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California Genealogy and History Archives

San Bernardino County and Riverside County


JAMES E. BROWN lived for sixty years in Illinois, where he was a farmer and manufacturer, and for the past quarter of a century has effectively employed his capital and enterprise in the productive end of the citrus fruit industry in Riverside County, where he is one of the old and honored residents.

Mr. Brown was born in Illinois, April 2, 1837. His grandfather, who died about 1817, participated in the War of the Revolution and also in the second war with Great Britain. George W. Brown, father of James E., was a native of New York state. He was an early settler in Northern Illinois, and was the patentee of the first corn planter, which was known as the Brown corn planter. He served at one time as mayor of Galesburg, and being too old for active duty he nevertheless contributed most liberally of money and influence for the Union cause during the Civil war. George W. Brown married Maria T. Terpenning, also a native of New York state, and of Dutch and English parentage.

James E. Brown acquired a district school education in Illinois. He worked on his father's farm until the latter engaged in manufacturing, and from 1862 until 1874 he farmed on his own account near Galesburg. In 1874 he joined the manufacturing business of his father, and when the company was incorporated in 1880 he became treasurer, an office he continued to hold and the duties of which he performed until the death of his father in 1895.

It was in January, 1896, that Mr. Brown came to California, and he has since acquired many active interests in the business of growing and handling fruit. He owns six 10 acre groves, three on East Eighth Street and three on Linden Street. He is a director in the East Riverside Water Company and has been a director of the Monte Vista Fruit Association since it was formed and was one of the original members of the La Mesa Fruit Company. He was formerly a stockholder and also a director in the Orange Growers Bank, the Citizens Bank and the Riverside National Bank. Mr. Brown votes as an independent republican. His home at 590 Fourteenth Street was built of cement blocks in 1906, and is one of the substantial and attractive residences of the city.

May 2, 1859, Mr. Brown married Miss Mary Eleanor Musser, a native of Ohio. She died at Galesburg, Illinois, in 1910. Of their three children only one survives. Jennie Elizabeth was the wife of M. J. Daugherty, and is survived by a son, Edwin M. Daugherty. The son, George Edwin Brown, died in 1892. Florence May, the surviving daughter, is the wife of A. L. Woodill.


History of San Bernardino and Riverside Counties 
By: John Brown, Jr., Editor for San Bernardino County 
And James Boyd, Editor for Riverside County 
With selected biography of actors and witnesses of the period 
of growth and achievement.
Volume III, the Western Historical Association, 1922, 
The Lewis Publishing Company, Chicago, ILL

Transcribed by Peggy Hooper 2011