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Below is a family biography included in The Portrait and Biographical Record of Randolph, Jackson, Perry and Monroe Counties, Illinois published by Biographical Publishing Co. in 1894.  These biographies are valuable for genealogy research in discovering missing ancestors or filling in the details of a family tree. Family biographies often include far more information than can be found in a census record or obituary.  Details will vary with each biography but will often include the date and place of birth, parent names including mothers' maiden name, name of wife including maiden name, her parents' names, name of children (including spouses if married), former places of residence, occupation details, military service, church and social organization affiliations, and more.  There are often ancestry details included that cannot be found in any other type of genealogical record.

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HON. ALBERT L. BRANDS, M. D., who is at present representing Randolph County in the State Senate, has not only attained a competency in the practice of his profession, but has won an honorable record in Legislative halls and as a private citizen. He is also one of the leading druggists in Prairie du Rocher, where he resides, and in his well equipped establishment is found a full line of all articles carried by first-class druggists.

A native of St. Genevieve County, Mo., our subject was born April 26, 1856, to Herman and Emeline (Wells) Brands, natives respectively of Westphalia, Prussia, and southwestern Ohio. The father of our subject made his way to America in 1844, and coming west, located in the above county in Missouri, where he was a farmer, and died June 2, 1893. His good wife, who is still living, resides on the old homestead in that county. They reared a family of three sons, of whom Albert L., of this sketch, is the only one now living. The latter was reared to manhood in his native county, and received his early training in the subscription schools near his home. Later he continued his studies for a twelvemonth in the De Soto College, at De Soto, Mo., and after leaving there he taught school for one term in his native county. It being his desire to become a physician, he entered the Missouri Medical College at St. Louis in 1877, from which institution he was graduated with the degree of Doctor of Medicine three years later.

When ready to begin the practice of his profession, Dr. Brands came to Illinois, and in Ivy Landing, Monroe County, remained for eighteen months, and at the end of that time came to Prairie du Rocher, which has since been his home. He has always been very popular with the people where he has resided, and during the first administration of Cleveland, was appointed Postmaster at Prairie du Rocher. His prominence as a public man is also indicated by the fact that in 1892 he was elected to the State Senate, representing Perry, Monroe, Randolph and Jackson Counties. His political affiliations have always been with the Democratic party, which he has represented as a delegate to many of the state conventions.

The marriage of Dr. Brands with Miss Maggie Bliler was celebrated July 28, 1886. Mrs. Brands was born in Carlyle, Clinton County, Ill., and at the time of her marriage was residing in Chester. Their union was blessed by the birth of four sons, viz.: Edgar G., H. Arnold, Sylvester J. and Albert A. The Doctor’s wife and children are members of the Catholic Church.

Up to the time of entering the Senate, Dr. Brands actively pursued his high calling as a physician here, having a large practice. He is noted for his rare skill in the treatment of difficult cases, and is considered one of the finest physicians in this section of the country. As State Senator he has taken a decided stand on the side of labor, and in the National Coal Miners’ Journal, at Columbus, Ohio, he is spoken of as the “prominent labor Senator.” While in that body, he was Chairman of the Committee on Expenses, and was also a member of thirteen other committees of importance. His record is that of a man interested in public improvements, liberal in his views regarding appropriations, but averse to extravagance or fraud. Stanch in principles, clear in perception, and decided in character, he deserves the good things which have come to him, and is one of the most prominent and influential men in the state.

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This family biography is one of 679 biographies included in The Portrait and Biographical Record of Randolph, Jackson, Perry and Monroe Counties, Illinois published in 1894.  View the complete description here: The Portrait and Biographical Record of Randolph, Jackson, Perry and Monroe Counties, Illinois

View additional Randolph County, Illinois family biographies here: Randolph County, Illinois Biographies

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