Specific mention is made in the following paragraphs of one of the worthy citizens of Johnson county, Indiana—one who has figured in the growth and development of this favored locality and whose interests have been identified with its progress, contributing in a definite measure his particular sphere of action to the well-being of the community which he resides and to the advancement of its normal and legitimate growth. Additional interest also attaches to his career from the fact that practically his entire life has been passed within the borders of this county. Earnest purpose and tireless energy, combined with mature judgement and everyday common sense, have been among his most prominent characteristics and he has merited the respect and esteem which are accorded him by all who know him.

Samuel E. Brewer, president of the Whiteland National Bank, was born June 28, 1842, in Pleasant township, this county. and is the son of John D. and Frances (Webb) Brewer, natives of Mercer and Henry counties, Kentucky, respectively. John D. Brewer was the son of Daniel A. Brewer, a native of New Jersey, who migrated to Kentucky, and the latter was the son of Abram Brewer, who was born and reared in New Jersey. The latter was the son of Everardus Brewer who was the son of Jacob Brewer, the son of Adam Brewer, who came Holland to America in 1642 and settled on Manhattan island. John D. Brewer came to Johnson county, Indiana, in 1828, locating on some land which he had secured while here on a hunting trip, having previously made four trips to this county. and in 1832 he filed on a piece of land in Pleasant township. He was prospered in his business affairs and at time of his death, which occurred in August, 1882, he was the owner of one thousand acres of good land. In 1834 Daniel Brewer and his family came, his wife being Theodosia Darland, and they, with their children, Garrett, David, Daniel, William, Sarah, Mary and Samuel, all settled on farms in Pleasant and Franklin townships. John D. Brewer built a log cabin, in which he “batched” for eight years, and then married Frances Webb, a daughter of James Webb, a native of Henry county, Kentucky, where he was an early settler. To John D. and Frances Brewer were born nine children, namely: Samuel E., subject of this sketch; Frances, who died at the age of two years; one who died in infancy; Mrs. Theodosia Miller, of Bloomington, this state; Mary of Indianapolis; Mrs. Etha Dixon, deceased; Mrs. Frances Brewer, deceased; Mrs. Belle Covert, of Los Angeles, California; Mrs. Margaret Tracy, of Whiteland, and Mrs. Telvia Brooks, of Indianapolis. The mother of these children died in 1894.

The subject of this sketch received his education in the district schools, supplemented by attendance at Hopewell Academy during 1861 to 1864. He then engaged in teaching school, following that vocation for a few years, and then located on eighty acres of his father’s land, to the cultivation of which he devoted his time for a few years, at the same time teaching, as his business affairs would permit. In 1871 he bought a saw mill, which he operated until 1887, and then erected the Whiteland canning factory, which he operated. He had a hard struggle to make the concern a success, but eventually got it on its feet and in 1898 sold it to Grafton Johnson. The factory is now a prosperous institution and is one of the largest canning factories in the state. Mr. Brewer managed this factory until 1905, when he disposed of his interests and retired. In 1909 he assisted in the organization of the Whiteland National Bank, of which he was elected president and in which capacity he is still serving. Much of the success of this splendid institution has been due to his good business management and personal influence, and among his business associates he is held in high regard, his sound judgment and wise discrimination being considered invaluable in the management of the bank. He is the owner of one hundred and sixty acres of splendid farm land, besides which he owns a splendid residence and one of the best business blocks in Whiteland.

Politically, Mr. Brewer is a Democrat, though he assumes an independent attitude in local affairs, voting for the men whom he deems best qualified for office. He was elected justice of the peace, serving four years in this capacity to the entire satisfaction of all concerned.

In 1867 Mr. Brewer married Melissa, the daughter of Cordonand Springer, a native of Virginia and an early settler in Johnson county, having come here in the late twenties. To Mr. Brewer have been born the following children: Mrs. Annie Graham, who lives one mile east of Whiteland and is the mother of seven children: Roy, Earl, William, Fannie, John and two others; Mrs. Fannie Alexander, now deceased, lived in Illinois, and left three children, Mary, Anna and Melissa; Edward, who died in 1900, left two children, Samuel and Marcie; Mrs. Leona Tingle lives in Greenwood. Mr.Brewer’s career has been one of honor and trust and no higher eulogy can be passed upon him than the simple truth that his name has never been coupled with anything disreputable; and that there has never been the shadow of a stain upon his reputation for integrity and unswerving honesty. He has been a consistent man in all that he has ever undertaken and his career in all of the relations of life has been absolutely without pretense.. His actions are the result of careful and conscientious thought and when once convinced that he is right no suggestion of policy or personal profit can swerve him from the course that he has decided upon. He is essentially a man of affairs, sound of judgment and far-seeing in what he undertakes and he has won and retained the confidence and esteem of all classes.

Branigin, Elba L. History of Johnson County. Indianapolis, IN: B. F. Bowen & Co., Inc., 1913. pp 760-762

Transcribed by Lois Johnson