Lee County Biography


The passing years have chronicled the continuous advancement of Edward H. Brewster. He was admitted to the bar in 1892 and to practice in the supreme court of the United States in 1898. Today he is one of the leading representatives of the legal fraternity in Dixon. Mr. Brewster was born September 20, 1865. in Marion township, this county, his parents being Elbridge G. and Edee (Keyes) Brewster, both of whom were natives of Maine. Removing westward to Illinois in 1852, they settled in Livingston county and afterward came to Lee county, first establishing their home near Amboy but afterward taking up their abode in Marion township in 1863. There the father followed farming for a time but afterward removed to Cordova, Rock Island county.

Mr. Brewster there attended the public schools in the winter months but spent the summer seasons on a farm in Lee county. At the age of seventeen years he located permanently in this county and engaged in teaching school for five years. He divided his earnings with his parents and utilized his half in meeting the expenses of a course in the Northern Illinois Normal School at Dixon. His attention was devoted to literary branches and he was graduated in 1888. As his health was somewhat impaired at that time he started, with his brother Charles W., down the Mississippi river in a row boat from Cordova, Illinois, to the gulf of Mexico hoping the outdoor life and exercise would prove beneficial. This hope was realized and in the spring of 1889 he returned to the north. He made his home with his parents but accepted a position as principal of the schools at Prairieville, Illinois, in 1889-90. At the end of the school year he went to Dixon, intent upon studying law. He had refused good positions as a teacher and in so doing looked beyond the exigencies of the moment to the possibilities and opportunities of the future. He arrived at Dixon with a cash capital of sixty- five dollars — all that he possessed — and took up bachelor quarters with a companion. He read law in the office of A. C. Bardwell, who directed his reading for two years. In the meantime he also pursued a law course in the Northern Illinois College of Law and was graduated with the class of 1892. The same year he opened an office in Dixon. In 1896 he was elected state's attorney for Lee county and served for four years, refusing to again be a candidate. He felt that his practice and other business interests demanded his entire attention.

Year by year he has achieved success which has been well earned. He is today regarded as one of the able and successful members of the Lee county bar, and may truly be said to be a self- made man, owing his education and his progress very largely to his own efforts. Aside from his practice he has various other business interests. He is a stockholder in the Dixon National Bank and a director in the Eeynolds Wire Company of Dixon. He is likewise counsel for the Reynolds Wire Company and also for the Sandusky Portland Cement Company of Dixon. He takes a lively interest in the nomination and election of honest and capable officials. Although not a politician in the usually accepted sense of the term, he has been active in various republican county and state conventions and his opinions carry weight in party councils. His fraternal relations are indicated by his membership in Friendship Lodge, No. 7, A. F. & A. M., and also in Dixon Lodge, No. 779. B. P. 0. E.

Mr. Brewster is also well known as a progressive farmer, having given close study to the scientific phases of crop production. He operates a farm of four hundred and eighty acres which he and his brother own and he also oversees and attends to more than seven hundred acres owned by his wife, the last being devoted solely to the production of live stock for the Chicago market. In the management and control of the two properties Mr. Brewster displays thorough knowledge, not only of the ordinary phases of the business, but also of the great principles which underlie all agriculture.

On the 5th of February, 1902, Mr. Brewster was united in marriage to Miss Adessa Hughes, a daughter of the Hon. Charles H. and Hannah (Williams) Hughes. They now have two children, Hughes, born June 24, 1906, and Louise, born February 19, 1908. He makes his home in Dixon but spends the summers with his family at Hazelwood, a beautiful and historic spot near Dixon on the Rock river, a sketch of which appears elsewhere in this work. Mr. Brewster is a great lover of nature and enjoys outdoor life, so that he freely avails himself of the opportunity of spending the summer months in their attractive home, Hazelwood. His life record is a splendid illustration of the fact, that in this land opportunity is open to all, unhampered by caste or class. Laudable ambition, energy and fair dealing have been the salient traits which have carried him to success in his professional and business career.

History of Lee County - Frank E. Stevens 1914


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