Charles H. Colton

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Charles Henry Colton
4th Bishop of Buffalo
ChurchLatin Church
Installed1903 (1903)
Term ended1915 (1915)
PredecessorJames Edward Quigley
SuccessorDennis Joseph Dougherty
OrdinationJune 10, 1876 (1876-06-10)
ConsecrationAugust 24, 1903 (1903-08-24)
by Pope Leo XIII
Personal details
Born(1848-10-15)October 15, 1848
New York, New York
DiedMay 9, 1915(1915-05-09) (aged 66)
Buffalo, New York
BuriedSaint Joseph's Cathedral
ParentsPatrick Smith
Teresa Augusta (née Mullin)
Previous postSaint Joseph's Cathedral
EducationSt. Francis Xavier College
Alma materSt. Joseph's Seminary
Motto"God is With Us"

Charles Henry Colton (October 15, 1848 – May 9, 1915) was an American clergyman of the Roman Catholic Church. He served as Bishop of Buffalo from 1903 until his death in 1915.

Early life and education[edit]

Charles Colton was born in New York City to Patrick Smith and Teresa Augusta (née Mullin) Colton, who were Irish immigrants.[1] He received his early education at Public School No. 5 and the Latin school of St. Stephen's Church.[1] As a boy, he held a clerical position in a dry goods store.[2] In 1869, he entered St. Francis Xavier College, from where he later graduated in 1873.[3] He then made his theological studies at St. Joseph's Seminary in Troy.[2]


Colton was ordained to the priesthood on June 10, 1876.[4] His first assignment was as a curate at St. Stephen's Church under Father Edward McGlynn.[3] He remained at St. Stephen's for ten years, and during that time also served as a chaplain at Bellevue Hospital.[1] In 1886, he was named pastor of Our Lady of Mercy Church in Port Chester.[2]

Following the excommunication of the controversial Father Glynn, he returned to St. Stephen's Church in 1887 to assist Father Arthur Donnelly, who had been assigned as temporary administrator.[1] Later that year, he assumed the role of St. Stephen's upon Donnelly's resignation.[1] He enjoyed remarkable success in his new post, restoring harmony among the congregation, eliminating the parish debt of $152,000, and establishing a parochial school.[3] In addition to his pastoral duties, he became chancellor of the Archdiocese of New York in 1896.[3]


On June 10, 1903, Colton was appointed the fourth Bishop of Buffalo by Pope Leo XIII.[4] He received his episcopal consecration on the following August 24 from Archbishop John Murphy Farley, with Bishops Bernard John McQuaid and Charles Edward McDonnell serving as co-consecrators, in St. Patrick's Cathedral.[4] During his tenure, the diocese was composed of 72 churches, 18 combination school-churches, 30 schools, 12 academies, 13 hospitals, and charitable institutions, 6 convents, and 28 rectories.[5]

Colton died at age 66. He is buried in the crypt of St. Joseph's Cathedral.[5]


  1. ^ a b c d e Cutter, William Richard, ed. (1912). Genealogical and Family History of Western New York. II. New York: Lewis Historical Publishing Company.
  2. ^ a b c The National Cyclopaedia of American Biography. XII. New York: James T. White & Company. 1904.
  3. ^ a b c d "BISHOP C.H. COLTON OF BUFFALO IS DEAD". The New York Times. 1915-05-10.
  4. ^ a b c "Bishop Charles Henry Colton".
  5. ^ a b "Most Rev. Charles H. Colton". Roman Catholic Diocese of Buffalo. Archived from the original on 2010-06-13.
Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
James E. Quigley
Bishop of Buffalo
1903 – 1915
Succeeded by
Dennis Joseph Dougherty