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Jay County Indiana Biographies

Abram J. BRAKE, of the firm of BRAKE & BEARD, general merchants at Salamonia, was born in Miami County, Ohio, December 25, 1837, and September 20, 1838, he came to this county with this parents who settled on section 5, Madison Township. The country was new and the neighbors scarce, most of them many miles away. They endured all the hardships and privations of pioneer life. His father, Thomas J. BRAKE, was born in Lewis County, Virginia, in 1800, and in 1833 removed to Miami County, Ohio, where he was married two years later to Emeline ABEL. He died in Wells County, this State, in April, 1840. The mother was born in Botetourt County, Virginia, in 1817, and when two years old, went with her parents, Henry and Sarah A. ABEL, to Miami County, Ohio, she being the only child at that time. Her father's family came to Jay County after she was married, and settled on section 8, Madison Township. Her father built the first brick house in the township, in 1840. Mr. BRAKE was reared in sight of Salamonia village, and believes himself to be the oldest male resident of the village, the oldest female resident being Melinda JACKSON. He was reared on a farm and completed his education at the academy below Liber. September 25, 1861, he enlisted in Company F, Fortieth Ohio Infantry, for three years. Two years of this time he was with his regiment, and one year was at the brigade headquarters, being a Sergeant. At the request of General WHITAKER he commanded the provost guards one year as Duty Sergeant. At the battle of Chickamauga he was wounded in the right hand by a mini ball, compelling him to be off duty two months. He was discharged September 26, 1864, at Atlanta, Georgia, on account of expiration of time of service. He returned home, and October 17, of the same year, he engaged in the mercantile trade. He has a farm on sections 5 and 8, consisting of 103 acres, well improved, with ordinary buildings. Mr. BRAKE was married September 20, 1861, to Maria REED, born in Susquehanna County, Pennsylvania, July 27, 1837. She was reared in Wayne County, Indiana, and died in Salamonia, December 26, 1885. Her parents were Thomas and Elizabeth REED. Her mother was born in Pennsylvania, and her father was of Irish ancestry. April 13, 1887, Mr. BRAKE was married to Clara E. SCOTT, born near Kokomo, Indiana, June 27, 1854. She was reared in Clay County, Kansas, and removed to Logansport in 1876, where she was engaged as proprietor of a dress-making shop, remaining there until her marriage. Her mother, Sarah A. (BROWN) SCOTT, is now living at Logansport. Mr. BRAKE was postmaster from January 30, 1865, until April [p. 310] 24, 1886. It was a semi-weekly post office when he first took the office, but through his influence it was changed to a daily mail. His grandfather, Abram BRAKE, was born in Old Virginia, and died in West Virginia. His great-grandfather BRAKE was born in Frankfort, Germany, and came to America before the Revolutionary war. He was a manufacturer of woolen cloths, as were also his ancestors. He died in Eastern Virginia. His grandmother BRAKE, whose maiden name was JACKSON, was an aunt of Stonewall JACKSON, the latter living with his uncle BRAKE several years; he was then taken to school by his uncle, Cummings JACKSON. The JACKSONs are of Scotch-English ancestry. The name BRAKE should have been translated to be spelled BROEKE. The FRANKs, the grandmother on the maternal side, were of French descent. Mr. BRAKE is a member of the Masonic fraternity, belonging to Pittsburg Lodge, No. 754, and is also a member of Stephen J. BAILEY Post, G. A. R., at Portland. The store, of which Mr. BRAKE is part owner, was first established by Peter COLDREN, it being the first store in the village. He was succeeded by H. and G. W. ABEL, and they were succeeded by ABEL & BRAKE in 1865. The firm BRAKE & BEARD has been prosperous. They started their business with about $1,400,and are now considered one of the most responsible firms in the county."

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