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Mini Biographies of Scots and Scots Descendants (O)
William O'Brien

WILLIAM O’BRIEN.-- Many of Scotland’s brave lads and bonnie lasses have crossed the broad Atlantic during the past twenty-five years to become citizens of the Cache la Poudre valley (Colorado, USA). They have foresworn allegiance to the British crown and have taken upon themselves the responsibilities and assumed the honors of American citizenship. They are now loyal citizens of the greatest Republic on earth, and are proud to be numbered among the defenders of the Stars and Stripes and the instructions the flag represents. They are industrious, prudent and thrifty, and are enrolled among the best citizens of Larimer county. Among those who forsook their ancestral homes in Scotland to seek new scenes, new friends and new homes and fortunes in Colorado, was William O’Brien, who, for the past eleven years, has been Superintendent of the Colorado Agricultural college farm, and has discharged its duties and shouldered its responsibilities in a manner that has given entire satisfaction to the State Board of Agriculture and reflected credit upon himself. Mr. O’Brien first saw the light of day on December 18th, 1862, in Aberdeenshire, Scotland. He was born on a farm and received his education in the public schools of the period. Following the example of thousands of his countrymen, he came to the United States to better his condition, arriving in Boston, Massachusetts, in 1887. While about the docks in that city in 1888, he noticed a shipment of horses was being unloaded from a transatlantic steamer that had just arrived and closer observation convinced him that the animals had come from his own country and upon inquiry he learned that the horses belonged to Jess Harris and that he was going to ship them to Colorado. He immediately sought out Mr. Harris and asked for employment in loading the horses on the cars and in caring for them en route. Mr. Harris said him " I have about all the help I need, but if you want to go along, I will take you through but will not agree to pay you wages during the trip." Mr. O’Brien jumped at the chance and that is how it is that he is a Coloradoan today. It was not long after he arrived in Fort Collins until he and two of his countrymen, John Fraser and Charles Willox, bought the Austin Mason farm of 120 acres, which they cultivated in company until Mr. O’Brien was appointed to the position he now holds at the college. In 1890 Mr. O’Brien married Jane Fraser and they have nine children, Jennie, William, Jesse, Marshall, Annie, Lorna, Nellie, Alice, and Bessie, all at home. He is an expert farmer and has served the state and college well as farm superintendent and given the best of satisfaction. Mrs. O’Brien, nee Frazer, is a also a native of Scotland. She came to Colorado in 1890 to marry the sweetheart of her girlhood days and has never had occasion to regret the voyage across the Atlantic. She is a model wife and mother and her home is abiding place of love, contentment and happiness.

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