Thomas M. Brown, BiographyPorter County biographical sketches . . . .

Transcribed biography of Thomas M. Brown

THOMAS M. BROWN. Bonnie Scotland, the land of thistle and heather, which has contributed poets and warriors alike to the pages of history, was the birthplace of Thomas M. Brown, of Porter county, Indiana, the subject of this review. The central and northern states contain many people whose forbears wore tartan and plaid, and they are numbered without exception among the most thrifty and prosperous of the citizenry.

Mr. Brown was born in Kirkenir Parish, Wigdonshire, Scotland, on June 10, 1858, and was the only child to grace the union of John and Jeannette (MacDonald) Brown. The senior Brown was a native of Scotland and educated in the national schools. He was a carpenter and joiner by trade. About 1860 he set sail for America, making the trip in a sailing vessel. He resumed his trade on reaching Chicago, which was the objective point of his journey, and continued to reside in the country of his adoption until the time of his death. He was thrifty and saved his earnings, investing them in real estate. He first purchased forty acres in Union township, Porter county, Indiana, and improved the tract, later selling the land again. He was a man whose integrity of character was above par, and one whom the people respected highly. In Scotland he was a member of the established church of the country, a devout and earnest worshipper. He died about 1896 in Logansport, Indiana. His wife was a native of Wigdonshire, Scotland, and she died when the subject of this sketch, Thomas M. Brown, was but a small child. Thus he never experienced the tender care of a loving and affectionate mother.

Thomas M. Brown was reared in his native land and then educated. He followed farming all his life. Ere he bade adieu to his native heath he wedded Miss Jeanette Kelley, their marriage being solemnized on April 15, 1883. Four children gladdened their home -- two boys and two girls, all of whom are living. John M., the eldest son, is wedded to Miss Pearl Guernsey, and they have one son, Robert T. Mr. and Mrs. .John M. Brown hold membership in the Christian church and reside on one of his father's farms in Union township. He is a Republican in political belief. William T., resides with his parents. He was educated in the common schools and is a practical farmer, familiar with all branches of husbandry. Like his brother he belongs fraternally to the Foresters, is Republican in politics and affiliates with the Christian church. The daughters of the Brown family, ,Jeannette and May, are twins, as winsome a pair of lassies as ever graced a happy home. Both have received good educations and Miss May is a student of instrumental music in the conservatory of music attached to the University of Valparaiso, fitting herself for the musical profession, to which calling she is abundantly endowed by nature. .Miss Jeannette finished the high school course and graduated in the class of 1911, and is now a student in the University of Valparaiso. She is devoting special attention to a classical course and pedagogy, intending to follow teaching, in which profession her friends predict a successful career for her. Both of the daughters are members of the Christian church and are young ladies who adorn the social circles of the pretty little city in which they reside.

Mrs. Brown, their mother, was a native of Mennegath parish, Scotland, where she was born September 17, 1854. She was a daughter of Thomas and Mary (Keachie) Kelley. There were four sons and six daughters in the family, and of the ten just half are now living; all being residents of England, except Mrs. Brown.

As has been previously mentioned, the marriage of Mr. and Mrs. Brown took place in their native land. Nearly thirty years ago they decided to immigrate to America, and on April 16, 1883, sailed from Liverpool and landed in New York ten days later, the steamer" Egypt" being their medium of transportation. They went at once to Porter county, Indiana. The young couple had little money but plenty of Scotch pluck and ambition, so they buckled to at once with agriculture, locating on his father's little farm of forty acres. They remained there for three years and then moved to a farm which they rented for the succeeding three years. Moving to the eastward, they occupied the George Flake farm for seven years.

In 1805 Mr. Brown purchased outright one hundred and fifty-six acres in Union township, paying cash in hand $6,000, which represented his savings since coming to the state. He resided there for seven years and then purchased his present beautiful farm of one hundred and four acres. It is splendidly located, right at the city limits on the west side of town, and alongside the Nickel Plate railroad. This is a fine property, adorned with a fine brick residence, and with all the other desirable buildings, which Mr. Brown has added to the place. In constant tribute to their memories of the land of Burns and Wallace their pretty residence place is known as "Heather Hill Farm."

Mr. Brown is by nature a careful, methodical man, conscientious and just in his dealings and possessing universal respect. He is a Republican in politics and cast his first vote for James G. Blaine. Since then he has always consistently supported the principles of the Grand Old Party. Fraternally he is a Mason, a member of Valparaiso Lodge, No. 137. Both Mr. and Mrs. Brown hold membership in the Christian church at Valparaiso, and in all its benevolence's and interests they freely participate. Both command general esteem for their sterling worth.

One of the brightest incidents in the happy wedded life of Mr. and Mrs. Brown was when, in 1899, they revisited the old country. They crossed the ocean and spent two weeks in London sightseeing with their relatives, going thence to Scotland, where for four weeks they revisited the old home of his childhood and its surroundings. They are people who get much enjoyment out of the competence that has blessed their united efforts by traveling leisurely about. They have traveled much in the United States, and recently made a tour of the Canadian cities, returning by way of Detroit.

Good lives well lived have crowned their sunset years with happiness and peace, and their friends trust that they may be mutually spared long to enjoy the pleasant associations that are their portion.

Source: Lewis Publishing Company. 1912. History of Porter County, Indiana: A Narrative Account of its Historical Progress, its People and its Principal Interests. Chicago, Illinois: Lewis Publishing Company. 881 p.
Page(s) in Source: 474-478

This biography has been transcribed exactly as it was originally published in the source. Please note that we do not provide photocopies or digital scans of biographies appearing on this website.

Biography transcribed by Steven R. Shook


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