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Nicholas J. O'Brien


Posted By: S. Ferrall IAGenWeb volunteer
Date: 11/21/2011 at 15:06:13

Nicholas J. O'Brien was born in Wexford, Ireland, in 1839, and came to the U. S. in 1848. In 1863 he organized a company of the 7th Iowa cavalry, and was commissioned Capt., and reported to Gen. McKane at Omaha, who sent him to Cottonwood Springs to build a post (Fort McPherson), and in the following year to Laramie and to Julesburg to build Fort Sedgwick. He was with Conner in his Powder river expedition, as chief of artillery, and established Fort P. E. Conner, afterward Fort Reno. He returned to Iowa and was married in the autumn, reporting at Fort Reno in Dec, being commissioned major, and being mustered out the following year on expiration of service. He took a land claim near Fort Sedgwick. When the railroad reached that point he settled in Julesburg, being one of the first officers of the town, and subsequently mayor; but soon removed to Cheyenne, where he remained. He has held the offices of Deputy U. S. marshal, sheriff, city councilman and member of the 8th legislature.

~History of the Pacific States of North America: Nevada, Colorado and Wyoming; The History Company, Publishers, 1890; pg 715


~From "Proceedings and Collections of the Nebraska State Historical Society, Volume 2, 1887:
"Capt. Nicholas J. O'Brien, familiarly known among the white men as 'Nick O'Brien,' and by the Indians as O-zak-e-tun-ka ..."


Nicholas J. OBrien left the army on February 1, 1866. He served as sheriff of Laramie County, Wyoming, in the 1870's. During the Spanish American War, he accompanied Wyoming troops to the Philippines. Elected commander of the Wyoming chapter of the Grand Army of the Republic, the Civil War veterans association, he moved to Lander and then to Denver in 1904. He also commanded the GAR in Colorado before his death on July 29, 1916.

~Circle of Fire: The Indian War of 1865, John Dishon McDermott, 2003

Obituary & photo

Clayton Biographies maintained by Sharyl Ferrall.
WebBBS 4.33 Genealogy Modification Package by WebJourneymen


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