Sixty bankers were banquetted last night at the Hammond Country club as a mark of esteem and token of respect to John Brown, president of the First National bank of Crown Point, one of its founders nearly forty years ago, the dean of the banking fraternity of Lake county, who was the guest of honor. The invitations were sent out by A. Murray Turner, president of the First National bank of Hammond. Mr. Brown's life-long friend, and it was Mr. Turner's conception of the felicitous event which made it so successful throughout.
A BIG REPRESENTATION
Every one of Lake county's twenty-three banks was represented at the dinner by presidents, directors or other officials. They subscribed to one of the more beautiful silver loving cups ever given as a testimonial of their affection for "plain John Brown," and when after presenting it with fitting words, Judge E.C. Field, general solicitor for the Monon, handed it to Mr. Brown the latter was overcome with emotion and responded beautifully to the donors. The function was perfect in its appointments, and the dining room where the guests were seated at long tables was prettily decorated with chrysanthemums and other autumn flowers.
Preceding the dinner an informal reception was held, during which an orchestra played. At the speakers' table were seated A. Murray Turner, John Brown, W. Barringer Brown, Neil D. Brown, A.A. Sauerman, August Blum of the First National bank of Chicago, Daniel Norman of the Continental bank of Chicago, John B. Peterson, John E. Luther, Judge E.C. Field, Dr. H.E. Sharrer, and P.A. Parry.
GUEST FROM OVER THE COUNTY
The other guests were A.L. Reiner, W.G. Paxton, H.G. Hay Jr., Warren W. Smith, John E. Fitzgerald, Fred J. Smith, J.E. Bailey, Walter J. Riley, J.K. Reppa, J.H. Lehman, S.J. Watson, W.D. Hunter, W.H. Gardner, J.G. Allen, G.J. Bader, F. Richard Schaaf, J.N. Beckman, W.H. Mashino, C.O. Holmes, J.B. Green, H.S. Daugherty, D.T. Emery, J.W. Albright, H.K. Groves, W.A. Martin, A. Maack, E.C. Simpson, P.W. Meyn, F.S. Betz, S.L. Brownell, Frank Hammond, H.M. Johnson, J.F. Irish, George M. Eder, Aug. W. Stommel, W.J. McAleer, W.E. Schrage, W.J. Kelligrew, John E. Fraas, C.D. Davidson, S.E. Swaim, J. Frank Meeker, P.A. Berg, M.M. Towle, John R. Farovid, George B. Baly*, Frank H. Davis, Adam R. Ebert, Albert Foster and W.C. Belman.
A WELL ARRANGED DINNER
The dinner programs and menus were handsomely engraved light brown parchment tied with seal brown ribbon. They contained pages for the autographs for the entire guest list. The place cards were confederate ten dollar bills upon which in white ink the name of each guest was written. The menu was in five courses and young turkey was the piece de resistance.
At the conclusion of the banquet Mr. Turner, who acted as toastmaster and served in his happiest vein, paid his tribute to the guest of honor, who sat at his right hand. He indulged feelingly in personal reminiscence and introduced the speakers, who vied with each other in their attestations of respect for Mr. Brown and his life. Among those who spoke were August Blum of the First National bank of Chicago, Judge E.C. Field, John B. Peterson and Daniel Norman of the Continental National bank. Their tributes were spontaneous and interspersed with anecdotes of their relations with Mr. Brown from by-gone days. They touched feelingly on the honored guest's splendid war record and his imprisonment for a year and a half in the living hell at Andersonville, where 13,000 Union heroes died. They told of his subsequent career as a farmer, county treasurer, banker and county auditor.
When Mr. Turner introduced Mr. Brown to respond, the latter was greeted with handclapping that lasted five minutes. Mr. Brown gave a splendid talk and perhaps nothing he said more touched his auditors than his reference to his dead mother, whom, as he said, "Made me whatever I am." It was a heart-to-heart talk with his friends, and his advice to the bankers at the close of his speech was confidential and praiseworthy. At the conclusion of his speech the standing guests sang to the tune of "John Brown's Body":
Join us, John, let's sing together,
You're our friend in any weather,
With a love no time can sever,
Our love for you, John Brown.
Your honesty has made for you
Then the presentation of the magnificent loving cup took place and it capped the climax, for as Judge Field in his presentation speech said, "We want to give something else besides lip service, so accept this as a practical token of our love and esteem."
Among the out-of-town ladies who witnessed the function were: Mrs. John Brown and daughter Mae of Crown Point, Mrs. W. Barringer Brown of Crown Point, Mrs. J.B. Peterson of Crown Point.
* NOTE -- George B. Baly, one of the guests at the dinner, was probably actually George B. Bailey.
Moreover, Mr. Brown is entitled to mention in this volume from the fact that he is one of the native sons of Lake county, his birth having occurred in Eagle Creek township, on the 7th of October, 1840. The family is of Scotch lineage, and the grandfather, John Brown, was a native of New York and took a very active and prominent part in Public affairs. He served as a major in the war of 1812 and lived to the very advanced age of ninety-three years. Alexander F. Brown, the father of our subject, was born in Schenectady county, New York, in 1804, and there remained until 1837, when he removed to Lake county, Indiana, settling in Eagle Creek township. There he secured land from the government and developed and improved a farm. He was widely recognized as one of the leading and influential residents of this county, and his influence was a marked element in shaping the public policy. He became a recognized leader in forming public thought and opinion, and all who knew him respected him for his loyalty to his honest convictions and his devotion to the general welfare. In his political views he was a stanch Whig and he held membership in the Presbyterian church, holding office therein, taking a very helpful part in its work and contributing liberally and generously of his time and means to various church activities. He was killed in a runaway accident in 1849 when forty-five years of age. His wife, who bore the maiden name of Eliza M. Barringer, was a native of Schenectady county, New York, and there spent the days of her girlhood. She lived to be seventy-three years of age and died in Lake county, Indiana. On her husband's death she was left to care for a family of five children, one of whom was born after his demise. The eldest, a daughter, Mary, now the deceased wife of Thomas Fisher, was but twelve years of age at the time of the runaway accident which terminated the active and useful career of the husband and father. John was the second of the family. William B., the third, is a resident of Crown Point. Anna is the wife of William C. Nicholson, of Crown Point. George, the youngest, died when twenty-nine years of age, leaving a widow and three sons. Mrs. Alexander Brown reared her family of five children and much credit is due her for their success in life. She desired that they should have good educational privileges and thus be well fitted to meet life's practical and responsible duties, and she put forth every effort in her power to thus qualify them. She was one of the noble pioneer women of Lake county and all praise is due her from her children and friends.
John Brown remained with his mother assisting her in the work of the home farm until, feeling that his first duty was to his country, he enlisted as a member of Company I, Fifth Indiana Cavalry. He joined the army as a private in 1861, was promoted to the rank of sergeant and was captured with his regiment at Sunshine church in Georgia when on the Stoneman raid. He was held a prisoner for seven months. He was in many hard-fought battles. He took part in the entire Atlanta campaign until captured with Stoneman at Sunshine church, near Macon, Georgia. At Indianapolis, June 27, 1865, he was mustered out, having served for three years, during which time he was ever faithful to his duty, following the old flag in many a hotly contested battle, where he displayed marked valor and loyalty.
Mr. Brown at the close of the war returned to Lake county, where he began farming, following that occupation until 1870, when he was elected county treasurer upon the Republican ticket. He discharged the duties of the position so faithfully that in 1872 he was reelected, and in 1876 he was chosen for the office of county auditor. In 1880 he was once more elected to that position and served for eight years, retiring from the office as he had entered it -- with the confidence and good will of all concerned. He served for four years as county treasurer and was township treasurer for a number of years, and in all these different public positions he displayed marked business and executive ability as well as unfaltering fidelity to the trust reposed in him. In the meantime he had become actively identified with financial interests of the county, having in 1874 established the First National Bank at Crown Point. He was one of the charter members and stockholders of this institution, which was capitalized for fifty thousand dollars. Its first president was James Burge, who was succeeded by David Turner, and Mr. Brown became the third president and is now acting in that capacity. He also has other business interests in the county, including a fine stock farm of about six thousand acres located in Eagle Creek and Cedar Creek townships. On this place he keeps about one thousand head of cattle and his annual sales of stock are very extensive and add materially to his income. In business affairs he is far-sighted and energetic, his judgment is correct and his plans are carried forward to successful completion.
Mr. Brown was united in marriage to Miss Almira Clark, and there were three children, a son and two daughters, born to them: Neil, who is now residing upon his father's extensive ranch; Mary Alice; and Grace Almira, who is the wife of E.S. Davis, of Chicago. For his second wife Mr. Brown chose Myrtle E. Ashton, and his present wife bore the maiden name of Jennie E. Northrup.
Mr. Brown is a member of the Grand Army of the Republic, identified with John Wheeler Post No. 149. He is also connected with the Masonic fraternity of Crown Point and holds membership with the Knights Templar at Valparaiso. In politics he is a stanch Republican, and it was upon that ticket that he was elected to the different positions which he has so capably filled. He has indeed been a prominent factor in community interests, and although he has conducted important and extensive business affairs he has never been remiss in citizenship, but on the contrary has contributed in large degree to the general welfare and progress.
The reasons the curators must follow these rules are sometimes not fair to those who were here as well as to the descendants. Let me explain why such records are needed and simply obits or mentions in the paper are not enough. This is just another case where those who are untruthful harm the honest folks in this world.
Following the war, it was not uncommon for soldiers to have claimed to have been here who were not.
Not only was being at Andersonville sort of a red badge of courage, but those who survived Andersonville were given an additional 8 dollars in their monthly Veterans pension.
With an estimated 45000 held here and many thousands who were missing from the rolls here, it was often an easy claim to make. In the many years that followed, the documents I mentioned above often gave us information on those who are proven to have been here . . . and often many of those who are not on any state records.
It's very possible he was here . . . but no record tells he was.
|NOTE -- Descendents of John Brown would like to have his Andersonville Prison experience officialy recognized. Please contact the Lowell Public Library if you can share anything to prove he was, indeed, there as a prisoner of war.|
The same Andersonville volunteer/historian added the following information about Stoneman and the prisoners of war at Andersonville:
Here's the story of Stoneman's place in history. When Sherman began his march across Georgia , he sent Stoneman in advance to destroy the rail lines between Macon and Atlanta that supplied the Confederates with reenforcements and supplies. While preparing, Stoneman asked Sherman that if he was successful in getting to Macon, could he then enter Macon and liberate those officers being held as POW at Camp Oglethorpe which was on the East side of Macon at the edge of the city. Stoneman was given permission to do this.
Stoneman then asked Sherman that if he was successful there, could he then proceed on to the south to Andersonville and liberate those held at that prison. Sherman told him NO. The reasons were the following. This task would use too much resources that were needed in crossing Georgia. Not only more men and supplies to occupy the additional territory but to take care and tend to those at Andersonville too sick to travel. This would widen the path from 50 miles to 100 miles and would greatly slow down the progress and reduce the odds of success. Sherman told him that the best thing for those at Andersonville was to get to Savannah ASAP, end the war ASAP, and this in turn would save more lives at Andersonville.
Stoneman was persistent and kept asking Sherman to allow him to go, and finally Sherman, reluctantly, gave the go ahead. We all know the results as Stoneman was indeed captured and held at Oglethorpe for a short time and the majority of the enlisted men came to Andersonville not as liberators, but as POWS.
John Brown was a man who had a wide acquaintance over the county and probably as well known in Lowell as his home town. He was three times married, his second wife being Miss Ella Ashton, of Lowell, who met a tragic death several years ago.
He was 86 years of age and has been in good health up to within a short time ago, when he was stricken with a heart affliction.
Funeral services were held at the home in Crown Point Tuesday at 2 P.M. The following members of the Lake County Bankers' Association were designated as a committee to attend the funeral: Fred J. Smith, Whiting; John R. Farovid, Indiana Harbor; F.R. Schaaf, Gary; Albert Foster, Lowell; Hazel J. Groves, East Chicago; A.M. Turner, Hammond; Frank Hammond, Hammond.
Mr. Brown is survived by one son Neil Brown of Crown Point, and one daughter, Mrs. Ed. Davis, of Chicago.
The illustrious character, his devotion to his God, his home and his country are qualities that are not swallowed up by death, but pass on as a heritage to the generations to come.
Born in this county in 1840, he gave the best years of his long life to his county and its welfare and now that he has gone in answer to the bugle call of his comrades on the other shore, we keenly feel his loss, and in meeting assembled, extend to his family the sincere sympathy of the Chamber of Crown Point.
Edward C. Glover,
Jacob J. Steeb,
Martin J. Smith,
David A. Root,
Frank B. Pattee,
November 17, 1924
Go to John Brown, "Pioneer History Index," for further information.
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