Location: Varick New York

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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Biography of Diedrich Willers, Jr.

DIEDRICH WILLERS, JR. IN PERSONAGE, who, by reason of his official relations at our state capitol has from time to time been an official resident of Albany, is the Hon, Diedrich Willers, Jr. Born on the 3d of November, 1833, at the town of Varick, Seneca county, N. Y., he passed his youthful days amidst the rural scenes of his birthplace under the careful guidance and instruction of excellent parents. His parentage was of German origin. His father, the Rev. Diedrich Willers, D. D., was a native of Bremen, Germany, and was educated at the public schools of that city. It was a period of stirring scenes in the annals of the old world. In the early part of this century the thunders of Napoleon’s cannon were shaking Europe, and large armies of different nationalities were engaged in deadly conflict. Inspired by the enthusiasm of those times Diedrich Willers, Sr., then a youth of sixteen, boldly enlisted in the army of Hanover in defense of his fatherland against the invasion of the French. Marching with the allied forces under Wellington and engaging in various conflicts with the enemy, he won his greatest military distinction in the memorable and decisive battle of Waterloo in 1815, where, for his bravery, he received a silver medal. His military career lasted about five years. On leaving the service he made up his mind...

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