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Chicago: Chapman Bros., Publishers


JAMES M. BROWN, a pioneer of 1829, began life in this county in very limited circumstances, but is now the owner of a fine property, including a well-appointed farm of 300 acres, on section 18, township 16, range 11. This has been his home for a quarter of a century, and to it he has given the best efforts of his life, making all the improvements now upon it, which are first-class, and bringing the soil to a thorough state of cultivation. When first coming to this county he operated as a renter, and endured many hardships and difficulties before he could feel that he was on solid ground.

A native of East Tennessee, our subject was born in Washington County, May 22, 1845, and is the son of Jeremiah Brown, also a native of that State, and who is supposed to have been of Southern parentage. Upon reaching man's estate he was married in his native county to Miss Mary Stormer, who was likewise born in East Tennessee, but whose parents were descendants of people who came form Pennsylvania. Jeremiah Brown, after his marriage, established himself on a small tract of land in his native county, where he lived until after the birth of three children - James M., Catherine and Sarah A., - then disposed of his interests in the South, and set out with his little family, in the fall of 1829, for this county. They located first near the present site of Arcadia, but the father subsequently secured eighty acres of land. He, however, was not permitted to live to carry on the work which he had in view, but met his death while digging a well by the falling of a barrel containing mud and dirt, the chain of which gave way, and which broke his back, his death ensuing nine days later. The mother was subsequently married to Robert Martin, and both she and Mr. Martin lived to be quite aged, spending their last years near Arcadia.

Our subject lived with his mother and stepfather until a youth of eighteen years, when he started out for himself, and has since made his own way in the world. He found his bride in Cass County, being married there to Miss Sarah A. Buxton. This lady was born in Ohio, in 1829, and is the daughter of Peter and Susan (Reams) Buxton, the former of whom was born in England and emigrated to the United States when quite young, settling in Ohio, where he was married. A few years later, leaving the Buckeye State, he came to Illinois with his family, locating in Cass County early in the thirties. Mr. Buxton did not live very many years thereafter, passing away in the prime of life. His wife survived him for a long period, living to be eighty-four years of age.

To the parents of Mrs. Brown there was born a large family of children, most of them natives of this State. She was quite young when leaving Ohio, and was reared to womanhood in Cass County. Her union with our subject resulted in the birth of six children, one of whom died when four years old; James F. owns and operates a farm in the same township as his father; Philip married Miss Ellen Henderson, and is living on a farm in Nodaway County, Mo.; Abigail is the widow of Adam Gaddis, who died very suddenly while shingling a barn; George P. married Miss Anna Harris, and lives on a farm in township 16, range 11; Jane lives at home with her parents.

Mr. Brown cast his first presidential vote for Pierce, and gives his unqualified support to the Democratic party. Both he and his wife are active members of the Methodist Episcopal Church, in which our subject officiates as Trustee, and contributes liberally to its support. He has borne no unimportant part in the settlement and development of Morgan County, and is properly numbered among its representative men.

1889 Index
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