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Biography of Edward Louis O’Brien

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EDWARD LOUIS O’BRIEN – of Northampton’s younger members of the bar who have established themselves under the successful auspices of a high regard for the profession and a thorough training for its practice, Mr. O’Brien, whose earlier plans as a practitioner were temporarily interrupted by his World War activities, has entered upon a field of broad prospect, and one in which his capabilities are measuring up to the demands of the hour.

His interests in Northampton and its advancement are those of the active, loyal and progressive citizen, who is prompt to share in the civic issues of the times. He inherits his industrious qualities from an honored ancestry of farmers and tradesmen. His grandfather, Richard O’Brien, the first-comer of his family to the United States, was a successful farmer; he was born in 1822, in the parish of Grange, Tipperary, Ireland, and he died in Williamsburg, Massachusetts, in 1875. He came to the United States in 1850, and lived in Cheshire, Cummington, and Williamsburg, where he engaged in farming. He married in 1853, at Adams, Johanna O’Brien, who was born in 1833 in Tipperary, Ireland, came to the United States in 1853, and died in 1907. Their children: James Henry, of whom further; Ann, who married James Welch; William; Katharine, who married Thomas Brazil; Mary, who married Michael Riley; Richard; Alice; Nellie; Frank.

James Henry O’Brien was born May 22, 1854, in Cheshire, and he worked at his blacksmith trade in Heydenville many years; but for several years he has made his home in Northampton, where he is employed at the Clark School. He married, January 23, 1881, in Florence, Mary Ann McGrath, who was born October 10, 1857, in Hadley, daughter of William and Margaret (Conary) McGrath. William McGrath was born in County Waterford, Ireland, and he came to the United States in 1850, locating at Hadley. The children of James H. and Mary Ann (McGrath) O’Brien: 1. Richard M., born November 22, 1882, is treasurer of the Park Street Trust Company, of Hartford, Connecticut. He married, November 17, 1919, Catherine Norville, and they have a daughter, Carol. 2. William J., born June 23, 1885, is a graduate of Harvard University. During the World War, he was associated with the Knights of Columbus in southern camps. He was Knights of Columbus secretary at Le Mans, in France, in 1919, and was thence transferred to Issur-Telle. Returning home in September, 1919, he has since been engaged in educational work, and is now vice-principal of the Trenton, New Jersey, High School. 3. Margaret E., graduate of Smith College, is now teaching in the Traveler’s Insurance Company, at Hartford, Connecticut. 4. George L., born February 9, 1893, is sales manager for the Plimpton Manufacturing Company, at Hartford, Connecticut. Serving in the World War, he was stationed at Camp Devens from 1917 to 1819, and was senior master sergeant in charge of supplies. He married, June 2, 1924, Helen Lobdell. 5. Edward Louis, of whom further. 6. Thomas M., born March 13, 1900, a graduate of Washington University, Washington, District of Columbia, is a salesman for the RourkeEno Paper Company, of Hartford, Connecticut. He married, March 2, 1923, Roberta Dobbins.

Edward Louis O’Brien was born December 7, 1894, at Haydenville. He attended the Northampton High School, afterwards graduating at Williston Seminary, at Easthampton, with the class of 1916. He matriculated at the Catholic University, Washington, District of Columbia, and he graduated in the law department with the class of 1919. He was admitted to the bar in 1920, and has since been in practice at Northampton. Mr. O’Brien enlisted in the World War November 23, 1917, and attending the Aviation School at Cornell University, was assigned to Camp Dix, and thence to Ellington Field in the Air Service at Houston, Texas; he was a cadet in the Aviation Department. His fraternal affiliations are with the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, of whose Northampton lodge he is secretary; the Knights of Columbus, of whose Northampton Council he is chancellor; the American Legion; and the Chamber of Commerce.


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