Brian, William Sr.
The following data is extracted from Historical and Biographical Record of Douglas County, Illinois.
William Brian, Sr., was born May 6, 18o6, in Ross County, Ohio, and in 1837 he came to Coles, now Douglas, County ; he entered about one thousand acres of land when coming here, and has owned as high as three thousand acres. He had learned the blacksmith's trade in Ohio, and followed it about twenty years here. On one occasion, when shoeing a Methodist preacher's horse, he nailed the shoes on with the toe-corks behind. The preacher remonstrated with him for doing so; his reply was, "The devil takes, after these Methodist preachers, and I thought I would make him take the back track." He was married October 1, 1829, to Anna Lewis, who was born in Pike County, Ohio, May 4, 1805. They had nine children, six of whom are here named : Thomas, James, Mary (wife of' R. E. H. Westfall), William T., Taylor W. and Samuel. His death occurred a few years since.
Source: Historical and Biographical Record of Douglas County, Illinois