O'BRIEN, PATRICK, a public-spirited Irish-American citizen of Springfield, Ill., was born in March, 1829, and is a son of Thomas and Mary (Welsh) O'Brien, also natives of Ireland, where the death of both occurred. Thomas O'Brien and his wife were parents of nine children, namely: Michael, James, Walter, Thomas, Patrick, Mary, Kate, Bridget and Ann, of whom all came to the United States with the exception of Bridget, who still lives on the family homestead in Ireland.
As a boy Patrick O'Brien attended school in his native place. While yet a boy he went to England and remained there fifteen years, working on a farm and at his trade of stone mason. When thirty-three years of age he emigrated to the United States, landing in New York, whence he came to Springfield, Ill., and later went to St. Louis. He was employed on a Government steam-boat during the Civil War for about one year, entering the service in 1862, and later went to Benton Barracks, where he worked another year. In the fall of 1864 he returned to Springfield, and later went to the vicinity of Bloomington, where he lived for thirty years. He has retired from work at his trade, and for several years past has been in the employ of the Park Board of Springfield, to which city he again returned in 1901.
In 1858, before leaving Ireland for America, Mr. O'Brien married Mary Ford, daughter of Michael and Honora (Leach) Ford, who spent their entire lives in Ireland, as did their parents before them. Four children were born to Mr. and Mrs. O'Brien, of whom two are deceased; Thomas, born and died in Ireland; Marie died in St. Louis, where she is buried; Annie, born in Chenoa, married Charles Ryan, a prominent citizen of Springfield, where they reside, and they have no children; James M., born in Chenoa, is an employee of a railroad and lives in Chicago.
Mr. O'Brien is a devout member of the Roman Catholic Church and attends the church presided over by Father O'Reilly. He is also a member of Father Matthew's Society and contributes his share towards the support of various religious movements connected with the church of his faith. He is typical of the best citizenship and proud of his family and his personal success in life. He has always been industrious and thrifty and has become the owner of some real estate in Springfield. The family reside at 815 East North Grand Avenue.