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Dictionary of Miramichi Biography

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O'BRIEN, JOHN MCPEAKE, lumber scaler, businessman, farmer, and sportsman; b. Nelson, 24 Aug 1891, s/o John O'Brien and Bridget Lavinia McPeake; brother of Joseph Leonard O'Brien; m. Rita Barry (a d/o Jeremiah H. Barry, of Fredericton, chief justice of New Brunswick); d. Newcastle, 14 Feb 1955.

After spending a year at St Dunstan's University (1907-08) J. McPeake ("Mac") O'Brien worked as a lumber scaler. He had an early involvement in his father's business and was one of the partners of the O'Brien Co. In later years he was in partnership with his brother J. Leonard O'Brien in Chatham Industries Ltd. He was also a dairy farmer, and in 1942, one of the incorporators and the first vice-president of the Northumberland County Co-Operative Creamery Ltd.

O'Brien served for a time on the County Council and was warden in 1948. He was a longtime member of the County School Finance Board, president of the Miramichi Exhibition Association for two terms, a charter member of the Newcastle Rotary Club, and an officer of the Knights of Columbus. In 1954 he delivered an informative address to the Rotary Club on the history of the lumber industry on the Miramichi during the first half of the 20th century.

A well-known horseman and sports enthusiast, O'Brien died while attending a hockey game at the Sinclair Arena in Newcastle. He was survived by his wife, Rita Barry.


[b] church records [d] Commercial World 17 Feb 1955 / English; Hubbard; MacMillan