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Brown, William H.
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Brown, William H.
Contributed by Barbara
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Source: Past and Present of Pike County, Page 358-363


William H. Brown, the owner of six hundred acres of valuable land in Pike county and also well known in commercial circles as a dealer in hard and soft coal at Maysville, was born in Griggsville township on the 10th of November, 1867, a son of Henry R. and Jane (Chapman) Brown. The father's birth occurred in Brown county, Ohio, July 15, 1821, and he was a son of William Brown, Sr., a well known pioneer resident of Pike county. Henry Brown came to Illinois in 1834, making his way at once to this county and establishing his home on section 29, Griggsville township. He followed a breaking plow and dropped corn on the Griggsville prairie, the rows being one mile in length. He was employed at that work by George W. Jones, who has since passed away. Mr. Brown also worked in a cotton gin in Morgan county for about three years and like other boys of that early day he was largely deprived of educational advantages and was compelled to undergo many hardships and privations incident to the settlement of the frontier. He saw the first steamboat that sailed on the waters of the Illinois river and was a witness of many of the historic events which have marked the development of this county. He also saw deer running wild on the prairies, there being twenty or more in a drove, but he never shot one.

Henry R. Brown was married first to Miss Harriet Park on the 18th of January, 1842, and just two years later she passed away, leaving one son, George W., who was born November 18, 1843. He served his country in the Civil war as a member of the Union army and died July 7, 1900. On the 22d of December, 1847, Henry R. Brown was married to Miss Jane Chapman, a daughter of E. W. Chapman, deceased, well known in early history of Pike county. By this marriage there were eight children. John Q., who was born October 13, 1848 and married Miss Ella Eastman, is now engaged in cultivating a farm of about five hundred acres in Kansas. Mary J., born June 16, 1850 is the wife of John F. Watkins, a farmer of Griggsville township. Sarah F., born May 17, 1852, is the wife of Dr. W. O. Skinner, a resident of Griggsville. William E., born August 12, 1854, died May 6, 1855. Julia A., born November 8, 1856, has also passed away. Flora E., born January 12, 1862, died January 10, 1867. Captain Amos W. Brown, born December 17, 1863, married Louise Lewis and they now reside in Kansas, where he follows farming and in 1902-3 he raised thirty thousand bushels of wheat. William H. completes the family. The father, Henry R. Brown, long an active, enterprising, prosperous and honored agriculturist of Pike county, passed away June 7, 1903, when eighty-two years of age, and his wife, who was born in 1823, is now living in her eighty-second year, at the present writing visiting her sons in Kansas.

William H. Brown, reared under the parental roof, acquired his elementary education in the public schools and afterward attended Illinois College at Jacksonville. He was early trained to habits of industry, economy and enterprise upon the old homestead farm and was associated with his father in business until the latter's death. In recent years he had more and more relieved his father of the care and arduous duties incident to a business career and since his demise he has been farming the old homestead, comprising six hundred acres of rich and productive land. He also raises and feeds stock on an extensive scale, having a feed shed two hundred by two hundred feet with fifty feeding chutes. In 1904 he fed over five hundred head of cattle and he now has on hand about two hundred head of cattle and between five and six hundred head of hogs. He is the most extensive live stock shipper in this locality, buying cattle all over the county and his business has reached mammoth and profitable proportions. He also has coal sheds at Maysville and is a dealer in both soft and hard coal, which likewise adds materially to his annual income. In January, 1906, he traded a farm of one hundred and sixty acres, in Brown county, for a well improved place of three hundred and twenty acres in Butler county, Kansas, three miles from Latham.

On the 4th of November, 1902, Mr. Brown was married to Miss Josie A. Mink, who was born in Salem township, Pike county, December 1, 1882, a daughter of Jacob D. and Catherine (Chipman) Mink, the former born in Ohio in 1852 and the latter in Pike county, Illinois, in 1858. Her father is a farmer and stock-raiser in Salem township, cultivating about five hundred and twenty acres of land. He came to this state when young and in limited financial circumstances but gradually he worked his way upward and has found that success is ambition's answer. His political allegiance is given to the democracy. In his family were three sons and six daughters, as follows: Jessie, the wife of Ralph Gleckler; William H.; Ruth, the wife of William Dean; Rachel; Grover; Frank, who died in his seventh year; Eunice R.; Mamie; and Emmett.

Mr. Brown has never cared for public office but has always preferred to give his undivided attention to his business affairs and in connection with his other interests is a stockholder in the Illinois Valley Bank at Griggsville. He votes, however, with the republican party and he is a member of Pike lodge, No. 73, I. O. O. F., at Griggsville, while his wife is connected with Dove lodge of the Rebekah order. They are highly esteemed people of the community, representing worthy and prominent pioneer families and the hospitality of many of the best homes is freely accorded them. Mr. Brown is a man of excellent business ability, of keen discernment and unfaltering enterprise, and keeps in touch with the modern trend of thought and progress in relation to agricultural and commercial pursuits.

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Submitted: 05/09/09 (Edited 09/09/09)

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