History Of The Brewer Family Of Crawford County, Arkansas
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A BRIEF HISTORY OF OUR BREWER FAMILY
By Bob Brewer
The exact origin of our branch of the Brewer family is unknown, however, based on current information it is most likely that the roots of our family began in Great Britain. Family researchers have published a variety of family trees suggesting England or Wales as possible beginnings.
One of the earliest and best researched histories of our family was published in the late 1930's by Dr. Waren H. Brewer. Dr. Brewer's book, "History of Brewer Family of North Carolina, Tennesse, Indiana and Illinois," has become a standard reference for researchers. His chronicle of the family's history begins with Thomas Brewer in the 1700's before the American Revolution. Dr. Brewer provides the following narrative on Thomas's early life.
Our branch of the Brewer family descends from Thomas to his son Briant Brewer, Sr. of Fountain County, Indiana. Dr. Brewer's book offers this brief record of Briant's life
Research following the publication of Dr. Brewer's book indicates that in addition to the four children reported for Briant and Eliza Brewer, they had other children as well. A family Bible, owned by descendants of Bryant Brewer, Jr. records the births, deaths and marriages of Briant and Eliza's children. Among the births recorded is William Irvin Brewer, "Born February the 4... 1827." Briant's son, William Irvin Brewer, is the next generation in our family line.
Research by William Willard Brewer, great-grandson of Bryant and Jane Brewer, also links William to Briant. His research includes the 1848 sale of land in Fountain, Indiana by William's brother Lorenzo Dow Brewer. This record reads as follows:
In his research, William Willard Brewer also notes that:
As further support of William I. Brewer's service in the Mexican War, William Willard Brewer provides this quote from Thomas A. Clifton's book, Past and Present of Fountain and Warren Counties, Indiana, published in 1918:
Little more is known about William's early life. Marriage records from Covington, Indiana show that William I. Brewer married Mary [Brewer] on 21 March 1848, about a month after William sold the property described above. Information from the census records indicates that William and Mary continued to live in Indiana for at least a year after their marriage. Sometime between 1849 and 1850 they moved to Iowa. The 1856 Iowa State Census for Boone Township, Webster County, records William, Mary and their first three sons, John W., Briant, and Daniel. John W. Brewer's birthplace is recorded as Indiana and his approximate age as eight (placing his birth year in 1848). Briant and Daniel's birth place is recorded as Iowa. Briant's age is shown as five and Daniel's as three. This would indicate that Briant was born in Iowa around 1850, or two years after the marriage.
same Iowa Census reports William's occupation
as "Merchant." Although William's
occupation on later census reports record his
occupation as "Farmer," there is some
support for the idea that he may have been a merchant
for a time. The ad at the right appeared
in the August 20, 1857 edition of the Webster
City newspaper. Although there is no evidence
that the Brewer in this ad is William, the date,
the location and the reference to "Merchant"
in the previous year's census are all very suggestive.
From Iowa, William and Mary moved to Nebraska where their fourth son, William A. Brewer was born on 13 July 1861, around the start of the Civil War. By 1880 William and Mary had left Nebraska and moved to Crawford County Arkansas. William and Mary appear on the 1880 Federal Census in Crawford County with sons Daniel, William and Isaac Nelson Brewer. Son John W. Brewer reported on the 1856 Iowa Census does not appear in any of the later records and his history is unknown at present. In the period between 1856 and 1880, William's son Bryant Brewer married and moved first to Illinois, and then later to Kansas. Bryant, his wife Srah Elizabeth (Walker) Brewer, and four of their sons appear on the 1880 Federal Census in Butler County, Kansas. William's son Bryant is the next generation in our family line.
Bryant Brewer, was born 14 November 1850 in Iowa. Bryant married Sarah Elizabeth Walker in Coles County, Illinois on 7 April 1868. Sarah was born in Kentucky, around 1842. All records indicate that Bryant, like his father before him, was a farmer. Bryant and Sarah lived in Illinois until at least 1877. During this time they had three sons, John W. Brewer (who may have been named after Bryant's younger brother mentioned above), Charles Allen Brewer, and Richard Franklin Brewer. By 1880 Bryant and Sarah had moved to Butler County, Kansas where their fourth son, George Harrison Brewer, was born.
The records show that by 1883, Bryant and his family had joined his parents and three of his brothers in Crawford County Arkansas. This date is established by the fact that their fifth son, James Thomas Brewer, was born in Crawford County on 31 May 1883. Sarah passed away on 9 April 1891. She is buried in Gill Cemetery, Crawford County, Arkansas [near Van Buren].
According to the Crawford County marriage records, Bryant married four more times after Sarah's death.
His second marriage was to Annie L. McWilliams on 31 December 1891. Family tradition says that Annie, who was 17 when she married 40 year old Bryant, stayed up all night on their honeymoon with a crying baby and left the next morning never to be heard of again!
Bryant's third marriage was to 37 year old Matilda W. Morogroves on 13 September 1892. Little is known about this marriage, except that it was also short. There is no record of any children, and just over a year later Bryant married again for the fourth time.
He married his fourth wife, Margaret Adams on 9 November 1893. Bryant and Margaret, who was called Maggie (and sometimes Mary), had two children: Florence Elnore Brewer and Henry Brewer.
Florence was born on 24 September 1894. At the age of 19, she married John Allen (age 20) on 1 May 1914 in Crawford County. John and Florence had seven children. Their daughter-in-law, Corrine (McGee) Allen, still resides in Van Buren, Arkansas. Bryant and Margaret's son, Henry Doyle Brewer, was born in 1896 and died approximately one year later. He is buried in Bushmiaer Cemetery, Crawford County, Arkansas.
On 16 April 1899 at age 49, Bryant married his fifth wife, Louisa A. Sheridan. There is no record of children from this marriage. Bryant and Louisa are believed to have been married until Bryant's death on 1 April 1917. Bryant is buried near his first wife Sarah in Gill Cemetery, Crawford County, Arkansas.
As mentioned earlier, Bryant and his first wife, Sarah, had five sons: John W., Charles Allen, Richard Franklin, George Harrison, and James Thomas. Although it is beyond the scope of this brief history to detail the lives of each of them here, the reader is encouraged to refer to the family tree (pedigree) charts and other materials that follow. Much of this album is dedicated to tracing their marriages and children.
Ronald N. Wall & Bob Brewer
Modified: 31 July 2020