Portrait & Biographical Record Winnebago & Boone Cos., IL. Chicago: Biographical Pub. Co., 1892, pp 1314-1315
John BROWN takes a leading part in the agricultural interests of Cherry Valley Township, Winnebago County, where he has a good estate on section 12. He was born in OH, 11 Oct 1832, and is the son of Jacob and Mary (KEITH) BROWN, natives respectively of NJ and OH. His maternal grandparents, Peter and Maria KEITH, were born in Germany, and, on coming to the U. S., died in this township when very old.
John BROWN was two years of age when his parents came to IL, the journey being made overland to Ogle County, where they resided for one year, and then took up their abode in Winnebago County, where the father died in the spring of 1868, and the mother three years later. Our subject was one in a large family of children and received his education in the schools of that early day. When ready to establish a home of his own, he was married to Miss Hannah M., daughter of William P. and Sarah (FOWLER) PACKARD, natives of NY, who came to IL when she was 11 years of age. Locating in Cherry Valley Township, Winnebago County, in the spring of 1847, Mr. and Mrs. PACKARD here made their home until their decease, the father dying in May 1891. The mother, who preceded him to the better land by a number of years, left at her death nine children.
To our subject and his wife have been born 12 children, all of whom are living with the exception of Clifford S., who died in 1878, when two and a half years old. Mr. BROWN when starting out in life for himself purchased a quarter section of prairie land in Boone County, which he later sold, and, in 1867, purchased his present estate of 922 acres, for which he paid $40 per acre. With the exception of 100 acres in timber, this vast amount of property is under good cultivation, and with its handsome farm residence and comfortable outbuildings, is one of the finest in the county. Mr. BROWN gives the greater part of his attention to stock raising, and from the year 1878 to 1888, in partnership with B. S. SANBORN, made large shipments to the city markets. He is now, however, conducting his affairs alone, and rasies and feeds annually about 100 head of cattle, two hundred head of hogs, and keeps constantly on his place from 25-40 of the finest horses. He has the distinction of shipping the first load of cattle from Cherry Valley Station in the fall of 1853, which sold in Chicago markets for two and a half cents per pound. He cuts about 150 tons of hay from his place, and has large crops of cereals.
John BROWN, in the spring of [p 1315] 1850 went across the plains to CA, the journey consuming five months and eight days. After remaining there for two years with fair success, he returned home, and has since been identified with the interests of Winnebago County, being one of its most prominent and wealthy farmers. In politics he votes independently, reserving his right to vote for the man who, in his judgment, will best fill the office.
Submitted by Cathy Kubly.