O'BRIEN, JOHN (deceased) - One of the best known men in the employ of the Chicago & Alton Railroad, was the late John O'Brien, of Springfield, Illinois, whose genial personality will be long remembered by those who knew and loved him. Mr. O'Brien was born in County Mayo, Ireland, in 1843, being the second son born to his parents John and Ellen (Royes) O'Brien, farming people who lived and died in County Mayo. They had a family as follows: Michael, was the first to leave the old home for the United States; John; Mary, unmarried, died in Ireland; Bridget married Luke Lavin and lives in County Mayo; Margaret at home; Thomas, died in Springfield; and Andrew who lives here.
John O'Brien received a fairly good education and worked for his father while acquiring it. In 1871, he married Miss Bridget Lavin, also fo County Mayo, daughter of Patrick and Mary (Lavin) Lavin, and soon afterwards they sailed from Liverpool for the United States. The journey consumed seventeen days, and as the passage was rough and stormy, they were glad when New York was reached. From there they came direct to Springfield, where Mr. O'Brien went to work for the Chicago & Alton Railroad, continuing with them for seven years, when he bought a farm in Logan County. Here he suffered from a severe sunstroke, which resulted in his retirement to Springfield, and eventual death, in 1898. He died as he had lived, a devout member of St. Joseph's Roman Catholic Church, to which he was a liberal contributor. In politics, he was a stanch Democrat. He and his wife had children as follows: Mary; Margaret; Annie, a trained nurse in Chicago; Patrick, a miner; and Nellie. These children and Mrs. O'Brien all belong to St. Joseph's Church. Mr. O'Brien always did what he believed to be his duty, endeavoring to bring up his children correctly and provide for them and his wife the comforts of life. Stricken down while carrying out his farm duties, he never fully recovered but kept his warm friendships to the last, and died regretted by a wide circle of those who still miss his kindly presence and sympathetic works of praise and advice.