A native of Pennsylvania and a son of Irish parents, Joseph T. McBirney exemplified in his career the versatility and adaptability of his nationality, and the lessons of industry and thrift taught in the great state of his birth. His life began in 1866, and he is the son of Hugh and Elizabeth (Telford) McBirney, who were born, reared and married in Ireland and came to the United States, settling in Pennsylvania, where they remained until 1891, when they followed their son Joe to Colorado. Here the mother died in 1898, aged over seventy years, and the father is now living with his son. He was the fifth of their five children and remained at home until he reached his legal majority. He then went to work in a machine shop, and a year later engaged in the manufacture of shoes, which he also followed for a year. At the end of that period he began to learn the trade of a carpenter and after acquiring facility at it followed it with varying fortunes and in different places fifteen years. By that time the West had engaged his attention and he came to Colorado, settling at Newcastle, Garfield county. During the next two years he wrought at his trade, then bought the excellent ranch on which he now lives on Garfield creek. To the improvement and cultivation of this tract he has since sedulously devoted himself, and with such good result that he has transformed its once wild and unpromising conditions into a valuable and attractive home, worthy of the approval in which it is generally held and full of promise for future good on an expanding scale. It is not, however, to be supposed that these results have been attained without ardent and well-applied industry and judicious business management. Mr. McBirney has earned his success by his own efforts, and is entitled to all the satisfaction it justly affords him. He has also gained his firm and elevated place in the regard of his neighbors and friends on merit, deserving their good will by sterling manhood and obliging disposition and holding it by every commendable attribute of good citizenship.
Source: Bowen, A. W. Progressive Men of Western Colorado. Chicago: A. W. Bowen & Co., Publishers. 1905.