GEORGE S. BROWN. One totally unacquainted with the details of farm life, the value of different soils or the modifying influence of forests, hills and prairies, can still judge of the worth of an estate and the capability of its manager at a glance. Fields wherein weeds fill every fence corner and life their heads between the rows of grain, inadequate shelter for stock and crops, tumbled down fences and a general air of disorder give conclusive proof that the land is poorly managed. On the other hand the appearance of neatness and order prevailing throughout every part of the estate is an equally conclusive evidence of good management, industry, and fertility of the soil. The farm of the gentleman above named belongs to the latter class, the buildings being most excellent and every improvement kept up in good shape. It is located on section 13, North Palmyra township. We are pleased to present a brief review of the life of the owner to our readers, and invite their attention to his portrait on the opposite page.
The immediate progenitors of our subject were Bedford and Caroline (Springer) Brown, both natives of Kentucky. They came to Morgan County in the fall of 1828 and there spent the remainder of their days, Mr. Brown dying about 1873 and his wife passing away about 1879. Of their eight children our subject is the eldest and was born in Franklin County, Ky., December 11, 1823. He accompanied his parents to Morgan County in 1828 and grew to manhood upon a farm there, assisting his father until his marriage. When the war with Mexico broke out he enlisted as a soldier in defense of our country. He was a member of Company D, First Illinois Regiment, and was present at the battle of Buena Vista. With three other men he was taken prisoner. They were shot down while Mr. Brown made an almost miraculous escape.
The marriage of our subject in Morgan County October 23, 1848 united him with Mary S. Wood, a daughter of Thomas and Lucretia (Fry) Wood, both natives of the Blue Grass State. They removed to Morgan County in1829 and lived there and in other parts of the State, dying finally in that county, he about 1845 and his wife about 1883. Of a family of seven children, Mrs. Brown was the eldest, she being born in Bourbon County, Ky., July 7, 1829.
After their marriage this young couple settled down to make their new home in Morgan County and engaged in farming there until about the year 1881, when they removed to Sangamon County and made it their home for four years. After that they came to Macoupin County and made their home on section 15, North Palmyra Township. At one time Mr. Brown owned fully one thousand acres of land. Six children came to cheer their hearts and three they have seen grow to years of maturity two of them having established homes of their own. William T. married Miss Anna Thompson and makes his home in Jacksonville; Cordelia C., is the wife of Henry J. Myers; Leonard G. is a graduate of the Business College at Jacksonville. The children whom they lost were taken from them in infancy. The surviving members of the family belong to the Presbyterian Church.
In political movements our subject ever takes an active interest and is a worker for the Republican party in whose principles and success he has great faith. He has held school offices but prefers the quiet life of a farmer. Both he and his excellent wife are earnest members of the Presbyterian Church, and he has contributed liberally to the support of religious objects, and also for the building of churches, not confining his donations to his own denominations. IN 1889, with two brothers, he donated $7,500 to the Illinois College at Jacksonville and this is known as the brown Endowment Fund.
As a man of wealth Mr. Brown has gladly used his possessions both for the good of others and the comfort of his family. His beautiful residence embodies many valuable and modern improvements and is furnished with exquisite taste. His brothers, Reuben and Charles Brown, are residents of Pawnee Township, Sangamon County, and are men of influence in that section of the State. Mr. Brown was one of the organizers of the bank of Modesto, Brown, Nevins & Co., constituting the firm. Together with the other members of the family, Mr. Brown is highly esteemed in the community and his influence is always given toward a true manner of life and the uplifting of humanity.