Putnam County

BROWN, Nimrod F.

Nimrod F. BROWN. This gentleman, who spent his early manhood in active business, and mainly in agricultural pursuits, is now living retired in Wenona. A man of great energy and more than ordinary business capacity, his success in life has been largely due to his own efforts, and the sound judgment by which he has been enabled to make wise investments and take good advantage of his resources.

His paternal grandfather, Samuel BROWN, was a native of New Jersey, but emigrated to Pennsylvania at a very early day, crossing the Alleghany mountains on foot and settling in Fayette county, where he marked out the lines for his farm with a tomahawk. There he located in the timber and opened up a new farm, which he made his home until his death at the ripe old age of seventy-eight years. His wife bore the maiden name of Beulah TAYLOR.

In Fayette county, Pennsylvania, Charles BROWN, the father of our subject, was born in 1800, was there reared upon a farm and obtained a fairly good common school education. On reaching man’s estate he was united in marriage with Miss Maria FORSYTHE, a native of the same county, born August 25, 1801, and a daughter of Jesse FORSYTHE who was of Irish lineage. After their marriage they settled upon a part of the old Brown homestead, but in the spring of 1842 emigrated to Illinois, and resided in Putnam county, within one mile of Magnolia, for five years. They then removed east of that village in La Salle county, where they continued to make their home until 1853, at which time they came to Wenona and here conducted the first hotel in the village. The father remained in that business until his death, which occurred in November , 1856. His wife passed away in 1880, and they now sleep side by side in the Magnolia cemetery. She was a member of the Cumberland Presbyterian church in Pennsylvania, but after coming to this state united with the Presbyterian church, of which she was ever afterward a faithful member. On coming to Illinois the family was in very limited circumstances, in fact the father had to borrow fifteen dollars at Hennepin with which to complete the journey, and at first rented a farm, but success crowned his efforts and he became quite well-to-do, although he was never in robust health.

The parental household included seven children, who were reared in Illinois, namely: Johnson, now residing in Wenona; Mrs. Jane JUDD, deceased; Joseph, who died in 1847; Nimrod F., of this sketch; Benjamin, living in Nebraska; Mrs. Sarah VanALLEN, of Osage township, La Salle county, Illinois, and Samuel, of Chicago.

The birth of our subject occurred on the old homestead farm in Fayette county, Pennsylvania, September 11, 1831, in a log house, and he was a lad of eleven years when brought by his parents to Illinois. He attended the district schools of Putnam and La Salle counties and remained at home on the farm until he attained his majority.

On the 6th of December, 1855, was consummated the marriage of Mr. BROWN and Miss Matilda JUDD, a daughter of Thomas and Elizabeth (DARNELL) JUDD, and sister of Benjamin JUDD, of Wenona, whose sketch is given elsewhere in this volume. She was born upon her father’s farm in Evans township, Marshall county, October 30, 1837, there grew to womanhood and was married. She attended the same school as her husband. Five children were born to them, as follows: Alice and Fannie are now deceased; Almeda is the wife of George CAHOON, of Wenona, and they have one son, Guy; May is the wife of Chase WELLS, of Nokomis, Illinois, by whom she has one son, Emil; Benton also lives in Nokomis. All of the children were given good educational advantages, the son being a graduate of the Wenona high school, and were well fitted for the responsible duties of life.

After his marriage, Mr. BROWN located on the north end of the Judd farm, where he erected a house and there continued to live until 1864, when he purchased one hundred and sixty acres of land in Osage township, La Salle county. Although the land had been broken, he had to fence the same, plant trees and erect the buildings. The farm comprises one of the best quarter section in the township, consisting of prairie land, and lies one and a half miles east of Wenona. The place is all well tiled and three and a half miles of hedge fence have been set out. Besides the excellent dwelling, Mr. BROWN built the first octagonal barn in the locality, at a cost of thirty-five hundred dollars. He devoted his time to general farming and stock raising, for fifteen years making a specialty of draft Englishshire horses, which usually took the premiums at the fairs where they were exhibited. Since September, 1890, he has rented his farm and makes his home in Wenona. He votes as his sentiments and beliefs dictate with the democratic party, served as assessor and road commissioner in Osage township and justly ranks among the most highly respected and honored citizens of the community where he has so long made his home.

Source: The Biographical Record of Bureau, Marshall and Putnam Counties, Illinois  published in 1896, page 427.

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