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Michael Brickley (1849-1922)

From History of the Saint Croix Valley (ARC F 587 .S14 E3 1909 v. 2 in the UWRF Archives)

Michael Brickley is a native of New York City, born August 2, 1849, a son of Michael and Margaret (White) Brickley, both born in County Cork, Ireland.  They came to America in 1848 and located in New York city for two years, then went to Dunkirk, N. Y., in 1850.  While there the father was an attendant for a government lighthouse on Lake Erie.  In 1855 he located to Dunleith, Ill.  April, 1857, he settled on forty acres of land in Richmond township, Wisconsin.  To this land he added eighty acres more.  He did general farming until his death, October 1, 1874.  The mother died December 17, 1892.  The subject of this sketch received an education in the common schools of New York and Wisconsin.  After leaving school while still practically a mere youth, he enlisted at New Richmond in Company G, Fourth Wisconsin Cavalry, serving under Colonel Boardman and Captain Knowles.  He participated in the battle of Redwood Ridge, Louisiana, with Colonel Boardman.  In the battle of Mobile, Mr. Brickley fought by the Spanish forts and he also participated in the battle of Jackson, Miss.  He was honorably discharged at Madison, Wis., July 8, 1865.  Coming back to New Richmond, Wis., he was stricken with illness resulting from life in the army.  For three years he was an invalid and at one time it was thought that he would not recover.  In 1869 he took up farming with his father, and one year later he went into lumbering, following this business on the Willow and Hay rivers and on Turtle creek.  He was also engaged in rafting on the Mississippi.  In 1874 his father gave him forty acres of land in Richmond township, where he carried on general farming until the spring of 1879, when he sold the forty acres for the purpose of buying 160 acres in Cylon township, Wisconsin.  In 1888 he returned to Richmond township and took up farming on the old homestead.  Then he moved into the city and served as constable and deputy sheriff for seven years.  In 1899 he was appointed United States rural mail carrier, which position he still holds.

Mr. Brickley was married, November 18, 1874, to Mary, the daughter of Michael and Ellen Gillen, of Cylon township.  The father died at Sioux City, Iowa, while visiting a daughter there, and the mother passed away at the home of a daughter in New Richmond.  Mr. and Mrs. Brickley have been blessed with eight children: Ellen, Michael H., Margaret, Charles, Marie, Eliza, Thomas, and Della.

Mr. Brickley has been prominent in the G. A. R.  He has been commander and held all the junior offices of the B. J. Humphrey post of New Richmond.  He was also elected to the office of ais-se-camp in the state department of the G. A. R.  He is a Republican in politics and attends the Catholic church.

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