|Birth: ||Oct. 15, 1808|
New York, USA
|Death: ||Nov. 7, 1887|
Born to Scottish parents in W. Charleton, NY (according to Masonic records), he married Sarah Ann Green, November 8, 1831 in Genesee (or Geneseo, Livingston) Co., NY. Moving west in 1834-35, he settled briefly in Margaretta Twp, Huron County, OH (later Erie) and in 1836, moved to Hillsdale Co., MI where he was engaged as a pioneer merchant and farmer.[His brother William Wallace Brown came with him. A sister Mary Eliza (1815-1841), wife of Harrison Brigham came also to MI, dying in Raisenville, Monroe Co.) John S. rose to some prominence serving as a State Representative from Hillsdale in 1843, during which time he served on the State of Michigan Internal Improvements committee with Henry Waldron, supervising the extension of railroad service of "the Southern Line" from Adrian to Hillsdale. In 1844, he moved with his family to South Grove Twp., DeKalb Co, IL and as a pioneer settler, established a large and successful farm. With a neighbor, he bought the first McCormick reaper in the county. He served as first supervisor of Vernon Twp. (the parent of South Grove), and in local civic capacities, including the construction of the county office building (which, from contemporary accounts, was superior to Chicago's). He also ran for State Senator about 1850.
But all was not well in the family. In 1855, he sold his farm to C. H. McCormick of Chicago following many years of family struggle. Finally in 1857, he reluctantly divorced his wife Sarah Ann for abuse of their children, associated with "eating opium to excess" and consumption of "ardent spirits." [This is recorded in the divorce record in affidavits of friends, neighbors, and members of the family. The County Clerk's office "lost" this file in the late 1970's after making a copy of the affidavits for me]. John S. remarried in 1858 to Mary (Sprague) Green, the widow of his former brother-in-law William W. Green. With the outbreak of the Civil War, he organized and served as Captain of Co. C., 52nd Illinois Infantry, until his health prohibited further service. Resigning his Commission in Chicago in 1862, he returned to DeKalb. After the war, he moved to Chicago engaging in the distillery business, but was burned out in the Great Fire of 1871. After a short hospitalization he and Mary lived with son Henry in Springfield, MO before returning to Sycamore and then Genoa, where he engaged in various local civic and governmental capacities. In 1882, he joined the Royal Arch Masons in Sycamore, where he died in 1887.
[Notes: Obit contains several errors: 1)there were 10 children; 2)daughter Mary Wilkinson Pearl died in 1909; and 3)daughter Francis (Mrs. Richard Young) is omitted who died c.1875, in the Milan Twp. area. Her burial place is unknown at this time.]
Sarah Ann Green Brown (1808 - 1886)*
George Henry Brown (1832 - 1906)*
John J. Brown (1834 - 1907)*
Sarah Ann Brown Wilkinson (1835 - 1914)*
Mary Brown Pearl (1836 - 1909)*
Robert James Brown (1837 - 1860)*
Henry H. Brown (1848 - 1918)*
Elizabeth A. Brown Holderness (1849 - 1909)*
Note: He is buried next to his wife Sarah Ann (who died in 1886 despite the inscription), and where son John J. is later buried.
Created by: Jerry Brown
Record added: Mar 28, 2009
Find A Grave Memorial# 35269949