William Emery Brown, BiographyPorter County biographical sketches . . . .

Transcribed biography of William Emery Brown

WILLIAM E. BROWN, County Auditor. James Caldwell Brown, D. D., father of the subject of this sketch, and one of the pioneer preachers of Porter County, Ind., was the eldest child of William and Eleanor (Lyons) Brown, and was born at St. Clairsville, Belmont Co., Ohio, in October, 1815. He attended the preparatory department of Gambier College, and at the age of sixteen years entered Jefferson College of Pennsylvania. While in the Freshman class, he experienced religion, and united with the Presbyterian Church. He graduated with honors, and passed to the Western Theological Seminary at Allegheny, Penn., remained two years, and then spent one year teaching in Florida and Georgia. He then entered the Theological Seminary at Columbia, S. C., graduating a year later, and was licensed to preach by the Presbytery of Harmony, S. C., in 1838. On his way North, he married Miss Mary Emery, and in 1839 this couple came to the then village of Valparaiso, where Mr. Brown entered actively upon his ministerial labors. He was the founder of the Presbyterian Church of Valparaiso, and, for many years, was the leading representative of Christianity of Northern Indiana. Simultaneously, in 1859, he received the degree of Doctor of Divinity from Jefferson and Hanover Colleges. In 1860, he became the agent of the Theological Seminary of the Northwest, at Chicago, for which he resigned his pastorate. After a few months of fruitless work, on account of the war, he resigned and went to St. Louis, to fill the vacancy of Dr. McPheeter's in the church there, after which he was elected Chaplain of the Forty-eighth Indiana Volunteer Infantry, and participated in the different movements of the regiment until his death at Paducah, Ky., July 14, 1862, from overwork. His widow yet survives him, and resides in Valparaiso. They had born to them three children. Of the two yet living, one is William Emery Brown, the present Auditor of Porter County. He was born in Valparaiso March 14, 1842, and after attending the schools here, entered Jefferson College. At the end of one year, he returned and enlisted, in December 1861, in the Twentieth Illinois Volunteer Infantry. He was appointed Commissary Sergeant, and when his term of service was out, reenlisted in the same regiment. In the meantime, he was commissioned Captain on his uncle's (Col. W. L. Brown's) staff. He never served as Captain, however, for Col. Brown was killed at Second Bull Run the same day he received his commission as Brigadier General. William E. Brown remained with his regiment as Commissary, and part of the time as Acting Sergeant Major until April, 1865, when he was discharged. Owing to the irregularity of the mails, he did not receive his appointment as Quartermaster of the One Hundred and Fifty-fifty Illinois Volunteer Infantry until his retirement from the service. For a number of years after the war, he engaged in clerking. With the exception of six years, he has every since resided in Valparaiso. In politics he is a Republican, and, in 1878, was elected County Auditor, with a majority of 1,224 over two other candidates. He was re-nominated by acclamation in July, 1882. Mr. Brown was married, in October, 1866, to Miss Amanda A. Pershing, of Plymouth, Ind., and to them have been born six children; Fredrick J., Harry Van N., Ella L., Edith J., Grace M. E. and Jessie S. Mr. Brown is a member of the Masonic fraternity; has been Past Master of Porter Lodge No. 137; Past High Priest of Valparaiso Chapter, No. 79, R.A.M., and is the present Eminent Commander of Valparaiso Commandery, No.28, K.T.

Source: Goodspeed, Weston A., and Charles Blanchard. 1882. Counties of Porter and Lake, Indiana: Historical and Biographical, Illustrated. Chicago, Illinois: F. A. Battey & Company. 771 p.
Page(s) in Source: 237-238

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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