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Sheboygan County, Wisconsin Genealogy & History

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Sheboygan County Heirs to Millions
Sheboygan Press {Date Unknown}

In the vaults in Ireland and in safety deposit boxes where securities are usually kept, there is $12,400,000 awaiting distribution among residents of Sheboygan, Fond du Lac, Milwaukee, Winnebago and Marathon counties.

Those who will share in the estate of James O'Brien are:

Mrs. John Lindsay, Parnell, Sheboygan county.

Mrs. Thomas Dwire, Parnell, Sheboygan county.

Mrs. Peter Murphy, Milwaukee, formerly of Sheboygan county.

The heirs of James O'Brien, Fond du Lac, John O'Brien, Milwaukee, and M. H. O'Brien, Oshkosh, all sons of Thomas O'Brien, a former resident of Cascade, this county, and a brother of James who died in Ireland, leaving the estate.

The news came in dispatches from P. H. O'Brien of Wausau a former member of the Sheboygan police force who is in Ireland looking after the details of the estate.

James O'Brien who amassed a fortune in the California gold fields in the early 50's returned to Ireland and spent his declining days there. Twenty-one years ago he dies in County Cork, and since that time his fortune has been awaiting heirs, for no will was left at the time of his death.

The O'Brien family consisted of four brothers and all came to this country (unreadable) life except James, who remained in Ireland until some years later. As was customary in those days there was little correspondence between the brothers and eventually it was broken off entirely and the branch of the family in America lost all trace of James. One of the brothers, Thomas came to Wisconsin and located near Cascade in this county. Here he lived and dies some thirty years ago. A few years later Mrs. O'Brien died. The children of Thomas O'Brien were Mrs. John Lindsay, Mrs. Thomas Dwire, Parnell, Mrs. Peter Murphy, Milwaukee, P.H. O'Brien, Wausau, all living, and James, Fond du Lac, John, Milwaukee and M.H. O'Brien, Oshkosh, deceased. The heirs of the latter three will share in the portion that would have gone to their father.

From information just received from Ireland, James O'Brien hearing of the great wealth in the California gold fields, decided to cast his lot in a new country. (Unreadable) was among the influx here in (Unreadable) ems that he struck it rich (Unreadable) years afterwards returned (Unreadable) native land there to spend (Unreadable) ining days. The fortune which (Unreadable) an exceedingly large one, grew (Unreadable) careful investments and the inventory at this time shows an estate of $12,400,000. When Mr. O'Brien died, little attempt was made to trace his heirs, and only recently did the knowledge of the fortune leak out. By mere chance one of the relatives learned that a James O'Brien had come to California from Ireland and investigation brought to light the fact that the James O'Brien was the long lost brother. By correspondence it was learned that he had since died and left an estate in Ireland. While it is claimed that an attempt was made 21 years ago to obtain information as to the whereabouts of the heirs in order that the estate might be distributed, it is doubtful if any great effort was made. This undoubtedly was due to the fact that the estate was largely in securities (Unreadable) money, and the banks holding it, (Unreadable) large profit as a result of (Unreadable) the estate in tact.

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...known to a large number of local citizens. He was familiarly known as Pat, and after leaving here went to Campbellsport, Fond du Lac county, where he conducted a hotel for several years. From there he went to Mozinee, Wisconsin, and later to Wausau, his home at the present time.

The O'Brien relatives are among the best know residents of Sheboygan county, and the news of their good fortune will be highly pleasing to their friends, both in this city and throughout the county.

Contributed by: Kay Reitberger

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