by William Urban

    Very little is known about Benjamin Brown.

    The census of 1840 found Benjamin Brown in Warren County, aged between 30 and 40, a wife of the same age, and a son and daughter, aged 10-15. He was not present, as best we can tell, in the census of 1850. His name is very common, hence found widely outside Warren County. In fact, there were many Browns in Warren County at that time, many more in Illinois, and an almost infinite number in the rest of the country.

    A "B. Brown" bought a lot from A. C. Harding November 5, 1839. He purchased lot 8, Block 9, on March 22, 1841. This was sold by Eliza Brown March 20, 1852.

    The most important political development while he was mayor was to divide the city into three wards, roughly along lines that still exist.

    The Census of 1840 records another Benjamin Brown living at North Henderson in Mercer County (early on a part of Warren County), with a wife aged 15-29. Marriage records of January 18, 1838, show this Benjamin F Brown marrying Lucinda Mann in Mercer County. The Census of 1850 shows him as a farmer born 1811 in Kentucky (census of 1880 indicates 1809-10), with both parents born in Kentucky. His wife, Lucinda, was born in 1819 (1817 in census of 1880) in Ohio, with both parents from Virginia. Susan Brown, born 1839 in Illinois, John Brown (Josiah in 1860 census), born 1841 in Illinois, Samuel Brown, born 1844 in Illinois, were all in school. Rachel, born 1846, was still at home. Nearby lived John H. Brown, born in Kentucky in 1824, with a wife born in Ohio. The 1860 census lists an additional Henrietta H, born 1851, and Olive, born 1857. The census in 1870 and 1880 list another daughter, Margaret, 1861, born in Illinois and currently in school, and an adopted daughter, Ida, born 1867; also a farm laborer and a male schoolteacher boarder. Next door lived Alford Brown, 35, but while his father was born in Kentucky, his mother was from Indiana.

    The Census of 1850 shows a Benjamin Brown (age 10, born in England) in Henderson County.