Judge John Brown has been for over sixty years identified with the best interests of Douglas County. He was born in Ross County, Ohio, May 7, 1822, on a farm, where he remained until the age of seventeen. This farm was located on Paint creek, two miles from Chillicothe, the County seat of Ross County. Our subject is a son of Nimrod Brown, who was a native of Augusta County, Virginia, and who served in the war of 1812. His mother was, before her marriage, Elizabeth Eigelbright, and was born in Monroe County, Virginia. When our subject was but seven years old his father died, and his mother, with three sons and four daughters, emigrated to what is now Douglas County, in about 1838, and settled in what is now Sargent Township. The Judge’s paternal grandfather, Washington Brown, was a Virginian by birth. At the time his mother located in Sargent Township she was very poor, the oldest son, Washington, managing the business. Land at that time sold for from four to six dollars an acre, but money was very scarce. This was in September, 1838, the date of his mother’s settlement in Sargent Township.
Judge Brown married in 1844, Sally Ann Barnett, who was a daughter of William and Mary Barnett, natives of Kentucky and early settlers in Vermilion County. Mrs. Brown died in 1853, leaving one child, William R. Brown, who is a farmer residing in Jasper County, Indiana. Judge Brown subsequently married Mary Barnett, a double cousin to his first wife and a daughter of John M. and Ana Barnett, of Vermilion County, Mary having been born, however, in Bowdre Township. Their family consisted of six children, four of whom are living: Bright resides in Bowdre Township; Charles F., in Camargo Township; Ella, who is at home; and Kate is the wife of W. S. Burgett.
Mr. Brown was elected County judge during the war of the Rebellion and served in that office for four years. He is a stanch Republican, and the owner of about nine hundred acres of fine land. He is the oldest living settler in the five eastern Townships. Among some of the early settlers whom he intimately knew were Andy Guinn, Henry and Snowden Sargent, James and Stephen Redden, Ambrose and John Martin and their father John, Washington Boyce, Rev. William Watson, a Methodist preacher, and his brother, Parmenus.