Bio: O'Brien, Eugene (1914)



Surnames: O達rien, Donovan, Morrison, Burk, Gilford


----Source: History of Eau Claire County, Wisconsin (1914) pages 808-810


Eugene O'Brien, general superintendent of the Dells Paper & Pulp Company, of Eau Claire, is descended from a long line of Irish ancestry. His father, John O'Brien, was born in County Cork, Ireland, where he was for some time engaged in the grocery business. He married Ann Donavan, and in about 1842 came to the United States with his family. After his arrival in this country he went direct to the state quarries in Vermont and followed that line of employment for some years, and later engaged in state contracting at Hydeville, Vt. He died at the age of 67 years and was buried at Turners, Mass. Mrs. O'Brien died at the age of 68 years. They were the parents of eight children, as follows: Catherine married S. R. Morrison and made her home at Turners, Mass.; Patrick, James and Helen are deceased. Those now living are Mary Ann; Thomas; Eugene and John, who is foreman for the Chapman Brass it Valve Works at Chickepee Falls, Mass.


Eugene O'Brien was born at Hydeville, in the western part of Vermont, September 25, 1855. He received a common school education in Vermont, and at the age of sixteen, commenced work in the cutlery business at Turners Falls, Mass., for L. Russell & Company, in their Green river works, remaining in their employ four years, after which he engaged with the Manthue Paper Company at Turners Falls, and was employed as beater engineer, then back tender, then machine tender, and then promoted to boss machine tender, and there obtained a thorough knowledge of paper making. In 1879 he came to Wisconsin and located at Appleton, where he was employed by Kimball & Clark as boss machine tender during his time of service with this concern. He went from Appleton to Neenah, and was there employed as machine tender and assistant superintendent for the Winnebago Paper Company for seven years. In 1894 he came to Eau Claire and became associated with the Dells Paper & Pulp Company as superintendent, and since 1909 has been general superintendent of the company's entire plant. Since becoming connected with this concern, he has made many improvements in the plant, erected new buildings and made extensive alterations in the old ones, and now has five hundred men under his direct supervision.


Mr. O'Brien is a keen business man and an expert mechanic, and as such, has made many improvements in paper-making machinery, holds many patents and is considered an authority on the paper-making industry in both the United States and Canada. He is progressive and enterprising and takes a commendable interest in all public affairs. Besides his connection with the paper business, he is a director of the Larson Automatic Pump Company. In religious affiliations he is a member of St. Patrick's Catholic Church, and is also a member of the Knights of Columbus. He married Helen Burk, daughter of Thomas Burk, of Greenfield county, Massachusetts. To this union have been born eight children, of whom five are now (1914) living, as follows: Edward, a traveling salesman; Eugene, chemist and assistant superintendent of the Dells Paper Company; Thomas, assistant chemist for the Dells Paper & Pulp Company; Nellie married Sylvester Gilford, banker and broker, of Calgary, Alberta, and Raymond O達rien. Those deceased are: Thomas, Nellie and William.




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