JOHN H. BRUBAKER. One of the fine homesteads of Virden township is the one hundred and sixty acre farm of John H. Brubaker, located on section 18. In addition to the cultivation of his farm Mr. Brubaker devotes a great deal of attention to religious work, having been pastor of the Church of the Brethren for the past sixteen years.
He was born in Clark county, Ohio, on the 15th of May, 1852, his parents being Jacob and Anna (Frantz) Brubaker, the father a native of Virginia and the mother of Ohio. In his early manhood Jacob Brubaker moved to the Buckeye state, where he met the lady who subsequently became his wife. In the fall of 1863 they removed to Illinois, locating on a farm in Virden township, Macoupin county, in the cultivation of which the father successfully engaged in connection with stock-raising for many years. He was one of the enterprising, public-spirited citizens of the community and took an active interest in advancing the development of this section of the county. As a Christian man he was actively and earnestly interested in all religious matters, contributing liberally both of his time and money in promoting the church with which he affiliated. He passed away on the 12th of March 1894, and was laid to rest in Pleasant Hill cemetery, the land for which had been contributed by himself and his son John H. The mother survived for many years thereafter, her death occurring on the 19th of December, 1906. To Mr. and Mrs. Brubaker were born nine children: Elizabeth, the deceased wife of the late George Shull, of Virden township; Nancy, the wife of James A. Shull, also of Virden; Sarah, who died when she was six years of age; Catherine, the deceased wife of Jacob Blickenstaff of Ottawa, Kansas; Phoebe, who was fifteen years old at the time of her death; John H., our subject; Samuel S., a resident of Virden; Ezra, who is living in Macoupin county; and Martha, who died in infancy.
As he was a lad of eleven years when his parents settled in Macoupin county John H. Brubaker had been a pupil of the common schools of his native state for several years, the course there pursued being supplemented by further study after locating here. While attending the district school he was becoming acquainted with the best methods of cultivating the fields and caring for the stock, under the capable supervision of his father. He continued at home with his parents until his marriage at the age of twenty-three years, when he began his independent career as an agriculturist. For two years thereafter he cultivated ninety acres of rented land and then removed to a tract of one hundred and eighty-seven acres, which he leased for three years. At the expiration of that period he purchased his father's homestead, where he has ever since resided, one of the substantial farmers of Virden township. In addition to the cultivation of his extensive fields he devotes much time and attention to stock-raising, both having proven to be very lucrative.
Mr. Brubaker, who has married twice, was first married to Miss Lizzie Neher, their marriage being solemnized on the 7th of February, 1875. Mrs. Brubaker was a daughter of John and Lydia (Studebaker) Neher, by whose union were born four children, as follows: Eliza, who is deceased; Lizzie, who passed away on the 8th of August, 1903; David, a resident of Elcampo, Texas; Elma, the deceased wife of Jacob Shutt, of Girard. Both Mr. and Mrs. Neher had been previously married, his first union having been with a Miss Gharst, who bore him three children: Michael, who is deceased; Noah, who was a resident of Lordsburg, California, but is now deceased; and Susan, the wife of Charles C. Gibson, of Girard, Illinois. Mrs. Neher's first husband was a Mr. Wirt, by whom she had sons, John, who is deceased; and James, who is living in Virden township.
The family of Mr. and Mrs. Brubaker consisted of seven children: Vida Olive, who was born on the 1st of August, 1880, the wife of H. H. Masterson, of Virden; Irvin J., a sketch of whom appears elsewhere in this volume; Stella C., who was born on the 17th of July, 1884, and is living at home; Herschel, who was born in February, 1887, and died in infancy; D. Earl, who was born in August, 1888, and is at home; Arthur, who was born in June, 1891, and died when a little over two years of age; and Ethel Mae, who was born April 2, 1895, and is also at home.
On the 26th of May, 1909, Mr. Brubaker was married the second time to Miss Elizabeth Howe. Her parents, William and Sarah (Mohler) Howe, were both natives of Pennsylvania and have now passed away. In their family were twelve children, namely: Sarah, the deceased wife of Noah Rudy, of Illinois; Joseph, also deceased; jacob, a resident of Pennsylvania; Mary, deceased; Elizabeth, now Mrs. Brubaker; Anna and John, both deceased; Emma Jane, the wife of C. S. Van Dyke, of North Dakota; Aramina Ellen, the wife of William Kinsey, of Huntingdon, Pennsylvania; William Mohler, a resident of Johnstown, that state; Edward Martin, who is also living in Pennsylvania; and Roland L., of Philadelphia. Mrs. Brubaker was for some years a teacher in the public schools of Pennsylvania and Iowa, and for almost two years was matron in an orphanage in the former state. From 1884 until 1894 she was connected with Juniata College, where she was graduated in the teacher's course with the class of 1885. On resigning her position as teacher in that institution she spent seven years in a Chicago mission, studying for two years of that period at Moody Institute. Returning to Pennsylvania, she was engaged in bible mission work for a year and then went to Brooklyn, New York, where she was connected with a city mission and also attended Dr. White's bible Teachers Training School in New York city. Since her marriage she has been associated with her husband in his work and they are now conducting a mission at Greenridge, near Girard.
During the long years of his residence in Virden township Mr. Brubaker's life has ever been such as to indicate that he is striving, as nearly as possible, to emulate the teachings of Him he has elected to follow, both his private and public relations being guided by those principles which he advocates.