It is always a pleasure and a satisfaction to see success come to one whom we feel is, by reason of his own efforts, entitled to it; and so the many people in the City of St. Louis who have observed the career of George Brand, at present and for some years clerk of the probate court of that city, rejoice over the success that has come to him.
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He is a son of John C. Brand, who was a native of Nassau, Germany, but Dutch descent, his parents having migrated from Holland to Germany when John C. Brand was yet an infant; and after living but a short time in Germany the family came to the new world, first settling in St. Clair county, Illinois, but subsequently removing to the City of St. Louis. Later again, John C. for active duty the war had come to a close. He married Anna Rauschkolb, a native of Belleville, Illinois, and descended from one of the old families of that state. From this union sprang seven children, five sons and two daughters.
The subject of this sketch was the fourth child of this marriage and was educated in the public schools of Belleville and set out to earn his own livelihood after completing his studies, being first employed in his father’s grocery store. While so employed he studied stenography, in due course becoming an expert in that profession, specializing in railroad, commercial and law work. While thus engaged he wisely devoted his leisure time to reading law, and in 1894 was appointed secretary to the board of public improvements of St. Louis, in which capacity he rendered efficient service until 1902, when he became manager for the United Typewriter & Supply Company, in which capacity he served for some Ave years. He acted as chief stenographer for the United Press Association in reporting the republican national convention in St. Louis which nominated President McKinley.
Mr. Brand from his early manhood took an active interest in politics and while his activity was at first confined to the immediate neighborhood of his home it was not long before his influence extended over a much wider territory, for he was a forceful and direct speaker, who, having the courage of his convictions and being fearless in expressing them, naturally won the respect and goodwill of that large class of people who admire manhood and courage.
In 1907 he was appointed clerk of the probate court of St. Louis, which office he has held continuously, discharging his duties to the entire satisfaction of the public and of the bar. He introduced in the probate court a system of making efficient records in typewriting which did away with the old manuscript records and, moreover, made it possible to have the record written up within a few days after the proceedings to be recorded had taken place in court. This system of making records was so great an improvement over the old system that it has been adopted in many of the other courts.
On September 12, 1895, Mr. Brand was married, in St. Louis, to Miss Julia Alt, a native of that city and a daughter of Henry and Madeline (Zwilling) Alt. Mrs. Brand passed away October 29, 1913, at the age of forty-six. On February 2, 1915, he married Miss Anna Alt, a cousin of his former wife and a daughter of John and Georgiana Alt.
During the World war Mr. Brand served indefatigably as one of the FourMinute men, speaking to thousands in theatres and other public places, with his customary earnestness, eloquence and force and for this work received a distinguished service certificate. He also was active in the sale of Liberty bonds, Red Cross and other drives, thus displaying his loyalty and patriotism.
Mr. Brand is a member of the Methodist church and for many years has taken a very great interest in its various activities and has frequently been elected a delegate to its conventions.
Mr. Brand in his life furnishes an illustration of what may be accomplished by any boy in this country where opportunities are open to all. Coming from parents in moderate circumstances, without the aid of influential friends or financial assistance and entirely through his own efforts and industry, he has achieved a very considerable measure of success. He has always been a republican in politics and has been a force for good within his party. He belongs to the Anchor Lodge A. F. & A. M., is a member of the Scottish Rite Consistory of Moolah Temple and of the Alhambra Grotto. He also belongs to the Century Boat Club and various other social organizations.