads and crucifixes given the Indians by the missionaries are still picked up on the sites of the old Indian towns. Following the revolution and the white settlement of western New York, Canandaigua became a prominent center of commerce and government, and no doubt many Catholics were among the pioneers. The family of Hugh Collins came as early as 1823, others followed, and there are traditions of lumber wagons leaving here Saturday afternoons to bring the people to the Sunday mass at St. Patrick’s in Rochester. About 1840 Rev. Bernard O’Reilly, of Rochester, said the first mass in Canandaigua in the Patrick Doyle house on Antis street. Mass was celebrated in various homes for the following few years. At length, in 1844, a lot was purchased by Father O’Reilly from Thomas Beals, and in the fall of 1846 the pew books give the following list of pewholders. On...

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