Lee County Biography

Dr. George W. L. Brown
City of Dixon


Dr. George W. I. Brown stands in the front rank of the medical profession in Lee County. He has been engaged in practice in Dixon since 1878, and the liberal patronage accorded him attests his skill and ability. He was born in Greensboro, Pa., October 26, 1846. The family, is of English descent and was founded in this country by his great grandfather, Richard Brown, who emigrated from England and made a settlement in Philadelphia, Pa., where he married. Some years later he went to Western Pennsylvania and Virginia, and purchased large tracts of land in both States, but his last days were spent in the City of Brotherly Love. In religion he was an Episcopahian. George M. Brown, the grandfather of our subject, after the death of his father, took possession of the large landed estates left him in Western Pennsylvania and Virginia, and there spent his last years. He died of pneumonia when nearly four-score years of age. He was a wealthy and prominent citizen of that community, widely and favorably known. He married Letitia McFarland a native of Virginia, of Scotch descent, whose death occurred in 1846 of yellow fever, while on a visit in Southern Virginia. She was a noble Christian woman and held membership with the Baptist Church. The descendants of this worthy couple are prominent people of Pennsylvania and Virginia.

John C. Brown, the father of our subject, was born on his father's homestead in Pennsylvania in 1815. In his boyhood he was surrounded by the comforts of life, and he became a successful busness man. In the Keystone State he married Elizabeth Hopton, who was also born in Pennsylvania her parents being Jesse and Sarah (Finch) Hopton. Her father and mother were both born in Philadelphia, and reared in the faith of the Society of Friends. In their native city they were married, after which they located in Greene County. Pa., near the old Brown homestead, where they lived and died. Mr. Hopton was about eighty-four years of age at the time of his death and was one of the prominent citizens of the community, which he made his home. His wife died at the age of sixty-five years.

After his marriage, John C. Brown and his wife located in Greensboro, Pa., where he had an interest in and operated a glass manufactory for some time. In 1849, he removed to Monongalia County. W. Va., where he engaged in farming. Some years later he returned to the old Brown homestead in Greene County, Pa., where he and his wife are still living He is now seventy-seven years of age but is still hale and hearty although he has been a cripple since the war. He served in the Union Army throughout the Rebellion and at Mt. Jackson. Va., was severely wounded. He was also captured at that time and held a prisoner for three months, when with others he was recaptured by Gen. Sheridan when he made his famous ride. His woun had been neglected and it seemed that he could not recover from his injuries but after some time spent in the hospital he gradually regained his health and was finally discharged. The cause of aholition found in him a stanch supporter and he is today a stalwart Republican in politics. Himself and wife are active workers in the Methodist Episcopal Church, although the lady was reared a Quaker. They have never, in their married life, had death enter their household. Their children and grandchildren are all yet living. They have three sons; Dr. William A., a physician of the regular school, practicing in Dunkard, Pa., married Leah Whetstone and they have five children; our subject is the second; Jesse E. lives on the old homestead with his parents.

We now take up the personal history of Dr. Brown, whose name heads this sketch. When he was three years old his parents removed to Monongalia County,W. Va., where he attended the conmon schools. Subsequently he was a student in Greene Academy, of Carmichael's, Pa., where his literary education was completed. Wishing to make the practice of medicine his life work, in 1865 he entered the office of Dr. G. W. John, of Stewartstown, W. Va., and after two years entered the Philadelphia University of Medicine and Surgery, at the same time having access to the Pennsylvania Hospital of that city. Having graduated in 1869, he took charge of his preceptor's practicing in Stewartstown, and a year later went to Meyersdale, Pa., where lie engaged in practice for eight years when he sold his "good will" and practice to Dr. J. Ernest Meiere, of Washington, D. C. He removed to Illinois and matriculated at the Hahnemann Medical College, of Chicago, from which he was graduated in 1878. In Dixon, where he located immediately after his graduation, be has built a large and lucrative practice among the best class of citizens. He believes that a doctor should be a student in his profession, and ever keeps himself abreast with the times and the discoveries in the science.

In Meyersdale, Pa., Dr. Brown was joined in wedlock with Miss Maggie, daughter of Josiah and Matilda (Beachy) Miller, who were natives of Pennsylvania but are now deceased. Her mother died when Mrs. Brown was only three years old and Mr. Miller Pa~ed away in 1887, aged seventy-two yeais, dying in the faith of the Lutheran Church. Mrs. Brown was the third in order of age in a family of four children, her birth occurring in Meyersdale, Pa., Novernber 22, 1816. Unto the Doctor and his wife have been born three children: Charles LeRoy, Edna Florence and George Harold. The parents are both prominent members of the Methodist Episcopal Church, in which the Doctor has served as steward for fourteen years. He also takes quite a prominent part in political affairs. He is an active Republican and has twice served as delegate to the Congressionnal conventions of this party. Socially he is a Mason, belonging to Friendship Lodge, Nachusa Chapter and Dixon Cormmandery, Knights Templar, in which he has filled all the chairs and is the present Eminent Cormmander of Dixon Commandery, No. 21, K. 1'. lIe is also Past Grand of Dale Lodge, I. 0. 0. F., of Meyersdale, Pa. The Doctor has a very wide acquaintance throughout this community and in social as well as professional circles both he and his estimable wife are held in high regard.

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