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Source: Album of Genealogy and Biography, Cook County, Illinois with Portraits 3rd ed. revised and extended (Chicago: Calumet Book & Engraving Co., 1895), pp. 626-627

JOHN DURKEE BROWN, who is now living in retirement at Wilmette, has been an exemplary citizen of Cook County for nearly thirty years, and is well entitled to Honorable mention in this volume. He was born at Yarmouth, Nova Scotia, September 9, 1832. He is the son of William and Lucinda (Durkee) Brown, both of whom were natives of Yarmouth.

William Brown, son of William Brown, was a scion of a prominent English family, and came to America about 1775, settling at Yarmouth. He became an extensive land-owner, and most of the town was built on the tract which he owned. He was a sea-captain and vessel-owner. William Brown, senior, was the father of a large family, and five of his sons, Thomas, Benjamin, Joseph, William and Samuel, were vessel-owners and masters. William Brown, father of the subject of this sketch, was lost at sea, off Kingston, Jamaica, in 1845.

Mrs. Lucinda Brown died at Westport, Nova Scotia, in March, 1894. She was the daughter of John Durkee, a sea-captain of English descent, who lived to the age of ninety-six years. His wife, who died at the age of ninety-four, was of Dutch descent.

John D. Brown, while a boy, made several voyages with his father. When fifteen years of age he went to Eastport, Maine, where he learned the carpenter's trade, ship-finishing and house-building being his specialties. After four years spent in Eastport, and one at Robbinston, Maine, he returned to Yarmouth. In 1866 he came West, locating in Evanston, Illinois, where he followed his trade. Two years later he removed to Wilmette, where be has since resided.

In 1870 he accidentally injured his left eye, causing total loss of sight. Being unfitted for his trade, he learned the art of broom-making, and carried on a factory for many years.

He was married, in November, 1853, to Elizabeth C., daughter of Charles Allen, of Eastport, Maine. She was born at Corinna Center, Maine, near Bangor. They have six children living, namely: Clara Lucinda, Charles William, Gilbert Henry, John Melville, Walter Tolman and Allanson Stewart. Gilbert H. and Allanson S. live at Evanston, and the others at Wilmette.

Mr. Brown was formerly a member of the Baptist Church, but is not now affiliated with any religious society, as there is none of that sect at Wilmette. He is a charter member of Evans Lodge of the Masonic order. He has always been a strict temperance man, and was connected with many temperance societies in former years. He has been identified with the Republican party since becoming a citizen of the United States, but has never been an office-seeker.

— Submitted by Sherri Hessick on March 4, 2001

DISCLAIMER:  The submitter is not related to the subject of this biography nor is she related to anyone mentioned in the biography.