BRENNAN, JAMES (deceased). - Some of the representative men of Sangamon County have gone to their last reward after having spent a life of earnest endeavor in behalf of their loved community. Certain names are associated with the pioneer history of the county, whose representatives came from other parts of the country or from foreign shores, there to build better than they imagined. To them is due the credit for the magnificent condition of Sangamon County today. Their children, born and reared in the atmosphere of pioneer conditions, developed into stalwart men and women, able to deal successfully with the more complicated problems of advanced civilization.
One of these representative pioneer families bore the name of Brennan, and one who for many years was a leading factor in the life of buffalo was James Brennan. He was born in Ireland March 12, 1825, a son of Irish parents who died in their native land. The young man was educated in Ireland, being reared on a farm, but was not satisfied with the opportunities offered him there. He eagerly listened to all he heard of the land beyond the seas, and in 1855, leaving home and kindred, set forth, filled with hopes and ambitions. Landing in New York, he came direct to Sangamon County to engage in farming, continuing that occupation until the day of his death. In 1858 he bought ten acres of land near buffalo, in Buffalo Hart Township, upon which he erected a comfortable house.
This continued to be his home and in it he died, September 2, 1908, after having lost his wife on May 24th of that year. For fifty-one years this house had been their home, and the two were greatly attached to it. In it their children were born, and they had suffered the loss of some of them while under its roof.
Mr. Brennan was married in Springfield, in January, 1858, to Mary McGarry, born in Ireland, in May, 1834. Her parents died in Ireland. Seven children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Brennan, four sons and three daughters, and of them five survive: William resides in Springfield, being a clerk in Squire Connelly's office; James lives on a farm near buffalo; Minnie, wife of timothy Duggan, lives on a farm in Buffalo Heart Township; John and Emma live on the farm that is the homestead. There are nine living grandchildren in this family.
The Democratic party always held Mr. Brennan's support, he supporting its principles and candidates with unfaltering loyalty. From boyhood he was a devout member of the Roman Catholic Church, giving it a warm and generous support and dying firm in its faith. The life of such a man as Mr. Brennan points its own moral. Coming to a new country, poor and friendless, he worked hard and made a home for himself and his family. While caring for his wife and the children sent them, he never forgot his duty as a citizen, nor neglected his religious duties. Whenever a neighbor was in trouble he turned instinctively to the genial, warm-hearted Irishman, while his wife depended upon Mrs. Brennan for assistance in various family troubles. James Brennan and his wife rejoiced in the happiness of their associates, but their friendship was best felt when sorrow entered a household. Then it was that they proved themselves and built up in the hearts of all who knew them a monument more enduring than any fashioned of marble, and infinitely more priceless. The children of this most excellent pair have every reason to be proud of their descent from such parents. They were proud of their children and interested in their welfare, and, while they sorrowed over those who were taken away, they bowed to the decree, realizing that they had only been lent for a short period. To such as these Sangamon County owes much, and their children an infinite debt they can discharge only by living as their parents would desire.