Biography of M. J. Bracken
Cambria County, PA Biographies

M. J. Bracken is one of Johnstown's most prominent coal operators and representative citizens, He was born at Gallitzin, in Cambria County, Pa., and is the son of Michael and Louisa (Christie) Bracken.

Michael Bracken was born in Johnstown, March 26, 1831, the son of Michael Bracken, who was born in Kings 'County, Ireland, about 1790, and who for a number of years was a tenant of Lord Ross, the scientist. In 1825 Michael Bracken emigrated to the United States and after living for a short time in Pittsburgh removed to Johnstown. His son, Michael Bracken, became one of the most successful business men of Cambria County. He began in the lumber business on a small scale and later was a railroad builder, laying the road through the old Portage tunnel. At the time of his death, in 1910, Mr. Bracken was one of the oldest living natives of Cambria County, and was a highly esteemed citizen of the cornmunity. His wife died in 1887. They are buried at Galiitzin, where they spent the latter years of their lives. Mr. and Mrs. Bracken were the parents of the following children: Francis B., lives in Philadelphia; J. Hayden, lives in Johnstown; William C., lives at Gallitzin, Pa.; Joseph L., deceased; John P., lives at Pittsburgh, Pa.; V. Paul, lives in Johnstown; Michael J., the subject of this sketch; and Lewis C., deceased.

M. J. Bracken was educated in the schools of Gallitzin and attended Indiana State Normal School. He then entered the engineering department of the Webster Coal Company of Cresson, and was later with the Keystone Coal and Coke Company of Greensburg, in charge of their operations in the Clearfield district of Central Pennsylvania, being located at Gallitzin, Pa., until the fall of 1921, when he moved to 1071 McKinley Avenue, Johnstown, Pa, He was general superintendent of the following mines and coal companies: Argyle Coal Company of South Fork, Pa.; Inland Coal Company, mines located at GaIlitzin, Nettleton, Saxman, and Starford, Pa.; and the Mountain Coal Company of Dunlo, Pa. In 1916 the Mineral Point Coal Company was organized with the following officers: M. J. Bracken, president; Walter B, Bracken, Chicago, secretary; F. B. Bracken, Philadelphia, treasurer; and Paul E. Henise, Johnstown,. assistant secretary. Mr. Bracken is also president of the Argyle Coal Company, organized in 1922, of which F. B. Bracken is vice president, and Paul E. Henise secretary and treasurer. These two coal companies own and operate six mines in the state and are wholesale and retail dealers. Offices are in the First National Bank Building, Johnstown, Pa. In 1920 the B. & B. Motor Company was organized with the following officers: J. Hayden Bracken, president; M. J. Bracken, vice president and treasurer; and Paul E. Henise, secretary. Office, salesroom and garage at corner Franklin and Poplar streets, Johnstown, Pa. In 1924 the Station Supply Company was organized with the following officers: M. J. Bracken, president; F. B. Bracken, vice president; Paul B. Henise, secretary and treasurer. This company is engaged in general merchandise business at 507 South Main Street, Gallitzin, Pa.

On April 2, 1907, Mr. Bracken was united in marriage with Miss Marie Conrad, the daughter of William and Amanda Conrad, both deceased.

Politically Mr. Bracken is a Democrat. He is a member of St. Patrick's Catholic Church and is identified with the Engineering Society of Western Pennsylvania. He is a member of the Cambria County Fair Association, and is serving on the industrial department board. He is past president of the Johnstown Rotary Club, and in 1925 was vice president of the Johnstown Chamber of Commerce, and is now serving that body as a good roads committeeman. Mr. Bracken is widely known as an ardent worker in the good roads movement of the county. He is also a director of the Johnstown Motor Club. He is a member of the Pennsylvania Society of New York, member of the board of directors of the American Red Cross and of Johnstown Memorial Hospital (Conemaugh Valley Memorial Hospital). He is on the board of governors and chairman of the grounds committee of the Sunnehanna Country Club. On June 8, 1926, Mr. Bracken received the degree of LL. B. from St. Francis College, Loretta, Pa. He is well liked and highly esteemed in the community in which he has spent his entire life. He is also a member of the following: Bachelors Club of Johnstown, Pa.; Benevolent Protective Order of Elks, Altoona, Pa.; Summit Country Club, Cresson, Pa.; Penn Athletic Club, Philadelphia, Pa.

History of Cambria County, Pennsylvania
By: John E. Gable
Historical Publishing Company
Topeka-Indianapolis, 1926

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