Skip to content

Cornelius Heeney

Free World Class Education
FREE Catholic Classes

Merchant and philanthropist; b. in King's County, Ireland, 1754; d. at Brooklyn, U.S.A. 3 May, 1848. After acquiring a practical mercantile education in Dublin, he emigrated to America in 1784 and became a fellow employe of the founder of the Astor family in the store of a New York fur dealer. His employer, retiring, left the business to John Jacob Astor and Heeney, and they prospered in it for several years and then separated. Heeney continued in the same line and amassed a considerable fortune. He was a bachelor and used his income in the promotion of religious and charitable works, St. Peter's church, St. Patrick's and the Catholic Orphan Asylum, New York, were the recipients of generous gifts. He was one of the first Catholics to hold public office in New York, and served five terms in the State Assembly from 1818 to 1822. He retired from business in 1837 and went to live in Brooklyn, where he had purchased a large farm in what is now one of the best residence sections. Here he continued his charitable benefactions, and having spent the most of his income for so long in good works, he planned to secure the disposition of the whole of his estate for the same purpose. Accordingly it was incorporated by Act of Legislature, 10 May, 1845, as "The Trustees and Associates of the Brooklyn Benevolent Society" with the object of administering the estate for the benefit of the poor and the orphans. The income amounts to about $25,000, and from its incorporation the society has distributed (1909) more than a million dollars.

Never Miss any Updates!

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers.

Catholic Online Logo

Copyright 2020 Catholic Online. All materials contained on this site, whether written, audible or visual are the exclusive property of Catholic Online and are protected under U.S. and International copyright laws, © Copyright 2020 Catholic Online. Any unauthorized use, without prior written consent of Catholic Online is strictly forbidden and prohibited.

Catholic Online is a Project of Your Catholic Voice Foundation, a Not-for-Profit Corporation. Your Catholic Voice Foundation has been granted a recognition of tax exemption under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Federal Tax Identification Number: 81-0596847. Your gift is tax-deductible as allowed by law.