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Below is a family biography included in the book,  Portrait and biographical record of Lehigh, Northampton and Carbon counties, Pennsylvania published in 1894 by Chapman Publishing Company.  These biographies are valuable for genealogy research in discovering missing ancestors or filling in the details of a family tree. Family biographies often include far more information than can be found in a census record or obituary.  Details will vary with each biography but will often include the date and place of birth, parent names including mothers' maiden name, name of wife including maiden name, her parents' names, name of children (including spouses if married), former places of residence, occupation details, military service, church and social organization affiliations, and more.  There are often ancestry details included that cannot be found in any other type of genealogical record.

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WILLIAM O’BRIEN, one of the most successful men of Catasauqua, is proprietor and manager of the Chestnut House, located on the corner of Front and Chestnut Streets. He has been a resident of this city since 1854, and for several years prior to embarking in business of his own he was clerk, first in a store, and later in a hotel, where he became well and favorably known to the traveling public.

Our subject was born in County Tipperary, Ireland, in 1830, and is the son of John and Margaret (Hickey) O’Brien, also natives of the Emerald Isle, where the father was a well-to-do farmer. William, of this sketch, was the youngest of the children, of whom there are only two living.

Mr. O’Brien learned the trade of a baker in his native land, and in 1854, determining to try his fortunes in the New World, he crossed the Atlantic and made his way directly to this city. The first month after arriving here he worked in the iron factory of Crane & Co., and for a short time thereafter was clerk in a store. This was followed by the occupation of a teamster, and the following five years, after abandoning that kind of work, he was employed as a bartender. In 1867 he purchased his present hotel, which he named the Chestnut House. He is one of the oldest hotel-men in the city, and has built up an enviable reputation in the years that he has been engaged as mine host.

Mr. O’Brien has been liberal in his contributions toward the support of the St. Lawrence Catholic Church, of which he is a member. Politically he is a Democrat, and a most ardent advocate of the principles of his chosen party.

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This family biography is one of numerous biographies included in the book, Portrait and biographical record of Lehigh, Northampton and Carbon counties, Pennsylvania published in 1894 by Chapman Publishing Company. 

View additional Lehigh County, Pennsylvania family biographies here: Lehigh County, Pennsylvania Biographies

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