Biography - John W. W. Brown

JOHN W. W. BROWN is a brick manufacturer in the town of Windsor, where he does a thriving and prosperous business. Mr. Brown was born in Licking County, Ohio, June 5, 1832. He spent the early years of his life on a farm, engaged in its duties until eighteen years of age. His father was a New England man. Luke Eddy Brown was born in Berkshire County, Mass. The maiden name of our subject's mother was Ann Gleason. She was a native of Shenango County, N. Y. They came to Ohio soon after their marriage, and settled in Licking County, where they remained until 1850, when they emigrated to Illinois, and settled in McLean County, this State. There they made their home for several years, and then removed to Missouri. The father was killed during the war by bushwhackers, and the mother died in Nodaway County, Mo.

Eight children were the result of the union of our subject's parents, and of these he of whom we write, was the second in order of birth. Mr. Brown came to Illinois with his parents in 1850, remaining at home until he was of age. During this time he was engaged in farming and in teaching. Three years were taken up by this latter employment. He continued to reside in McLean County for several years, and then went to Macon County, where he followed farming and carpentry and brick making for a living. In January, 1880, he came to Shelby County and settled in Windsor Township, where he was proprietor of a farm for four years. At the end of that time he began the manufacture of tile, but in the spring of 1891 his factory was destroyed by fire, and since then he has been engaged in the manufacture of brick.

Mr. Brown was married in McLean County, Ill., August 9, 1857, to Miss Mary Willhoite. She is a daughter of Thomas and Mary (Ritchie) Willhoite. The former was born in Owen County, Ky., of which the mother was also a native. They came from Kentucky to McLean County, and there died. A family of nine children came to grace the household. Of these Mrs. Brown was the fourth in order of birth. She was born in Owen County, Ky., March 22, 1839.

Four children have clustered about the hearthstone of our subject, but they have grown to manhood and womanhood, and some have families of their own. Their names are Franklin A., Mary H., Josephine A. and Willis B. Franklin married Miss Nettie Voris, who is the deputy Postmistress of Windsor; Josephine A. is the wife of William Hudson.

The original of our sketch has held the position of Councilman in the town. He is a Republican in his political belief, and takes quite an active interest in local affairs. Both he and his wife are active members of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church, in which he has filled the office of Elder and Superintendent of the Sunday School, which last position he has filled for thirty-three years. Socially, Mr. Brown is a member of the Odd Fellows, and also of the Knights of Pythias. Full of vitality and energy that never recognizes defeat, our subject has overcome many difficulties in his business life, and has attained a recognized and honorable position among the influential men of the county. His home life is very pleasant. His residence is all that a loving wife, who is gifted with tact, culture and refinement, can make it.

Extracted 17 Dec 2018 by Norma Hass from 1891 Portrait and Biographical Record of Shelby and Moultrie Counties Illinois, pages 576-577.

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