"UNCLE" CAL BROWN ONLY MEXICAN WAR SURVIVOR IS DEAD
WAS LAST MAN IN JEFFERSON COUNTY WHO SERVED IN THAT WAR
Was In 95th Year and Long Prominent In Farming and Business World of Spring Garden Twp.
Calvin M. BROWN, Ina's grand old man, the last veteran of the Mexican War in
Jefferson County, died about 3:30 Tuesday afternoon at his home in Ina, after
an illness of several weeks. Mr. Brown would have been 95 years old had he lived
until the 27th of December next.
He was the best known man in the south part of Jefferson County, and was known
to hundreds of men in Mt. Vernon and other points of the county. He was known
by reputation to all readers of local newspapers at his extreme age, the fact
that he was the county's only survivor of the Mexican War, and his prominence
in the locality in which he lived combined to make him often the subject of comment
in the news columns. There are but few remaining who survived the Mexican War.
Mr. BROWN was a man of what is often styled the old school. He was a man of great
simplicity of life and habits. He cared not for show or display in any form, and
never sought that in any way. A man of great industry, energy, foresight and business
actions, he accumulated much property engaging in general farming and stock dealing.
His judgment was almost unerring and it is doubtful if he ever made a bad move in a
business deal throughout his long and active career.
Mr. BROWN was always neat and ____ in appearance, and often dressed in black and was
a man who would be looked at more than once even in a large crowd. He always took
great interest in politics and the upbuilding and advancement of the locality in
which he lived, being one of the most spirited men of his time. Mr. BROWN served a
number of times as a member of the board of supervisors from Spring Garden Township
and had served as highway commissioner and had been otherwise honored by the people
of his township, busy as he was never, in any sense, an office worker.
He was of a social disposition and loved the society of his friends, never forgot an
old friend, being loyal to the last, and faithful to the obligations of friendship
and ready at all times to meet every responsibility of life, however grave it might be.
Mr. BROWN loved children and enjoyed their companionship, and seemed never happier than
when ministering to their pleasure and the children reciprocated the affection he felt
for them. A man of positive convictions he was pronounced in his likes and dislikes
but courteous at all times.
He never sought the limelight and made no attempt to obtain prominence by reason of
his unique position as the only Jefferson County survivor of the Mexican War. Although
often sought on public occasions, as a speaker, he declined all invitations and at
the most would respond with only a few words. Of "Uncle Cal" BROWN, it may be truly
said he was a worker and not a talker, that is in the sense of public speaking.
A biographical sketch of "Uncle Cal" BROWN follows: Calvin M. BROWN was born at
Locust Creek, Washington County, Illinois, December 27, 1827. He was the sixth child
of a family of eleven children. When he was three years old, his father located in
Horse Prairie, Jefferson County, near Winfield. Mr. BROWN enlisted in the Mexican War
in 1846 and served until July 1847. He was a life long Democrat, and cast his first
vote for Lewis CASS of Michigan, for president in 1848.
Mr. BROWN was united in marriage with Anna Eliza FOSTER, April 9, 1851, and located
in Spring Garden Township, in which township the remainder of his life was spent.
Their union was blessed with nine children, three of whom survive, as follows: Mrs.
Martha KIRK, Steven (Jerry) BROWN, and Miss Malissa BROWN at home. The children are
residents of Ina. Some grandchildren and great grandchildren survive.
Mr. BROWN raised his family on a farm a short distance south of Ina, and in his younger
days was one of the most successful farmers and stockmen in Jefferson County. After the
founding of Ina, twenty-two years ago he located at that place, and lived there until his
death. After moving to Ina he embarked in the lumber business with his son, S. E. BROWN,
and the business is still one of the most important in Ina.
Mr. BROWN's wife died about twenty-two years ago and since that time, his daughter Malissa
has had charge of his home. In religion, Mr. BROWN was a Primitive Baptist, but was a broad
minded man, liberal in his views with respect to the opinions of others, and assisted the
different churches of the community in which he lived. Public spirited and loyal to the
interests of his town he favored whatever tended to advance its civil, religious and moral
Most of the land on which the village of Ina stands formerly belonged to Mr. BROWN, and
he laid out a number of additions to the village since it was established. With the
agita__on for hard roads he was an enthusiastic supported of the proposition, backing it
by giving right of way through his lands and urging others to do likewise.
Mr. BROWN was long a moderate user of tobacco, chewing, but never smoking the "weed".
He attributed his long life and good health to a naturally strong constitution, temperate
habits as to food and drink, and taking good care of his body.
Funeral at Ina tomorrow. It is understood that the funeral will be held at Ina tomorrow
afternoon at 1 o'clock.
Source: Mt. Vernon IL Register News
Date: Wednesday, October 11, 1922
Submitted by: Mary Zinzilieta