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Below is a family biography included in the book, Portrait and Biographical Record of Johnson and Pettis County Missouri published by Chapman Publishing Company in 1895.  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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ANTHONY BROWNING, an energetic and enterprising agriculturist of Johnson County, was born in Lanarkshire, Scotland, May 21, 1847. He is now living on section 2, township 46, range 25, where is located his one hundred and thirty acre tract of land.

Gavin and Margaret (Mair) Browning, the parents of our subject, were also born in the above shire in Scotland, where the father was a coal miner. The maternal grandparents were Anthony and Jeanette Mair, also born in Scotland, where they lived and died. Their occupation in life was that of farmers. Gavin and Annie Browning, the paternal grandparents of Anthony, were also born in that country, where the former was employed as a weaver all his life; they both died in Lanarkshire. Their eldest son, Andrew, when last heard from, was still living in his native land; Alexander was accidentally killed in that country; and Gavin, Jr., the father of our subject, passed his entire life in Scotland. He remained at home until eighteen or nineteen years of age, and then, finding it necessary to earn his own living, worked at the weaver’s trade, which he had already learned from his father. Upon abandoning this vocation, he followed farming for a time, but as this business did not prove as profitable as he had expected, entered the coal mines in Scotland, which is one of the finest coal regions in the world. He continued to be thus employed for thirty years.

While working in the mines, Gavin Browning, Jr., was married to the mother of our subject. He died in February, 1869, while his good wife survived him until 1890. He was ardently interested in all good work, giving regularly to the support of the church, and lending a helping hand to the needy. To himself and wife there were born seven children. Of these Gavin, who was born in September, 1843, married Elizabeth Watson, and is engaged in mining in Scotland; Jennie, who was born in 1845, married John Russell, and also makes her home in Scotland; Anthony was the next-born; Alexander was born in 1849, and died when six years of age; Annie, who was born in 1851, married John Forrest, and with her husband lives in Scotland; Margaret, who was born in 1858, became the wife of Robert Coates, and is also a resident of that country; Robert was born in 1864, and died when two years of age.

Our subject remained at home, aiding in the work about the place and also working in the mines to some extent, until attaining his majority. After this he was allowed to keep all the money which he earned, and for one year continued mining. While at work there he was married, October 23, 1868, to Miss Ellen Gillespie, who was born in the same shire, June 21, 1845. She was the daughter of Thomas and Annie (Adams) Gillespie, both natives of that country, where Mr. Gillespie was a miner. He is living retired there at the age of seventy-three years. His life has been successful and has resulted in the accumulation of a snug amount of money, which enables him to pass his last days in comfort.

Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Gillespie were the parents of eleven children, of whom six are now living. Maggie, the eldest of the household, married James Adams, now deceased; she makes her home in Luzerne County, Pa. Mrs. Browning was the next-born. The third, fourth and fifth children are deceased. Agnes, who married John Rodgers, is also deceased, and her husband is living in Scotland. James married Grace Russell, and is at present living in New Zealand. David is engaged in mining in Birmingham, Ala. Thomas died in infancy. Elizabeth is Mrs. R. Richardson, and with her husband is living in New Zealand. Janet is single and lives with her
father in Scotland.

Soon after his marriage our subject started for America with the hope of regaining his health. The vessel on which he took passage was the “Columbia,” and fourteen days after leaving Glasgow he was landed on the shores of the New World, arriving in New York September 3, 1869. His destination was the mining regions of Pennsylvania, and accordingly he journeyed to Pittston, Luzerne County. While there he worked for the Pennsylvania Coal Company for two years, and then removed to Columbiana County, Ohio, where he was similarly employed by the Chauncy Andrews Company. He worked for this corporation for the same length of time, and then made his way to Trumbull County, Ohio, where Mr. Andrews had other mining interests. For the following two years he was engaged in the mines, but about this time heard glowing accounts of the wonderful farming region of Missouri, and accordingly packed his goods and went to Maries County, making a purchase of eighty acres. After raising one crop he disposed of this tract by sale and came to Johnson County, arriving here in November, 1876. His means at this time were very limited, consisting of only $5 in money. He succeeded, however, in obtaining possession of rented property, settling upon a farm owned by W. J. Mayes. In order that he might have ready money with which to carry on his farm work more successfully, he worked for a portion of the time for the Gallagher Mining Company at Montserrat for one year, and then hired out to the Cooperative Coal Company of that place. During the six years in which he was employed by this company he did not do farm work, but in 1886 turned his attention to it exclusively. In the above year our subject purchased ninety acres of his present homestead, which he has increased until it now includes one hundred and thirty acres, on which he has placed many valuable improvements.

Mr. and Mrs. Browning are the parents of ten children, one having died. Annie was born in Scotland in 1869; she married George Himsinger, and makes her home in this township on a farm. Maggie, born July 30, 1871, is living at home. Guy, who was born June 4, 1873, married Elvira Painroad, and is engaged in farming and mining in Macon County, this state. Ella, who was born July 30, 1877, is now the wife of George Painroad, a farmer near Montserrat. Nanettie was born April 1, 1878, and died September 6, 1893. Jessie was born July 10, 1880; Lillie, February 28, 1883; Thomas, June 11, 1884; Robert, September 24, 1887; and Effie, March 24, 1890.

For some time past Mr. Browning has been School Director in his district. Socially he is a Mason, having belonged to that order since 1867, and also belongs to Eureka Lodge No. 88, I. O. O. F., at Warrensburg. In politics he is a Democrat. Both himself and wife are members in good standing of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church.

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This family biography is one of the numerous biographies included in the Johnson County, Missouri portion of the book,  Portrait and Biographical Record of Johnson and Pettis County Missouri published in 1895 by Chapman Publishing Co.  For the complete description, click here: Johnson County, Missouri History, Genealogy, and Maps

View additional Johnson County, Missouri family biographies here: Johnson County, Missouri Biographies

View a map of 1904 Johnson County, Missouri here: Johnson County, Missouri Map

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