S. E. Brown who has been actively engaged in business in Forreston for many years, is one of the honored sons of that place, and his life is a verification of the fact that the inevitable law of destiny accords to a tireless energy, industry, and ability a successful career. Prominent in business circles of Forreston stands Mr. Brown, who conducts a restaurant, bakery, and confectionary at that place. He was born August 11, 1844, in Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania, and at the early age of two years was left motherless. Upon reaching his fourteenth year he was apprenticed to the shoemaking trade, at which he worked until 1864, when on the 13th of September, he enlisted in Company H, Two Hundred and Tenth Regiment, Pennsylvania State Volunteers. Shortly after entering the service he was taken ill and sent to the regimental hospital, but owing to the lingering condition of his disease he was transferred to the McDougal General Hospital, from whence he was discharged, and also mustered out of service, receiving his dischargepapers May 31, 1865. In 1865 he returned to Dauphin County, and worked in the coal mines from the spring of that year until fall, when he again took up his trade of shoemaking, which he pursued throughout the winter of 1865-1866.
On the sixth of April, 1866, Mr. Brown came to Illinois to join his brother who had preceded him, and settled at Lanark, Carroll County. Upon joining him, he worked as a farm laborer until 1867, when he was employed by Jonas Beck, for whom he worked the following eight months. On the 24th of November, 1867, he was united in marriage to Miss Nancy Byers, a daughter of J. G. Byers, a pioneer settler of Ogle County, and at that time a prosporous farmer of Brookville Township. Two children have blessed this marriage, namely: Agnes, living at home; and John William, express agent at Forreston for the American Express Company. In the fall of 1868 Mr. Brown rented a farm of eighty acres in Brookville Township, which he subsequently increased to one hundred and twenty acres, and which he worked until 1894. On the eighth of January he removed to Forreston and went into busines in the location which he now owns and occupies. Mr. Brown is one of a family of six children. George, the eldest is deceased. J. P. is a prosporous farmer in Otter Creek, Carroll County, Illinois. David is a farmer in Dauphin County, Pennsylvania. Sarah is the wife of E. O. Reedy, of Kewanee, Illinois. Susanna is deceased. The sixth child is the subject of this sketch.
Mr. Brown votes the Republican ticket, and cast his first ballot for Ulysses S. Grant. He is a self-made man, and his valuable farm lands in Iowa, and the business property in Forreston are the results of his energy and good management, ably assisted by his wife, who seconds his efforts by her constant zeal and activity. He is among the most progressive and public spirited citizens of Forreston, and gives his support and cooperation to measures tending toward its growth and development.