JACOB T. BROWN. Among the solid representatives of the agricultural interests of Clay Precinct, no man stands higher than the subject of this sketch. His has been a career more than ordinarily successful, during which he has learned many valuable lessons, keeping his eyes open to what was going on around him in the world. He claims Ohio as his native State, having been born there in Perry County, Jan. 20, 1844.
The parents of our subject were Joseph and Ann (Kelley) Brown. The paternal grandfather, William Brown, was a native of Delaware, where he was reared to man's estate, and married a lady a native of the same State. Later, after the decease of his wife, which occurred in her native State, he removed to Ohio. Grandfather Brown spent his last years in Muskingham County, Ohio, dying when about eighty-four years old.
The parents of our subject after their removal from Delaware were residents of Perry County, Ohio, the remainder of their lives. Joseph Brown, during the War of 1812, served as a drummer boy. The parental family included fourteen children, namely: William, James, Washington, Joseph; Jane, Mrs. William Dilts; Mary, who married Caleb Hitchcock, and is now deceased; Isaac; Noah; Sarah, Mrs. William Blizzard, who with her husband died in middle life, leaving a family of eleven children; Andrew; Thomas, who died in youth; Elizabeth died in infancy; Jacob, our subject, who was the youngest, and an unnamed infant.
Mr. Brown left Ohio in the spring of 1885, coming to this county with his family. He had been married in Muskingham County, the Buckeye State, April 9, 1867, to Miss Mattie J., daughter of William and Amanda (Vickroy) Brown, who were natives of Maryland. This union resulted in the birth of seven children, namely: Thomas O., Charles A., Eddie L., Herbert Earl, Foster, Beverly C., and George W., the latter of whom died when one year old. Mr. and Mrs. Brown are members in good standing of the United Brethren Church. They formerly belonged to the Methodist Episcopal Church, of which Mrs. Brown became a member at the age of eleven years. In this, our subject was at one time a pillar, officiating as Steward, and filling positions of trust and responsibility. He is now a Steward and Class-Leader of the church to which he at present belongs. In political matters he is a lifelong Republican, and a man who keeps himself well posted upon matters of general interest.
The Brown homestead embraces 330 acres of improved land, lying on sections 10 and 15. With the exception of ten acres of timber on Turkey Creek, it is all enclosed with good fencing, and embellished with a substantial set of frame buildings. It is largely devoted to stock-raising, and Mr. Brown also has attained quite a reputation as a buyer and shipper, sending away usually a carload of cattle each year, and sometimes two. He contemplates enlarging his capacities for this industry in the near future.
For a period of seventeen years prior to his settlement in Nebraska, Mr. Brown dealt largely in stoneware, purchasing of manufacturers and selling to retail dealers throughout Ohio, Indiana, Michigan, Illinois, Kentucky and Missouri. The knowledge which he thus obtained of general business has been invaluable to him in all his later transactions. He was regarded as one of the best salesmen in the regions over which he traveled, and being always courteous and prompt to meet his obligations found abundance of friends wherever he went. He finds, however, more pleasure in the peaceful pursuits of agriculture than in the bustling channels of trade.
After the outbreak of the Civil War Mr. Brown enlisted in Company H, 90th Ohio Infantry, under command of Col. N. F. Hitchcock, now of Sterling, Johnson County, this State. During his service under the old hero he entertained for him a warm admiration, being with him the entire term of his army experience. Col. Hitchcock was a valiant officer, and one who possessed in a marked degree the esteem and admiration of his subordinates. Of our subject he made a friend and companion, and Mr. Brown looks upon that epoch in his life, notwithstanding its privations and hardships, as one of his pleasantest recollections. He was one of the comparatively small number whose consciousness of the faithful performance of duty was a satisfactory reward, and he may be classed among heroes whose history will never be fully recorded.
The 90th Ohio was equipped and ready for service in the spring of 1862. It took part in many of the most important engagements of the war, and Mr. Brown was a participant in many a scene of deadly conflict, having been in every battle in which his regiment participated. They were at Richmond, Ky., and from Louisville took part in the march undertaken to drive the rebel Gen. Bragg from the State. They participated in the bloody battle at Perrysville, and shortly after in the fight at Stone River. After this they followed Bragg all the way to Chattanooga. They also took part in the great Atlanta campaign until the fall of that city, and then they were ordered back to Nashville, where they had an engagement with Hood, whom they defeated, and pursued into Georgia. Then Hood decamped for the Carolinas. Col. Hitchcock gathered together what was left of his gallant command, and marched to the French Broad River, where they were in camp until after Lee's surrender. The command was finally mustered out in June, 1865. In all of the arduous marches and bloody battles in which this gallant regiment was engaged Mr. Brown did his duty as a patriotic soldier should, and retired from the service with a record of which he and his descendants may justly be proud.