Lee County Biography

Andrew J. Brubaker

Andrew J. Brubaker is one of the oldest established merchants of Dixon, having successfully engaged in the mercantile business in this city for a period of thirty-two years. He is a native of Huntingdon County, Pa., and first opened his eyes to the scene of his birth,January 15, 1830. His father was Benjamin Brubaker, also a native of Pennsylvania, born in Lancaster County. He was the son of J. Brubaker, a Pennsylvanian by birth, and a life-long farmer, carrying on his occupation in Lancaster County. The father of our subject was reared on a farm in his native county, and continued to reside there for some years after his marriage to Elizabeth Kauffman, a native of Pennsylvania. He then took up his abode in Huntingdon County, and was there until 1847, when he sold his property, in order to remove to Illinois, coming hither with his wife and ten children by the way of canal to Pittsburg, and from there on the Ohio, Mississippi and Illinois Rivers to Peru, whence they proceeded with a team to their destination in Ogle County, arriving after a three weeks journey. Mr. Brubaker bought a farm near Polo, on which he lived a few years, and then he removed to the village of Polo, where he lived retired with his wife until death called them hence.

Our subject received an excellent education in the schools of Huntingdon County and was well trained at home by his worthy parents in all that goes to make a self-reliant, efficient, straightforward man. lie accompanied his parents and the other members of the family to their pioneer home, when they located in Ogle County, this State, and in 1841, at the age of seventeen years, he came to Dixon, and entered entered upon his first experience of a mercantile life as a clerk in the employ of J. B. Brooks. He continued with that gentleman in the same capacity until 1859, and by that time had become thoroughly acquainted with every detail of the business, so that he was fully prepared to begin his independent career as a merchant in that year, in partnership with William H. Van Epps and Mr. Ferguson, under the firm name of Brubaker, Van Epps & Ferguson, they being successors to the father of Mr. Van Epps. Afterwards Mr. Ferguson withdrew from the firm, which was then changed to Wm. H. Van Epps & Co.

Mrs. Van Epps, after the death of her husband, sold her interest in the establishnient in 1881, to John R. Carpenter,and the firm changed to Brubaker and Carpenter. He has a store that is neat in its appointments, and is well stocked with a first-class line of goods, and he commands a good trade, numbering among his customers many people who have dealt with him for years. He stands well in financial circles as one of the solid business men of the community, who is always fair and above-board in all his transactions, has made his money honorably, honesty and truthfulness being conspicuous traits of his character, and his fellow-citizens place implicit confidence in his word. He is an earnest Christian and has used his influence to elevate the moral and religious status of the community. In him and his estimable wife, the Presbyterian Church has two valued members, who contribute cheerfully of their means toward its support. He has served as Trustee of the church, and for several years was leader of the choir, which under his inspiration furnished the congregation with soul-stirring music. In politics, Mr. Brubaker has been a devoted Republican ever since the formation of the party, and his first Presidential vote was cast for J.C. Fremont. Socially, he is a member of Friendship Lodge, No. 7, A. F. & A. M., and was Treasurer for a number of years; and of Benevolent Camp, No. 56, M. W. A., of which he was a charter member, and its first banker.

Mr. Brubaker was married in 1857 to Miss Sarah Mulligan, a native of Boston, Mass., and she has made their home cozy and attractive. They have taken to their hearts an adopted daughter, Grace by name, who has never lacked the tender care and affection of a father and mother since she came to them.

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