Philip J. Dougherty, former mayor of the city of Monterey, a member of the directorate of the Chamber of Commerce of that city, for ten years and more a director of the First National Bank of Monterey, proprietor of what is regarded as the most extensive establishment dealing in hay, grain, flour and fuel on the peninsula, is a native son of California, where he has made his home all his life, a resident of Monterey for the past fifteen years, during that time having come to be recognized as one of the leading personal factors in the general development of the city. He was born in San Juan, San Benito county, May 15, 1880, and is a son of Philip and Mary A. (O’Connor) Dougherty, Missourians, who became pioneers of California and whose last days were spent here, the latter passing away in Monterey in 1912.
Philip Dougherty, a native of Ireland, who came to the United States when sixteen years of age, was a substantial landowner and wheat grower in the vicinity of San Juan, and passed away on his extensive rancho there in 1904. He was among those who attempted the overland trail to California in settlement days here, starting with a party which was made up at St. Louis. Difficulties beset the party and. Mr. Dougherty turned back when he had reached Denver and at St. Louis took passage down the river to New Orleans and thence to Colon, from which port he walked across the Isthmus to Panama, where he again embarked, his destination this time being the post of San Francisco, which in due time and in good condition he reached. After prospecting about a bit he went to San Jose and thence to the mountains, locating in the vicinity of what now is Los Gatos and at that point erected the • first sawmill put up in that region. Five years after his arrival in California he returned to St. Louis for the wife who had been awaiting the time when his material condition would permit of the proper establishment of a home in the new country, and upon their return here they located in Santa Clara county, where Mr. Dougherty became engaged in wheat raising on the great B. D. Murphy ranch. In time he bought a tract of land of his own in the vicinity of San Juan and there established his home and continued actively engaged in farming until his death, becoming one of the substantial citizens of that section. During the period of the Civil war, he then being a resident of Missouri, which was a state divided against itself in that time of bitter national partisan stress, his sympathies and services were exercised in behalf of the cause of the Union and he was a member of the military company which finally brought to an end the marauding career of the notorious guerrilla chief Quantrell, in Missouri.
Reared on the home farm in San Benito county, Philip J. Dougherty received his education in the schools of that county, finishing at San Juan, and from the days of his boyhood he was a helpful factor in the labors of developing the farm. He was twenty-four years of age when his father died and for some time thereafter, until the estate could be settled, he took charge of the farm and was thus engaged until 1906, when he went to San Francisco and for four years thereafter was in the contracting business in that city, thus proving a helpful agent in the labors of reconstruction following the great disaster of the spring of 1906. On a day in 1910 Mr. Dougherty made a trip to Monterey to make a week-end visit to his widowed mother, who meanwhile had become a resident of Monterey, and he ever since has been a resident of that city. It was on a Saturday that Mr. Dougherty arrived in Monterey. Over Sunday a business proposition was made to him in terms so attractive that he could not well turn it down and on the following Monday morning he was the half owner in the hay and grain business of Gould & Dougherty. For a year Mr. Dougherty continued thus connected and then he closed out his interest in that concern and took charge of the feed and grain department of the operations of the T. A. Work Company, in which in time he became a considerable stockholder. When the affairs of this company eventually were dis-incorporated he took over the department of the business represented in the hay, grain, flour and fuel lines and has since then been carrying on that business under his own name, with a well equipped and fully stocked establishment at No. 435 Tyler street, where he also handles for this trade area the products of the Sperry Flour Company, whose local agent he has been for the past ten years and more. During the time of his individual proprietorship of this business Mr. Dougherty has built up a trade which it is said is not exceeded in that line by any other dealer on the peninsula and he thus is widely known in this line of trade.
In addition to his commercial interests represented in his establishment on Tyler street Mr. Dougherty has other substantial interests in and about Monterey and has long been recognized as one of the “solid” citizens of that community. For ten years and more he has been a member of the board of directors of the First National Bank of Monterey, which also controls the Carmel State Bank, and was a member of the building committee of the board when the handsome new building of the First National was erected in Monterey. As an active member of the Monterey Chamber of Commerce Mr. Dougherty ever has done his part in the promotion of movements having to do with the extension of the city’s material interests and he is now (1925) a member of the board of directors of that useful commercial body. As mayor of the city during two terms (1919 to 1923) , Mr. Dougherty rendered a real service to the city, for it was during his administration that the new harbor improvement was projected and it became necessary for the city to acquire valuable water-front property and enter upon an extensive program of street improvement, in all of which permanent improvement work Mayor Dougherty was naturally, by reason of his executive position, a dominant factor.
In 1912, in San Francisco, Mr. Dougherty was united in marriage to Miss Nora O’Donnell, who died in 1919, leaving two children : A son, Francis John Dougherty, and a daughter, Mary Agnes. Mr. Dougherty is a member of the Roman Catholic church and is a fourth degree member of the Knights of Columbus. He has for years taken an earnest interest in the affairs of the patriotic state-wide society of the Native Sons of the Golden West, being an influential member of the local parlor of that order, and is a past district deputy of the society. He also is affiliated with the local lodge of the Benevolent, Protective Order of Elks and with the local lodge of Loyal Order of Moose.
Source: History of Monterey and Santa Cruz Counties, California : cradle of California’s history and romance : dating from the planting of the cross of Christendom upon the shores of Monterey Bay by Fr. Junipero Serra, and those intrepid adventurers who accompanied him, down to the present day. Chicago: S.J. Clarke Pub. Co., 1925.