|370||BIOGRAPHICAL AND PORTRAIT CYCLOPEDIA|
town, Blair county, Pennsylvania. He is an Irishman, possessed of the proverbially affable disposition of that most lovable people. He is a competent business man whose success has come by hard work and a thorough understanding of whatever he undertook. His father emigrated from the Emerald Isle to America in 1856, and located at Bell's Mills, near Altoona, where he lived until 1859. He then moved to Johnstown, Cambria county, living there until his death in 1867.
The public schools of Johnstown and Duff's Business college, of Pittsburg, furnished Mr. H.W.S. O'Brien an education. At eleven years of age he entered the mines, where he worked with characteristic conscientiousness for four years. At eighteen he opened a grocery store in Jobnstown, and was engaged in this business until the time of the great flood, which destroyed his store and goods, making it necessary for him to begin life anew, as it were. His new venture was in the hotel business, which he followed for about two years, and for which he was, because of his genial nature and gentlemanly bearing, particularly well-fitted. Two years after the organization of the city government, Mr. O'Brien was elected city clerk by the council of the city, and has held the position ever since. He is a strong, energetic democrat, who has always taken an active part in the affairs and councils of his party. In 1895 the Democratic party testified to their appreciation of his worth and services by nominating him for the office of prothonotary of Cambria county.
The successes of Mr. O'Brien's life have not happened through good luck. He has the faculty of his race in adapting himself to the notch which he is called upon to fill.
HOWARD DAVIS.--This enterprising business man of Conemaugh, Cambria county, is a son of Timothy R. and Lidie (Burkhart) Davis, and was born in Jackson township, Cambria county, Pennsylvania, October 18, 1860.
His grandfather, Richard Davis, was born in Wales, and emigrated to this country when about eighteen years old. He engaged in farming in Cambria township, near Ebensburg, and followed this occupation for fifty-three years. He was an old-line whig, and a member of the Baptist church, in which he was a deacon until his death. This occurred in April, 1866.
The grandfather of our subject was a good and reliable man and the father of a large family, all of whom are respected and worthy citizens. All of his children are living, except two, Willie and Katie. All are married and living in Cambria county, except Mattie, who lives in Reynoldsville, Jefferson county, Pennsylvania.
Timothy R. Davis, father of Howard Davis, married Lydia Burkhart, a daughter of Joseph Burkhart, of Cambria township, in October, 1857. He was educated in the common schools, and after leaving school engaged in the lumber business, until 1886, when he retired from business with a competency sufficient to maintain him in comfort for the rest of his days. He is a Protestant in religion and a republican in politics. He held the office of borough constable for six years, besides having filled various other township offices. In his county he was known and esteemed as a political leader of influence and worth. He had eight children, four boys and four girls. One boy is dead, the rest are living, and the girls are all married, Josephine married Daniel Kerr, of Indiana county, October, 1876,