Nicholas Devereux and
Western New York
Everyone involved in the St. Bonaventure community has heard the name Devereux. Many students have even lived in the residence hall named after one of the chief founders of the University. However, many of those involved are not aware of the path Nicholas Devereux took upon arriving in America, from a broke 15-year-old to one of the most wealthy men in New York State. Probably less of these individuals are aware of the steps he took to advance the economy of Western New York and the lengths he went to ensure the founding of one of the area's leading universities. The Irish born Nicholas, turned Utica, New York native was essential in the growth of his adopted American home. From small village when he first arrived in the early 19th century, to becoming a city in 1832. He helped found one of the first savings banks in America, fought to open up more railroads in New York state, and played a key role in the development of the Southern Tier. Nicholas Devereux passed away on December, 29 1855 after suffering from a short illness.