George W. BROWN, Jr., grain dealer, Butler, was born in Montgomery County,
Ill., May 30, 1843; son of George W. and Sarah A. (JENKINS) BROWN, he born
in Ohio July 9, 1819, a farmer by occupation, and coming to Illinois in
1836; she, a native of South Carolina, born June 30, 1819. They were the
parents of six children. Our subject received his education in Hillsboro
Academy. He came to Butler in 1865, and was employed as salesman by Joe
Baum & Co. for two years, and in April, 1867, commenced business as a
grocer, in the building known as Haywood’s old stand. In a few months he
and his brother, Charles O. BROWN, entered into partnership, constituting
the firm of Brown & Bro. In the early part of the year 1869, they purchased
the Haywood Building, and continued to do business in it until 1873. In
1871, they added to their stock dry goods and boots and shoes. In May,
1873, they purchased the McReynolds property, and moved their goods to
this building, adding to their stock ready-made clothing, where they
continued until April, 1881, when they sold their stock of goods to Hoes
& Bro. In July, 1879, they commenced buying grain, to which business they
now devote their entire attention. They have increased in business, and
prospered greatly since their small beginning, until they now own 280 acres
of excellent land, besides houses and lots in Butler, and an elevator at
Hillsboro. They do a very extensive business, having handled in 1880-81
over 120,000 bushels of grain. January 4, 1865, Mr. BROWN was married to
Miss Henrietta M. JUDSON, born in Newark, N. J., November 15, 1844, daughter
of James P. and Elizabeth F. (GALE) JUDSON, natives of New Jersey. Six
children have been born to Mr. BROWN – James Park, Winnie Pauline, Charles
Judson, Frank Harold, Louis Sylvester and Roland Otis.
George W. Brown, Jr., is the owner of one hundred and forty acres of land just outside the corporation limits of Butler, and upon this farm he resides. He was born near Hillsboro, Montgomery County, on the 30th of May. 1843. His father, George W. Brown, Sr., came to this county about 1836 in company with his father, Nicodemus Brown, who with his family settled near Hillsboro upon the farm now owned by Professor Williams. George W. Brown, Sr., was born in Ohio, and after arriving at years of maturity he married Sarah A. Jenkins. Unto them were born six children: George W. and Charles O., residents of Butler; James A., of Mattoon, Illinois; Camilla, of Hillsboro; A. Y., who is agent for the Big Four Railroad Company at Litchfield; and Albert H., who is with the same railroad company at Hillsboro. The father died December 20, 1903, in the eighty-fifth year of his age, and the mother passed away May 25, 1902, in her eighty-third year.
George W. Brown, Jr., spent his youth on a farm until ten years of age, when the father removed with his family to Hillsboro, and he there had the privilege of attending the Hillsboro Academy. In 1861, however, when eighteen years of age, he started upon his business career as an employee of the firm of Glenn & Pinkney, dealers in merchandise and grain. He continued with these gentlemen until 1864 and afterward spent a year in the service of the firm of Clotfelter & Barnett. In March, 1865, he came to Butler, where he worked for Joseph Baum & Company in a general mercantile establishment for two years, and in 1861 be began business on his own account as a grocer. Not long afterward his brother, C. O. Brown, joined him in business and the partnership was continued until 1881, when they sold out to Hoes Brothers. In 1886, however, he once more turned his attention to general merchandising, opening a store in Butler. He has also continued to buy grain here since 1879 and now conducts a business which is constantly growing in volume and becoming more remunerative. In 1894 he purchased the stock of the McHenry Hardware Company at Hillsboro, and he now conducts one of the largest business enterprises of the kind in this section of the country. In 1898 he bought the implement stock of the firm of Paden & Wilson, of Hillsboro, and in 1900 he purchased the J. R. Challacombe implement stock. His son, James P., manages the hardware department and Frank H. manages the implement business, while Mr. Brown gives his personal supervision to the other branches and is carrying on a very desirable business.
On the 4th of January, 1865, in Cincinnati, Ohio, Mr. Brown was united in marriage to Miss Henrietta M. Judson, a native of New Jersey, who was educated in the Hillsboro Academy. They have six children: James P., who is residing in Hillsboro; Winnie, the wife of W. A. White, of the same city; Charles J., a dry-goods merchant at Weather ford, Oklahoma; Frank H., at Hillsboro; Louis S., a practicing physician of St. Louis; and Roland O., who is in the store with his father at Butler.
Mr. Brown is a member of the Masonic order of Hillsboro, having been initiated into the lodge in December, 1864. After coming to Butler he admitted to the lodge at this place and has held many positions therein, also serving as representative to the grand lodge. Mr. Brown is a man of keen business foresight, and his ready recognition and utilization of business opportunities have been one of the forceful elements in his success. Mr. Brown's actions have, during his life, been such as to distinctively entitle him to a place in this publication, and although his career has not been filled with thrilling incidents, probably no biography published in this hook can serve as a better illustration to young men of the power of honesty and integrity in insuring success.
Taken From: History of Bond and Montgomery Counties, Illinois (1882)