LEMUEL L. BROWN

Source: Album of Genealogy and Biography, Cook County, Illinois with Portraits 3rd ed. revised and extended (Chicago: Calumet Book & Engraving Co., 1895), pp. 20-21

LEMUEL LE CLAIRE BROWN, an active business man of Chicago, residing at Morgan Park, is a son of Lemuel Brown, of whom extended mention will be found on another page of this volume.  He was born at Le Claire, Scott County, Iowa, October 17, 1854.  Much of his early life was spent on stock farms at DeWitt, Iowa, and in Waubansee County, Kansas, at which points his father was an extensive farmer and stock-raiser.  The son was employed a great deal in herding cattle and caring for sheep, so that his educational opportunities were limited.  Beside the little time he attended the common schools, he spent two terms at the DeWitt High School.  However, nature endowed him with an observing mind, and reading, observation, and an active business career have provided him with an abundant stock of general information, without which no man is properly equipped for the battle of life.

In the summer preceding his majority, young Brown, with his father’s consent and blessing, set out to make his way in the world, his capital at that time consisting of fifty cents in money, supplemented by a stout heart and abundant energy.  He soon made his way to Iowa, where his first permanent employment was on the Missouri Valley & Sioux City Railroad, the first month being spent in work as a section hand.  He was soon transferred to a surveying party, which laid out the approaches to the bridge across the Missouri River at Blair, Nebraska.  One of his duties through the summer was the carriage of the mail across the river to Blair from Missouri Valley each morning, which was accomplished by means of a skiff.  In the fall he went to Lemont, in this county, and was employed by his uncle, N. J. Brown (see biography elsewhere), as timekeeper in his immense quarries at that point.  When the quarries closed down for the winter, he went to Lansing, Michigan, and pursued a course of commercial studies in the business college there.  April 1, 1876, he returned to Lemont and was bookkeeper and shipping clerk for his uncle until the fall of 1877.  The following winter was spent in New York City, and in the spring he returned to Lemont.

February 26, 1879, Mr. Brown was married to Miss Ida E. Derby, daughter of S. L. Derby, a prominent business man of Lemont, extended mention of whom is made in this work.  Six of the eight children born to Mr. and Mrs. Brown survive, namely: William L., born at Topeka, Kansas; Nathaniel J., Ida Belle, Sylvester L., Charlotte Augusta and Martha Emogene.  Mr. Brown took up his residence at Morgan Park in the spring of 1895, to give his children the benefit of the exceptional educational opportunities of that suburb.

Soon after his marriage he went to Waubansee County, Kansas, and engaged in cattle-raising.  The second winter after he went there was exceptionally severe, and he lost a large share of his herd, upon which he became discouraged and returned to Lemont, where he became general business manager for his uncle, continuing until the latter leased his quarries to the Western Stone Company.  For a short time he took charge of the quarries of the Marblehead Lime Company at Eden, Fond du Lac County, Wisconsin, and has since been a dealer in sand, gravel and building material in Chicago, residing until recently, at Lemont.

Like his father, Mr. Brown adheres to the Methodist faith, and has been a straightforward Republican ever since becoming a voter.  He is in no sense a seeker of political favors, but believes it the duty of every American citizen to interest himself in politics, and bear his part in securing honest and efficient government.  Being socially inclined, he has become identified with numerous social and benevolent orders, among which may be named Lincoln Council, National Union, and Landmark Lodge Number 380, Knights of Pythias, of Chicago, being a charter member of the latter organization.  He was also among the initial members of the Illinois Mutual Aid and of the Royal Arcanum, though not now identified with those orders.

                                -- Submitted by Sherri Hessick   (thessick@flash.net)