Alexander County

Biography - Alfred Brown

ALFRED BROWN, for many years a prominent figure in Alexander county, and for the past three years the clerk and recorder of the Circuit court of his county, is a scion of the family of Browns which was established in Southern Illinois in the early part of the nineteenth century by David Brown, the paternal grandfather of our subject.

David Brown was born in Roan county, North Carolina, December 14, 1804, and came with his parents to Union county, Illinois, about 1809. In 1838 he wisely homesteaded a valuable tract of farm and timber land in Alexander county from the Government, upon which he settled and passed the remainder of his life, passing away February 2, 1865. Early in life he was married to Rebecca Ellis, who was born in Pennsylvania, May 15, 1810, and who came with her parents to settle in Illinois about 1818. David and Rebecca Brown were the parents of thirteen children, named as follows: Minerva, George, Matilda, Martin (who was the father of Alfred Brown of whom we write), John, William, Catherine, Caroline, Andrew J., Benjamin F., Martha, Elizabeth and Henry.

Martin Brown was born near Anna, Union county, Illinois, September 9, 1834. From 1838 his life was passed within the confines of Alex' ander county, and his activities in the farming industry were limited to the neighborhood of Thebes. He was wedded, April 30, 1854, to Elizabeth Durham, a daughter of John A. Durham, also an esteemed citizen and pioneer of that vicinity. Mr. Brown passed away in the year 1905, and it was less than two years later that his life partner followed him. They were the parents of eight sons and daughters, named as follows: Alfred, William. Martha. Mary, Henry, Ulysses S., Martin and Thomas.

The minor years of Alfred Brown were passed in the same quiet manner which characterized the life of his ancestors. He was indebted to the district schools of his community for his education. At the age of twenty years he abandoned the old homestead to the younger members of the family and launched out into the timber and saw-mill business. Eight years of his life were devoted to this work in his home town, and in 1889 he went to Cairo, Illinois, where he was engaged for three years as proprietor of a hotel. He was then appointed deputy sheriff and jailor of Alexander county, and served throughout a term. Following that he once more turned his attention to the mill and lumber business, and for several years was thus employed.

The next change in Mr. Brown's somewhat varied career came when he was elected to the office of circuit clerk and recorder of his county. He secured the Republican nomination against odds of three to one and was elected in 1908. Mr. Brown has served with all efficiency thus far, and his splendid record is a source of much pride to his friends and his constituency in general.

Mr. Brown was married on December 21, 1879, to Miss Zorayda Irvin, a daughter of Joseph Irvin, of Raleigh, Saline county, Illinois.

Extracted 06 Nov 2018 by Norma Hass from 1912 History of Southern Illinois, Volume 3, pages 1165-1166.

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