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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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JOHN E. BROWER, a prominent citizen of Oaks, is a descendant of an old Montgomery county family. He was born at the old Brower homestead, where he still lives, on December 3, 1821. He was reared as a farmer, and educated in the common schools of the neighborhood. He is a son of Abram and Margaret (Crawford) Brower, both of Montgomery county, in which county they were married and have always lived. Abram Brower is a son of Daniel and Fannie (Reiff) Brower. Both families are of German descent, and one of the earliest settlers in the state of Pennsylvania during colonial days. Daniel Brower bought a large tract of land and erected a dwelling with all the improvements, on which place John E. Brower now resides. He reared his family on this farm, and when his death occurred his farm passed to his son Abram. Abram Brower resided on the old homestead until his death, which he in turn passed over to his son John, who is still surviving at the advanced age of eighty-three years.

Daniel Brower (grandfather) was a very prominent man and farmer in his day. He was a member of the Mennonite church, was widely known throughout the surrounding country, and was highly respected by all with whom he came in contact. His children: Henry, died in Canada; Fanny (Mrs. J. Pennypacker); Barbara (Mrs. Kurts); Eliza, married J. Pennypacker after the death of her sister Fanny; Mary (Mrs. Bickler); Daniel, hotel keeper, miller and farmer; Abram (father); Christian, also a farmer, miller and hotel keeper; Ann (Mrs. J. H. Hempstead); Sarah, never married; Catharine (Mrs. Judge Henry Longacre).

Abram Brower (father) was born, reared and always resided at the old homestead after the death of his father. He purchased the interest from the other heirs and carried forward what his father had intended to be done, and reared his (Abram’s) family at the old homestead. The old home was situated in the valley of the Schuylkill river, and was an excellent place for him to carry on systematic farming and stock raising, to which he gave his entire attention, raising horses, cattle and hogs. He was known to have the finest horses in that section of Pennsylvania, and formed a market for the sale of these animals both at home and in Philadelphia. Politically, Mr. Brower was a Whig and a Republican. He represented his county in the legislature, and filled other prominent positions. He took an active interest in all public questions and used his influence for his party. He was not a member of any church. He died in 1871, at the age of eighty-seven years. His wife preceded him in death, dying in 1869, aged eighty-five years. She was a daughter of Joseph Crawford, of Lower Providence township. She was of Irish descent, and the members of her family were among the early settlers of this township. Her father was well known and highly respected. Their children were: Margaret (mother of John E. Brower); Joseph, a farmer; Alexander, died single. The children of Abram Brower: Ann (Mrs. U. Sheppard) ; Joseph, yet resides in this neighborhood at the ripe old age of eighty-seven years; Fanny (Mrs. S. Umpstead); Abram, a farmer; John E., the subject of this sketch; Jane B. (Mrs. John Tyson).

John E. Brower was reared on the old homestead, at which place he yet resides. After the death of his father, he purchased the interest of the other heirs and so far has spent his life on the farm. He has sold some of the land, but still owns about eighty acres. The quaint stone building erected by his grandfather is still doing service as the dwelling house; it has been repaired and remodeled, and the same is capacious and comfortable. The farm has required all his energy, and in addition to this he has given careful attention to the raising of stock of all kinds. In politics, Mr. Brower is a Republican, and he was the first of his own immediate family to vote the Republican ticket. He voted for Fremont. He has never aspired for office. He is very much interested in the doings of “Our Country,” and notes carefully all progress made by this nation. Among his first recollections is the old canal traffic, before railroads were known, and when the marketing was carried to and from the large cities by horses and wagons only. He is widely known and highly respected by all in his community.

On August 30, 1841, he was united in marriage to Miss Anna E. Horning, who was born in Montgomery county, May 8, 1824. She was a daughter of James and Sarah A. (Miller) Horning, both of this county. James Horning was the son of Samuel Horning, also of this county, and he was a son of Michael Horning, a prominent settler of German descent. The Horning family were mostly tillers of the soil, and also handled flax seed oil. He was known very well in that section of the county. In politics, he was a Democrat. He had filled some minor offices, but never aspired to public service. He contributed freely to the support of different churches and attended the meetings of same, but was never a member of any church. He died in 1863, his wife preceding him in death, dying when she was quite young, thirty-two years of age. She was a member of the Lutheran church. The children of Samuel Horning: James (father of Mrs. Brower); Martha (Mrs. Eli Rambo); Mary (Mrs. J. Arr); Lewis; Hannah (Mrs. J. Bickley); Samuel. The children of Mr. Miller: Christian; Maria (Mrs. E. Bean); Sarah A., mother of Mrs. Brower; Julia A. (Mrs. William Amsley) ; Rebecca (Mrs. Samuel Ashenfelter) ; Rachel (Mrs. Hait); John; Ellen, still single; Elizabeth, also single; Letitia (Mrs. Hearst); Emaline (Mrs. J. Freedly); Jackson. James Horning’s children: Anna E., wife of John E. Brower; Samuel F.; Mary (Mrs. U. Hurst); Frank; John; Lewis; Martha (Mrs. Snyder).

The children of Mr. and Mrs. John E. Brower: Abraham, of this township: Sara A. (Mrs. F. Highly); James H., iron-worker of Phoenixville; Fanny (Mrs. H. Parsons); Frank, of Phoenixville; Anna S. (Mrs. C. Jarrett); Mary, still single; Norris, formerly superintendent of the shirt factory, of Hagerstown, Maryland, but now superintendent of state roads in Pennsylvania; Martha J. (Mrs. Hobson). All these children are living but Anna. There are nine children, twenty-four grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren. Mrs. Brower is a member of the Dunkard church.

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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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