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George A. Brown, dealer in hardware, lumber, furniture, etc. (firm of Austin, Brown & Kimball), Ashmore; was born at the Walnut Grove, in Edgar Co., Ill., Oct. 17, 1837 he came with his parents, Job W. and Martha R. Brown, to Coles Co. in 1840; he remained on the farm until the age of 23 years, receiving his education in the little log schoolhouse in the neighborhood; after arriving at age, he taught school one winter; at 23, he engaged in contracting and building in Ashmore, building most of the village, including the Methodist Church and many of the business houses and private dwellings; also helped to build the Presbyterian Church. Among the business houses may be mentioned those of Austin, Brown & Kimball, F. M. Waters, Thomas O’Brien, Dr. Robertson, Joshua Ricketts, A. J. & R. Waters & Co., etc.; in 1872, he engaged in the lumber business, Mr. W. F.. Austin afterward becoming a partner; they added hardware, undertaking, furniture, etc.; in 1875, Mr. W. C. Kimball became a member of the firm. Mr. Brown has been a member and President of the Board of Trustees and the Board of Education a number of years; he is at present Treasurer of the Board of Trustees. He was married Jan. 25, 1861, to Miss Arden O’Brien, a daughter of the late John O’Brien, of Ashmore; they have three children – Walter M., Owen E. and Job W.