John O'Byrne

by Edmund Starling, 1886


JOHN O'BYRNE, the subject of this sketch, is a son of Thos. O'Byrne, a native of Ireland, and was born in the City of Buffalo, New York, on the twenty-second day of March, 1834. He traveled the country with his father, living first here and there until he arrived at an age that justified him in learning a trade for himself. He had received a good English education, and was blessed with a mind capable of embracing with ease any amount of information. He learned the trade of a brick mason under his father, and by the time he was ready to launch out upon the great sea of life on his own account, had gained a knowledge of the profession unsurpassed by any western mechanic. He was a frequent visitor to Henderson, and claimed Henderson and Evansville alternately as his home. He made frequent visits to the lower Mississippi River during the winter months, up to the breaking out of the war. In the summer of 1856 he came to Henderson and worked with Captain W.B. Vanzandt, who was engaged at that time in building the Farmers' Bank, now the Presbyterian Parsonage, on the corner of Elm and Second streets. Since 1861 Mr. O'Byrne has made this place his permanent home. he has been married twice, first in the Town of Carlisle, Indiana, secondly in the City of Evansville. Starting on a pittance of this life's goods, he has, by industry, economy and fine business tact, secured himself and family a beautiful home and a competency outside to comfort and cheer them in their old age. Mr. O'Byrne enjoys the high prerogative of being the head of a family consisting of a devoted and accomplished wife and three handsome children, two daughters and one son. In the year 1875 he formed a co-partnership with Joseph Hicks, under the firm name of O'Byrne & Hicks, and ever since recognized as one of the leading firms of the West. He has served his ward in the City Council and could do so again, but persistently declines the honor. He has frequently received the appointment of Supervisor of Tax Books, a compliment gracefully accorded his honesty and superior judgment. Upon the organization of the Building and Loan Association, he was elected a director and has so continued to this day. Upon the recent organization of the Planters' Bank, he was elected a Director.

The History of Henderson County, Kentucky by Starling 1887 page 739-40;

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