Alonzo S. Brand. The career of Alonzo S. Brand, whose home is in Sidney Township, on Eural Route No. 58, has been characterized by that vim and vigor of achievement which is the admiration of all purposeful men. To say that he is a self-made man is hardly doing credit to his ability at overcoming difficulties in his way to success.
Mr. Brand was born in Noble County, Ohio, January 15, 1872, a son of Greenberry and Mary (Baker) Brand. His parents were also natives of the same county and his father a farmer. Alonzo was the oldest of their three children, the youngest, William, being deceased, and the only daughter, Olie, being the wife of J. H. McCoy, of Zanesville, Ohio. The father of the family died in 1876, when Alonzo was four years old, and the other children mere infants. It devolved upon Alonzo to contribute to the support of this household as soon as his tender years permitted. As a small child he frequently worked out on farms for ten cents a day until he was twelve years of age, after which he received $4 a month until he was sixteen and then for nine months worked in a general department store at $20 a month. Another nine months he spent at the hard labor of the coal mines. All his wages went to support his widowed mother and the other children. His mother passed away in 1915 and her later years were made comfortable largely through his efforts.
Mr. Brand finally rented eighty acres for a year and following this worked in a sawmill a year, and then in a store. From Ohio he came to Illinois, locating at Tolono, and arrived there with only seventy-five cents in his pocket. He worked out by the month for five years and then began a career as a renter which gradually brought him his successful position among Champaign County farmers. He bought eighty acres in Clark County, but sold that, and then bought 240 acres in Philo and Crittenden townships, later purchasing eighty acres more in Philo Township making a total of 320 acres. At the present time he owns a fine farm and is handling 560 acres on a broadly diversified basis.
The struggles of his earlier years in supporting himself and his widowed mother measure only part of the responsibilities he has carried. For the past twenty years he has had a home of his own and has been rearing and training and liberally providing for a large family of children. He married February 24, 1895, Miss Zella Chippendale, a native of Champaign County. They are the parents of nine children, named as follows: Leroy of Philo Township; Gladys; Charles M.; Earl P.; Fred V.; Bernice E., who died when four years of age; Irven G.; Clifford A.; and Thurman K., all of whom are living at home except the eldest. The family are members of the Presbyterian Church at Philo, Illinois, and Mr. Brand is a Republican.