O'Brien, Oregon History
by Edith Decker
In 1899 an early settler, John O'Brien, moved west to homestead and stopped at a crossroads on the old stage road in the Illinois Valley. By 1930 a town was present.
Although the date of establishment for the post office is unknown, it was a log cabin moved from Waldo. In 1937 the building, still standing as the O'Brien Store, served as both a post office and a store.
O'Brien was established as a crossroads, and later, a mill was built near the town.
In 1949 Karl Preston bought the store and became the postmaster; he also put the second phone in O'Brien. Preston was known for delivering messages to the locals at all hours.
Elk Creek Lodge was a well-known eating place nearby. The menu had no prices. Instead, patrons put money in a box on the way out according to what they thought the meal was worth.
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Josephine County Historical Society