Jefferson County Historical Society

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Prof. James P. Dougherty, principal of the public schools of De Soto,
and school commissioner of Jefferson County, is a native of Cincinnati,
Ohio, and was born in 1861.  He is a son of Cornelius and Catherine 
(Sullivan) Dougherty, the former of whom, a native of County Donegal,
Ireland, was born in 1824, and immigrated to this country in 1850, 
locating in New York City, where he followed his trade, that of a tanner
and currier. In 1851 he went to Cincinnati, Ohio, where he was foreman 
of a large tannery until 1870, when he purchased and removed to
eighty acres of land near Byrnesville, Jefferson Co., Mo., where he
has since devoted his attention to the pursuit of agriculture.  Mrs.
Catherine Dougherty was born in County Waterford, Ireland, in 1832 and
is the mother of seven children, as follows: Cornelius, a master mechanic;
Edward, a teacher; James P., Mary J., Annie T., a teacher; Katie
and William.  James P. received his early education at the Cathedral
School in Cincinnati, Ohio, and when nine years of age came to Missouri
with his parents, he subsequently attended St. Vincent's College, Cape
Girardeau, two years.  At the early age of sixteen he received a license
to teach, and his first term was taught at Grubville, Jefferson
County.  He taught two years at Byrnesville, one year at Stringtown,
and in 1885 and 1886 at Fenton, St. Louis County.  In April, 1887 he 
was elected school commissioner of Jefferson County over five candidates,
with a majority of 260 votes. He has met with marked success in
all his line of school work, is the leading educator of Jefferson 
County, and one of the prominent school men of Southeastern Missouri.
In June, 1887 he was elected principal of the public schools of De Soto
and his work thus far has given universal satisfaction.  Politically,
he is a Democrat, having cast his first presidential vote for Cleveland
in 1884; he is a member of the A. O. U. W., and of the Roman Catholic