Wilkinson Scrapbook Article #23

In this article from William Wilkinson’s scrapbook “One Hundred Great and Near-Great Events, Person and Places in Rochester History” (1947) he describes Henry O’Reilly. He was the author of Sketches of Rochester (1838), the very first history of Rochester. On my Online Books page are links to that book that is available in at least 3 places online.


Perhaps no one individual has made a deeper and more lasting impression upon the early history of Rochester than Henry O’Reilly, one of our first newspaper editors and our first historian. He had much to do with all our important pioneer enterprises. He is buried in Mount Hope, a spot better loved by him than any other on earth. The great schemes of his life had disappointed him. His old age found him a poor man but this can be said of Henry O’Reilly – he never disappointed his friends, he never failed in being the true Irish gentleman. In 1826 Luther Tucker & Co. established the Rochester Daily Advertiser, the first daily paper published between the Hudson River and the Pacific Ocean. Young O’Reilly, then not 21, was chosen editor. He retired in 4 years and returned in 1832. He was postmaster of Rochester in 1838. He had many friends. He knew Edgar Allan Poe whom he often entertained at his home in Washington Heights, New York City. O’Reilly was born in Carrickma Cross, in 1830, he married Marcia Brooks. He died in St. Mary’s Hospital, Aug. 17, 1886 and received unction, according to Catholic ritual altho he had lapsed from the faith, .