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BIOS-Past & Present of Bureau Co. 1906 > James O'Brien

22 Oct 2005

Source: Past and Present of Bureau County, Illinois
by George B. Harrington
Originally published by Pioneer Pub. Co., Chicago, IL, 1906

Transcribed by: Denise McLoughlin
Tampico Area Historical Society

Page 833

James O'Brien is farming a quarter section of land in Macon township which he purchased in 1900. He is one of the veterans of the Civil war and no adopted son of America has been more loyal to the interests and welfare of the nation. He was born in County Clare, Ireland, March 1, 1844, and is a son of Patrick and Bridget (Reynolds) O'Brien, both of whom were born in County Clare. Both died when about eighty years of age. They were married in Ireland and came to thenew world in 1848 as passesngers on a sailing vessel which dropped anchor in the harbor of Quebec. They afterward proceeded to the state of New York, where they lived for a number of years and then came to Bureau county in 1856, locating in Indiantown township, where the father was first employed at farm labor and later purchased a farm comprising both timber and prairie land. He continued its culivation throughout his remaining days, making it his home until he was called to his final rest. Both he and his wife were devoted members of the Roman Catholic church and in politics he was a Jacksonian democrat. In their family were ten children, but only four are now living: James; Margaret; Anna, the wife of Philip Horan,of Tiskilwa; and Daniel, a resident farmer of Indiantown township.

James O'Brien was only four years of age when the parents left Ireland, bringing their family with them to America. In his youth he worked upon the home farm in the summer months and attended school in the winter seasons. He remained at home until after the outbreak of the Civil war, when on the 15th of August, 1862, at the age of eighteen years, he enlisted at Tiskilwa, Illinois, as a member of Company E., Ninety-third Illinois Volunteer Infantry, serving with that command until honorably discharged at Camp Douglas, Chicago, July 6, 1865. On the day of his enlistment he was promoted to the rank of corporal and was in every battle and on every march in which his regiment participated. He took part in the engagement at Champion Hill, May 16, 1863; was in the siege of Vicksburg from the 19th of May until the 4th of July of that year; was also in the Chattanooga campaign; the battle of Mission Ridge; the battle of Altoona, George, on the 5th of October, 1864; the campaign in the Carolinas; and the grand review in Washington, D. C., on the 24th of May, 1865, where the victorius army marched past the stand on which stood the president and other noted men of the nation to welcome the returning army amid the cheers of thousands, of loyal Union people who lined the streest of the capital city. The war being over, Mr. O'Brien then returned to his home with a most creditable military record.

He came with the family to Bureau county and here, on the 1st of January, 1870, was married to Miss Mary Cahill, who was born in County Cork, Ireland, March 17, 1847. Her parents, Morris and Margaret (Golden) Cahill, came to the United States in 1851, sailing from Cork and landing at Boston, Massachusetts. They located at Salmon Falls, New Hampshire where they lived until 1862, Mr. Cahill being employed in a cotton factory. In November of that year they came to Illinois, settling at Tiskilwa. He owned three hundred acres of land in Stark county and three hundred and twenty acres in Bureau county. His remaining days were spent as a farmer of this locality. Both he and his wife were communicants of the Roman Catholic church and his political allegiance was given to the democracy. Both died when about eighty-five years of age. In their family were elven children, five now living: Mrs. O'Brien, Stephen, Morris, William and Agnes.

The marriage of Mr. and Mrs. O'Brien has been blessed with nine children, seven of whom survive; Anna, the wife of Daniel Johnson; Patrick; Mary, the wife of John Turner; Morris; Elizabeth; James and Agnes Veronica.

Following his marriage Mr. O'Brien began farming on his own account and throughout his entire life has carred on agricultural pursuits. He now has a well improved farm property, upon which he has lived since 1900. It compirses one hundred and sixty acres of well cultivated land and his labors are annually rewarded by abundant harvests. He has served as school director but has never been a politician in the sense of office-seeking. His ballot, however, supports the democracy and he is loyal in citizenship, manifesting the same spirit of fidelity that he displayed when upon southern battlefields he followed the old flag. He and his family are communicants  of the roman Catholic church.



TAMPICO AREA HISTORICAL SOCIETY - MUSEUM - FAMILY HISTORY LIBRARY/RESEARCH CENTER  119 Main St., P. O. Box 154,  Tampico, IL  61283   www.tampicohistoricalsociety.com   tampicohistoricalsociety@gmail.com  President Joan Johnson, 815-438-7581 or garyjoan@thewisp.net  Family History Coordinator, Denise McLoughlin 815-718-3617. We are an all-volunteer organization so your donations are always appreciated!  Sign up to receive our e-newsletter. Thank you!  Visit us on FACEBOOK, too.