Judge Patrick Byrne, who is numbered among the leading farmers and stock raisers of Meramec Township, was born in County Meath, Ireland, February 1, 1820 and is the son of James and Bridget Byrne. James Byrne was fairly educated, and was a farmer by occupation. He came to the United States in 1849, and spent the summer in Wilmington, Del., after which he removed west to St. Louis, and in 1850 to Jefferson
County, where he purchased a small tract of land, which is still a part
of the Byrne tract. On this he passed the remainder of his days. The
mother died in Ireland. Patrick received a fair education in attendance
at the common schools, and after coming to Jefferson County with his
father, taught one term of school in Meramec Township. He was first
married to Miss Catherine Campbell, of St. Louis, who lived only a year
afterward. His second marriage was to Rosa Byrne, February 3, 1855.
She was a native of County Louth, Ireland, but came to the United States
in 1855. Eleven children were born to this union, eight of whom are now
living: James, Thomas, Patrick, John, of St. Louis, engaged in the
commission business; Christopher, who is preparing for the priesthood;
Mary, J., Rosan and Margaret E. Mr. Byrne has 800 acres of land in
different tracts on Big River, and all this fine property was obtained
by his own unaided efforts. In 1859 he, in company with his cousin,
Patrick Dunigan, established a store on Big River, which they ran for
five years very successfully. In 1865 Mr. Byrne purchased a mill low
down on the river, which he has since rebuilt and run for many years,
but is now owned by his son James. He is a Democrat in politics, and his
first presidential vote was cast for James Buchanan. He was for several years justice of the peace, of Meramec Township, and he, in company with others, built the first mile of macadamized road ever built in the
county, and received the first bonds ever issued by Jefferson County for
that purpose. In 1884 he was elected associate judge of the Jefferson
County Court from the First District, and served with credit for one term.
He was also at one time district assessor.