Bio- Coast Counties

Like the center of the population of our Union, the heart of its lumber belt has, during the last century, moved steadily westward from the then unbroken forests of Maine, through the wooded regions of the south, and of the Great lakes, to the Pacific coast, where, in the three states, California, Oregon and Washington, is a at least one-third of the supply of the standing timber of the United States.  In the development of this gigantic industry upon which the present and future prosperity of California so largely depends, William Patrick Dougherty, for many years one of  the leading citizens of San Jose, was an important factor, and well deserved the title given him, the "Lumber King of the Santa Clara valley."

A native of Ireland, William Patrick Dougherty was born in 1832.  Accompanying his parents to America when a child, he was reared and educated in Edina, Mo.  Coming to the Pacific coast a few years after attaining his majority he settled in California, in 1858 taking up his residence in Santa Clara county.  Beginning his business career as a lumberman, he was engaged in getting out timber on the Santa Cruz mountains for a year, and was so successful in his venture that he saved enough money to warrant him in buying a farm.  Purchasing the Naglee estate, in San Jose, he settled down as a ranchman, and from 1859 until 1864 carried on general farming.  Finding lumbering much more profitable and congenial as an occupation, he then resumed his former occupation.  With characteristic enterprise and forethought he bought large tracts of standing timber, erected sawmills, and in the course of time, by wise management, founded an immense business in his particular line of industry.  As his business increased he was enabled to obtain concessions from the railroad companies, and as president of the Santa Clara Valley Mill Company he had practical control of the lumber interest of this county for many years. He subsequently founded the Dougherty Lumber Company, which is still in existence, being one of the leading lumber corporations of the state.

A man of great executive and financial ability, Mr. Doughterty became identified with other business organizations of importance and prominence, becoming controlling owner of the San Jose Brick Company, of which he was manager for many years, and was also a director, and the vice- president of the Hotel Vendome Company.  He was charitable, and generous almost to a fault, contributing liberally towards all enterprises of a beneficial nature, and being ever among the foremost to advance the welfare of the city or county. He was everywhere esteemed and respected, and his death, which occurred at his home, No. 460 North First street, San Jose, March 18, 1894, was deeply deplored as a public loss. 

In 1861 Mr. Dougherty married Jane O'Connor.  She died in 1882, leaving three children, William Patrick, James and Mr. Elizabeth Renee of San Jose.  In 1890 Mr. Dougherty married for his second wife Miss Anna Fenton, the wedding being one of the leading social events of that season in San Jose.  Of this union two children were born, namely; Leonore, born in 1891; and Bradley, born in 1893.  Mrs. Dougherty has continued the management of her husband's business and business affairs ever since his death, and has met with eminent success.  She is a woman of culture and refinement, possessing great force of character and a large stock of sound sense and practical ability.

History of the State of California of Biographical Record of Coast Counties, California- Guinn, 1904, page  1111
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Further research for this family can be done via the San Jose Historical Museum-
They have these records on file-


Title: Book of wills
Location: San Jose Historical Museum
Call #: Book I
Source:    Source Date: 9/6/1893
Volume:    Page: 77-85
Note: died 3/18/1894


Title: Marriage License File
Location: San Jose Historical Museum
Call #:
Source:    Source Date: 10/19/1889
Volume:    Page:
Note: Bride: FENTON, ANN


Title: Probate Papers
Location: San Jose Historical Museum
Call #:
Source: Santa Clara County Connections    Source Date: Spring 1995
Volume:    Page: 13
Note: died 1900
NOTE- the San Jose directory of 1870 lists:
DOUGHERTY, W.P. (Dougherty & Co)
lumber dealer, 428 First and cor San Fernando and Fourth, dwl 546 Market

Bio-Coast Counties

From the time of the death of his brother, W P Dougherty, up to the time of his own death, which occurred July 27, 1900, James Dougherty acted as president and manager of the Dougherty Lumber Company, giving his name and attention to the management of all the mills with which the company was connected. As a man of enterprise and unusual business ability, of strict business methods and an unswerving integrity, Mr. Doughterty was thoroughly respected and esteemed in Santa Clara county and held in the highest appreciation for the many qualities which distinguished his citizenship. He made and retained many friends.  He was generous and was ever willing to aid and assist worthy people and worthy enterprises calculated to benefit the common good and welfare of the people.  Born in Donegal, Ireland, in 1842, he was the son of Patrick Doughterty, who was likewise a native of the Emerald Isle.

Patrick Dougherty was a man of unusual enterprise as was proven by the success which he achieved after becoming a resident of the Untied States in 1849.  He located at Edina, Mo., and at the time of his death was the owner of seven hundred acres of land, which is conceded to be a large estate in the middle west.  His wife, former Mary Bradley, a native of Ireland, also died in their Missouri home.  For more complete details concerning the life of Patrick Doughterty the reader is referred to the sketch of W P Dougherty, which appears on another page of this volume. (see above)  The children of this family were reared to ways of  usefulness in the practical training received on the paternal farm, interspersing home duties with an attendance of the common school in the vicinity.  In 1861 James Doughterty enlisted in the Union army in the Twenty-first Missouri regiment and served four years, after which he returned to Missouri and made his home in that state until 1870.  Deciding to locate in the more congenial climate of  California, he came in the last named year and settled on Zayante river, in the Santa Cruz mountains, and engaged in the lumber business with his brother.  He acted as foreman of the three mills located at Doughterty Mills, and later became president of the company and general manager of all the mills.  He conducted the business in an eminently satisfactory manner and constantly increased the capacity of the mills.  H was widely respected for the sound business principles which characterized his management.  He took a personal interest in every man in his employ and thus secured to himself and the company the very best service from all who were connected with the business.

In San Jose in 1874 Mr. Dougherty was united in marriage with Catherine Harris, a native of Ireland, whose father, John Harris, was a stockraiser and dairyman of County Leitrim, Ireland, his native place.  He made that his home until his death at the age of forty-three years, after a successful career in his chosen occupation.  His wife, formerly Mary Moran, was also born in County Leitrim, where her death occurred.  Mrs. Doughterty came to the United States in 1872 and located with a sister and brother in San Jose.  To Mr. and Mrs. Dougherty were born two children, Mary E. and William J.J., both of whom are at home with their mother, who resides at N0. 389 North Fifth street, San Jose.  In his political convictions Mr. Doughterty was a stanch adherent of the principles advocated in the platform of the Democratic party, and religiously belonged to the Roman Catholic church.

History of the State of California of Biographical Record of Coast Counties, California- Guinn, 1904, page  1141
transcribed by cdf