Brown, Bernard J. (History - 1841)


Janet Schwarze





----Source: 1891 Biographical History of Clark and Jackson Counties, Wisconsin, published by The Lewis Publishing Co.


Bernard J. Brown, 1841

BERNARD J. BROWN, who was one of the organizers of Thorp Township and is now the oldest settler in Clark County, living north of Greenwood, was born near Rutland, Vt., Oct. 16, 1841. His parents were Peris and Achah (Parks) Brown, the father being a hardware merchant. In l845 the family came West as far as Illinois, where Peris Brown bought a farm. Later, he entered into the mercantile business at Huntley Grove, that state, and was thus occupied thereafter until 1856, in which year he sold out and moved to Black River Falls, Wis. There he was engaged in business as a merchant for eight years, and at the end of that time removed to Augusta, Wis., being proprietor of a general store there until his death.

His wife having died some years previous. Their children, seven in number, were named, respectively: Helen, Edna, Bernard J., Benjamin F., Emoline, Axamy and Edward P. Bernard J. Brown finished his schooling at Black River Falls, and left home in 1864. That year, however, he enlisted in Company G, Fifth Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry, being mustered in at Madison, Wis. The regiment joined the Army of the Potomac, then under the leadership of General Grant, and Mr. Brown took part in the battles of Petersburg, Sailor's Creek, Richmond and others, being present at the fall of Richmond, and at Lee's surrender at Appomattox. He was also in the Grand Review at Washington. After the war he resided for three years in Jackson County, Wis., and then removed to Clark County, taking a homestead of 160 acres in Reseberg Township, where he took up his residence in January, 1868, erecting a log cabin. That place he made his home until 1904, when he retired and has since made his home in Thorp village. He had cleared thirty acres of his farm, and had a nice frame house of eight rooms, and a barn 30 by 65 feet in size, raising beef cattle and sheep.


Mr. Brown was one of the organizers of Reseberg Township. During President Hayes' administration he was appointed postmaster of Winnioka, the first post office west of Black River, and served eight years. He is a Republican in politics, and served many years on the school board, and also for one year as township treasurer. He belongs to Post No. 163, G. A. R., of Thorp, and has attended many national reunions, as well as state encampments. While postmaster at Winnioka he carried a stock of merchandise, and traded with settlers and Indians.


Mr. Brown was first married to Arvilla Folsome, who was born in Buffalo, N. Y., where her father was engaged in business. She died Sept. 11, 1912, having been the mother of three children: Nettie A., Roy and Winnie E.


In 1914, Mr. Brown married for his second wife, Mrs. Helen M. Foreman. The record of Mr. Brown's children is as follows: Nettie, who married I. A. Jackson, died in 1908. She had six children, all sons, namely: Vilas H., Roy, Vernon, Bernard, Ervil and Clarence. Roy married Lucinda Warner and has three children-Angus, Leo and Haskell. Angus and Haskell are deceased. Winnie has been twice married, first to George Rosine, who died in 1905, leaving one child, Ronald. She married secondly, Isaac Sisco, of which union there are no children. Mr. Brown is now in his 76th year, but enjoys good health, and is reasonably active. As a pioneer settler of Clark County, he can recall many interesting events, and has seen wonderful changes since he first located on his farm in Reseberg Township. He has a wide acquaintance throughout the northern part of the county and is universally esteemed.


Civil War Soldier & Unit History

Provided by Harold Zander.

Wisconsin 5th Infantry 1861-1865

John B Brown - Company G

Enlisted 1September 1864 as a Corporal

Promoted to Sergeant on unknown date

Mustered out 20 June 1865

Data of Town Where Enlisted: Albion, WI

Killed or mortally wounded
Died as POW
Died of Disease
Mustered out

This regiment was organized in June 1861, with a numerical strength of 1,057. It was mustered in 13 July and left the state on the 24th, being assigned to General King's brigade.

In September it was made a part of Hancock's brigade, 2nd Division, 6th Corps, with which it took a conspicuous part in the battle of Williamsburg and the Peninsula campaign. It was in reserve at Crampton's Gap, but fought at Antietam where Colonel Cobb commanded the Brigade. At Fredericksburg it was in Pratt's Brigade, Howe's Division, 6th Corps.

It was on duty in New York in October 1863, during the enforcement of the draft, was one of the two regiments to carry the main fort and redoubts at Rappahannock Station; took part in the battle of Chancellorsville, and was engaged at the Wilderness, Spotsylvania, Cold Harbor and Petersburg.

It was then sent to assist in the defense of Washington and was mustered out 3 August 1864.

Reenlisted veterans and recruits, under command of Capt. Chas, formed an independent Battalion consisting of three Companies 13 July 1864 and accompanied the 6th Corps to the Shenandoah Valley. It was in engagements at Snicker’s Gap, Charles Town and Cedar Creek.

The regiment was reorganized by Colonel Thomas S. Allen, was mustered in 1 October 1864, and joined the three veteran companies at Winchester on the 26th. It participated in the three days' engagement as Hatcher's run, in the relief of Fort Stedman and in the final assault on Petersburg, and won warm accolades for its work at Sailor's creek, where it advanced through a swamp, waist deep, in the face of a galling fire and compelled the enemy to surrender.

The regiment was with the 6th Corps in the pursuit of General Lee, which resulted in his surrender at Appomattox. It was mustered out at Madison, Wis., July 11, 1865.

The total enrollment during service was 2,256. Losses by death 285, missing 4, desertion. 105, transfer 33, discharged 405; mustered out 1,424.


Pension Records [1]


Family Research

Provided by Lani Bartelt


Bernard John Brown was born 16,Oct 1841 near Rutland, VT. His parents were Peris & Achasah (Parks) Brown Peris & Achasa were both natives of Vermont They had the following seven children.:\

Helen, later Mrs. Harrison Marshall, of Neillsville, W

Edna, later, Mrs. Peter Gwin of Loyal WI.

Bernard of this biography

Benjamin F, later of Minneapolis, MN

Emeline later, Mrs.. A.S. Eaton of St Paul, MN

Mary later, Mrs. C.V. Stone of West Superior, WI and Edward P later of West Superior, WI

In 1842 the family came west as far as McHenry County, Illinois, there Peris bought a farm. Peris had been a hardware merchant in Vt. and in Illinois he entered into a mercantile business Coral Township Near Huntley Grove, Illinois and stayed there until 1856. He then sold out and the family moved to Black River Falls, Jackson Co. WI. He was in business as a merchant for eight years and then moved to Augusta, WI. operating a general store there.

In an 1880 Census for Ellisburgh, Jefferson Co., NY the following Brown family members are listed:

Peris Brown head,male,white,age 73 B VT. Occupation farming Melissa Brown wife female white age 63 B NY keeps house Raba A Brown dau female white age 27 At Home

Bernard J Brown finished his schooling at Huntley and Black River Falls, WI where he followed carpententry as a skill and left home in 1864

That year however he enlisted in Co G 5th WI Vol. Inf. and was mustered in at Madison, WI . The regiment joined the Army of the Potomac, then under the leadership of General U.S. Grant. The regiment took part in the battles of Hatcher’s Run ( Feb 6) Petersburg, VA (Mar 25 1865) Petersburg again (April 2,1865) Sailor’s Creek,( April 6,1865) Richmond, and others, he was also present at the fall of Richmond and at Gen Robert E. Lee’s surrender at Appomattox. He was also in the Grand Review at Washington D.C.

After the war he resided for three years in Jackson Co. WI, working his carpenter’s trade. He then moved to Clark Co WI between Jan.1868 and the fall of 1871 (sources differ) taking a homestead of 160 acres in Reseberg Township. He erected a round log cabin with a shake roof, which he occupied for several years until 1883.He then built his next home a large frame residence twenty by thirty feet, with a cellar under the latter part. He made that place his home until 1904 when he retired and moved to Thorp Village .He had cleared cleared thirty/forty acres of his farm (again sources differ) and had a nice frame house of eight rooms and a barn thirty by sixty five feet, raising beef cattle and sheep.

He is listed on the 1890 Special Schedule of Surviving Soldiers, Sailor, and Marines and Widows for Withee and Hixon, Clark Co. WI as follows: #151-154 Brown Bernard J Sgt Co G 5 Wi. Inf. 1Sep 1864 20 Jun 1865 Length of Service 9 mo/20 dy from Thorp discharged at close of War. He was a member of the G.A.R. and was Commander for one year of Asbra Welcome Post No.163 of Thorp, WI The first Mrs. Brown was a member of the W.R.C.

He married Arvilla Folsom April 15,1865 in Buffalo, NY She was also born in Buffalo, NY to Elijah & Judith Folsom She died 11 Sept 1912 They had three children: Nettie A b 25 May 1868; Roy B 18 April 1873; and Winnie E. b 13 Oct. 1877 Nettie married Irvin A Jackson of Eau Claire, WI and they had one child named Vilas H Jackson, born 18 July 1890 Arvilla's parents had four children: Dexter, who lived in Erie County, NY Jeanette who became Mrs. A Le Claire of Black River Falls, Jackson County, WI and Rosette who became Mrs. T.W. Letson of Buffalo, NY.

Mr. Brown was the first Postmaster of Winnieoka, having been appointed in 1874. The post office was at his house and was also the first post office of Longwood. He also added a stock of general merchandise to this office and traded with the settlers and Indians. The wild animals were numerous and he established a deer lick, where he killed many animals, which gave him lots of venison to eat! It is said he once shot a deer from the window of a neighbor’s house, while sitting in a rocking chair, and often shot them through the cracks of his barn.

A story told in the 1891 History of Jackson & Clark Co WI says the following: One of Mr. Brown’s early experiences in this county worthy of mention: There were no roads here except logging roads, and those cut through by settlers. He started to Greeenwood WI with his mule team for supplies and upon reaching the Black River found it very high, with a jam of logs across the ford. He left the wagon and harness, went up the river a short distance and After much hard work succeeded in pushing one mule into the river. He jumped upon his back, the other mule following and in this way Swam across. He secured his supplies, carried them across on the Jam, and swam the mules across to this side.

In 1914 Mr. Brown. married a second time to Mrs. Helen M. Foreman.

At the time this information was taken for the 1918 History of Clark Co Bernard J Brown had the following children: Nettie, who married IA Jackson, died in 1908. She had six children, All sons, Vilas H, Roy, Vernon, Bernard, Ervil and Clarence. Roy married Lucinda Warner and had three children: Angus, Leo, and Haskell. Winnie had been married twice first to George Rosine, who died in 1905,leaving one child, Ronald and Winnie married a second time to Issac Sisco, of which there were no children of that union.

A Thorp Courier newspaper clip from 10.24/2001 stated the following 75 years ago - B.J. BROWN celebrated his 85th birthday on Oct. 16th at the home of his daughter, Mrs. Isaac SISCO, at Atwood (Clark County, Wis.).(original article 1926. Another clip originally from 1901 says 100 years ago - B.J. BROWN moved here from the Town of Reseburg last week, occupying the Johnson residence, which he purchased.

Mr. Thorp was one of the organizers of Thorp Township and again at the writing of the 1918 History of Clark Co was the oldest settler in Clark County WI. He was a member of the Town Board for two terms; School Clerk for several years; and Town Treasurer one year

Bernard John Brown died 20 May 1927 at age nearly 86 at the home of his daughter, Mrs. Issac Sisco, near Owen, Clark Co, WI The last line of his obituary says, ""He was a man highly respected by all who knew him. Brown family members who are buried at the East Thorp Village Cemetery, Clark Co. WI is as follows:

Angus H Brown b 2 May 1901 d 9 Dec 1917 single parents Roy & Lucinda Brown Arvilla Brown b 15 Nov 1838 d 17 Oct 1911 husband John Bernard Brown Parents Elijah & Judith Folsom Married 15 Nov 1865 Parents Elijah & Judith (Folsum) Folsum

John Bernard Brown d 16 Dec 1841 D 20 May 1927 served in Civil War Co G 5th WI Inf. served 1 Sep 1864 –20 June 1865 INF. Mrs. Issac Sisco (dau) VG #537 wives #1 Arvilla Folsome married 15 Nov 1865 in Buffalo, NY. #2 Helen Foreman married 14 March 1915 Parents Peris & Achah (Parks) Brown Lani note/ Feb 2006 Cemetery information for John Bernard Brown is listed twice. I corrected first set of information. Civil War time of service was incorrect "it states served 1 Sep 1864 –1 Sep 1864. I corrected for this biography. Also listed as wife is Agnus H Brown which was incorrect. I listed both of his wives for this biography. His parents are not listed so I added them to the biography His wife, Arvilla’s parents’ are not listed on her cemetery records. I found their names in the 1891 History of Jackson & Clark Co WI so I added them.

Christena Brown b 6 Sep 1866 d 5 Feb 1913 husband James C Brown Married 07 Jan 1891 Parents George & Nancy Butler

Cynthia Brown b 22 Dec 1960 d 6 Apr 1992 no husband listed parents George & Beverly Neisus

Dorothy A Brown b 1920 Living husband Otto Brown married 21 Feb 1938

Haskel R Brown b 30 Sep 1907 d 6 Dec 1917 parents Roy & Lucinda Brown

Helen M Brown b 3 Oct 1854 d 10 March 1920 husbands #1 George M Gates Married 25 Feb 1874 #2 Bernard J Brown married 14 March 1915 Parents Forman

Karen Brown b 1944 d 1944 no other information

Lucinda Brown b 7 Mar 1875 d 10 Sep 1944 husband Roy H Brown Married 7 Mar 1900 Parents Sylvanus's and Phobe J (Warden) Warner Lani note/Feb 2006 See Warden and Warner for more information on her parents.

Otto P Brown b 12 Jul 1912 d Jun 1981 wife Dorothy A married 21 Feb 1938 Parents George & Gertrude Brown

Roy H Brown b 18 Apr 1873 d 30 Nov 1956 Middle name Bernard Wife Lucinda Warner married 7 Mar 1900 Parents Bernard J and Arvilla (Folsome) Brown Lani note/Feb 2005 I have added Arvilla’s maiden name to this biography As it was missing from cemetery records



Bio: Brown, B. J. (Birthday - 16 OCT 1926)

Bio: Brown, B. J. (Clip - OCT 1901)

Bio: Brown, Bernard J. (History - 1841)

Bio: Brown, Bernard J. (History -1841)

Veteran's Grave Record #537



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