Mortimer S. Brewster - The natural advantages of this section attracted at an early day a superior class of settlers-thrifty industrious progressive and law-abiding-whose influence gave permanent direction to the development of the locality. Among the worthy pioneers of Ogle County, the Brewster family holds a prominent place. The results of the labor and self-denial of these early settlers are manifest in the comfortable homes and fertile, well-arranged farms which we today see.
It was August, 1837, that Mr. Brewster arrived in this county, and he has since taken an active and prominent part in its development. His life has been devoted to agricultural pursuits and he is still successfully carrying on the old homestead on section I, Byron Township. He was born in Broome County, New York, August 8, 1820, and is a son of James Brewster, a native of Connecticut. The grandfather, David Brewster, was born in one of the New England states and when quite young entered the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War. At an early age he removed with his family to the Empire state, where James Brewster grew to manhood. In Albany County, New York, the latter married Miss Chloe Palmer, who was also a native of Connecticut, but removed with her parents to the former state when young. For some years he followed farming there and then removed to Bradford County, Pennsylvania, where he was similarly employed for a few years. In 1837 he came to Illinois by way of the Erie Canal and Great Lakes, and proceeding thence by team finally arrived in Ogle County, where his friend and old neighbor, Mr. York, had located a year or so previously. Mr. Brewster rented land the first summer and then took a claim of about four hundred acres on section I, Byron Township, entering three hundred and twenty acres when the land came into market. Subsequently he sold some of his land but improved a farm of two hundred acres and made it his home until called to his final rest. He built a log house in which the family lived while he opened up and developed the farm, but it has since been replaced by a more commodius frame residence. He died at the ripe old age of eighty-four, having survived his wife some years. In their family were ten children-three sons and seven daughters-all of whom reached years of maturity, but only our subject and his sister Caroline are now living.
Mortimer D. Brewster was a lad of seventeen years when he accompanied the family on their removal to this state and in the task of converting the wild land into a rich and productive farm he bore an active part. His school privileges were limited and he is mostly self-educated. He remained under the parental roof and on his father's death took charge of the farm, which has been his home for sixty-one years. It is one of the best improved and most highly cultivated places of the locality.
In Roscoe, Illinois, in 1856, Mr. Brewster was married, the lady of his choice being Miss Caroline Alden, a native of Bradford County, Pennsylvania, who in 1837 came with her father, Adonijah Alden, to Ogle County, settling in Marion Township, near Byron. They have become the parents of six children, all living: Henry M., cashier of the Farmers & Merchants Bank of Byron; Willis J., who is helping to carry on the home farm; Augusta, and Edwin P., twins, the former the wife of Daniel Sims, of Cherokee Co., Iowa, and the latter at home; Walter H., who is married and engaged in teaching at Saint Ann, Illinois; and Luciaus D., at home.
In politics Mr. Brewster was originally a Whig, casting his first presidential ballot for the candidate of that party in 1844, and since its dissolution he has been an ardent Republican. He and his wife are faithful members of the Middle Creek Presbyterian Church and are held in high regard by all who know them for their sterling worth and many excellencies of character.
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