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Champaign County, Illinois

Biography - J. J. Brown

SOURCE: "History of Champaign County, Illinois with Illustrations," 1878


J. J. BROWN is a native of Clarence, Erie county, New York, where he was born November 16th, 1822. his father, Richard BROWN, and his mother, Rebecca CRESS, were both natives of the same state. The family lived in Erie county, on a farm until 1837, at which time they removed to Erie county, Ohio. Mr. Brown, then but fifteen years of age, became an apprentice to learn the carpenter’s trade, remaining with an excellent workman three years.

After leaving the carpenter shop he went to learn the trade of a machinist, and as an evidence of his ability, he was appointed in 1848, to the position of second master mechanic on a prominent line of steamboats, plying between Toledo and Buffalo. This position he held until 1854; when he came to Urbana and started the first iron lathe used in that city.

Mr. Brown was married May the 8th, 1856, to Miss Eliza TALMAGE, the daughter of a well-to-do farmer, of California, Mich. Mrs. Brown is the mother of seven children, four of whom are deceased. Lillie, now twelve years of age, and Burtie, who is ten, and Morris who is eight, are at home with their parents.

Mr. Brown was among the first officers elected after the township was organized, and has served the public in various capacities since.

It was he that placed the engine in the Parkerville mill, the first erected in Sadorus township. He has been engaged in business in Sadorus for more than twenty years, and during that time has erected a large part of the fine residences which grace the village in which he resides.

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