|JOHN O’BRIEN, farmer Secs. 35 and 36; P.O. Brooklyn; born in 1828, in the city of Caracas, South America; his parents Michael and Catherine O’Brien, were natives of Cork, Ireland, who first located in New York City, going from there to South America; while they prospered in Caracas, the climate was killing the wife and mother, causing a second settlement in New York, where the family fortunes were wrecked by the panic of 1837; in 1838, the family settled on a farm in Luzerne Co., Penn. where the parents spent the remainder of their lives.
John O’Brien has led a life as strange as his birthplace; while yet in his cradle, his parents were driven from the house by an earthquake, he being forgotten for the time and literally rocked by nature’s hand; his young manhood was spent on the canals of Pennsylvania and Maryland; in 1853, he came West and settled on his present 130-acre farm; here he replaced a log house with a well-built frame one, and in 1862, built a substantial basement barn.
He married, in March 1851, Miss Catherine Richardson, of Luzerne Co., Penn.; they have nine living children-Mary E., Joseph, Johanna, Margaret A., Anastasia, Eliza J., Catherine, Julius F. and Agnes; two sons, Daniel and John died in infancy. The entire family are Roman Catholics, he serving on the Church Committee from 1856 to 1876. Is a Democrat and favors greenbacks.
John O’Brien is a live and successful farmer, yet is ever mindful of the teaching: “It is more blessed to give then to receive.”
Ref. 1880 History of Dane County, Wisconsin, p. 1246.