O'BRIEN, JOHN, was born in Ireland, September 6, 1839, son of John and Catherine (McCarthy) O'Brien. John O'Brien was educated in Ireland and America. He came to the United States in 1854, and first began at railroading, then engaged in farming, and bought the life lease of Joshua Stivers, which he afterwards sold; then he returned and bought back the lease he formerly owned, where he lived three years. He sold it to George Clark, and moved to M. H. Tenant's farm, which he leased for five years, for $500 per year. He was elected road commissioner of the city of Rome, where he served two years in succession. He then moved on to the Brook farm, in the Second ward in Rome, and lived there one year; from here he moved on to the Phonex Abbe place, known as the Jim Kirkland farm, and lived there three years; he afterwards moved on to a farm known as the Moore, Montgomery and Schneider farm; there he attended an indicating station on the New York Central for two years. He then moved on to the farm known as the William Evans farm, where he lived one year; then moved on to the John Fleming farm and lived one year. He then moved on to his present farm, where he has resided for the past nine years. He married Honora Quinn, of Ireland, by whom he has eight children: Michael J., William, John T., Annie, Mary, Rosie, Maggie and Fannie. Mr. O'Brien, although a Democrat, was elected for two terms in succession, commissioner of highways in the township of Westmoreland. This town is Republican by a large majority, and Mr. O'Brien is the only Democrat who was ever elected to that office in this township. (p. 283) [Top]

ODELL, EDGAR B., son of Benjamin F., was born in Junius, Seneca county, June 26, 1857, and was educated at Phelps and in Cazenovia Seminary, N. Y. He entered his father's general store in Phelps and remained there until March, 1880, being his partner the last two or three years. He was then in Golden, Denver and Canon City, Colorado, as a bookkeeper until September, 1882, when he came to Utica and became bookkeeper for Roberts & Hoag. In February, 1888, Mr. Hoag having retired, Mr. Odell became a member of the firm of J.A. Roberts & Co., dry goods dealers, and still continues. He is a member of Faxton Lodge 697 F. & A.M., Oneida Chapter R.A.M., the Royal Arcanum, and the Arcanum Club, and a charter member of the Masonic Club of Utica. October, 1884, he married Charlotte J. White, daughter of the late Nicholas A. White, of Utica. They have one son, Frederick Edgar Odell. (p. 205-206) [Top]

OLDS, MARQUIS D., was born in the town of Oxford, N. Y., August 27, 1850, son of Ezra and Eliza (Brockway) Olds. He worked at farm work until twenty years of age, beginning at $4 a month. He next conducted a restaurant during one winter, when he took a position on the old Syracuse and Binghamton railroad, to learn operating and the duties of agent. He applied to the old Oswego and Midland railroad for a position, and was appointed agent and operator at New Berlin Junction. He remained there two years, when the Oswego and Midland railroad failed, and he came to Deansville in March, 1875, as agent and operator, a position he has filled with ability and success, and he has also had charge of the coal department since 1885. Mr. Olds married Carrie F. Root, by whom he has two children: Edna Florence and Howard Root Olds. (p. 236) [Top]

O'LEARY, JEREMIAH, was born in Boonville, Oneida county, N. Y., in 1849. His father, Jeremiah O'Leary, was born in County Cork, Ireland, and came to this country when twenty-eight years of age, and settled in Utica where he was a carpenter. He came to Boonville in 1843, where he engaged in farming as well as carpenter work. He died in 1864. Jeremiah O'Leary, jr., has always resided in Boonville, with the exception of twelve years spent near Lowville at the millwright business. Eight years ago he purchased a farm of 105 acres, and has since been very successful. In 1871 he married Etta Sweet, of Boonville, by whom he had nine children, six of whom are still living. (p. 182) [Top]

OLMSTED, HENRY L., was born in New Hartford, Oneida county, N.Y., May 8, 1811, and spent his early life there, but since 1842 has been a resident of the town of Vernon, living continuously upon the same farm, which is situated near Kenwood station. His father, Gamaliel Olmsted, came from Connecticut, where he was born in 1760. He served four years in the Revolutionary war, and in 1782 emigrated to Utica, and a little later settled in what is now New Hartford. He was the first to purchase land in the town, the receipt for payment thereon being now in the possession of Henry Olmsted, dated 1788. He finally moved to Willowdale, where he died in 1832. His wife was Elizabeth Downer, a native of Vermont, who died in 1870. In 1835 Henry L. married Samantha Budlong, by whom he had six children, four of whom are living, one in California and three at home. Mr. Olmsted's farm was at one time a part of the Indian lands, he having bought it at auction in 1842. (p. 275) [Top]

OLNEY, GEORGE B., was born in Western, December 7, 1852, son of George J. and Harriet (Brill) Olney, grandson of James Olney, who was born October 26, 1783, and who married Lucy Burt, and great-grandson of William and Mary (Myers) Olney, who were among the pioneers of Western, and is a lineal descendant of Thomas Olney, of Hertfordshire, England, who settled in Salem, Mass., in 1635, where he follow his profession surveyor, and filled many positions of trust. He was the founder of the Olney family in America. In later life he left Salem on account of religious persecution and went with Roger Williams to Providence, R. I. On November 6, 1793, a deed was executed by Thomas and William Burling, merchants of New York, conveying to William Olney the first real estate owned by the family in Oneida County. It consisted of 1500 acres of land in the tract known as the Thomas Machin patent, in what is now the town of Western, then a part of Herkimer county; consideration of 600 pounds Sterling. This tract joined land laid out for Jelles Fonda. The deed acknowledged before John Ray "One of the masters in chancery for the State" and is still in possession of the family. George J. Olney, father of George B., was born in Western, February 28, 1821, where he spent all his life engaged in farming. He was twice married, first to Harriet, daughter of Ezra and Lydia (Parks) Clark, of Western, by whom he had one daughter, Harriet (Mrs. Frank White). His second wife was Harriet, daughter of John Brill, of Saratoga, N. Y., by whom he had three children: George B., Willard, and Minnie (Mrs. Charles Pillmore). George B. Olney was educated in the public schools and Whitestown Seminary, and since 1880, has been a member of the firm of Olney & Floyd, manufacturers of canned goods, with factories in Westernville and Delta. December 19, 1879, he married Amelia, daughter of Joseph and Ruth (Carey) Hill, of Western, by whom he has two children: George J. and Max H. (p. 49) [Top]

OLNEY, THOMAS J., was born in Westmoreland, October 12, 1826, son of James and Phoebe (Smith) Olney. James Olney came from Connecticut. He had a cloth dressing establishment, rope walk, and also carried on farming. He lived in Westmoreland till his death in 1841. Thomas J. Olney received a district school education; engaged in farming; then became owner of the grist mill and saw mill; went into the coal and feed business; and also bought out the Heckla works, which is now his private property. Mr. Olney has been road commissioner for sixteen years, and is a staunch Republican. He has been supervisor four years; is a prominent Mason, and has been master of his lodge for four terms. He is also an Odd Fellow. Mr. Olney married Frances Thornly, of English extraction, by whom he has one daughter, married to Frank M. Wilson. He also had one son, Charles, who died in his twenty-first year. Mr. Olney is one of the most popular citizens, and energetic business men in the town of Westmoreland, and has always been prominent in all its affairs. (p. 290) [Top]

O'MARA, DANIEL, was born in the town of Florence, November 3, 1855, son of Patrick O'Mara, who was born in Ireland, and came to the United States in 1851, and settled in Florence, where he has worked at his trade, as blacksmith. He married Mary Horrigan, who was born in New York State, and they have been the parents of eight children: Daniel, William, deceased, John, Michael, Joseph, George, Mary, and Kate. He is engaged in the undertaking business in the village of Florence, and is also one of the leading merchants of the town, carrying a full line of groceries, crockery ware, etc. In politics Mr. O'Mara is a Democrat and in 1881 was elected supervisor of the town, which office he held for three terms, was appointed postmaster in 1884, and served through Cleveland's first administration. At the present time he is justice of the peace, having held that office since 1886. He was instrumental in getting the telephone system in the town and village of Florence. He married Ella, daughter of Richard Willis, who was among the first settlers of the town, and their children are John R. and Mollie. (p. 98) [Top]

O'REILLY, PATRICK J., was born in Rochester, N.Y., July 5, 1855, attended Mrs. Fox's private school and was graduated from the Christian Brothers Academy in 1874 and spent two years as clerk in a large wholesale and retail crockery store in that city. From 1875 to 1879 he was bookkeeper for John Cunningham, Sons & Co., carriage manufacturers. He then came to Utica and established himself in business as an undertaker and embalmer, located at 230 Bleecker street. He at once instituted new ideas and improved methods, being among the first to perfect a treatment for the prevention of decomposition of human bodies. He was treasurer of the Oneida Club during its existence, and is a prominent member of several social and benevolent organizations. May 17, 1883, he was married in Toronto, Canada, to Theresa M., daughter of John Sheridan, of Rochester, and their children are Edward Patrick, Genevieve Elwood and Charles Raymond (twins), Frank Sheridan, Stella Louise, Lois Theresa, Howard Bernard, and Theresa Lozier (deceased). Mr. Sheridan was an extensive contractor in the construction of the Erie canal, having a contract for excavating that portion between a point in Wayne county and through the Montezuma marshes. (p. 344-345) [Top]

OSBORN, WILLIAM, was born in Sangerfield, May 9, 1809. As a boy he worked in his father's store and taught school for two winters. At the age of twenty-seven he was one of the commissioners for distributing the stock of the Oneida National Bank. In 1837, he went to Michigan to join an emigrating corps to locate the line of the Michigan Central Railway, and in 1841, he returned to Waterville and engaged in farming until 1845, when he sold his farm, excepting ten acres for a homestead, and went to Missouri, where he took an interest in the contract for building the Hannibal and St. Joseph Railroad, a contract amounting to $6,000,000, and they completed the railroad in 1849-50. He then organized the company to build the flat country railroad to Council Bluffs. In 1865, he took the contract to construct the central branch of the Union Pacific Railroad, extending from Atchison 100 miles west. All of his railroad contracts were of large magnitude, and were carried through most successfully by him. In 1830, he married Amelia Waldo, by whom he had one son and six daughters. (p. 68) [Top]

O'TOOLE, FRANK W., is a recent successor to the formerly well-known firm of O'Toole and Finnegan, boot and shoe dealers. Mr. O'Toole was born in Waterville, son of John & Ann (Clarke) O'Toole, both of whom are living in Waterville. He was educated in Kirkland Hall, Clinton, NY and has been identified with the trade for some eight years. (p. 113) [Top]

OVERROCKER, ENOS D., was born in the town of Westmoreland, N.Y., September 15, 1855. He was educated in the district schools, and, with the exception of seven years, has always followed farming. April 16, 1892, he married Elizabeth Deihl, of Vernon Center, by whom he has two children: James, and a baby boy not yet named. Mr. Overrocker's father, Jerome B., was born in the town of Vernon, N.Y., in 1811. He was well educated, and was a farmer by occupation. He married Roxanna Payne of Bloomington Point, Conn., by whom he had nine children: Sidney, James, Lafayette, Frank, Lucinda, Edward, Enos D., as above, a baby not named, and Ida. Mr. Overrocker died in 1886; his wife survives and resides with our subject. Mrs. Enos D. Overrocker's father, Ernest Deihl, was born in Germany, and came to the United States when a young man. He married and had seven children by his first wife, and six by his second wife. Mr. Overrocker's brother, Lafayette, was a soldier of the late war. He enlisted August 3, 1862, in Co. H., 117th N.Y.S. Vols., and was honorably discharged at the close of the war. The ancestry of the family is Dutch and German. (p. 143) [Top]

OWEN, F.W., was born at Albany in 1860. The late Ephraim Owen, his father, was born in Boonville, and was one of the most enterprising citizens of that town. He married Aurelia Riggs of this place, by whom he had three children: Frank, Jennie, and James (deceased). Mr. Owen died in 1877, aged fifty-six; and he was brother of John & Philip Owen. Mr. Frank Owen was educated at Trinity College, and upon the completion of the collegiate course, became associated with the canned goods business. He is secretary and treasurer of the Turin Canning and Pickling Co., having their factory at Turin and office at Boonville. (p. 39) [Top]

OWEN, JOHN was born in Boonville in 1828, of Welch and German ancestry. At twelve years of age, he went into the store of Peter Schuyler, and three years later to New York City as a dry goods salesman. His first independent business venture, was when he was nineteen years old, when he established the firm of Burns & Owen. In 1845, he came back to the town of his birth, and for twenty-five years conducted a general store, and lumber business, with branch houses at Oriskany Falls, and Hamilton, and in 1865 erected a woolen mil at Oriskany Falls. Since 1870, he has been identified with the clothing trade, with headquarters at Utica, and in 1874, established a large and magnificent store at Indianapolis. Personally, Mr. Owen is most genial and unassuming. (p. 23) [Top]

OWEN, JOHN C., was born in the town of Steuben, N.Y., February 21, 1829, son of Owen and Mary Owen, and he settled in this county in 1820. Mrs. Mary Owen was a son [sic] of Richard and Susan Jones, who came from Wales and settled in the town of Steuben about 1801, and their children were: Richard, John, Mary and Isaac. Mr. and Mrs. Owen's children were: John C., and Charles, who resides on the homestead in Steuben. John C. married Charlotte E., daughter of Wilbur Shaw. He is engaged in farming owning 1,000 acres and also cheese manufacturing. He was supervisor of Steuben two years and justice of the peace for one term. He was also president of Trenton village four years. He is a member of Remsen F & A.M., No. 677, also I.O.O.F. and Grange No. 635, of Trenton. Owen's brothers and sisters were Humphrey, Elizabeth, Robinson, John W., Thomas and Kittie Hughes. (p. 217) [Top]

OWEN, ROBERT C., was born in Utica, N. Y., December 14, 1828. His father, Richard Owen, was born in Wales and came to the United States when seventeen years of age, and settled in Albany, N. Y. He afterward removed to Oneida county where he married Eleanor Edwards, who was born in Deerfield, N. Y. Later he settled on a farm in the town of Floyd where he remained until his death. Robert C., the eldest of five children received a common school education. At the age of sixteen he engaged as clerk in the store of White Brothers in Alder Creek, N. Y., where he remained several years. He was afterwards employed as clerk in the store of J. Howe & Co. in Remsen, N. Y., and later in the firm of Hill Brothers, Rome, N. Y. In 1857 he started for himself in the mercantile business in Rome, removing to Clinton, N. Y., in 1860, where has since remained being one of the leading men of the town. In 1857 he married Blanche Edwards, of Remsen, N. Y., by whom he has four children: Ida M., Nellie B., Jennie V., and Milton Edwards. Mr. Owen is a stockholder in the New Hartford Cotton Company, also in the Citizens' Bank and Trust Company, Chattanooga, Tenn., and a director in Texas Loan Agency of Corsicana, Texas. About twenty years ago Mr. Owen was elected ruling elder, trustee and treasurer of the Presbyterian church in Clinton, which offices he still holds. (p. 302) [Top]

OWEN, WILLIAM E., was born on a farm near Oswestry, on the border between Wales and England, October 25, 1844, and came to America with his father, Thomas, and brother in 1851. The family settled in Utica, where the father engaged in the lumber business and died in 1855. Mr. Owen first became a clerk in a drug store in New York city and was employed in the pistol factory in Utica during the war. He then spent a year in Great Britain, and in June, 1866, entered the employ of Owen & Griffith, flour, grain, butter, cheese dealers on the corner of Liberty and Seneca streets; he bought out the interest of Mr. Griffith in 1870, and the firm continued as W. M. Owen & Company, until January 1, 1889, when W. E. Owen became sole owner. In 1871 he married Margaret M. Jones, daughter of Andrew Jones, of Yorkville, N. Y. She died in July, 1893, leaving three children: Frederick W., Augusta, and Frances G. (p. 220) [Top]