Bucks County PA History Names and Page # Index


PATRICK BREEN, who following the occupation of farming in Warwick township, has also been active and influential in political circles, was born in county Tipperary, Ireland, December 26, 1830, his parents being James and Mary (Hays) Breen, both of whom are natives of Ireland, where their marriage was celebrated. Mrs. Breen was of a distinguished family, one of her great uncles being a general in the English army. The paternal grandfather, John Breen, was a resident of Ireland and spent his entire life there. His only child was James Breen, who following his marriage settled upon a farm in Ireland, and all of his children were born in that country. In 1849 he emigrated to America, and the following year was joined by his family. He went first to New Jersey, but soon afterward removed to Bucks county, Pennsylvania, and located in Northampton township. He was there employed as a laborer and did some contracting on the turnpike. Later he purchased a small farm in Wrightstown township, and subsequently sold that property and bought a tract of land in Northampton township. His wife died in Northampton township in 1858, and he afterward married again. In his old age he and his second wife made their home with his son, Patrick, and he here died in 1881. He was a stanch Democrat in his political views, but never an aspirant for office. Both he and the mother of Patrick Breen were Catholics in religious faith. They had five children: Patrick; Johanna, who since 1861 has been in the convent known as Mount Hope Retreat near Baltimore, Maryland; Margaret, the wife of Patrick McNanaman; William, a prominent farmer, who died at Spring House; and Elizabeth, who became the wife of A. Colligan, of Jersey City, New Jersey, but both have passed away.

Patrick Breen pursued his education in subscription schools of his native land, and when nineteen years of age crossed the Atlantic to the new world. For four years he was employed as a laborer, and then rented a farm, remaining thereon for two years after his marriage, when in 1856 he purchased the farm upon which he now resides known as the Thomas Helm farm. It was then but partly improved, but he has erected a large commodious frame residence, a substantial barn and other necessary outbuildings for the shelter of grain and stock and has added all of the modern equipments, keeping his place in an excellent state of cultivation. He follows general farming and markets his products at Philadelphia. He also raises some stock, keeping a herd of good cows and selling the milk at the creamery. He has always been a practical and successful farmer, and is a stockholder in the Creamery Company.

In January, 1853, Mr. Breen was united in marriage to Miss Catherine Maher, who was born in Ireland, a daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Maher, who spent their entire lives in that country. Mrs. Breen was reared by an aunt, as was her brother, Timothy Maher, who came with her to America and who was later known as a leading agriculturist of his community. He died and was buried in Doylestown. In the family of Mr. and Mrs. Breen were nine children, of whom six died in childhood, including Lizzie, who passed away at the age of thirteen. The others are: William, who followed the butchering business; Thomas, who was a painter by tarde and possessed considerable artistic skill; and James, a butcher. The last named is the only one now living. Mrs. Catherine Breen departed this life in July, 1879, in the faith of the Catholic church. On the 24th of November, 1881, Mr. Breen was married to Miss Annie Brahan, who was born in Ireland, July, 1846, a daughter of Michael and Mary Brahan, also natives of that country whence they came to America in 1849, settling in Bucks county. Her father was an industrious man and hard worker. He voted with the Democracy, and both he and his wife were of the Catholic faith. He died in 1903 at the age of eighty years, while his wife’s death occurred in 1882, when she was seventy-five years of age. Their children were Annie; Kate, deceased; Maria, deceased, who was the wife of William J. Brennan; Bridget, deceased. Mr. and Mrs. Breen had one son, John, who was born January 15, 1892, and died April 14, 1892.

Mr. Breen gave his early political support to the Democracy, but at the opening of the rebellion, he became a champion of Republican principles. He is thoroughly informed on all questions pertaining to the history of the world. He has always taken an active interest in politics, has been judge of elections, and in 1892 was chosen to fill the position of clerk of quarter sessions in Bucks county, serving for three years in a manner creditable to himself and satisfactory to his constituents. In 1879 he was appointed by the legislature to the position of engineer for the capital at Harrisburg, and acted in that capacity for two years. He has a wide and favorable acquaintance in the county in which he has lived from early manhood to the present.

Text taken from p 336

Davis, William W. H., A. M. History of Bucks County, Pennsylvania [New York-Chicago: The Lewis PublishingCompany, 1905] Volume III

Transcribed May, 2002 as part of the Bucks Co., Pa., Early Family Project, www.rootsweb.com/~pabucks/bucksindex.html

Published May 2002 on the Bucks County, Pa.,

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