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Chicago: Chapman Bros., Publishers


JOHN W. BROCKHOUSE, one of the present County Commissioners of Morgan County, was born March 28, 1851, in this County. He is one of the young men who has inherited to a large extent the virtues of his parents, and who exhibits in his life, the fact that "blood will tell." He is a son of Herman G. and Mary E. Brockhouse, both of whom were natives of Hanover, Germany. They came to Morgan County some forty-five years ago, and settled on section 25, township 16, range 12. Coming to this country when land was cheap, and when they could have their choice, they were exceedingly fortunate, but notwithstanding all this they were obliged to suffer privations and to do many things to get along in this world that would discourage the generation that came after them. The elder Brockhouse resided upon the farm that he first located, up to the time of his death. Politically, he was a Democrat, and had great influence in his neighborhood. As sufficient evidence that he was more than an ordinary man, it would only be necessary to state that when he landed in this county he had just $35 and when his labors ended, an inventory of his estate developed the fact that he had left to his heirs a property worth $40,000. When he first came here he erected a log-cabin in which he lived for several years, but later he built a better home and erected barns sufficient to carry on a large farm. His wife died several years before he did. They were parents of nine children, six of whom are living: Herman, who is a resident of Scott County; Annie, wife of John Schumaker, of this county; John W.; Maggie wife of William Nergenah; they reside in Concord Precinct; Carrie, wife of Gottlieb Schumaker, of this county; Eliza, wife of Emil Schultz, of Christian County, Ill.

John W. Brockhouse was reared to manhood in a comparatively new country, and has seen Morgan County take long strides in its march to prosperity. He received his education in the subscription schools of the early days in Illinois. For the information of the generation now living, it may be said that in the pioneer days, and before the present excellent common-school system came into practice, the settlers would pay the teacher a stated amount for each scholar, and the school house was generally built of logs, all combining in the expense of its erection. The teacher generally "boarded 'round." This system led to many complications which have been eradicated by the present excellent methods, and an education secured in the old way, was generally gained under manifold difficulties. Our present school system is without a doubt as near perfection as it can be made, and the child who grows to manhood now without securing knowledge, is himself to blame. The parents of today are better able financially, to give their children proper learning than the pioneers of fifty years ago were. The subject of this sketch, therefore, is principally self-educated. By constant and intelligent reading he has become what would be called, a fairly well-posted man. He was married Oct. 20, 1874, to Miss Caroline N. Weiser, a native of Cass County, Ill. Her parents were Nicholas and Hilkie Weiser. By this union there were four children, three of whom are living - Laura, Alfred and Edward. Frances is deceased.

Mr. Brockhouse is the owner of 280 acres of well-improved land. The buildings thereon are of the best and in full keeping with this magnificent place. And the owner is considered to be among the best farmers in Concord Precinct. He settled on this farm shortly after his marriage, and has continued to reside here since. Politically he is a Democrat. In the fall of 1886 he was elected a Commissioner of Morgan County for a term of three years. He has filled this office with fidelity and is reckoned as one of the hard-working intelligent men of the Board. He belongs to the Lutheran Church.

1889 Index
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