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Carrie Christensen

Karen "Carrie" Christensen was born on 11 March 1888 in Omaha. A twin born at the same time apparently died shortly after birth, although no official record of this child has been found. No record has been found of her baptism. As a child, Karen was known as Carrie. Later in life, she used this as her formal name. When Carrie was born, her family was living at South 16th and Hickory Streets.

By about 1893 the Christensen family was living at 1469 Phelps Street in their own home. This photo of Carrie was taken there, along with the rest of her family.

(The entire photograph can be seen here;
a detail of the family can be seen here.)

She attended grade school in Omaha, and graduated from high school there.

Carrie Christensen
This photograph of Carrie Christensen was taken about 1900, when she was about 12 years old.

A larger image of this photo can be seen here.

According to her half-sister Anne DeWitt, Carrie may have attended either Bellevue College in Bellevue, Nebraska, or Hastings College in Hastings, Nebraska, but no official record has been found.

In about 1906, Carrie moved to Sheridan, Wyoming, and obtained employment with the CB&Q RR as a stenographer. For a time, she lived with her older brother Chris and his wife Vinnie. Chris was already there working for the railroad.

On 5 March 1908, Carrie married Raymond Leo O’Brien, who worked as a clerk for the CB&Q RR at its Sheridan Station.

This photo of Ray was taken in Carthage, Illinois, near where he lived before he went west. A larger image of this photo can be viewed here.
Raymond O'Brien

The marriage was performed by the Rev. M. DeWitt Long, Pastor of the First Presbyterian Church. An announcement of their marriage was in the Sheridan Post of 6 March 1908:
A very quiet but pretty wedding occurred Thursday afternoon at 2 o'clock at the residence of Mr. Chris Christensen, brother of the bride, when Miss Carrie Christensen and Mr. R. L. O'Brien were united in marriage by Rev. Long. The bride was unattended and wore a handsome gown of white net over white silk, and carried a beautiful bouquet of white roses. A very few intimate friends witnessed the ceremony. The guests were Mrs. Ernest Ralph, Miss Margaret Holloway, Miss Alice Lyman and Mr. Hufford. A delicious luncheon was served by Mrs. Christensen. Mr. and Mrs. O'Brien left today for Omaha and other eastern points, where they will visit for a few weeks. Mr. O'Brien has been in the dispatcher's office here for several years and is well and favorably known. Miss Christensen has also made her home in Sheridan for two years, and both have a large circle of acquaintances who join with The Post in wishing them a happy and prosperous journey through life.

Carrie Christensen
Photo of Carrie from about the time of her marriage.

A larger image of this photo can be viewed here.

On 17 June 1910, Raymond and Carrie had a son, Harold Elmer O’Brien. He was born in a small house on what was known as “High School Hill” in Sheridan.

A larger image of this photo can be viewed here.
Birthplace of Harold O'Brien, Sheridan, WY

While Carrie stayed at home raising her son, her husband Ray O’Brien continued to advance with the CB&Q RR. By 1915, he was the Passenger and Freight Agent.

By at least the late 1920s, the marriage of Ray and Carrie was failing. They were divorced on 25 June 1928, and Ray moved to Flint, Michigan. Their son Harold went through the Sheridan school system, graduating from Sheridan High School in 1928. A year later, Carrie and Harold also moved to Flint, and were there by May 1929.

In the 1930s, Carrie continued to live in Flint close to her son Harold’s family. While there, she worked as a clerk in an attorney’s office. Some time after 1939, Harold O’Brien and family moved to Standish, Michigan, where Harold became manager of the A&P grocery store. Carrie also moved to Standish. Later, Harold became owner of the Ben Franklin Variety Store in Standish. From that time until her health no longer permitted it, she worked as the bookkeeper for the store.

O'Brien 25th Anniversary
This photograph was taken in Standish, Michigan, on the occasion of Harold and Eleanor O'Brien's 25th wedding anniversary in May 1958.

Carrie (far left) next to her only son, Harold E. O'Brien and his wife Eleanor (Roat) O'Brien. Next to Eleanor are her parents, Jess and Katharine (Thomas) Roat.

A larger image of this photo can be viewed here.

In the late 1960s, Carrie’s health failed and she was placed in the Iosco Medical Facility in Iosco, Michigan. She passed away there on 16 February 1970. Carrie’s remains were cremated, and in accordance with her wishes, her ashes were scattered “out west.”

Raymond and Carrie Christensen O’Brien had one son, Harold, who had three children: James Harold, born 1937, Robert Lyle, born 1939, and Patricia Irene, born 1944.

Return to Children of Lauritz Christensen

Last updated August 2007.
Patricia O'Brien Hellmers

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Copyright © 2006-2007 Patricia I. Hellmers. All Rights Reserved.