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Below is a family biography included in The History of Miami 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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BENJAMIN F. BROWN, farmer; P. O. Piqua; was the son of James and Martha (Summers) Brown, who were born in Virginia, who, in the early settlement of Kentucky by Daniel Boone, were with their parents among the second lot of emigrants who went with Daniel Boone and settled in Kentucky; here the grandparents lived and died, except the grandmother on his mother’s side, who came to this county before she died; Mr. Brown’s father, James, when 16 years of age, was put into the United States service; in 1783, with a squad of troops, among whom was Daniel Boone, he came across the Ohio River, at what is now Maysville, and northward through the Northwest, as it was then called, to drive back the Indians, who were at that time very troublesome; they went up as far as where West Liberty is now located and destroyed an Indian village there and then returned. At this time there was not any white settler in the Northwest Territory, north of the Ohio river; James Brown remained in Kentucky until 1805, when he came and located in this county, on the very piece of land upon which his son Berry now lives; it was then an unbroken wilderness west of the Miami River, and they had to cut out their road through from Staunton, a distance of seven miles, which took them two days; here they commenced to make an opening, built a log cabin, with split-puncheon floors, doors etc., split out of timber; everything was of the roughest and executed in haste, as the winter was just upon them; getting it inclosed, they moved into it near the last of November; cold weather set in before all was completed, but they made out to live through the winter, which was extremely cold and severe; they were much troubled by the wolves, which carried away their pigs, devoured them, and, often during the day time, would drive in their cattle; they, however, were possessed of one advantage, being able to procure aplenty of wild game for meat; such was their beginning, but they labored on from year to year, clearing up and making improvements, as time and means would permit; in the meantime Mr. Brown was giving all aid and support to the early education of the rising generation, being earnestly devoted to schools and the moral and religious training of his children; in 1817, he had made such progress that he built a brick house, which still stands as a part of Mr. Brown’s present residence, and is in remarkably good condition; he lived till the 29th of December, 1846, when he passed away from a life of remarkable activity, of labors and hardships, to one of rest and rewards; Mr. Brown, being the youngest child of his father, remained with him till his death. He was united in marriage with Mary Hilliard, daughter of Joseph and Sarah Hilliard, early settlers of this county, Feb. 13, 1840; they have had born to them four children, viz., Joseph H., who was in the naval service under Admiral Porter, and died while up the Red River, with typhoid fever, May 8, 1864; Thomas, who is married and lives on the home farm; Nannie J., who is Mrs. Hamilton, living in Newton Township; and Clara, who is living at home. Mr. Brown, at the death of his parents, bought out the interests of the other heirs, now having 230 acres of good land, with fine buildings for himself and a comfortable new house which he built for his son, who lives on the farm; Mr. Brown has also a farm of 100 acres in Newton Township, purchased by the proceeds of his own labor and industry; as far as this world’s goods can supply the wants of life, Mr. Brown is amply provided, and has everything needed for comfort and convenience. Mr. Brown was politically a Whig and latterly a staunch Republican; he has been a very prominent man in public affairs of this township and county, having been County Commissioner twelve years, during which time about 200 miles of turnpike roads were built and others converted into free turnpikes, he having the principal management of the business; he has also been Township Trustee for nine years; during this official career, Mr. Brown has located, caused to be located, or superintended the construction of, more public ditches and drainage than perhaps any other man in the county; he has also had a large amount of business to do in the way of settling up estates of deceased persons; in fact, the whole life of Mr. Brown has been one of continued activity; he has had the entire trust and confidence of the people, his one great leading principle in his official capacity being to deal honestly and justly by all, without regard to their political faith or other circumstances; he is now nearly three score years and ten, and has been so largely in public official life, that he has many times, to some extent, neglected his own business affairs. Mr. Brown now feels justified in refusing all public offices, and will devote the remnant of his life to his own interests, but will probably always be an active man, as he is one, who, from his nature and education, can never be a drone, or idle, in any acceptation of the term; we feel, in placing this record of so active and useful a life upon the pages of this history, that it will stand as a monument and a bright example to all future generations.

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This family biography is one of 964 biographies included in The History of Miami County, Ohio published in 1880 by W. H. Beers & Co.  For the complete description, click here: Miami County, Ohio History and Genealogy

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

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