Lee County Biography

John P. Brubaker
Nachusa Township

John P. Brubaker, one of the well known and influential citizens of Nachusa Township, engaged in general farming on section 5, is a native of the Buckeye Slate, his birth occurring in the township of Grattis, Preble County, July 30, 1826, and he is descended from good old Revolutionary stock. The family is of German origin and was established in Lancaster County, Pa., at an early day. When the struggle for Independence broke out, some of its members enlisted in the Colonial army. Jonathan Brubaker, the grandfather of our subject, was born in Lancaster County and there married a Pennsylvanian lady. After the birth of their children they removed from the Keystone State to Virginia, but as the views of Mr. Brubaker were much opposed to the slave law, he left, with his family, for Preble County, Ohio, there locating about 1810. The county was then almost an unbroken wilderness and in the midst of a dense timbered region they located. It was an arduous task to develop a farm there in the midst of the forest but Mr. Brubaker resolutely set to work and ere his death had improved a very large tract of land. He left to each of his children a good home. He had been twice married and himself and both wives were members of the German Baptist Church. His family was a numerous one and among the children there is one survivor, Henry Brubaker, who is now living in Preble County, Ohio, at a very advanced age.

Jonas Brubaker, father of our subject, was born in Lancaster County Pa., in 1802. He was a youth when his parents removed to Virginia and had not yet attained his majority when they located in Ohio. He afterwards married Rebecca Phillips, the first female white child born in Preble County, Ohio, her birth occurring in 1804.Her parents came from Tennessee, and were among the pioneer settlers of the Buckeye State. The Phillips family are of English extraction and its members were renowned as Indian fighters. They were also strong opponents of the slavery system and their efforts were ever for its overthrow. Jonas Brubaker and his wife began their married life on a farm where the lady was born and continued to reside in that vicinity until after the death of the husband which occurred June 9, 1890, at the ripe old age of eighty-eight years. He was a member of the German Baptist Church, in slavery days was a strong Abolitionist and also a warm advocate of temperance principles. He lived a life worthy of emulation and left an untarnished name. His widow is yet living in Preble County, making her home with her granddaughter. Throughout the community she is widely known and her friends are indeed many. She is also a member of the German Baptist Church.

No event of special importance occurred to vary the monotony of farm life during the boyhood of our subject. When he had arrived at mature years he wedded Hannah Wright who was also a native of Preble County, Ohio; in 1852, they came to Illinois, and Mr. Brubaker purchased a partially improved farm in Nachusa Township, Lee County, upon which he yet resides. His labors there have worked a great transformation and he has now one of the well developed and valuable farms of the community. His comfortable home is surrounded with beautiful shade trees, making it an attractive and pleasing place and a spring of never-failing water is there found.

After fifteen years residence in Lee County, Mrs. Brubaker, who was born in October, 1828, passed away in 1867, leaving three children. The eldest, William, is now a clerk in the State Capitol of Topeka, Kan.; Marcus now dead; Barnes, was a skilled machinist and located in Cincinnati, Ohio, where his death occurred; and Laura is the wife of R. W. Eicholtz, a farmer of Nachusa Township. Mr. Brubaker was again married, his second union being with Miss Anna Sunday, a native of Adams County, Pa., who came to Illinois during her maidenhood. Their wedding was celebrated in Nachusa Township and has been blessed with two children; Minnie, wife of William barber who aids our subject in the management of the homestead; and J. Oxro, who is attending college in Dixon.

For eighteen years Mr. Brubaker has held the office of Justice of the Peace and has also been Highway Commissioner for some years. Other local offices he has filled and every position in which he has served has found in him a faithful officer who discharges his duties with promptness and fidelity. With his ballot he supports the Republican party, of which he is a stanch advocate. His wife is a member of the German Baptist Church and an active worker in its interests.

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