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John C. Devereux



Born at his father's farm, The Leap, near Enniscorthy, Co. Wexford, Ireland, 5 Aug., 1774; died at Utica, New York, on 11 Dec., 1848. He came from a patriotic and pious family, and was a son of Thomas Devereux and Catherine Corish. His brother Walter was in several battles in the Rebellion of '98, and a price was set on his head; while his brother James was killed in the battle of Vinegar Hill. His sister Catherine became Superioress of the Presentation Convent, Enniscorthy. John C. Devereux landed at New York about 1797, gave dancing lessons in Connecticut, and in 1802 opened a store in Utica, New York. He was successful and became wealthy; was public spirited and enterprising. He was elected the first mayor of Utica in 1840. He and his brother Nicholas founded the Utica Savings Bank. Dr. Bagg in "The Pioneers of Utica" says, "a settler of 1802 and a very prince among his fellows was John C. Devereux whose honourable career and many deeds of charity left behind him a memory as verdant as that of the green isle whence he came". He loved his Church and its institutions, and in 1813 was a trustee of St. Mary's, Albany. Visiting missionary priests always stayed at Devereux's home, where local Catholics heard Mass on Sundays. He and his brother Nicholas brought the Sisters of Charity to Utica to open an orphanage and each gave $5,000 towards the object. He was twice married but had no children; he was buried in the grounds of the Sisters of Charity.

Thomas P. Kernan.








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