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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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HENRY CLAY BROWN. Among the many native-born citizens of Randolph County who are yet residing here, engaged in agricultural pursuits, we may mention our subject, who was born near Shiloh Hill, April 14, 1851. He is the third in a family of four boys and one girl, whose parents were James M. and Rebecca (Simons) Brown. The father was born in Kentucky, May 16, 1811, and lived in Ohio during his younger days; the mother was born in Greene County, Ill., and was a daughter of Edward Simons. For many years James M. Brown was an engineer on a river steamer, and in 1842 purchased from A. B. Rodgers a farm near Shiloh Hill, which continued to be his home until 1856. Afterward he superintended the building and equipment of a mill at Liberty Landing (now Rockwood), serving as President of the company and as chief engineer. About 1860, he disposed of the mill and purchased the farm on section 17, township 8, range 5, where our subject now lives.

In the fall of 1869, James M. Brown went to Texas, hoping by a change of climate to recuperate his health. He remained through the winter, and then returned to Rockwood, where his death occurred January 14, 1874. His wife was born August 19, 1820, and departed this life July 3, 1866. They were married July 25, 1841, in St. Louis, and soon afterward came to take possession of their new home near Shiloh Hill.

The subject of the sketch gained the rudiments of his education at Ebenezer school in the summer of 1856, and the following winter attended the school at Liberty Landing, remaining there for ten years. In the winter of 1868-69, he took a course in the Christian Brothers’ College at St. Louis. At the expiration of that time, in connection with his brother, he embarked in agricultural pursuits upon the farm where he now resides. During the time from 1872 to 1874, he resided in Rockwood, but continued to operate the farm as before. In the last named year, he purchased a steam threshing machine, the first ever seen in this part of the county, and it was a sight that drew beholders for miles around. The following year he and his brother purchased another machine, which they operated in partnership for many years.

December 23, 1869, Henry C. Brown married Annie, a daughter of Montraville Vickers, whose biography appears elsewhere in this work. To this couple have been born six children, of whom Lewis E., Eunice E. and an unnamed infant all died when quite young. Alfred C. was born November 29, 1874; James A., August 15, 1881, and Fred W., March 12, 1890. In politics, Mr. Brown is a stanch Democrat, as was his father before him. He has held the office of School Director, and takes a great interest in all things pertaining to education and schools. He resides in a fine large two-story house, which embellishes his splendid farm of one hundred and eighty broad and fertile acres, divided about equally in bluff and bottom land. In addition to that property, he owns about two hundred acres in Jackson County, most of which is under his personal supervision.

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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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