John Breen, Donner Party

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John Breen

Birthdate: (71)
Birthplace: Ontario, Canada, Ontario, Canada
Death: July 22, 1903 (71)
San Juan Bautista, San Benito Co., CA, San Juan Bautista, San Benito County, California, United States
Place of Burial: San Juan Bautista, San Benito County, California, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of Patrick Breen and Margaret Breen, Donner Party
Husband of Leah Margaret Breen
Father of Margaret Breen; Patrick Breen; Adelaide Breen; Thomas Frank Breen; Mary Catherine Breen and 3 others
Brother of Edward Breen, Donner Party; Patrick Breen, Donner Party; Simon Breen, Donner Party; James F. Breen, Donner Party; Patrick Breen, Donner Party and 2 others

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About John Breen, Donner Party

Survived, age 14

More about John: Survivor of The Donner Party

Eldest son of Patrick and Margaret Bulger Breen.

Wife - Leah Margaret Smith, married 1852 in San Juan Bautista.

Children - Margaret Jane Lillie, Patrick Edward, John Joseph, Thomas Frank, Adelaide A., Mary Catherine, Isabelle, Alice Gertrude, Charlotte A., and Ellen A. BREEN.

John went to the diggings in 1849 and returned with $12,000 worth of gold, a fortune in those days. His father used it to purchase the Castro Adobe and other property. John's diligence as a youth of 16 thus laid the foundation of his family's later prosperity.

In 1856 Eliza W. Farnham published an account of the Donner Party, using John Breen as one of her informants. In 1877 he wrote a memoir for historian H. H. Bancroft and two years later he corresponded with C. F. McGlashan.

John Breen was a supervisor of Monterey County, and after San Benito County was created was supervisor from the San Juan precinct for years, occupying, from time to time, the position of chairman of the board.

A more honest and incorruptible man than John Breen never lived in San Benito County. He was a very unassuming man, spoke but little, and when he did speak he talked directly to the point. He did not decide without due deliberation and once his mind was made up nothing could move him. San Benito County owes much to John Breen, for due to his careful manipulation of its finances, coupled with a desire to advance its progress, it owes much of its present prosperity.

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John Breen, Donner Party's Timeline

February 21, 1832
Ontario, Canada
Age 19
Age 23
Age 25
Age 28
Age 32
Age 34
Age 37
Age 43