Memorial and Biographical History of Dallas County, Texas. Page: 470 of 1,110
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HISTORY OF DALLAS COUNTY.
lady of estimable qualities, and a relative of
some of the best families of Ottawa. They
have three promising children.
Dr. John F. Coffey was educated in the
University of Ottawa, and was the first to
receive the degree of A. B. at that university,
which was in 1871, at the age of sixteen
years. He then studied law for a brief
period, and since his sixteenth year he has
been connected with the press, religious and
secular. Having studied theology in the
university, our subject was ordained priest
by the Most Rev. John Walsh, Archbishop
of Toronto, December 19, 1877, and immediately
afterward was appointed to important
pastorates, such as Onslow and Almonte.
Dr. Coffey subsequently resigned his pastoral
charges to take editorial charge of The
Catholic Record, published at London, Ontario.
This paper was almost worthless
when he took charge, and it soon became the
leading Catholic journal in Canada. Later,
he resigned that position to become editor
of the The Canadian Freeman, published
at Kingston, Ontario. In 1888, at the request
of leading public men of Canada, he
founded the journal known as United Canada,
but his advocacy of liberal principles
incurred for him the enmity of influential
persons, and, seeing little hope of the downfall
of Canadian Toryism in the early future,
Father Coffey decided to retire forever from
Canadian editorial and public life. In 1891
he resigned his editorship of the United Canada,
and, at the invitation of the Right Rev.
Bishop Brennan, came to lend his energies
to the building up of the Catholic interests
in northern Texas. He immediately assumed
the editorship of the Texas Catholic, which
had just been founded by Bishop Brennan.
A few weeks later Dr. Coffey was appointed
Secretary to the Right Rev. Bishop, and
now has charge of several important missions
in the diocese. He enjoyed the esteem
and friendship while in Canada of such sterling
men as Hon. Edward Blake, Sir Richard
Cartwright, Hon. Wilford Laurier and others.
He received the degree of LL. D. of Manhattan
College, New York, in 1885. Father
Coffey is a man wide awake to the interests
intrusted to him, is in the prime of vigorous
manhood, has a level head and a large warm
heart, and is evidently the right person in
the right place for the times and territory.
On the twenty-first day of July, 1892, the
Right Rev. Bishop Brennan appointed him
Vicar General of the diocese of Dallas, the
highest honor a Catholic bishop can bestow
on one of his clergy.
SAAC C. WEST, M. D., is an honored
member of this profession and is worthy
of the space that has been accorded him
in this record of the progressive and successful
men of Dallas county. He is a native of
Maryland, born in 1843, a son of Isaac C.
and Nancy H. (Derickson) West, natives of
the State of Delaware. The father was a
blacksmith by trade. The mother of the
Doctor still survives. Dr. West has been a
student all his life, and there are few professional
men who have devoted more time
to painstaking research then he has. He
received his literary education at Dickinson
College, Carlisle, Pennsylvania, where he took
the degrees of A. B. and A. M. Afterward he
studied law, and was admitted to the bar.
He abandoned the law because of a throat
trouble which interfered with speaking or
reading aloud, and took up the study of
medicine, under the preceptorship of his
brother. After a course of reading he en-
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Lewis Publishing Company. Memorial and Biographical History of Dallas County, Texas., book, 1892; Chicago, Illinois. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth20932/m1/470/: accessed October 19, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Dallas Public Library.