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Below is a family biography included in The History of Darke County, Ohio published by W. H. Beers & Co. in 1880.  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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JOHN S. BROWN, farmer; P. O. Gordon; one of the old settlers of Darke Co.; he was born in Warren Co., Ohio, March 25, 1828, and is a son of Joseph and Mary Brown; his father was born in Virginia, in 1800, and removed to Warren Co. in 1811, and was one of the early pioneers of the Miami Valley; he learned the blacksmith trade at the age of 18, which business he followed there, and removed to Darke Co. in this township, in 1830, and was one of the sturdy ones who gave improvement and civilization a start in the great wilderness of Ohio; he followed farming and blacksmithing, till, within a few years of his death, he became disabled and was obliged to leave the field of labor ; lived an invalid for five years, and died Aug. 30, 1874. His mother was born in Warren Co.; her parents were John and Elizabeth Snorph, natives of Maryland; Mr. Snorph died in Montgomery Co., aged about 86 years; Mrs. Snorph departed this life in Warren Co., aged about 60 years. Our subject assisted his father in agricultural pursuits till his 21st year of age, when he began life for himself, and engaged in farming. He was united in marriage with Sarah J., daughter of John and Hannah Patterson, Aug. 17, 1848; her father was born in Pennsylvania in 1803, and removed to Cincinnati with his parents when he was 7 years old, thence to Warren Co.; from there to Montgomery Co., where he married Miss Hannah Witham, and resided there upward of thirty years, then moved to West Baltimore, and resided here till his death, which occurred Jan. 17, 1874; Mrs. Patterson died in Montgomery Co., May 12, 1862, aged 58 years. After his marriage our subject engaged in farming in this township for three years, when he removed to Preble Co., and carried on a farm for a short time, thence back to the place where he now resides; he settled on 80 acres of land partly in the woods, but, by hard labor and good management, he cleared it and got it in condition to receive the improved implements of agricultural labor; he has since, in 1858, purchased 80 acres more land, and now owns 160 acres here in a body—all in a good state of cultivation, with good improvements. His large brick house presents a striking contrast to the little cabin that stands in the yard, which was once their abode. Mr. Brown is an example of one of our self-made men, having begun life with no capital, but by hard work, industry and good management, he has accomplished the great object in life—made a good home, and is surrounded by all the comforts of life, in which to spend his declining years; in all his struggles and privations, such as pioneers know, he has been nobly assisted by his amiable and industrious wife, and both are enjoying the fruits of their hard-earned labor. They are the parents of fourteen children, viz.: James M., born Jan. 7, 1849; Mary J., June 13, 1850; Ellen C., Feb. 22, 1852; John, Sept. 3, 1853; George W., Feb. 18, 1855; Julia, March 13, 1857; Albert, Feb. 24, 1858; Dora E., April 1, 1860; Arthur, May 7, 1862; Nellie, March 11, 1864; Libbie, August 22, 1866; Nina and Eddie (twins), Oct. 3, 1868; Norman L., Dec. 15, 1871; Julia died April 1, 1857; James M., died Jan. 25, 1869; George W., died March 16, 1869; Eddie, died March 28, 1869; Nellie, died Aug. 12, 1869; Nina, died April 30, 1870; Mary J., nee Mrs. William Ibach, died July 12, 1870; Albert, died Oct. 21, 1871; John F., married Martha J. Werts, Nov. 15, 1877 ; Ellenora, married Samuel Barkalow, Feb. 13, 1873 ; Mary J., united in marriage with William Ibach, Feb. 3, 1870. Mrs. Brown was born Feb. 22, 1827. Although Mr. Brown has been very unfortunate in rearing his large family, he has been one of the few fortunate ones, having only been sick once in his life, and then with the ague, and he informs us he was never off his feet, and is still hearty and strong though hard work and exposure have bent his frame and iron will, his faculties are unimpaired.

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This family biography is one of 659 biographies included in The History of Darke County, Ohio published in 1880 by W. H. Beers & Co.  For the complete description, click here: Darke County, Ohio History and Genealogy

View additional Darke County, Ohio family biographies here: Darke County, Ohio Biographies

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