Massac County, Illinois
Among the essentially representative citizens of Metropolis and Massac county, whose influence and activities have contributed to the economic civic and social progress of this favored section of the state, stands W.P. Baynes, who claims the fine old state of Kentucky as the place of his nativity, but the major part of whose life has been spent in Metropolis. He is one of the city's leading citizens, merchant and President of the Metropolis Commercial Club. Mr. Baynes was born in Livingston county, Kentucky, on the 25th day of November, 1875, and came to Metropolis in 1884. In September 1910, he established his present modern and commodious Furniture and Undertaking business at the corner of Third and Ferry streets, where he built up an enviable patronage by his honorable dealings and by supplying his store with the very best in the furniture and undertaking supplies. He handles nothing but the best of everything and the people of this community honor him with their patronage. In all that pertains to the general welfare of this community, Mr. Baynes has shown a loyal and public spirited interest. He has gained a secure vantage ground in the confidence and esteem of the community in which he has so long made his home. he has served our people as Alderman three terms and is now President of the Commercial Club, and few of us know how diligently he has labored for the welfare of Metropolis, We feel safe in saying that it was largely through his untiring efforts that the glove factory came into our midst and he has helped accomplish other things for Metropolis that have never been made known. He has spared neither time nor his money in pushing his home city to the front. Mr. Baynes holds membership in the Masonic, I.O.O.F., K. of P., W.O.W., Ben Hur, Red Men, Owis, Eastern Star, Rebekahs and Pythian Sister. He is a law-loving man and has always taken a firm stand against the evils of intoxication and has always stood for the moral uplift of this entire community. He holds the honored position as Superintendent of the Methodist Sunday School and also holds membership in that church. He is a prohibitionist in theory and practice, ardently desirous of the total elimination of the liquor traffic. W.P. Baynes is a man in whom Metropolis and in whom all of Massac county is proud. [Unknown source, Submitted by Norma Jean Huss]
ROBERT C. BARHAM
Charles Barham, grandfather of Robert C., was a pioneer Virginian. Nathan Barham, the father, with three brothers, James, Daniel and Charles, were born in Virginia. When Nathan was small his parents moved to Guilford county, North Carolina; was there reared, inherited the homestead, married, and died there, Dec. 30, 1855, aged 76 years. His maternal grandfather was Captain Joel Harris, born in Virginia, a farmer, and captain of a company of Revolutionary soldiers, who fought at Guilford Court House. Captain Harris married Margary Kenedy, born in Virginia, and died on the old homestead, Guilford county, North Carolina, 1864, leaving seven children. Captain Harris' daughter, Elizabeth, married Nathan Barham. Robert C. Barham, their son, was born August 8, 1837, in Guilford county, North Carolina, attended subscription schools, and took a course in the Oak Ridge Institute. At nineteen he went to Tennessee, taught school in McNairy and Weakly counties, for two years, and in 1862 entered the Union service as a scout, and continued under Generals Ashbeck, Smith, Meredith, Hicks and Payne until 1864, serving in Kentucky, Tennessee and Missouri. In 1863 he married Miss Mary M., daughter of Thomas A. and Jane McMichael, who was born in Guilford county, North Carolina. He brought his wife to Massac county in 1863, and joined her after the war closed. They have two daughters, Josephine, wife of George M. Clark, and Lydia, wife of Judge George Sawyers. Mr. Barham first taught school upon his arrival in Massac county. In 1867 he opened a carriage and wagon factory at New Columbia, Illinois, and engaged as a carpenter until 1876, when he sold his interests and came to Metropolis. He was county commissioner, and was instrumental in raising county orders from 40 cents to par value. In 1890 he was elected sheriff of Massac county, making an efficient officer. Religiously he and his wife are Baptists; politically he is intensely Republican, and fraternally he is an Odd Fellow, Mason and Knight of Pythias.[History of Massac County, Illinois, by O.J. Page, 1900 - Tr. by K.M.]. Transcribed by K. Mohler]
WILLIAM H. BONIFIELD
The great-great grandfather of our sketch emigrated from Scotland in the beginning of the sixteenth century to Culpepper county, Virginia, and had four sons, Samuel, Arnold, William and Henry. Arnold is the paternal and William the maternal grandfather. The former died in Culpepper county about 1846 while the latter emigrated to Ohio in the latter part of the seventeenth century and settled near the site of Zanesville, and died 1852. He was major to Colonel Lewis Cass. Both grandfathers and their brother served in the Revolutionary war. William H. Bonifield was born in Muskingum county, Ohio, Sept. 2, 1834, and with his parents came to Massac county in 1849, where he has since resided. Before the war he farmed and taught school. August, 1862, he enlisted in the 131st Illinois Volunteer Infantry at Fort Massac, engaged in all the Vicksburg campaign, when it was consolidated with the twenty-ninth Illinois Volunteers at Vicksburg and he was a member of company K until discharged in 1865. While sitting on the upper deck and leaning against the pilot house of the transport Iowa, opposite Greenville, Miss., a regiment of rebels fired a volley into the pilot house from behind the levee as the boat passed within fifty yards of them. Thirty-six bullet holes were made in his clothing, one bullet grazed his head and knocked him senseless, and another glanced from a gun, which changed its course enough to miss him. At Vicksburg the concussion of a bursting shell destroyed an ear drum and partially paralyzed his left side, from which he has never recovered. In 1857 he married Miss Sarah N. Baley, to whom were born Martha J., David B. and Henry A., all married; Martha J. is dead. David lives in Mississippi county, Mo., Henry A. lives in Indian Territory. His first wife died 1878 and in 1881 he married Victory Golightly, nee Thomison, and to them have been born two children, Eva and Clay. They live on their elegant farm three and one-half miles from Brooklyn, Ill. All are members of the Christian church and since the second election of Lincoln, Squire Bonifield has voted the straight republican ticket. He is broad and liberal minded.[History of Massac County, Illinois, by O.J. Page, 1900 - Tr. by K.M.]
CHARLES W. BRINNEN
The father of our subject was originally from Germany, came to St. Louis, Mo., and married Miss Henrietta Summers. Charles W., their oldest child, was born Sept. 26th, 1848, in St. Louis, attended the public schools and later left home with the 12th Illinois regiment. At Memphis, Tenn., he transferred to the 29th Illinois, was examined and sworn but not mustered in. March 30, 1872, he married Miss Tlitha Waggoner of Massac county. He came to Johnson county in 1862 from Memphis and in 1882 settled at Samoth. In 1884 the republicans elected him justice of the peace. For 13 years he was a notary and in 1895 was elected county commissioner for Massac county. During June, 1900, he enumerated the census of his precinct. Under Harrison he served as postmaster of Samoth, Ill., five years. Mr. Brinnen is a member of New Columbia lodge No. 336, A.F. & A.M., and of 617, I.O.O.F. He is also a member of the encampment and Patriotic Sons of America.[History of Massac County, Illinois, by O.J. Page, 1900 - Tr. by K.M.]
COLONEL W.R. BROWN
William Robert Brown, youngest child of William and Catherine (Anderson) Brown, was born in Louisville, Ky., Jan. 19, 1832. His father, only son of Robert Brown, an Irish emigrant, who settled in Baltimore, 1762, was born 1792; married Catherine Anderson, 1812, who was born in Fairfax county, Va., 1793. She was highly educated and accomplished, and her ancestors accompanied Lord Fairfax to America. The father aided in the defense of Washington City, saw it burned, as did also the wife, from their home in Georgetown, and participated in the battle of Blandensburg. In 1816 they moved to Louisville, Ky., residing there until 1846. At fourteen the son had a good common school education, and was a trained cooper, the father pursuing that trade for years. In 1846 the family came to Metropolis, where within three weeks the mother died. Determined upon an independent course, young W.R. returned to Louisville, worked as apprentice one year for a blacksmith, gained needed muscle, returned to Illinois, and was sent one year to the Beach and Chapman Academy, Louisville. In 1849 he was his father's bookkeeper, and in 1852 he became a successful merchant, until 1861. An ardent patriot, in 1861, he enlisted as private under Captain Carmichael, in the first company from Massac county, which formed a company from the Twenty-ninth Regiment Illinois Volunteers, of which he was tendered lieutenant colonel, but refused because he felt ignorant of military tactics. He was made Regimental quartermaster, being the first one in the state to draw supplies at Camp Butler on his own requisition. After forty days at Cairo he was made Lieutenant Colonel, and aided by Colonel Robert Kirkham of Shawneetown, organized the Sixth Illinois Cavalry, and the Fifty-sixth Illinois Infantry, in Egypt, being commissioned Lieutenant-Colonel of the latter, and 1862, was promoted to Colonel. The regiment was one of the best, saw hard service in driving back General Forrest from Western Kentucky, fought at Farmington, and had many skirmishes. Four of his five children have suddenly and almost simultaneously died, he resigned his commission and came home, promoted enlistments and organized the Thirteenth Illinois Infantry, and recommended G.W. Neeley for Colonel and R.A. Peter for Lieutenant-Colonel, making the third regiment which he organized in Southern Illinois.
On July 3, 1863, he reported to General Logan at Vicksburg, who directed the Colonel to join his old comrades - the Fifty-sixth, and by them was given an ovation, although clothed as a citizen. He was forced by them to don an improvised Colonel's uniform and led the charge next day when Vicksburg surrendered. After the surrender in a neat little speech he bade the regiment adieu and it supported Sherman in his march to the sea.
Always an unflinching Republican, he was a prime mover in the organization of that party in Southern Illinois. He was an influential member of the XXVIIth General Assembly, the session following the adoption of the constitution, the most important session in the history of the state, and enacted the re-districting measure which made the state reliable Republican, and the minority report on the Chicago fire; he was the author of both. Under his direction our school laws were also generalized and simplified. Returning home he was solicited to accept the nomination for Congress in 1872, but refused.
Locally, he was a member of the Board of Education for ten years, proposed the beautiful High School building, furnished the money to complete it, and always maintained that our teachers should be the most proficient the Normal Schools afforded, by which means our city schools hold an enviable rank. By his efforts mainly, the colored citizens were furnished their High School; amicably adjusting the vexing race question. He furnished the money to extend the Western Union Telegraph from Vienna - the first line, and was a leading spirit in bringing the first railroad, while the electric lights, water works and beautiful streets are mute witnesses of his public spirit. Once the owner of a large amount of property, Colonel Brown was interested in the establishment of the private bank of M. Mayfield & Co., owning and managing the same from 1872 until the organization of the Brown & Bruner bank in 1883, which prospered until 1893. Many leading factories were practically being maintained by this bank and hundreds of men had steady employment at good wages. In 1895 the tariff laws were altered and a panic ensued, prostrating busy industries and all connected therewith. These factories became useless and Brown & Bruner were forced to make an assignment, forsaken by friends and pressed by enemies, the Colonel surrendered everything to aid his creditors, believing that manhood and integrity only were worth preserving to the end.
Colonel Brown has still living five daughters and two sons. They are all to him that a good father could hope for. He could not and would not improve them if he could, in their kindness and generosity to him. He has two wives dead. When living they were a part of his soul and dead he will never fail to love them or cease to remember their virtues, their chaste and graceful goodness and deep and generous love. The Colonel does not belong to any church society, but is a high Mason, a Knight Templar, and was for many years Eminent Commander of Gethsemane Commandery No. 41 of Metropolis, Illinois. He is also a comrade of the G.A.R., and was formerly a commander of the Tom Smith Post of this city.[History of Massac County, Illinois, by O.J. Page, 1900 - Tr. by K.M.].
Hon. WILLIAM R. BROWN
Hon. William R. BROWN, of the firm of Brown & Bruner, bankers of Metropolis, Ill., was born in Louisville, Ky., in January, 1832. His father William BROWN, was born in Baltimore, Md., and his grandfather, Robert BROWN, was born in England. When a young man Robert BROWN fought a duel and killed his opponent. Previous to leaving his native land he was engaged to a Miss HOAG. She followed him to America and they were married in Baltimore, and spent their lives in that city. They had three children and reared them all. William BROWN, the father of Hon. William R. BROWN, was an only son. He was but six years old when his parents died, and he was reared and cared for by his elder sister. After attaining to manhood he went to Alexandria, Va., where he worked at his trade. He afterward went to Georgetown, D.C. He served in the War of 1812, taking part in the battle of Bladensburg. His wife, then living in Georgetown, witnessed the burning of the Capitol. In 1816, accompanied by his wife, with a pair of horses and a wagon, he started Westward, and made an overland journey to Zanesville, Ohio. Remaining there a short time he bought a keel-boat and started down the Ohio River, and landed at the present site of Cincinnati, intending to make a settlement at that place. He jumped from the keel-boat to land, and unfortunately struck a soft place on the bank and sank waist deep in mud. Concluding that he did not want to locate in such a place as that, he again started down the river, landing at the falls of the Ohio, Louisville being then unknown. He located at Shippen's Point, now included in the lower part of Louisville, purchased real estate there and established a cooper shop. In this business he was successful and accumuluted quite a handsome property. In 1832 the floods washed away his dwelling-house, as well as many other buildings, and nearly ruined him. He then removed to Louisville and was successful there until 1845, when he sold his interests and came to Illinois. Upon coming to this State, our subject's father located at Metropolis, then but a small village. The country around was but sparsely settled, and most of the land was owned by the Government and selling for $1.25 per acre. There was but little money in circulation and the people lived chiefly on what their lands produced and upon wild game. Deer was plentiful and a saddle of venison could be bought for twenty-five cents. Wild turkeys sold for twelve and a-half cents each. Corn was worth ten cents per bushel and potatoes eight and a-half cents. Wheat was not raised to any great extent, and good flour was shipped here from Ohio, and sold for $1.25 per hundred pounds. The wages of men working on the farm was $4 per month and board. Mr. BROWN, upon arriving at Metropolis, established his cooper shop, employed from thirty to forty men and continued in business until his death in 1859, aged sixty-nine. The maiden name of his wife was Catherine ANDERSON. She was born in Fairfax County, Va. Her ancestors came from Scotland to America with Lord Fairfax. Her father, John ANDERSON, was a soldier in the Revolutionary War. He was born in Virginia, was a farmer and spent his entire life in that state. The maiden name of his wife, grandmother of this sketch, Mary Elizabeth SWINK, a native of Virginia and of German ancestry. The mother of our subject died at Metropolis in 1846. She reared seven of her children: Sarah, John, Elizabeth, George, Alexander, Virginia, and William R.
William R. BROWN, began attending school as soon as large enough, and attended quite steadily in Louisville until the family removed to Metropolis. He returned to Louisville afterward and was in school there one year. When not in school he worked in his father's cooper shop, and learned the trade. Before he was twenty-one he engaged in mercantile business. He was one of the first to espouse the cause of Republicanism in Massac County and was on of the hundred and twenty-two that voted for Lincoln in 1860. After Mr. Lincoln's election, and when the clouds of war hung over the country, he proposed to other gentlemen that a flag be raised, and in consequence a very tall pole of the Union was swung in the breeze. A few days later the Democrats held a meeting and appointed a committee to call upon Mr. BROWN to ask him to take down the flag. The committee called and made the request, explaining, however, that they had no objection to the flag but were afraid the people of Kentucky would consider it a menace. Mr. BROWN replied that it was not the flag of any party, but that it was the flag of Kentucky as well as of Illinois, that it was the flag of his country and that the enemy of the flag was an enemy of his. The flag was not taken down. It swung from the top of that pole until it was worn to pieces by its flapping in the wind, and it was then replaced by another. Upon the breaking out of the war he enlisted as a private soldier in Company A, Twenty-ninth Illinois Infantry, under Capt. Carmichael. At the time of muster he was appointed Quartermaster by Gov. Yates, and forty days afterward he was commissioned Lieutenant Colonel and was detailed to assist in raising troops. He assisted in raising the Sixth Illinois Infantry, the Fourteenth Cavalry, the Fifty-sixth Illinois and the One Hundred and Thirty-first Illinois Infantry. He then took command of the Fifty-sixth Illinois. While he was in service four of his children died and his wife was taken sick, and in June, 1863, he very reluctantly resigned to come home to his afflicted family. His resignation was accepted, but as he was in the midst of the Vicksburg campaign he could not get away until the surrender of that stronghold of the rebels. Upon the capitulation of the place he marched into the city at the head of his regiment. He then returned to his home, and for some time was engaged in the manufacture of tobacco, and later in mercantile pursuits. In 1870 our subject formed a partnership with M. Mayfield and established the bank with which he is now connected. This bank is a solid financial institution and has weathered all financial storms. He has been married twice, first in 1854 to Margaret N. THRIFT, who was born in Smithland, Ky., and was the daughter of P.O. and Margaret (HAGEY) THRIFT. John HAGEY, grandfather of Mrs. Brown, was born in Germany, went from there to France, where he joined LaFayette and as one of his body guard came with him to America and fought with him through the Revolutionary War. At the end of Gen. LaFayette's visit to America in 1825, Mr. HAGEY walked from Huntsville, Ala., to Nashville, Tenn., to meet him, and was warmly greeted by his old commander, who recognized him in the crowd. Later Mr. HAGEY removed to Nashville, and lived there during the later years of his life. Mrs. BROWN'S father for some years kept an hotel in Smithland and afterward in Metropolis. He was also engaged in the grocery business in Metropolis, and in that city lived the last years of life. His wife, the mother of Mrs. BROWN, was of Scotch ancestry. Mrs. BROWN died in 1882, and Mr. BROWN in 1885 married Mrs. Kittie (NOLAN) GLASS, a widow. She was born in Paducah, Ky., and was the daughter of William and Huldah NOLAN. Mr. BROWN has seven children living by his first wife: Kittie, Maggie, Alice, Ada, William R., Jr., John T. and Mabel A. Mr. BROWN is a member of Tom Smith Post No. 545, G.A.R., and has been a Republican ever since the organization of the party, and has always stood high in its councils. He has filed various positions of trust and honor and was elected to the State Legislature in 1869, and served in four sessions. This was the first meeting of the Legislature after the adoption of the new constitution, and many important matters were considered and acted upon. He served on the Committees on Rivers and Canals, and Education, and was Chairman of the Library Committee. He served ten or twelve years as a member of the Ohio River Commission and was appointed by Gov. Fifer a delegate to the Nicaragua Canal Convention, which met in St. Louis, and was Chairman of the Committee on Credentials. [Taken from "The Biographical Review of Johnson, Massac, Pope and Hardin Counties" Pub. in 1893 by Chicago Biographical Publishing Co.; Transcribed by Debbie Woolard]
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