Calvin M. Brown
It is impossible in a brief biographical sketch to render full justice to prominent men,
and yet there are some who are so intimate and clearly identified with the county's
welfare, and whose names are so familiar to all, that it is only just to dwell upon
what they have done and the influence of their career upon other, not as empty words
of praise but the plain statement of a plain truth. To this class belongs Calvin M. Brown,
who is an agriculturist of indisputable abilities, and who has won great success in pursuing
this his favorite occupation. He is now the proud possessor of over eight hundred acres
of valuable land, located on section 31, Spring Garden Township, Jefferson County, where
he has made his home for many years.
Our subject is one of a large family of children comprising the household of Stephen
and Elizabeth (Spoon) Brown, and was born in Washington County, Ill., December 24, 1827.
His brothers and sisters are. De Witt Clinton and William Henry Harrison, deceased;
Irene, Mrs. Henry Cochran; Naomi, Mrs. Mills H. Cochran, now deceased; Minerva A.,
the wife of G. G. Sweeten; Benjamin Franklin, who died when in the Mexican War;
Stephen N., also deceased; Jasper, whose death occurred while a soldier in the late
war; and Elizabeth; the widow of James Sweeten.
The father of our subject was born in Guilford County, N. C., August 25, 1795,
and continued to reside in his native state until reaching his twenty fifth year,
when he emigrated to Tennessee and lived there a year prior to coming to Illinois.
His first location in this state was made in Washington County, and after a few years'
residence there, in 1830 came to this county and made his home in Elk Prairie Township,
where he spent the remainder of his life. When taking up his abode, in this county he
was the third settler to take up Congress land in this section, which was at that time
abounding in game and wild animals. He was a man of honorable character, intelligence
and usefulness, and his fellow-men held him in good repute. He was a strong Whig in
politics and lived to be seventy-five years of age.
Mrs. Elizabeth Brown, the mother of our subject, was, like the father, a native of
Guilford County, N. C., and came of Pennsylvania Dutch parents. She lived to be
sixty-six years of age. The paternal grandfather of our subject died during the
infancy of Stephen Brown, and so far as is known, no record remains of the early
history of the family except that they were of Scotch-Irish descent.
Calvin M. Brown, of this sketch, spent his early life in Jefferson and Franklin
Counties, and when a lad of eighteen years became a soldier in the Mexican War,
enlisting in 1846 and serving fourteen months, or until peace was declared. Soon
after returning home, he started out in life on his own account, and was married
April 9, 1851, to Miss Ann Eliza, daughter of E. H. and Cynthia (Freeman) Foster,
natives of Tennessee. Mrs. Brown was born in Franklin County, this state, and of
the eight children of whom she has become the mother only three are living, viz.:
S. E.; Martha P., now Mrs. R. L. Kirk; and Milisa, who is at home.
Soon after their marriage Mr. and Mrs. Calvin Brown came to Spring Garden Township,
locating on Government land, for which they paid $1.25 per acre. Our subject
immediately began the work of clearing and improving his property, upon which
he has spent his entire life, and is now recognized as one of the most extensive
and most successful farmers of Jefferson County. Although beginning farming on
a small scale, he has so managed affairs that he was enabled to accumulate property
very rapidly, and is now the owner of eight hundred acres which are cleared of
encumbrance. Mr. Brown has always been deeply interested in the welfare of his
community and has rendered his township efficient service as Supervisor, in which
capacity he has served for many years. He has aided greatly in raising the standard
of scholarship in this part of the county, and for more that thirty years has been
School Director. In politics he is an ardent Democrat and socially is a member of
Williams Lodge No. 242, I. O. O. F., of Spring Garden.
Source: Portrait & Biographical Record of
Clinton, Washington, Marion and Jefferson Counties, Illinois;
Chicago; Chapman Publishing Co. 1894; page 354, 355.
Submitted by Robert W. Loman
Calvin M. Brown is the brother of my GGGrandfather, William Jasper Brown