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 George Elias O'Brien

George Elias O'Brien

Richville, Morgan County, Utah, USA
Death 9 May 1888 (aged 18)
Richville, Morgan County, Utah, USA
Burial Kaysville, Davis County, Utah, USA
Plot 3-49-B-9
Memorial ID 121134 · View Source
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Fourth son of John O'Brien and Rebecca Angelina King.

George had nine brothers, one which died at nine when George was three years old. He also had two sisters, who lived to maturity.

His last brother was born two months prior to George's death; and two years earlier, his parents had also lost a five month old son. The death of three beloved sons took a toll on their mother from which she never recovered.

George was shot and killed by horse thieves who took the family's matched pair of white Belgian draft horses. The killers had come by the Morgan Valley Ranch a few days previous, on the pretext of returning to buy the pair. But in fact, returned to steal them, shooting 18 year old George E. and leaving him tangled in a barbed wire fence.

His father, John, recognized the murderers a few months later at the 24th of July parade in Salt Lake City. They had the horses with them, but authorities were not able to apprehend them. His mother was always frightened that they would return and try to kill John and her two sons who had seen them.

She begged Great Grandpa John to sell the farm and their Layton home and move to Idaho; but he would not run away, and continued to hunt the killers. This led to her further distress and when her 25 year old died 12 years later, she persuaded her two older sons & their families to take her to Canada, where she thought they would be safe.

Grandpa John refused to leave their property and the graves of his four sons. They remained married and Grandma Rebecca returned periodically, but insisted that her sons, who had identified the killers, remain in Canada.

Grandpa died four years after she left and she died in Canada four years after his death. He is buried at Kaysville with his other sons and she, in Canada, with those children she convinced to flee. Their home in Layton was passed to their son, Jonathan Silas O'Brien.

George E.'s murderers were never caught.




  • Maintained by: history4sure
  • Originally Created by: Utah State Historical Society
  • Added: 2 Feb 2000
  • Find A Grave Memorial 121134
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for George Elias O'Brien (27 Feb 1870–9 May 1888), Find A Grave Memorial no. 121134, citing Kaysville City Cemetery, Kaysville, Davis County, Utah, USA ; Maintained by history4sure (contributor 46997739) .