Biography of Oscar Lawrence O’Brien

Oscar Lawrence O’Brien during the past ten years has been one of the leading lawyers of Montgomery County, and is distinguishing himself in this profession as his father before him did in his capacity as a pioneer farmer of Montgomery County.

He represents some very old American stock. The O’Briens originally came from Ireland to Virginia during colonial times. His great-grandfather, Elijah O’Brien was born in Virginia, was a gunsmith and clock maker and died in Ohio. The grandfather of the Independence lawyer was Enos O’Brien, who was born in Ohio in 1808, became a surveyor and farmer, and was one of the pioneers who moved to this section of Kansas in 1868. His death occurred in Montgomery County in 1872.

About eight years after the death of his grandfather, Oscar Lawrence O’Brien was born on the old farm in Montgomery County November 7, 1880. His father was the late John O’Brien, who was born in Pike County Ohio, in 1841 and died at Independence in 1905. Reared in Ohio, he came out to Kansas in 1868, first locating at Humboldt and in 1869 establishing his home on a farm west of Liberty in Montgomery County. There he homesteaded 160 acres, but by long continued effort not only provided liberally for his family of children, but also acquired a valuable estate. He lived on his homestead until 1903, and this old place, now comprising 210 acres, is owned by his widow. Included in the estate at the time of his death was another farm of eighty acres west of Cherryvale, and this has since been sold. John O’Brien was a democrat. He married Jennie Broughton, who was born in Indiana and now lives in Independence. Their children were: Claudia, who is the wife of A. B. Slater and lives on the old homestead; Oscar L.; Edwin, who has a farm west of Liberty which was also included in the estate of his father.

Oscar L. O’Brien received his early education in the public schools of Montgomery County, and in 1904 graduated from the Montgomery County High School. He then entered the Kansas State University, where he completed the law course in 1907 and was admitted to the bar in the same year. Since then he has devoted all his time and energies to building up a practice at Independence, and is now one of the leading members of the local bar. His offices are at the corner of Main and Penn avenues. In politics he aligns himself with the democratic party. He is a member of the Montgomery County Bar Association.

His home is at 205 South Fourteenth Street. In 1911 at Independence Mr. O’Brien married Miss Naomi Fowler, who was born near Liberty and grew up and received her early education in Montgomery County. She was a classmate of Mr. O’Brien in the Montgomery County High School, graduating in 1904, and afterwards attended Baker University and the Kansas State University. For three years before her marriage she was one of the teachers in the Independence public schools. Her father, I. G. Fowler is a druggist at Independence. Mr. and Mrs. O’Brien have one daughter, Nettie Jane, born March 22, 1912.



Connelley, William E. A Standard History of Kansas and Kansans. Chicago : Lewis, 1918. 5v. Biographies can be accessed from this page: Kansas and Kansans Biographies.

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