Michael O’Brien, farmer, section 13, Milan Township, was born Sept. 9, 1836, in County Clare, Ireland. Martin O’Brien, his father, claims lineal descent from one of the Irish kings – Bryan- from whom he is in the 29th generation. The genealogy is still intact, although the posterity is widely diffused. The senior O’Brien died in Ireland in 1858.
The younger O’Brien came to America when he was 16 years of age,, and located first at Boston, where he spent some time occupied in the capacity of a common laborer. In 1856 he came to Chicago, and soon after proceeded to the Southern States, where he spent three years in various localities. In the fall of 1860 he came to DeKalb County and purchased the farm upon which he has, since 1878, prosecuted his agricultural interests, buying at first 80 acres in Milan Township. He placed it in came of a man to enter upon the work of improvement and in 1871 added 40 acres to the estate, the latter tract being situated on section 12. In 1878, he entered upon the work of cultivating his property in person, and in 18545 purchased an additional 80 acres on section 13. The large and valuable farm is all improved and supplied with good farm buildings. Mr. O’Brien’s farm is stocked with all varieties of stock except sheep. He is a zealous Democrat and is one of the school officers of Milan Township.
His marriage to Mary A. Butler took place Jan. 29, 1878, in Clinton Township. Mrs. O’Brien was born Dec. 23, 1856, in County Tipperary, Ireland, and she is the daughter of William and Mary (Pollard) Butler, who are still living in their native land. She came to America when she was 18 years of age, and lived some time at Shabbona Grove. Mary E., Katie and Maggie are the names of the children of Mr. and Mrs. O’Brien. The family are members of the Roman Catholic Church.
Source: Portrait and Biographical Album of DeKalb County