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Below is a family biography included in the Biographical Annals of Montgomery County, Pennsylvania published in 1904 by T. S. Benham & Company and The Lewis Publishing Company; Elwood Roberts, Editor.  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 MARCH BROWNBACK, post-master of Norristown and ex-district attorney of Montgomery county, is one of the best known of the younger members of the Norristown bar. He is the youngest son of James and Ellen (March) Brownback, and was born in West Vincent township, Chester county, Pennsylvania, December 17, 1860. The Brownback family, German in origin, has many branches in eastern Pennsylvania, and its members are influential in their different communities.

The immigrant was Gerhard Brumback (anglicized into Garrett Brownback), who sailed from Amsterdam in the ship Concord in 1683, landing at Philadelphia. Garrett Brownback settled first at Germantown, and removed later to Chester county, where he became a large land-holder and the first hotel-keeper in his section. He was the founder of the Brownback Reformed church, still in existence. He lived to the age of ninety-six years, dying about 1757. He married Mary Pepen, youngest daughter of Howard Pepen, whose wife was Mary Rittenhouse. The couple had two sons: Benjamin and Henry, and four daughters. Benjamin Brownback married Mary Paul and had three sons: Henry, John and Edward. Henry married Magdalena Paul, and had five children: John, Peter, Benjamin, Annie and Susan. Many of the descendants of Garrett Brownback are useful citizens, filling positions of honor and trust in different sections of the state.

One of the great-grandsons of Garrett Brownback was William Brownback (grandfather), a native of Chester county, who became a successful farmer. His wife was Eliza Wilson. She died in 1840 aged thirty-two years, leaving a family of four children; her husband survived her for half a century, dying July 29, 1890, at the age of eighty-four years. He was an exemplary citizen, and a life-long member of the Reformed Church, participating actively in its affairs. One of his sons was James Brownback (father), who was born March 4, 1833, in Chester county. After obtaining his education, he began life as a farmer, pursuing that occupation successfully. He sold out his other interests in 1865, and engaged in business as an iron founder, at Linfield, this county, where he still resides, although his firm, the March-Brownback Company, removed to Pottstown in 1891, he being its president and its business being prosperous. Mr. Brownback is also interested in other enterprises in that vicinity. In 1857 he married Ellen March, at Lawrenceville, Chester county. The couple had three children, Ada E., died November 13, 1899, wife of Henry G. Kulp, Pottstown; William M., married Annie Yocum, of Bryn Mawr, where the family reside; and Henry M. Brownback, of Norristown. Henry M. Brownback became a resident of Montgomery county when his parents removed from Chester county to Linfield. He was then but seven years of age. He attended private schools, and Ursinus College. Subsequently, he studied law in the office of his uncle, Franklin March, then in active practice at Norristown as a member of the Montgomery county bar. Having passed a most creditable examination, he was admitted to the bar December 4, 1882, beginning immediately the practice of his profession, in partnership with Mr. March, the firm being March and Brownback. This arrangement continued in force successfully until January 1, 1903, when it was dissolved, Mr. Brownback continuing, however, to devote himself to the practice of law. He became the nominee of the Republican party for the position of district attorney in 1889, and was elected to the position in November of that year, serving the term of three years with credit to himself, and with fidelity to the interests of the public. He has filled the position of solicitor for several county officials, from time to time, and has achieved exceptional success as a lawyer.

July 2, 1890, Mr. Brownback married Miss Augustine Marguerite Lowe, a daughter of Prof. T. S. C. Lowe, then a resident of Norristown but more recently of Pasadena, California, who has been largely interested in railway construction and other important business enterprises, and is the owner of many valuable inventions. Mr. and Mrs. Brownback have two sons, Henry Lowe and Russell James.

Early in July, 1899, Mr. Brownback was appointed postmaster at Norristown by President McKinley. In January, 1903, his term of four years having expired, he was re-appointed by President Roosevelt to the position. As post-master Mr. Brownback has been faithful, energetic and progressive, always desiring to promote in every possible way the convenience and accommodation of the public. Under his supervision free rural delivery has been instituted, the routes which branch out from Norristown extending to various sections of the county. During his administration, also, the movement for a public building in Norristown was carried to a successful conclusion. Courteous, obliging and faithful in the discharge of his duties, Mr. Brownback is a model official.

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This family biography is one of more than 1,000 biographies included in the Biographical Annals of Montgomery County, Pennsylvania published in 1904 by T. S. Benham & Company and The Lewis Publishing Company.  For the complete description, click here: Biographical Annals of Montgomery County, Pennsylvania

View additional Montgomery County, Pennsylvania family biographies here: Montgomery County, Pennsylvania Biographies

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