Rev. Nicholas James Quinn, pastor of St. Patrick's Catholic church of Utica, came from the Emerald isle, his
birth having occurred at Nenagh, Tipperary county, in 1840. The first seven years of Ms life were there passed,
after which occurred a most important event that made deep impress on the youthful mind the long voyage across
the Atlantic to the new world in company with Ms mother, Ms father having died some years before. The family home
was established at Binghamton, New York, and he began his education as one of the first pupils in the school of
Our Lady of Angels, now known as Niagara University. His more advanced course was pursued in the College of St.
Charles Borromeo, Baltimore, Maryland, and later he pursued a theological course in St. Joseph's Seminary, at Troy,
New York, for in the meantime he had determined to devote his life to the priesthood. His ordination occurred in
the Cathedral of Albany, New York, on the 22d of November, 1868, the service being conducted by the At. Rev. John
J. Conroy, and he became assistant to Bishop Conroy at St. Joseph's church in Albany. Subsequently he was ordained
to pastoral duties at Binghamton, and there became the associate of his uncle, the Very Rev. James F. Hourigan,
a pioneer priest of southern New York, in erecting St. Patrick's church, the finest religious edifice in the diocese.
For a quarter of a century he was connected with that church and won the love and respect of his congregation in
a remarkable degree. In April, 1893, he was transferred by Bishop Ludden of Syracuse to St. Patrick's church at
Utica, where he found the parish without a house of worship and the work of the church but poorly organized. He
brought to his task here great energy and zeal and within two years had thoroughly reorganized the scattered interests
into a flourishing congregation and erected a beautiful church building which was dedicated December 8, 1895. The
interior is purely Gothic in design, unique and original in detail, and contains fine furnishings, mostly imported
from Munich. The church is most complete and harmonious in every way and the beauty of the edifice, both as to
the interior and the exterior, is commented upon by all beholders. The array of pillars emphasizes the length and
shows the imposing grandeur of the arches. There is grace and beauty in every line, together with a sense of stability,
which is one of the most important features in architecture.
Father Qninn displays the same spirit of loyalty for which the family has long been noted. He has two uncles and
two nephews in the priesthood, as well as four sisters, two nieces and two cousins who are members of religious
orders. Father Quinn is an eloquent speaker, his oratory being effective and convincing. Added to his broad knowledge
concerning ecclesiastical doctrines he possesses the zeal which inspires others and a sympathy which wins confidence.
His disposition is naturally most genial and his parishioners know that they will receive from him words of kindly
advice and sympathy when they speak to him of temporal as well as spiritual affairs.
History of Oneida County, New York
From 1700 to the present time
of some of its prominent men and pioneers.
By: Henry J. Cookinham
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company
Oneida County, NY
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