Tag Archives: dayton lawyers

Bio Sketch: lawyer Frank Breene (1860-1925) & teacher Carrie Breene (1864-1944)

Frank S. Breene and Carrie A. Breene were the youngest children of William Gale Breene (~1820-1896), a Dayton tailor who was a native of Ireland, and his wife Margaret (Jernee) Breene (~1822-1895).

William and Margaret (Jernee) Breene had 10 children:

  1. Francis M. Breene (~1844-1847);
  2. Martha Jane Breene (~1846-1918), sometimes called Jennie, who married Joseph T. Patton (~1841-1900) and moved to Detroit, Michigan;
  3. William H. Breene (~1848-1901), an inspector in Dayton;
  4. John J. Breene (~1851-1906), who moved to Kansas;
  5. Mary Gale Breene (1853-1939), who never married, was a teacher and principal in Dayton public schools for many years;
  6. Margaret Breene (~1855-1892), who married James D. Loughridge (~1855-1910) and moved to Louisville, Kentucky;
  7. Emma Breene (~1855-1856);
  8. Charles L. G. Breene (1859-1943), who was a tailor in Dayton for many years;
  9. Frank Shuey Breene (1860-1925), a Dayton lawyer; and
  10. Carrie A. Breene (1864-1944), a Dayton teacher.


Frank Shuey Breene was born November 20, 1860, in Dayton, Ohio. He graduated in 1879 or 1880 from Dayton’s Central High School and began training for the bar soon afterwards. He apprenticed in the law office of Marshall & Gottschall. In May 1883, Frank was admitted to the bar.

Frank Breene, ca. 1907

Frank Breene, ca. 1907 (Dayton Daily News, 18 Sept. 1907, pg. 4)

Frank practiced law in Dayton for more than 40 years. Early in his career, Frank was a justice of the peace in Dayton. He also served two terms as city solicitor from 1910 to 1914. In November 1924, he made an unsuccessful bid for common pleas court judge. In politics, Frank was a Democrat.

Near the end of his life, Frank was a partner in the firm Breene, Dwyer, and Finn (with Albert J. Dwyer and Samuel L. Finn), which had an office in the Mutual Home Building. Dwyer had been Frank’s assistant during his time as city solicitor, and Finn had studied law under both Breene and Dwyer.

Frank was a member of fraternal organizations including the Elks Lodge No. 58 and the Knights of Pythias, Iola Lodge. He was a member of the Dayton Bar Association, and, when the elite Dayton Lawyers’ Club was founded in 1909, Frank Breene was among its original directors.

Frank S. Breene was never married. For many years, he and his two unmarried sisters, teachers Mary and Carrie Breene, lived together at 740 Superior Avenue (a large lot on the southeast corner of Superior and Easton) in the Old Dayton View neighborhood. The home site is now a grassy lot next to an apartment complex (736 Superior).

Frank S. Breene died of liver cancer on May 1, 1925, at his home on Superior Street in Dayton, Ohio, after an illness of several months. He was buried on May 4, 1925, in Woodland Cemetery in Dayton.

Tombstone of Frank Breene, Woodland Cemetery

Tombstone of Frank Breene, Woodland Cemetery, Dayton (Photo by the author, 29 Aug. 2012)


Carrie A. Breene was born October 22, 1864, in Dayton, Ohio. She graduated in 1883 or 1884 from Dayton’s Central High School. Her post-secondary education included the Dayton Normal School and the Columbia Teachers Colleges, as well as courses at Harvard University.

Carrie Breene, 1917

Carrie Breene, 1917 (Steele High School Annual, 1917, available in the Dayton Metro Library’s Local History Collection)

Carrie was a teacher in the Dayton public schools for 40 years. In 1884, she began teaching in one of the primary schools and continued in that position until 1898, when she became a teacher at Steele High School. Over the years, Carrie taught English, public speaking, history, and Latin. She retired in 1924 as one of the city’s best known public school teachers.

Carrie never married. She was was a member of the Young Woman’s Christian Association (YWCA), the Marlay Circle, the Woman’s Literary Club, and Westminster Presbyterian Church.

Carrie died of pneumonia on May 24, 1944, at Miami Valley Hospital in Dayton, Ohio. She was buried on May 27, 1944, in Woodland Cemetery in Dayton.

Carrie Breene tombstone, Woodland

Tombstone of Carrie Breene, Woodland Cemetery, Dayton (Photo by the author, 29 Aug. 2012)


Central High School. Brief History of the Alumni of Central High School, Dayton, Ohio. Dayton, OH: Alumni Association of the Central High School, 1887. Volume 3: pp. 2, 57.

Conover, Frank. Centennial Portrait and Biographical Record of the City of Dayton and Montgomery County, Ohio. [Chicago]: A. W. Bowen, 1897. Dayton Local History 977.172 C753C 1897.

Dalton, Curt. Portraits of Dayton. Dayton, OH: Asylum Graphics, 1993. Volume 1 & 2.

Dayton (OH) City Directories, 1886-1920. Dayton Metro Library.

“Dayton Deaths : Miss Carrie Breene.” Dayton Journal, 26 May 1944, p. 10.

Delta Kappa Gamma Society, Pi Chapter. Stories About Pioneer Women Teachers in Montgomery County, Ohio. Ohio: Delta Kappa Gamma Society, 1950. Dayton Local History B377172 D366S.

“Breene, Dwyer and Finn.” Official Annual Labor Review 2, no. 19 (1918). Accessed 26 July 2012, http://www.daytonhistorybooks.com/page/page/4478367.htm.

“Frank S. Breene Dies; Funeral is Set for Monday.” Dayton Journal, 2 May 1925, pp. 1-2.

Greer, David C. Sluff of History’s Boot Soles: An Anecdotal History of Dayton’s Bench and Bar. Wilmington, Ohio: Orange Frazer Press, 1996.

The Ohio Blue Book; or, Who’s Who in the Buckeye State: A Cyclopedia of Biography of Men and Women of Ohio. Toledo, OH: [s.n.], 1917.

“Ohio Deaths, 1908-1953.” FamilySearch web site. Accessed 16 July 2012, http://www.familysearch.org.

Steele High School Annual, 1909-1925. Dayton Metro Library.

U.S. Federal Census, 1850-1940, via Ancestry Library Edition.

Woodland Cemetery & Arboretum Interment Database, accessed 7 June 2012, http://www.woodlandcemetery.org.


This biographical sketch was originally written by Lisa P. Rickey in July 2012 for the Breene Family Papers (MS-030) finding aid at the Dayton Metro Library, 215 E. Third St., Dayton, Ohio, 45402; phone (937) 496-8654.

Additional information about the sketch’s subject can be found in that collection. For more information about the manuscript collection’s contents, please see the original finding aid (which includes a name index), available in the Local History Room of the Dayton Metro Library or the OhioLINK EAD Repository entry.

Please contact the Dayton Metro Library or this blog’s author for more information about how to access the original finding aid or the manuscript collection.