|JAMES BYRNE, a retired farmer in the village of Oregon, is deserving of special mention in a work of this nature by reason of his high character and the results he has achieved by his industry and frugality. He was born in the county of Wicklow, Ireland, and is one of four children born to Michael and Anne Byrne, all of whom migrated to America and took up their residence in Wisconsin. Of these Michael resides in the town of Fitchburg, Dane County; Anna and Lizzie are deceased, and James is the immediate subject of this review.
James Byrne was educated in the schools of the Emerald Isle, and prior to his migration to America travelled extensively in Europe. He dealt largely in horses, having a natural adaptation for the business of handling the equine breed, and he can relate many interesting experiences, representing nearly every county in Ireland. He came directly to Wisconsin from his native land, in 1870, and worked as a farm hand for about six years. He then bought one hundred acres of land in the town of Fitchburg, where he did general farming for about seven years, and then sold the farm to O. A. Fox, of Madison, and then rented a farm in the same town for three years longer.
He next purchased one hundred and sixty acres in the town of Oregon, upon which he resided for nine years, and then sold and bought eighty acres only a mile distant, where he lived for seven years. He then sold again, and purchased a comfortable home in the village of Oregon, where he now lives in retirement and expects to reside the remainder of his life, enjoying the fruits of years of activity.
He is a man of much energy, never being idle at any season of the year, and his success is due largely to the unusual determination which is a prominent trait of his character. This was evidenced in his early life, while in the business of handling horses, and he seemed to take an especially delight in subduing the most vicious of those which came into his possession.
Mr. Byrne was married in 1876 to Miss Katie Murray, born in Green County, Wis., in 1858, the daughter of James Murray, an old resident of that part of the state. Mrs. Byrne became the mother of six children, and died when the eldest was but eight years old, thus leaving a family of little ones to the care of a kind and indulgent father.
Concerning these children the following information is appropriately given in this review: Anna T. is now Mrs. Lamp, of Durand, Wis., James W. and Agnes reside at home; Lizzie is deceased; George remains at home, and Eddie is deceased.
Mr. Byrne is independent in his political views, and his religious belief is manifested by membership in the Catholic Church. He possesses attributes that go to the making of the good citizen, and by his careful management and sound judgment has been able to accumulate a competency; but he modestly disclaims that all the credit is due to his own efforts, and devoutly believes that Providence has favored him in his different undertakings.
1906 History of Dane County, Wisconsin, p. 134-135.