|EDWARD BYRNE is one of the old and highly respected farmers of the town of Fitchburg, which has been his home during practically all of the past half-century, but his nativity was in the little Emerald Isle, the country that has given America so many of her leaders in the various walks of life. The exact date of the birth of Mr. Byrne is not known, as the family record was unfortunately destroyed many years ago, but it is probably that the event occurred about 1840. His parents were Edward and Catherine Byrne, both of whom were also natives of Ireland, and in 1854 they removed with their children to America.
The family came directly to Wisconsin by way of the great lakes, landing at Milwaukee, and then by the new railway to Dane County, the final destination and location being in the town of Fitchburg. Edward Byrne, our subject, had received a common school education in his native country, and upon coming to America devoted his energies to overcoming the difficulties that presented themselves to the early pioneers.
Upon reaching manhood he purchased two hundred acres of land in section 21, town of Fitchburg, that some on which he now resides, and immediately devoted his energies to its clearing and improvement; he afterward sold forty acres. He has resided on this tract of land ever since, with the exception of two years which he spent in Chicago, and he has successfully followed the business of general farming, including the raising of hogs, cattle, sheep and horses.
Politically he gives an allegiance to the principles of the Democratic Party, and the esteem in which he is held by his fellow citizens is attested by the fact that he has served three years as treasurer of the town of Fitchburg, and has also been clerk of his school district for a long time.
His religious faith is manifested by membership in the Catholic Church.
Mr. Byrne was married on February 22, 1870, to Miss Ellen Barry, daughter of James and Elizabeth (McDonald) Barry, prominent residents of the town of Fitchburg, both of whom are now deceased. Mr. and Mrs. Byrne are the parents of eleven children, the names and other information concerning whom are properly given a place in this review. Catherine is the wife of John Lacy, of the town of Fitchburg; Theresa is the wife of Frank Hayes and resides in Canada; Margaret is the wife of William Byrnes of the town of Oregon; Sarah and James reside at home; Beezie is a professional nurse at Colorado Springs; Mary is deceased; and Edward, Nellie, Irene and Anna reside at home. All of these children were born at the old homestead in the town of Fitchburg, and they all received their education in the excellent district schools. James L. Byrne was the fifth child and the eldest son born to these parents, and at the early age of fourteen years he started in life for himself, first working for an uncle, (now deceased), for a number of years. He was born in the town of Fitchburg, February 7, 1880, and although still quite young, as we reckon ages, he has a considerable competence to show as the reward of his early industry and singleness of purpose.
He owns one hundred and ten acres of land in sections 16 and 22 of the town of Fitchburg, the farm being well improved and under a high state of cultivation. The farm he rents out to competent tenants, and as he is unmarried he remains at home, where his services are devoted to assisting in the management of his father’s affairs. The young man has a bright future before him, and has already won a position as a substantial and progressive citizen.
1906 History of Dane County, Wisconsin, p. 132-134.