The following data is extracted from Biographical Sketches, Coles County, Illinois - Ashmore Township.
Thomas O'Brien, farmer and stock raiser; P. O. Ashmore; was born in the city of Philadelphia Feb. 18, 1830; he is a son of John and Mary O'Brien; his father was born in Mt. Maleck, Queens Co., Ireland, in February, 1801; up to the age of 18 years, he worked in his father's tailor-shop; he then went to London, Eng., and afterward to Leeds, spending seven years in the two cities; after paying a brief visit to his native place, he came to America at the age of 25; his first settlement was in Philadelphia, where he was married March 18, 1828, to Miss Sarah Campbell a native of Philadelphia; she was born May 1, 1808; he worked as a journeyman in Philadelphia until 1832, when he removed to Cincinnati, and there followed his trade five years; he then removed to Terre Haute, Ind., where he began business for himself; in 1849, he came to Ashmore and settled on a farm, containing 435 acres of wild land which he had purchased the year before. About twenty years ago, he removed to the village of Ashmore, where he resided till his death, Sept. 26, 1873, and where his widow still resides. He was a man of the strictest commercial integrity, and highly respected as a citizen; he left seven children, five of whom are living; the eldest son, Thomas, was employed in his father's shop in Terre Haute for about three years before the family removed to Coles Co.; he remained on the farm until 1855, when he came to the village and engaged in merchandising, in which he continued till 1873, since which time he has devoted his attention to stock business; he owns a farm of 130 acres in the corporation and forty-three acres in another part of the township. He has been a member of the Town Board of Trustees or Board of Education most of the time during his residence here. He was married Jan. 10, 1855, to Miss Amanda Wells, a daughter of James Wells, of Ashmore; they have two children - Capitola and Grace.
Source: Biographical Sketches, Coles County, Illinois - Ashmore Township