JONATHAN BRUBAKER, a well-to-do and highly respected citizen of this county, has made his money by farming, and has built up a substantial home on section 20, Girard Township, wherein he and his amiable wife enjoy life free from the cares and toils of their earlier years. Franklin County, Va., is the birthplace of our subject, and there he was born September 14, 1829, in the home of his parents, Jonathan and Barbara (Crist) Brubaker, who were also natives of Virginia.
The great-grandfather of our subject, John Brubaker, was born either in Germany or in Pennsylvania, of German parentage. He removed from that State to Virginia, and located in that part of Botetourt County now included in Roanoke County. He secured a tract of land four miles northwest of Salem, which he developed in time into a choice farm, and all that is mortal of him now lies in the cemetery on his old homestead. His wife who bore the maiden name of Annie Myers, lies by his side. Their son Henry, grandfather of our subject, was born in Pennsylvania, and was young when his family moved to Virginia, where he grew to manhood. For some years after he resided in Franklin County, but he finally returned to Botetourt County, and settled on a part of the old homestead which he had inherited from his parents, and there he spent the rest of his days. He was twice married. The maiden name of his first wife, grandmother of our subject, was Christiana Flora. She is supposed to have been a native of Virginia, and died in Franklin County. The maiden name of Grandfather Brubaker's second wife was Salome Eler. He was the father of seven children by his first marriage and ten children by his second marriage.
The father of our subject was born, reared and married in Virginia. He resided in Franklin County until 1832, when he removed to the wilds of Ohio with his wife and five children, journeying thither with teams, taking all their household goods along. He located on a tract of timber land eight miles west of Springfield, in Clarke County. He erected a cabin of round logs as a shelter for his family, and at once proceeded to clear his land with characteristic energy and perseverance. At that time timber was of but little value as there were no markets for it, and the pioneers had to resort to burning ti to get it out of the way, large logs being rolled together into great piles and set on fire. There were no railways in that section for some years, and the people had to go to Dayton to sell their produce and to obtain supplies.
Mr. Brubaker cleared the greater portion of his quarter section, erected a set of frame buildings, and continued to live on his Ohio farm until 1869. In that year he came to Illinois, purchased a home in the village of Girard, and here his life was brought to a close at a ripe old age in April, 1874. His wife had died in Clarke County, Ohio, in 1853. They reared a family of ten children, six sons and four daughters.
Our subject was the fifth child born to his parents, and he was but three years old when they removed to Ohio. His earliest recollections are connected with the rough, pioneer life of his youth in Clarke County, Ohio, where his education was conducted in a rude log house furnished with seats made of slabs, with no backs. The desk upon which the older scholars wrote was a plank resting upon wooden pins that were driven into the logs in the side of the room. When very young the little lad commenced to assist his father in clearing his land and tilling the soil. He remained an inmate of the parental household until grown to manhood. When he started in life for himself his father gave him a horse, saddle, bridle, plow and a plow harness, and for three years he farmed on his own account as a renter. He then purchased forty acres of the land that he had been cultivating, but after living on it a few years he sold it and bought two hundred acres of land at Enon Station, Clarke County. In 1860 he disposed of that place at a good price, and purchased another near New Carlisle, in the same county. He occupied that place until 1865, and in that year came to Macoupin County, to take up his permanent residence here. He invested in one hundred and sixty acres of beautiful prairie land on section 29, Girard Township, and subsequently bought other land until he had at one time two hundred and fifty acres. He erected a neat and commodious set of frame buildings, placed the land under a high state of cultivation, and in time made it one of the most desirable farms in the township. In 1890 he sold it for a round sum of money, and built his present residence on section 20, the same township.
Mr. Brubaker was married March 20, 1850, to Susanna Frantz, and their wedded life has brought them six children: Isaac S.; Sarah, the wife of Isaac H. Crist; Diana, wife of Jacob P. Vaniman; Mary A.; Elizabeth, wife of D. C. Vaniman; Emma, wife of Abraham B. Gibbel and Henry D., who died at the age of four months. Our subject and his wife have reared their children to useful and upright lives, and have brought them up in the faith fo the German Baptist Brethren Church, of which father, mother, son and daughters are all valued members.
Mrs. Brubaker is a native of Clarke County, Ohio, born April 27, 1832. Her father, Benjamin Frantz, was a native of Virginia, and a son of Daniel Frantz, also of Virginia birth, who removed from there to Ohio in the early years of its settlement, and was a pioneer of Clarke County. He settled fur miles west of Springfield, and there spent his remaining days. His son Benjamin was reared in Virginia, and was a young man when he went to Ohio. He located in Preble County, that State, and in due time was united in marriage with Elizabeth Flory, who was, like himself, a Virginian by birth. From there he went to Clarke County, and buying a tract of land a mile and a quarter from New Carlisle, he developed it into a farm. He first built a log cabin for a dwelling, and later replaced it by a more commodious residence and a neat set of frame buildings. In that home he and his wife passed their days in peace and comfort until death called them hence. She was a daughter of Abraham Flory, who is supposed to have been a native of Virginia, whence he removed to Preble County, Ohio, of which he was an early pioneer.