Brown, David A.

Born: 1824-09-27 Greensburg, Kentucky

Died: 1895-02-25 Sangamon County, Illinois

Flourished: Sangamon County, Illinois

David A. Brown, attorney, circuit court clerk, and farmer, moved with his family to Illinois in 1833, settling first in Athens then in Sangamo in 1839. Brown read law under Edward D. Baker beginning in 1846 but paused his training to serve in the Mexican War. With Baker’s encouragement, Brown helped to organize part of what became Company I of the Fourth Illinois Infantry and served as a second lieutenant in the unit. During the course of his service, Brown was promoted to the role of aide-de-camp to the regimental staff. The company was discharged in May 1847, after which Brown continued his legal studies in the office of Lincoln & Herndon. Following his admission to the bar, he served six years as clerk of the Menard County Circuit Court, then practiced law for another six years. As clerk, he frequently encountered Abraham Lincoln in the Menard County Circuit Court. From about 1859 onwards, Brown farmed in Sangamon County, where in 1860, he owned $35,000 in real and personal property. He married Eliza Jane Smith in 1852 and was survived by five children. In religion, Brown was a Presbyterian.

John Carroll Power and S. A. Power, History of the Early Settlers of Sangamon County, Illinois (Springfield, IL: Edwin A. Wilson, 1876), 148; Isaac H. Elliott, Record of the Services of Illinois Soldiers in the Black Hawk War, 1831-32, and in the Mexican War, 1846-8 (Springfield, IL: H. W. Rokker, 1882), 300-1; For Lincoln’s cases involving Brown, search Participant, “Brown, David A.,” Martha L. Benner and Cullom Davis, et al., eds., The Law Practice of Abraham Lincoln: Complete Documentary Edition, 2d edition (Springfield: Illinois Historic Preservation Agency, 2009),; U.S. Census Office, Seventh Census of the United States (1850), Petersburg, Menard County, IL, 271; Illinois Statewide Marriage Index, Sangamon County, 8 December 1852, Illinois State Archives, Springfield, IL; U.S. Census Office, Eighth Census of the United States (1860), Sangamon County, IL, 142; The Illinois State Journal (Springfield), 26 February 1895, 2:3-4; Gravestone, Oak Ridge Cemetery, Springfield, IL.