Biography of James J. & Andrew J. O'Brien
Kings County, CA Biographies





O'BRIEN BROTHERS.
Probably no industry in Hanford is more generally or widely known in Kings county than the O'Brien Brothers Bakery, the product of which is used far and wide over this county. The excellency of this product is not mere chance, but is the result of the most painstaking care in the mixing of ingredients and their care afterward until the loaf is ready for the consumer. From twenty five hundred to three thousand loaves are baked daily and the demand for "O'Brien Bread" is constantly and steadily increasing. Three delivery trucks are kept constantly busy delivering to the west side towns and cities of the county and to the local stores. Eleven different kinds of bread are baked and in the bake shop three men are employed on pastry and four on bread. The O'Brien brothers bought this bakery in 1920 and, at a cost of approximately twenty five thousand dollars, they transformed the place into a modern, up to date plant, equal to anything in this part of the state. The improvements included a continuous fire oven, and mechanical dividers, rounders and moulders. A concrete floor was laid in the workroom and the building was renovated throughout. When O'Brien brothers began operations here ninety per cent of the bread used in Kings county came from Fresno, but now the latter place supplies only ten per cent of the local demand.

James J. O'Brien, senior member of the firm of O'Brien Brothers, was born in Waterbury, Vermont, on the 27th day of January, 1882. He was educated in the public schools of his native locality and in 1899, at the age of seventeen years, came to California. Locating in Oakland, he learned the trade of a baker in the shop of the Merrick Baking Company, for whom he worked eight years. From there he went to Los Angeles, where he worked for the Meek Bakery Company for a time, going from there to Portland, Oregon, where he was for a time in the employ of the United States Baking Company. Eighteen years ago Mr. O'Brien went to Santa Cruz, California, where he was associated with a brother, G. A. O'Brien, in the baking business. In 1920 Mr. O'Brien came to Hanford and with his brother, Andrew J., formed the partnership which now exists as O'Brien Brothers.

James J. O'Brien is a member of Hanford Lodge No. 1259, Benevolent Protective Order of Elks, and the Knights of Columbus. In 1914 he was married to Miss Sarah Mullins.

Andrew J. O'Brien was born in Waterbury, Vermont, on the 15th day of September, 1892. He attended the public schools there and remained at home until 1909, when, at the age of seventeen years, he went to Santa Cruz, California, and became associated in the baking business with his brothers, G. A. and J. J. O'Brien. In 1920 he came to Hanford and engaged in the same business with his brother, James J. During the World war Mr. O'Brien enlisted for military service in the Three Hundred and Nineteenth Regiment of United States Engineers, which became a part of the Eighth Division. He was in training at Camp Fremont, California, and then went overseas, where he was engaged in construction work until August 15, 1919, when he returned to the United F tates and was discharged at Camp Devins, Massachusetts. He is a member of Hanford Lodge No. 1259, Benevolent Protective Order of Elks, and the Knights of Columbus.

The O'Brien brothers, though comparative newcomers to Hanford, have already demonstrated in an unmistakable way not only their sound business ability and enterprising methods, but have also impressed their fellow citizens with their public spirited interest in the welfare of the community, while their genial and accommodating manner has won them a host of warm friends.

From:
History of Tulare County, California
By: Kathleen Edwards Small
and
Kings County, California
By: J. Larry Smith
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company
Chicago 1926


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