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John W. Brown

     JOHN W. BROWN, Secretary, Treasurer and General Manager of the Collins Plow Company, of Quincy, Ill., is a gentlemen of superior business attainments, whose energy and fidelity to the interests of the company with which he is connected contribute materially to the success and continuous expansion of the trade of the house. He is a native of Marion County, Mo., born on the 20th of January, 1840, near Palmyra, to William P. Brown, who was born in Kentucky, and became a resident of Marion County, Mo., at a very early period. He was a successful farmer and hemp-raiser, in addition to which he was also engaged in pork-packing, a calling in which he was particularly well versed. He was a useful citizen of the section in which he resided, and his death, which occurred in 1853, was universally regretted.
     John W. Brown, whose name is at the head of this memoir, attended the common schools in the vicinity of his boyhood's home sufficiently to acquire a good practical education, and in his native county he grew up to healthful and useful manhood. He perfected himself in the calling of a farmer in his early manhood, and this occupation received his undivided attention until he attained his thirty-third year, when he removed to Quincy, Ill., in which city he has since continued to reside. Soon after locating here, he became interested in farm machinery, and was in the employ of various parties up to the year 1878, when he became connected with the Collins Plow Company as traveling salesman, his territory comprising the States of Illinois and Missouri. This occupation received his attention for several years, and so admirably did he conduct the affairs of the company that its connection was very materially increased. In 1885, he retired from this business, and engaged in the sale of hay-presses for three years on a salary, at the end of which time he became tired or working for others, and purchased an interest in the Collins Plow Company, of which Martin Heiderich was President and William H. Collins, Treasurer. Mr. Brown at once assumed the duties of Secretary and Manager, and the works continued under this management until the death of Mr. Heiderich, when William H. Govert became President, Mr. Collins and Mr. Brown continuing in the capacities they occupied before. After Mr. Collins sold his interest in the business, Mr. Brown was chosen Treasurer of the company, and possessing a high order of executive ability and sound judgment, the business has prospered in a very satisfactory manner.
     This company is extensively engaged in the manufacture of plows, sulky-plows, cultivators, harrows, etc., also the Eli Baling Presses, and is now manufacturing a late improved press, of which Mr. Brown and A. A. Gehut are the inventors, and which, in durability and simplicity, will surpass anything yet offered to the public. This company has extended its business throughout Illinois, Missouri, Virginia, New York, the Southern States, California, and nearly every State in the Union. They also ship a great deal of Machinery to the Argentine Republic. They have so completely won public recognition as to the superior quality of their machinery, that they find it almost impossible to keep pace with home orders, and are at work both early and late to meet and properly fill their orders.
     October 31, 1861, Mr. Brown won for his wife Miss Charity Lovelace, a native of Marion County, Mo., and a daughter of Nelson and Emily Lovelace. Mr. And Mrs. Brown are the parents of three children, two sons and one daughter. The members of the family are attendants at the Christian Church, and politically, Mr. Brown is an active Democrat, the measures of which party he supports at all times. He is a strict temperance man, and all measure of reform win his hearty support. His residence is at No, 1121 Main Street.

[Source: Portrait and Biographical Record of Adams County, Illinois containing Biographical Sketches of Prominent and Representative Citizens, Chicago: Chapman Bros. 1892, transcribed by Debbie Gibson]

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