ST. MARY'S ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH
COLUMBIA COUNTY, NEW YORK
By Captain Franklin Ellis142
This, the first Roman Catholic church in Columbia county, was organized in 1847 by Rev. William Howard. The first meetings were held in St. John's Masonic hall. The next year the church, a brick edifice, was erected and dedicated. It has since been improved at various times, and will seat six hundred people. Subsequently, the society has made additions to its property, and now owns, in addition to the church on South Third street, a convent, a school-building, corner of South Third and Allen streets, and a pastoral residence at 73 Allen street. The total valuation of the property in 1871 was $30,000.
The school was established by Rev. William Howard, some two or three years after the church was built. It was for a time under the management of Professor Mayot, and afterwards of Miss Bowes. Since, it has been under the charge of the Sisters connected with the convent (of whom there are six), and has an attendance of about four hundred scholars.
The pastors of the church have been Revs. Wm. Howard, James S. O'Sullivan, Thomas Keating, D.D., James J. Peyton, and -----Smith, who began his connection with this church in 1877, and is the present pastor. There is a temperance society connected with the church, which is fully mentioned elsewhere.