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BROWN, Charles E., George S. & Richard E.

1st Biography of George S. BROWN [Brother of Charles E. & Richard E.]
Portrait & Biographical Record Winnebago & Boone Cos., IL. Chicago: Biographical Pub. Co., 1892, pp 846-851

George S. BROWN bears the distinction of being the oldest living native born resident now making his home within the confines of Rockford Township, Winnebago County [IL].  He is highly honored for the active part he has taken in developing its resources and in furthering its material prosperity.  He is the fortunate possessor of large and splendidly cultivated lands in this and other townships, and on his homestead is successfully engaged in farming pursuits.

The subject of this sketch was born in the city of Rockford on 23 Jun 1839, to Mowry and Lucy (PEASE) BROWN.  When an infant of one year, his parents moved from the city to a farm in Owen Township, where he grew to mature years.  His education was obtained in this district, and he attended the first school taught in the first schoolhouse ever erected in Owen Township, Mercy NICHOLS, who afterward became the wife of William McKINDLEY, being his teacher.  Remaining on the old homestead until reaching his 20th year, our subject commenced to learn the trade of a carpenter, which occupation he followed until 1865.  He was very industrious and saved his earnings and in 1865 was enabled to buy 100 acres of land on section 35, Owen Township, paying one third cash for his place.  He at once commenced the career of a successful farmer, and devoted his attention closely to cultivating his place.

On that farm our subject resided until 1884 when, having purchased an estate of 70 acres on North Main Street, near the city of Rockford, he removed to this place and has since been a resident here.  The original 100 acres still remain in his possession, and besides that he owns 144 acres on sections 25 and 36, of the same township, and another tract of 131 and a half acres on sections 17 and 18, Guilford Township.  These several fine estates Mr. BROWN rents to tenants and is in receipt therefrom of a profitable income.  When the boom of 1890 stuck the city of Rockford, he sold 65 acres of his Rockford farm, retaining five acres for his home.

Mr. BROWN's home is made pleasant and his life is cheered by the presence of his amiable wife, with whom he was united in marriage in 1868.  Jennie ROGERS, as she was formerly known, was born in England and came to America with her parents, John and Jane ROGERS, when a child of five years.  She was reared in Guilford Township, this county, receiving her education in the district schools.  Of the union of Mr. and Mrs. BROWN there have been born eight children:  William, Flora, Edith, Lucy, George, Jessie, Ruby, and Norma.  Flora married Fred W. JOHNS.  Mrs. BROWN is a member in good standing of the Presbyterian Church.  Mr. BROWN casts his Presidential votes with the Republican party, never swerving from its principles at any time.  Their pleasant [p 851] and attractive home is the frequent resort of the friends whom they have gathered around them during their residence here, and by whom they will be kindly remembered long after they have departed hence.

2nd Biography of George S. BROWN
Past and Present of the City of Rockford & Winnebago County, IL, C. A. Church.   Chicago: Clarke, 1905, pp 646-649

G. S. BROWN, a retired farmer of Owen Township, residing at No. 324 North Rockton Avenue [Rockford, Winnebago County, IL] was born 23 Jun 1839 in the city of Rockford, his birthplace being a part of the BEATTY home near the water works, which is still standing and is yet occupied.  His parents were Mowry and Lucy M. (PEASE) BROWN.  His father was a native [p 649] of RI, and his mother of the Empire State [NY].  The BROWN family is of English lineage, while the PEASE family is of Dutch descent.  In May 1838 Mowry BROWN arrived in Winnebago County, taking up his abode in Rockford, where he resided two years, when he purchased a claim in Owen Township, upon which he spent his remaining days.  As he prospered in his undertakings he wisely invested in land and became the owner of a valuable tract of 240 acres.  He voted with the Republican party, for it embodied his ideas concerning the best elements of govenment, and both he and his wife were for many years members fo the First Baptist church, but later he united with the Christian Union church.  He died 04 Jun 1878, while his wife passed away on 07 Apr 1897.  In their family were eleven children, of whom six are now living in this country, namely:  G. S. [George S.], of this review; Charles E., who is living in Rockford Township; Mrs Mary E. PHELPS, whose home is on School Street in Rockford; Henry A., of this city; Fred O., who is living in Harlem Township [Winnebago County, IL]; and Richard E., also residing in Rockford.

G. S. BROWN was educated in Owen Township in the common schools and remained at home until 22 years of age.  In the meantime he learned the carpenters trade, which he followed with his father for five years, and in 1865 he bought 100 acres of land, which he still owns.  He added to this from time to time as his financial resources permitted until he became the owner of 265 acres, but has sold some of this to a company establishing a brick yard, and also to the railroad company, so that his holdings in Owen Township now comprise 232 acres.  He also has 332 acres in Ogle County, and thus has valuable and extensive landed possessions in this part of the state.  He continued farming until 1903, and in the following year removed to Rockford, where he purchased a fine home, and is now enjoying a well earned rest.  While on the farm he raised stock, making a specialty of both cattle and hogs, and that branch of his business proved very profitable.

In Feb 1868 Mr. BROWN was united in marriage to Miss Jennie ROGERS, a native of England, who was born 08 Mar 1847, and is a daughter of John and Jane (MEAGHER) ROGERS, who came to America in 1852, settling in Guilford Township, Winnebago County [IL].  Her father was a farmer and stone cutter by occupation, and followed that pursuit in order to provide for his family, becoming the owner of 132 acres of land, which he carefully cultivated, transforming it into a richly productive property.  He died in 1893, at the age of 80 years, while his wife passed away in 1872.  In their family were five children, but Mr. BROWN is the only one now living in this county.  She has a sister, Mrs. Anna M. SPINK, who is living at Davis Junction [Ogle County], IL, while her brother, Hon. William Rogers, formerly of KS, is now a resident of Lincoln [Lancaster County], NE.  He was a prominent factor in the public life in KS, and left the impress of his individuality upon its legislation, serving as state senator of KS for four years, also as a member of the house of representatives for two years, and as one of the regents of the university, and while in the legislature he was chairman of the ways and means committee.  At the time of the Civil War he espoused the Union cause, enlisting in 1861 as a member of Company E, 74th IL Infantry under Captain COSPER.  He served for four years and was promoted to corporal, and during an engagement he was shot through the left arm.  He is a self-made man, who has made a notable military and political record, and for a number of years was classed with the distinguished citizens of KS, while at the present writing he is a prominent resident of NE.  The other members of the ROGERS family are:   Mrs. Lizzie RUBY, living in NE; and John G. ROGERS, who resides in Mason City [Cerro Gordo County], IA.

Mr. and Mrs. BROWN have become the parents of eight children:  William R., who married Adelaide GRIGGS, a daughter of Dr. GRIGGS, and lives at Stillman Valley [Ogle County, IL]; Flora J., the wife of Fred JOHNS, of Rockford; Edith, who died in 1895; Lucy A., the wife of Thomas SHIMMIN, residing in Bloomington [McLean County], IL; George W., who lives on the old home farm; Jessie G., Ruby K., and Norma G., all living at home.

Mrs. BROWN and the children are all members of the Court Street Methodist Episcopal church.  Mr. BROWN votes with the republican party, and for nine years was road commissioner of Owen Township.  He owes his success entirely to his own efforts and the assistance of his estimable wife, and their career may well be termed a prosperous one, and is equally honorable because in all their business dealings they have been reliable and upright, conducting their affairs with strict regard to a high standard of business principles.

Biography of Richard E. BROWN [Brother of Charles E. & George S.]
Portrait & Biographical Record Winnebago & Boone Cos., IL. Chicago: Biographical Pub. Co., 1892, pp 695-696

Richard E. BROWN was born on the farm, where he is presently residing, in Owen Township, Winnebago County [IL], 08 Sep 1858.  His direct progenitor, Mowry BROWN, was born in Burrillville [Providence County], RI, 29 Dec 1813.  His father, Joseph BROWN, was also a native of RI, where he carried on farming.  He passed his last days in Winnebago County, dying at the home of his son Mowry.

The maiden name of the grandmother of Richard E. BROWN was Elsie MOWRY, who as far as known, was also born in RI, where she spent her entire life.  The father of R. E. BROWN was reared in his native state, and when starting out in life for himself, served an apprenticeship at the carpenter's trade.  In 1835 he came to IL and worked until 1839 in Alton, at the end of which time he came to Winnebago County, accompanied hither by his wife, who made the journey by steamers on the Mississippi and Rock Rivers to Rockford Township.  Here Mr. BROWN purchased an acre of land on North Main Street, on which he erected a small frame house, and began working at his trade.  His first contract [p 696] was building a house for Dr. George HASKELL.  He made his home in the city until 1840, then moved to a claim which he had made on section 26, in what is now Owen Township.   He bought a log house, which he moved on to his land and occupied until able to replace it with a more confortable edifice.  Mr. BROWN prosecuted his trade a part of each year until able to give his entire time and attention to the cultivation of his land.   His death occurred on the farm 04 Jun 1879.

The lady to whom Mowry BROWN was married, 26 Feb 1837, was Miss Lucy PEASE.  Her birth occurred in Lyons, Wayne County, NY, 31 Mar 1815.  Her paternal grandfather was Ebenezer PEASE, a native of Ballston, Saratoga County, NY, and the son of Abel PEASE, a native of MA, who went to NY State when a very young man, where he was married in Saratoga County, in 1785, to Lucy MARTIN, also a native of the Bay State [MA].  On her death, Abel PEASE married Mabel CAMPBELL, a widow.

Ebenezer M. PEASE was a natural mechanic and was employed in various lines of work in NY State until 1834, when in company with his wife and seven children, four sons and three daughters, he came to IL via the Erie Canal to Buffalo [Erie County, NY], and by way of the [Great] Lakes to Ohio and the Mississippi Rivers to Alton [Madison County, IL].   They made their home in the city of Alton for a number of years, and then removed to Jersey County [IL], where the father passed his last days.  The maiden name of his wife was Pamelia WANDELL.  She was a native of NY State, where her decease occurred.

The mother of Richard E. BROWN, our subject, was 18 years old when she came to IL, and resided in Alton until her marriage.  She is now residing on the old homestead which her husband entered from the Government.  Seven of her 11 children grew to mature years:  George S. and Charles E. reside in Rockford Township; Mary E. married Egbert PHELPS and makes her home in Owen Township, as does also Henry A.; Fred O. lives near Fairbury [Jefferson County], NE; and Richard E. is on the old homestead.  William C., the fifth child, died when 19 years of age, Florence E. when 12 years old, and Ellen M. in her 10th year.  Emeline, the first born, died in infancy, and Harriet E. is also deceased.

Richard E. BROWN, like many of the farmer lads, was educated in the district schools and later prosecuted his studies in the Rockford schools.  He was reared to agricultural pursuits and for a number of years managed the old homestead, which has always been his place of residence.  He devoted his entire time on the farm until 1890, when he engaged in the manufacture of brick.  On 07 Dec 1880 Miss Fannie MARTIN, who was born in Rockton [Winnebago County, IL], became his wife.  She was the daughter of Edwin and Caroline MARTIN, and by her union with Mr. BROWN has become the mother of two children, Gertie E. and Clifton Martin.  Our subject and his estimable wife are devoted members of the Christian Union Church, and in his social relations Mr. BROWN is connected with the Farmers' Mutual Benevolent Association.

Biography of Charles E. BROWN [Brother of George S. & Richard E.]
Portrait & Biographical Record Winnebago & Boone Cos., IL. Chicago: Biographical Pub. Co., 1892, pp 265-266 or pp 851-852

This gentleman, who owned a fine farm of 61 and a half acres, located a half mile from Rockford [Winnebago County, IL], during the boom of 1890 sold all of his tract but seven acres, on which he is residing at the present time.  He is also the proprietor of an excellent estate of 325 acres in Owen Township, Winnebago County, which is operated by his son.

The birth of Charles E. BROWN occurred on 15 Sep 1841 in Jersey County, IL.  He was one of eleven children born to Mowry and Lucy (PEASE) BROWN, the former a native of RI.   His grandfather, Joseph BROWN, followed farming pursuits in his native state (RI), where he passed the greater part of his life, although his death occurred at the home of the father of our subject in IL.  Mowry BROWN was reared and educated in his native town, and when choosing an occupation for himself, learned the carpenter's trade, soon after which he came to the Prairie State [IL], and located near Alton [Madison County], following his trade until 1838.

At that date Mowry BROWN made his advent into Winnebago County, when most of the land in this section was owned by the Government and the city of Rockford was little more than a hamlet.  He prosecuted his trade in Rockford for a time, then entering a tract of land in what in now Owen Township, erected thereon a log cabin and made that place his home for a number of years.  As there were no railroads in this locality, and Chicago was the nearest market, all the farm products were conveyed thither by means of ox teams.   Mr. BROWN carried on the carpenter's trade, at the same time superintending the improvement of his new home where he resided until his death.

The maiden name of the mother of Charles E. BROWN was Lucy PEASE.  She was born in Medina County, NY, and now resides on the old homestead in Owen Township.  She was on a visit in Jersey County, IL, when our subject was born, and as he was an infant when his mother returned to Winnebago County, he very naturally feels that he is a native of this place.  He has been a permanent resident of this county and has witnessed its entire growth and development.  In his early days he attended the pioneer log schoolhouse, which was furnished in the most primitive manner.  On attaining his 17th year, in company with his brother George he rented a tract of land in Owen Township and engaged in farming.  They also purchased a threshing machine which they operated with extraordinary success for a number of years, and continued to work together until about six years previous to the marriage of our subject.  After celebrating that important event, Mr. BROWN became a fireman on an engine running on the Atlanta & Great Western Railroad, and was thus engaged for a year, when he located on a tract of land which he had purchased in Owen Township.  He cultivated the soil for four years, then disposing of his estate, was employed [p 266] in manufacturing brick in company with his father and brother, operating together for nine years.

Believing agriculture to be the most profitable business in which he could engage, Mr. BROWN purchased 240 acres of land in Owen Township, where he cultivated the soil for six years, and then became proprietor of the 61 and a half acres located a half mile from Rockford mentioned above.  On 27 Dec 1864 Mr. BROWN was married to Miss Frances Mary BURRITT, a native of Auburn, Cayuga County, NY.  She was one of seven children born to Charles and Laura (REMINGTON) BURRITT, the former a native of Bridgeport [Fairfield County], CT.  [See also the Winnebago County, IL, biography of Rufus H. BURRITT, son of Charles and Laura (REMINGTON) BURRITT, which states that Charles BURRITT was born near Roxbury, Litchfield County, CT, on 09 Jan 1813.]  Her paternal grandparents, Eben and Polly BURRITT, were natives of the Nutmeg State [CT], whence they removed to NY State and located in the town of Sennett, where the grandfather bought a tract of timber land and followed farming pursuits until his demise.

In early manhood, Charles BURRITT, father of Mrs. BROWN, removed to NY State, where he purchased a farm in Ira, Cayuga County, and there resided for a few years.  Later disposing of his estate, he embarked in the hardware business in Weedsport, and remained thus engaged until 1855, when he came to IL and settled on a tract of partially improved land in Owen Township, Winnebago County.  There he continued to cultivate his land and improve the farm for many years.  He departed this life at the home of Mr. and Mrs. BROWN.  His wife, whose maiden name was Laura REMINGTON, was, it is thought, a native of CT.  She removed to NY with her parents at an early day and died on the home farm in Owen Township, Winnebago County.  With her husband she was a faithful member of the Second Congregational Church.

The six children born to Mr. BROWN and his estimable wife are:  Harry W., Nellie L., Mabel F., Mowry C., Ralph E., and Maude E.  Harry W. married Miss Fannie M. JOHNS and they are the parents of two children, Orville and Aurilla.  In political matters Mr. BROWN affiliates with the Republican party and is known as one of the most public-spirited citizens of the community.  He and his wife are devoted members of the Christian Union Church and are people of high social standing in Rockford and vicinity.

Submitted by Cathy Kubly.