JOHN EMERY BREWER, well known in Sullivan county both as a successful business man and farmer, was born at Graysville, Indiana, January 12, 1854, a son of Samuel S. and Cynthia Ann (Dodd) Brewer. The father was also born near Graysville on a farm April 20, 1830. He was the son of John Brewer, Sr., a native of Mercer county, Kentucky, born in 1796, and who moved with his parents to Butler county, Ohio, when eleven years of age. When he was twenty-four years old, he walked from that county to Sullivan county, Indiana, carrying with him an ax, which was his only article of defense. He entered one hundred and sixty acres of land, the same now being owned by the Davis heirs, in Turman township. When cutting down his first tree, which was a very large one, he discovered a she bear and cubs. As the tree fell, the dogs entertained the bear, which animal would have killed the dogs, had he not rushed to their rescue and killed her. After having cleared up four acres, he erected a small cabin and remained there in the wild forest land about one year, then returned to Ohio and brought his wife and one child back to Sullivan county. The child mentioned was James Brewer, who later settled in Fairbanks township, one mile north of Fairbanks, where he lived and died, having amassed a goodly fortune.

John Brewer, Sr., reared a family of nineteen children, twelve of whom reached maturity, and all of them took up their abode within Sullivan county and cleared up farms. He possessed about seventeen hundred acres himself, in Turman township, which he gave to his sons and daughters. After disposing of his large land holdings, he engaged in mercantile business with his son, Samuel S. They purchased a stock of goods belonging to Lafayette Stewart, at Graysville, he being the pioneer merchant of that place. This transaction was in 1853, on the first day of June, and the business was conducted until the junior member, Samuel S. Brewer, died, in the month of August, 1860, and the following year the business of the firm was closed up. John, Sr., remained at Graysville for four years, after which he was associated with his son-in-law, Thomas Burton, in the mercantile business, under the firm name of Brewer & Burton, which relationship existed until 1876, when by mutual consent it was dissolved and William Brewer, a son of John Brewer, Sr., took the business and located at Sullivan and engaged in the hardware trade. John Brewer, Sr., died at Graysville in 1880 and was buried at the Mann cemetery. He was the first man to drive a team of horses with check lines within Sullivan county. His son, of this memoir, has in his possession the journal and ledger used by the old firm of Brewer & Son, which has the names of nearly all of the old pioneers of that township. Its pages show it to have been one of the most perfect and neatly kept set of books in the county, not excepting those of the present day business houses.

Cynthia Ann (Dodd) Brewer, the mother of John Emery, was born in August, 1836, daughter of John and Elizabeth (Osborne) Dodd. The Dodd family originally lived in Kentucky, the father of John being commonly called Dickey Dodd, and he was the first sheriff of Sullivan county, Indiana. Elizabeth Osborne was the daughter of Isaiah Osborne, also a pioneer of Kentucky, who settled in Sullivan county, when all was yet a wilderness.

John Emery Brewer attended the schools at Ascension Seminary, under the tutorship of Major Crawford, whose sketch appears elsewhere within this work. Mr. Brewer entered that excellent educational institution without much preparation at the age of eighteen years. He was a well posted farmer, but knew little else of the great, teeming world, with its various activities, but had an ambition to learn. He attended this seminary also at Sullivan and the Commercial College at Terre Haute, from which he was graduated in 1875. It should be recalled that Mr. Brewer's father died when the son was but six years of age, at a time when a boy most needs the tender watch-care of a father. He was "hired out" by his mother to one Thomas Pogue, with whom he remained for five years, then was employed by various farmers, near Graysville. until he was eighteen years of age, at which time young Brewer decided to obtain a good education, which he did in the manner stated above, beginning with a three years' course under Professor Crawford, whose school was then at Farmersburg. After graduating from the Terre Haute Business College, he engaged with the firm of Sherman & Davis, as a clerk, at Graysville, Indiana, where he was soon made manager of the business there and continued two years, when the stock was removed to Sullivan. Subsequently, Mr. Brewer engaged in business at Graysville on his own account, continuing until 1881, when he sold to Robert Carruthers. Mr. Brewer then purchased a farm of one hundred and twenty acres, near the village of New Lebanon, where he has since resided. Here he carries on a general farming business and raises stock. He has made decided improvements upon the farm since buying it. This place is known, far and near, as the William Gill place, and the township was named in honor of its former owner. Mr. Brewer is the eldest of a family of three children born to his parents. One brother was Theodore Frelingheisen, born in 1856, and died at the age of twenty-one years; be was also educated at Farmersburg under Major Crawford. This brother was a most thorough scholar and a faithful, hardworking student, whose career was suddenly cut short at the threshold of young manhood, when all looked fair for a successful life's voyage. As a musician, he ranked among the best of his years, and was among the attractive, bright stars which seemed destined to sink prematurely. Mr. Brewer's sister was Flora, born 1860, at Graysville. She married William T. Ingersoll in 1880 and died the year after her marriage, at Graysville. Mr. Brewer's mother remained a widow for eight years, then married J. W. Warner, and now resides with him, one mile north of Graysville. She is seventy- three years old.

In religious faith, Mr. Brewer and also wife are members of the Methodist Episcopal church, he having, united with this denomination in 1864, at Graysville. He has held the office of steward. Politically, he affiliates with the Republican party, and was postmaster at Graysville for six years, but aside from that has never aspired or held local positions of honor or trust.

Concerning his domestic relations, it may be said that he was married September 11, 1877, to Jennie Cornelius, a native of Sullivan, born August 10, 1859, daughter of Rev. W. H. and Sarah Ann (Robbins) Cornelius. The father was born at Maysville, Kentucky, April 4. 1810, and the mother was born October 22, 1819, at Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania. W. H. Cornelius was a ship-carpenter by trade, apprenticed when fourteen years of age, at Louisville, Kentucky. He moved to Cincinnati, where he was united in marriage, and where he engaged in ship-carpentering for a short time. He then went to Louisville, and there engaged at the same work until he entered the Indiana Methodist Conference in 1841. He was a regular traveling minister until his death, July 31, 1882, at Linton, Indiana, where he was buried. His wife, who died May 4, 1863, was buried at Corydon, Harrison county, Indiana.

In the Cornelius family there were ten children, seven of whom reached mature years. They are as follows: Mary Ann. wife of Marion Hise, both deceased; Celestine, wife of G. W. Lane, of Danville, Illinois, and she is now deceased; William F., of Linton, Indiana, engaged in the insurance and real estate business; Daniel B., of Linton, an architect; Margaret Elizabeth, wife of Capt. Edward Estes Laymon, an attorney of Santiago, California, and a man of much wealth, whose other home is at Des Moines, Iowa; Sarah Emily, wife of Ransom Bedwell, of Springfield, Missouri, a farmer by occupation; Jennie, wife of Mr. Brewer, of this memoir.

John E. Brewer and wife are the parents of the following children: Walter Cornelius, born at Graysville, Indiana, September 6, 1878, unmarried and at home; Samuel Scott, born at Graysville, December 5, 1880, unmarried, and is an attorney, practicing law at Indianapolis, a graduate of the Indianapolis Law School, being admitted to practice in all of the courts within the United States, the date of final admission being June 7, 1907; Nellie, born at New Lebanon, Indiana. March 14, 1883, unmarried, a teacher at present and will graduate in the Indiana State Normal School in class of 1910; Mabel, born at New Lebanon, July 4, 1886, now at home; John Thaddeus, born at New Lebanon, August 26, 1888, also at home.

It is said that of all the members of the Brewer family none have ever been brought before the law; all are Republicans and members of the Methodist Episcopal church, and the same may be said of the Cornelius family in detail. Mr. and Mrs. Brewer have in their possession two of the old deeds, one executed August 9, 1823, the oldest found in Saulivan county so far and given under the hand of President James Monroe, and the other deed executed November 24, 1828, is by President John Q. Adams.