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Excerpts from Books and Newspapers Regarding O'Brien Family - Compiled by N.Jean Harris

Pages 99-100, Utica, Montana, written by Committee: Mildred Taurman, Mildred McGuire, Lydia Keating, Bess H. Hill and Charles A. Waite, Cover Design by Phil Korell, Typist, Judith Penkake dated 1968.

John Walter O’Brien Family

John Walter O’Brien came to Montana in 1891 from the state of Maine, where he was educated in the Boston schools-during his vacation times, he worked in the lumber camps-a profession which he followed off and on most of his life. He farmed for a number of years, but he liked the lumber business best.

He married Mary Rooney July 7, 1897. She was born in Minnesota but came to Montana as a young child and was educated in the early mission schools. She graduated from the “twelfth grade” (as our high schools) from the St. Regis Mission school near Missoula, Montana.

Mr. And Mrs. J. Walter O’Brien family consisted of four sons: Jack, George, Charlie and Ray. There were five daughters: Helen, Ida, Maude, Julia and Margaret. The older children were grown and moved away from home before the younger children were born or started to school. Most of the people in Hobson don’t remember any of the family except Charlie, Ida, Julia, Maude and Ray who all finished school and graduated from the Hobson High School. They also remember the “baby” Margaret, who finished school after the family left Hobson. [Margaret boarded with Charlie and Eileen Waite while finishing school.]

We were always busy with trying to find jobs to earn a few extra dollars to help out with the family expenses of such a big family. It was a “Blessing in disguise”. No time or energy was left to cause our parents any “Juvenile delinquent” problems and then, too, brothers and sisters help to keep each other on “the straight and narrow path”.

The O’Brien family first lived on a farm northeast of Hobson on the Judith River about a half-mile east of the Barrett place. The house burned down long ago when we were still in the grades at school about 1918. The family then lived in a s small house north of the railroad tracks on the north edge of Hobson. That house also burned; the day after Julia and Charlie graduated from high school. We were all out on the “jobs” baby-sitting, janitor work, housework and so forth. Our father and mother were away a timber contract job up in the mountains. We lost everything, including Charlie’s and Julia’s diplomas, gifts, clothing, etc. The fire was caused by a freight train, sparks often set grass fires near our home. We didn’t have any proof or money to bring a claim against the railroad, so it was start in at the bottom again. The family then lived in a small house near the Masonic Hallin Hobson. After mother died the family scattered out into the world to make lives for themselves.

Mr. O’Brien lived in Great Falls for a number of years before he moved to Portland, Oregon, to live near some of his children. He passed away in 1950.

The kids are still in there pitching at their “jobs”, trying to do their share. Jack and family live in Los Angeles [Long Beach], California. He is a Security Guard. Helen [Kinyon) and family lives in Lewistown, Idaho, and she is a Licensed Practical Nurse. George’s family live in Lewistown, Montana, and he owns and works a mine near there.

Ida (Fredrickson) was a R.N. but she passed away in Olympia Washington in 1959. Maude married a local boy, Joe Luhm, at Utica, Montana, and they not live at Elma, Washington. She is a Licensed Practical Nurse. Charlie’s family live in Portland, Oregon, where he is a member of one of those owner-employee of a plywood plant.

Julia (Hukill) a R.N. lives in San Francisco, California. Ray’s family lives at Shelton, Washington, where is a maintenance man at the Shelton Schools. Margaret (the baby) lives in Long Beach, California. She is a trained Rehabilitation Technician working at a Government at a Government Rehabilitation Hospital.