Biography - Charles Brown
CHARLES BROWN. Energetic, public-spirited and progressive, Charles
Brown, postmaster at Cora City and one of the leading agriculturists of this
section of Illinois, is a man of integrity and honor, well worthy of the
high regard in which he is held throughout the community in which Jie lives
and toward the advancement and prosperity of which he is ever ready to lend
a helping hand. A son #f James M. Brown, he was born in Randolph county,
Illinois, March 17, 1853, of pioneer stock.
Born in Virginia, May
26, 1811, James M. Brown was brought up in Kentucky, where his parents
settled when he was a small child. As a boy he began work in a humble
capacity on a river steamboat, and gradually worked his way upward until
becoming engineer on one of the old line Mississippi river steamers. In
1840, while thus employed, his boat froze in the ice, and he made his way to
the shore fully determined to give up life on the river. Buying a section of
land lying on the line between Randolph and Jackson counties, he built
Liberty mill, at Liberty, now Rockwood, Illinois, putting up what was at the
time of the Civil war the largest milling plant in Southern Illinois. After
the war he devoted his time entirely to the management of the farm which he
improved, residing upon it until his death, January 14, 1874. He was a man
of strong individuality, and was very prominent in promoting the upbuilding
and growth of the town of Randolph. He was identified with the Democratic
party throughout his life, and faithfully performed the duties devolving
upon him as a citizen of worth. He married, in 1841, in Saint Louis,
Missouri, Rebecca Simons, a daughter of Edward Simons, a cooper in Saint
Louis, and to them six children were born, as follows: F. M., deputy
postmaster at Cora, Illinois; S. D., of Pocahontas, Arkansas; H. C., of
Cora; Charles, the special subject of this brief biographical sketch; Mrs.
Mollie G. Dean, deceased; and a child that died in infancy.
Brown spent his early life in this part of Southern Illinois, around
"Degogina Bridge," obtaining his education in the district schools. During
the spring of 1869 he attended the old Southern Illinois College, and in
1871 pursued a course of study at Bryant & Stratton's Business College, in
Saint Louis. He obtained a thorough knowledge of agriculture on the parental
homestead, and still retains his interest in the old home farm, which has
increased in value hundreds and hundreds of per cent, its original cost
having been but four dollars an acre, while at the present time a hundred
dollars per acre would be a modest price. Mr. Brown is an influential member
of the Republican party, and in addition to having served as township
supervisor for ten years has been postmaster at Cora City for eight years,
having held the position since 1903, a record of service bespeaking his
ability, fidelity and efficiency. Fraternally he belongs to Murphysboro
Lodge, No. 442, Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks. Mr. Brown's
brother, F. M. Brown, a veteran of the Civil war, is assistant postmaster.
On July 2, 1884, Mr. Brown was united in marriage with Bella P.
Richards, of Rockwwod, Illinois, a daughter of Benjamin and Margaret A
Richards, and their only child, Cora, is the wife of Ralph Rollo, city
engineer of Murphysboro, Illinois.
Extracted 15 Jan 2018 by Norma Hass from 1912 A History of Southern Illinois, volume 2, pages 982-983.