John and Martin O’Brien


Press Republican



A Look Backward

At Old Plattsburgh


Monday, June 14, 1965


John F. O’Brien, who became a prominent Republican

leader in Clinton County as well as a banker, was a native of

Fort Edward, Washington County. He was born on Sept. 29. 1859.

His parents, Mr. and Mrs. James O’Brien, natives of County

Cork. Ireland, had come to America in 1848. The father was a

farmer in the Fort Edward area.

John F. O’Brien was the second of six children. A brother.

Gen. Edward C. O’Brien, also became a prominent resident of

Clinton County.

John received his elementary education in the district

schools at Fort Edward and entered the For: Edward Institute

to study civil engineering. After graduation he entered the service

of the U.S. Government in an extensive land survey in northern

Minnesota and later wroked for the Duluth and Iron Range Railroad.

Returning to New York State he became chief engineer of

the windmill section of the Groton aquaduct, which supplied water

for New York City.

His health failing, he came to Plattsburgh and engaged hi

the commission business and. with his brother, Edward C. O’Brien,

conducted successful enterprises for many years.

The brother, Edward, was a graduate of North Bend. lnd.

Military Academy and was for some time an ofiicer on Gov.

Morton’s staff. He was appointed commissioner of navigation under

the Harrison administration.

Gen. O’Brien, with the support of his brother, jyas * e original

developer of Long Point at Point au Roche. This was in ihe

early twenties, when a ‘Junior Plattsburgh Military Camp”

thrived there for a time. Subsequently the point” was taken

over by the Macdonough School of Maryland for the establishment

of Camps Red Cloud and Red Wing.


Martin Hewey O’Brien, who became a Plat*sburgh lawyer,

was a native of Beekmantown and was born on May 18. 1850, a

son of Patrick and Ellen (Brown* O’Brien.

O’Brien’s grandfather, native of Ireland, had come to

America as a young man and was a teacher in New York before

settling in Clinton County. He first established in the Irish Settlement

of Schuyler Falls and settled in Beekmantown in 1840. He

married Bridget Ray of Queens County, Ireland. Patrick O’Brein,

father of today’s subject, was the eldest of five-children and also

came from Dublin.

Martin Hewey O’Brien was the first of nine children. He

acquired his elementary education at Waterford, spent two

years at Ottawa University and later graduated from Notre

Dame University.

In Plattsburgh he began the practice of law in the offices

of Palmer, Weed, Gay and Holcomb and was admitted to the Bar

in 1874.

On Sept. 4, 1877, Martin H. O’Brien was united in marriage

to Mary Isabella Harrison of Alexandria. Ontario. They had four

sons, George H., Martin H., Jr., Patrick R. and Edward M.



Published on November 26, 2008 at 7:39 pm  Leave a Comment  

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