JAMES R. BROWN, who lives upon an attractive farm on section 21, Western Mound township, where he has made his home for three years past, was born in Clark county, Missouri, October 29, 1871. He is a son of George and Arena (Gully) Brown, the former of whom was of German-Irish descent and was a native of Pike county, Missouri. After arriving at manhood he devoted his attention to farming. The mother was born in Scotland and died when the subject of this review was six years of age. The father passed away four years later. There were two children in the family: Emily, who died at the age of ten years; and James R.
Having lost his parents in his early boyhood, James R. Brown would have been obliged to seek a home among strangers had it not been for a kind-hearted aunt, in whose household he remained until fifteen years of age. He then started out to meet the world and his first employment was in a brickyard belonging to Hausman Brothers, of Fort Madison, Iowa. He continued with this firm for two years and then went to work in the yards of the Santa Fe Railway at Fort Madison and assisted in car repair work for five years. At the end of the time named he was transferred to New Mexico, but gave up his position after four years and returned to Missouri. In 1903 he came to Macoupin county, Illinois, and for a year engaged in farm labor in Bird township. He was then married and for two years cultivated a farm belonging to his father-in-law. He next rented the Albert Morris farm in Bird township for one year and, having acquired the necessary capital, purchased the place upon which he has since lived in Western Mound Township. He moved to his farm in January, 1908, and has since engaged with marked success in general farming and stock-raising. He owns one hundred and sixty acres, five acres of which are in timber, and maintains a good grade of stock, his milk stock being fully equal to any in this part of the county. He also raises Poland China hogs of such a fine quality that they are subject to register. He is fortunate in owning a well-watered place, which is excellently adapted for stock-raising, and as he uses good judgment in his business his efforts meet with deserved reward.
On the 24th of December, 1904, mr. Brown was married to Miss Sabina Wilton, who was born in England and came to America with her parents when two years of age. By this union one child, Beulah, was born May 9, 1911. Mrs. Brown is a daughter of George Wilton, who was the owner of a farm one-half mile east of Medora. He died five years ago and his wife passed away when the daughter Sabina was six years old. They were the parents of ten children; Flora, who is deceased; William, who makes his home in Wisconsin; John, who resides near Medora; Edward and Charles, both of Chesterfield township; Sidney, who lives on the old home place near Medora; Lillian, of Nebraska; Augusta, who lives near Medora; Richard, whose home is near Kemper, Illinois; and Sabina, now Mrs. James R. Brown.
Mr. Brown is an earnest supporter of the republican party and socially is identified with the Modern Woodmen of America at Chesterfield. He is not connected with any religious denomination, but his wife is a valued member of the Methodist Episcopal church of Medora. He was early thrown upon his own resources, but he possessed the courage and endurance to meet and overcome all obstacles to his advancement and today is one of the substantial citizens of Macoupin county. His life has been characterized by enterprise and progress and to these excellent qualities may be attributed a large measure of his success.