BIOGRAPHY - Aaron Brown

AARON BROWN, recently deceased, was a native of Piper City. In presenting to our readers a sketch of this gentleman, we give the record of a self-made man, one who by his own efforts worked his way upward from a humble position in life to one of affluence, and his example in many respects is well worthy of emulation. He was born in Lancaster County, Pa., March 29, 1836, and was a son of Christian and Elizabeth (Hoover) Brown, both of whom were natives of Pennsylvania. They removed to the West about 1850, locating in Peoria County, Ill., where Mr. Brown purchased a farm of one hundred and sixty acres, nine miles from Peoria, and there spent the remainder of his life, his death occurring December 2, 1879. His wife passed away March 6, 1881, at the age of seventy-three years, eleven months and twenty-nine days. Mr. Brown was a successful business man and made a good home. In politics, he was a Democrat and was a member of the Presbyterian Church. The family numbered ten children: John, deceased; Jacob and Samuel (twins), who died in childhood; Celinda, deceased; Reuben, who was killed by lightning; Henry, deceased; Elizabeth, now Mrs. Fisher, of Woodford County, Ill.; Mrs. Mary L. Stoner, of Taylor County, Iowa; Christian H., who is employed in a corn-planter works in Peoria; and Aaron.

The boyhood days of our subject were spent in the Keystone State, where his education was acquired in the primitive log schools with its slab seats. At the age of fourteen, he came to Illinois and before attaining his majority started out in life for himself. From 1858 until near the close of his life, he followed the occupation of farming, but in 1865, he laid aside all business cares and, on the 16th of February, joined Company G, of the Fourteenth Illinois Infantry. The regiment marched through to Raleigh and joined Sherman's Army. After the surrender of Johnson, they went to Richmond, Va. They were under Gen. Sherman at the battles of Parkersburg, Va., and Louisville, Ky., and participated in the grand review in Washington. Mr. Brown was in the service for eight months, during which time he traveled many hundreds of miles. On his return home, he resumed farming in Peoria County, where he remained for two or three years, then went to Livingston County, where he spent fourteen years. In 1883, he moved to Ford County, which was his home until his death, and in Pella Township the family still owns one hundred and sixty acres of good land, although they now make their home in Piper City.

Mr. Brown was married in Peoria County, January 26, 1858, the lady of his choice being Miss Sarah H. Pierce, a native of that county and a daughter of John and Mary (Wilbur) Pierce, who emigrated from Massachusetts to Illinois in 1838, becoming early settlers of Peoria, where the father followed the occupation of carpentering. They had a family of eight children: Frank, who is now living retired in Oregon; Mary, who died in childhood; Mrs. Mary L. Conover, of Peoria; Henry C., who served as Fife Major during the late war in the Forty-seventh Illinois Infantry, is now deceased; Mrs. Brown is the next younger; Charles died in infancy; and Charles, the second of that name, who served as a soldier in the late war, is a resident of Chicago; Samuel resides in Brenton Township.

Unto Mr. and Mrs. Brown were born the following children, viz: Mrs. Anna F. Ives, now of Forest, Livingston County; Elizabeth, deceased; Carrie P., wife of Thomas Clark, of Cullom, Ill.; Celinda, deceased; Ida, wife of Edward Hevener, a farmer, of Pella Township; Sadie, wife of Albert McKinney, of Piper City; Charles, who died in childhood; Lula, Mabel, Willie and Iva, at home. The children have all received good educational advantages and the older ones are now occupying useful and responsible positions in life.

Mrs. Brown and all the children, save the youngest two, are Presbyterians, as was also Mr. Brown, who served as a Trustee. They are worthy citizens of the community, and have the warm regard of many friends. In politics, Mr. Brown was a Republican, having supported that party since he cast his first Presidential vote for Abraham Lincoln. On the evening of the 10th of May, 1892, he with his family attended a church social, returning home at half past ten o'clock. Within a few minutes, he complained of not feeling well; medical aid was called, but nothing could be done to relieve him. At two o'clock the next morning, his spirit took its flight. His loss was mourned by his family and many friends, for he was a kind father, husband and valued citizen. His remains were laid to rest in the Chatsworth Cemetery.

Extracted 31 Jul 2020 by Norma Hass from Portrait and Biographical Record of Ford County, Illinois, published in 1892, pages 289-290.

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