NORTH VERNON AND SUBURBAN VILLAGES
TOCSIN (Warning) OF WAR - THE CALL TO ARMS - THE GIVING UP
I recall vividly that time - 1860-61 - which tried men's souls. I recall the long period of uncertainty - long it seemed - after the beginning of secession in
December till Mr. Lincoln left his home in Springfield for Washington. Perhaps his first outgiving which foreshadowed for was in his speech in Indianapolis, in which he used that homely
but expressive figure in asking: "What if the Government puts down its foot?"
It was, to the South, the first shadow of coming events, and it awakened some concern. The haughty power in the South said: "What does Mr. Lincoln mean by 'putting
down the foot?" Does he mean coercion? Let him try it."
I recall the oppressive uncertainty and doubt that rested upon the country like a mighty nightmare, doubt of what was to come. It was a solemn pause in our national
history. There was really an interregnum in the government. The Goth, the Vandal, and the Hun had possession of the Capitol. The imbecile Buchanan was trembling and crying "Whither shall
I fly?" and Secretary Cass was anxiously casting about for some power under the Constitution to breathe!
Then did Whittier truly portray the men of the time:
"The Age is poor and mean;
Men creep not walk.
With blood too pale and tame
To pay the debt they owe to shame.
(Buy cheap, sell dear;
Eat, drink and sleep.)
Low-pillowed, deaf to lowly want,
Pay tithes to Saul-insurance keep-
Six days to Mammon; one to Cant."
The wisest men hesitated, the strongest men staggered. Horace Greeley said: "Let the erring sister go." Robert Dale Owen, a moderate Democrat and a timid man, saw the
terrible gulf of disunion and shrank from the consequences of coercion. He counseled peace and compromise.
The times demanded a man and the man came. I recall with what assuring confidence Governor Oliver P. Morton spoke to the Nation. It was a resurrection trumpet awakening
confidence in the people. His utterances were a demonstration: "Compromise!" he said; "why, the family is in insurrection against the authority of the home; this authority must be sustained or
the home will perish." He was the Martin Luther of that time.
THE GIVING UP
It was a time that patriotism ceased to be mere breath. Deeds were called for. Mr. Lincoln's call for 75,000 troops came. The people were ready. Perhaps the next day,
they assembled at North Vernon, and organized, perhaps under Col. Tripp. Of the details I can not speak with certainty. I think Colonels Tripp and Prather, Judge Andrews, E. P. Hicks and the
ardent and energetic Mark Robinson were among the active men.
A few incidents at the time impressed me. A young man, retiring and quiet in his manners, perhaps an only son, the stay and staff of aged parents, was among the first to
respond to the call. He understood the true issue. He had been a careful reader of the New York Tribune. In taking leave he said: "I go at the call of the county, to die for her if necessary."
I thought it sublime. The mother with Spartan heroism, said: "Go, my son." The father said: "Do your duty."
Sam McKeehan, then editing the North Vernon paper-I do not recall the name-responded to the same call, and heroically fell. Many another upon that roll, before the war was
over, failed to answer his. There was a noble giving up of homes' best treasures.
Mark Robinson had helped to make the war, that is to say, he had been an important factor in the Abolition movement, which was a pretext with the South for precipitating the
war. He was not the man to shrink from the issue presented. He was a chaplain, I believe, at Ft. Pillow; but he was a fighting chaplain, and in leading a charge on the enemy it is said he forgot
the clergyman, and in the ardor of the moment cried out: "Now boys, give 'em 'ell." That he was in earnest fight is attested by the fact that his suspenders were shot away.
Another episode. A Methodist clergyman had a son, under age, enter this regiment in his father's absence from home. He felt aggrieved and called Col. Tripp and Mr. Hicks to
account on the ground that they had not consulted the mother. These gentlemen expressed regret and offered to have the young man brought back from Indianapolis, whither he had gone with his company.
"No," said the father, "I would not have him return against his will. I honor my boy for the step he has taken, and only complain that his mother was not consulted in my absence. I have sent my blessing
to my son with money necessary for his use." A noble father! I would like to know the fate of that son. Paris, Ind. A.W.B.
North Vernon Plain Dealer - January 11, 1877
Letter from Deputy - January 4, 1877
James Brower of Harrison Co. Missouri, and son of Mr. Adam Brower of your county, paid us a visit last week. He had been absent twenty-three years and of course there was
great rejoicing among his numerous friends. On the evening of New Year's day, he left us for Jefferson city, being re-elected to the State Legislature. He informed us, two years ago there were but
twenty Republican Representatives in his State Legislature, and this year forty-two. Mr. and Mrs. Brower may well be proud of-their first-born. W.
North Vernon Plain Dealer - June 30, 1881
Died, at her residence near Lovett, on June 23d, Jeannette Brower, wife of Adam Brower, in her 72d year. Funeral on Saturday at Hopewell, conducted by Rev. Burton. Mrs. B. had been feeling better than
usual on the day of her death. At her usual time she went to bed, and at two o'clock in the morning when Mr. Brower tried to awaken her she was dead. She had apparently died, without the movement of
a muscle. Mr. and Mrs. Brower had lived together nearly fifty-seven years. They had a family of thirteen children all of whom lived to be grown, and ten of them are yet living.
North Vernon Plain Dealer - May 5, 1881
Oliver Shepherd and family of Vernon, were visiting over Sabbath at Mr. Brower's. Mr. Brower is over 80 years old; reads all the time without spectacles and walks three or four
miles to church. He cut 80 cords of wood last fall, which has lasted him through the winter and will do him for the summer. If any of you have a more industrious old man, we would like to hear of him.
North Vernon Plain Dealer - January 17, 1884
Notes from Lovett
Mrs. Sarah Shepherd, of Clarksburg, visited friends here last week. When she returned home her father, Adam Brower, went with her.
North Vernon Plain Dealer - August 6, 1884
SOME SCRAPS OF HIS HISTORY
Adam Brower was born in Gloucester, New Jersey, April 13th, 1802. He with his parents, moved to Clermont county, Ohio, in 1816. His father Peter Brower, was a native of Holland
but emigrated to this country and was among the early settlers of Long Island. The probability is that Mr. Brower is legal heir to the celebrated "Aneka Yans" estate, but is not likely to ever receive
any benefit from it. Mr. Brower's father was a farmer and it was that occupation he first learned and has followed to some extent every year of his life.
He was married to Jeannette McMurchy on Oct. 12th, 1824. For fourteen years he lived in Clermont county, making farming his chief occupation. In the fall of 1838 he moved to
Jennings county, Indiana, and has been a citizen of that county ever since. He bought eighty acres of land from his brother-in-law, Geo. McMurchy, at Government prices and paid for it by clearing and
fencing twenty-five acres for Mr. McMurchy. While he was doing this work he had to walk through a very dense forest. His tract of land is near the head of Coffee Creek, six miles south of Vernon. He
lived two years on a farm owned by R. F. Dix, and then moved into a cabin on his own land. This cabin had but one room in it, eighteen feet square, and this room was parlor, sitting room, dining room
and kitchen. Into this cabin of one room he put all beds and bedding, furniture, cooking utensils and eight children besides himself and wife. He now had a large family to feed, clothe and school under
very unfavorable circumstances. In his efforts to educate his family he did not have the benefit of any public school system, but had to go down into his pocket for every dollar to foot the expense.
Sometimes he was under the necessity of subscribing and paying for more pupils than he could send in order to secure a teacher. Perhaps few men of to-day would care to take upon themselves such burdens
and responsibilities. If young men now would engage in the different professions and pursuits with as much determination as was required then, success would crown their efforts.
Mr. Brower learned to make and burn brick while yet in Ohio, and learned brick-masonry after he came to this State. In doing this he did not serve one hour as an apprentice, and
yet, in middle life, he had fairly earned the reputation of being one of the best brick-makers in Southern Indiana.
About the year 1846 he was sent for by a Cincinnati firm to superintend the making, setting and burning of pressed brick which at that time was considered a very difficult task.
He has superintended the making and baking of 46 kilns of brick in Jennings, Jackson, Jefferson, Scott and Bartholomew counties; has built and superintended the building of 15 brick houses and has had men
under him who had served a regular apprenticeship.
Mr. Brower raised a family of thirteen children to manhood and womanhood-seven boys and six girls. James the oldest, moved to Harrison county, Missouri, in
1853, and served two terms in the Legislature of that State. Sarah is living in Rush county, Indiana; Almeda and Mariah live in Jennings county; George and Adam in Minnesota; Margaret in Jefferson county,
Ind.; Jeannette in Marion county, this State; Lemuel at Plainfield, Hendricks county, Indiana. His son John was the first to break the family circle by death, which occurred at Delaware Hospital, October 4, 1862,
while a paroled prisoner. Starvation, while a prisoner, was no doubt the cause of his death. The next death in the family was that of Howard, who died August 31, 1872, Eliza died January 21, 1880, Jeannette,
his wife, died June 23, 1881, Harry died September 8, 1883. Thus it will be seen that nine children are still living but so scattered that it is not probable that Mr. Brower will ever see all of them in this life.
Mr. Brower was elected a Magistrate and served in that capacity thirteen years; during all this time but one case was appealed and then the Circuit Court sustained his judgment.
He connected himself with the M. E. Church in 1825, and was given license to exhort in 1845 when Rev. James Crawford was pastor of Paris Circuit. He has always been a strong advocate
of temperance and for many years lifted up his voice against human oppression. He was one of the few who in early time was opposed to American slavery and was not afraid to say so. He was ridiculed, cursed and
threatened by mobs but amidst all he never flinched. He is happy in the knowledge that his principles have triumphed, and that what was once so umpopular is now endorsed by men regardless of party affiliation.
Five of his sons served in the civil war, their time of service aggregating about twenty years.
Mr. Brower is one of those who think the mission of the Republican party will not be filled until polygamy, the twin sister of slavery, is destroyed. He is not favorable to a third party
just now to further the interests of temperance, believing that more good can be accomplished by remaining in the old lines. He thinks the whisky men, to be consistent, should organize a new party and boldly declare
for their fiendish principles without dissimulation, and then each man would know where to take his position.
Mr. Brower is now in his 83rd year, is enjoying reasonably good health and is expecting to attend the Beech Glen Camp Meeting which begins on August 19th. Those of his friends who wish to
correspond with him may address him at Deputy, Jefferson county, Indiana. W. Deputy, July 31st, 1884
North Vernon Plain Dealer - December 3, 1884
Notes from Lovett
Mr. Adam Brower has gone to Tipton county to spend the winter with a son-in-law, John R. Shepherd.
Rochester Tribune - July 24, 1891
Adam Brower, of Hamilton, Ind., is aged ninety-one, and is still hale and hearty. He is the father of thirteen children, nine of whom are living, and he is one of the few men who can
say, "Daughter, go to your daughter, for your daughter's daughter has a daughter." He has not touched a razor to his face for half a century, nor has he ever seen an elephant. Ex.
Adam Brower was born in New Jersey on April 13, 1802. He, with his parents, emigrated to Brown county, Ohio, when he was twelve years old. Here he married to Jannette McMurchy on October 12, 1824.
She was born in Scotland and came with her people to this country when she was 12 years of age. Her early religious training was Presbyterian. Mr. Brower was by education a Methodist, and not long after they were married,
in 1825, both united with the M. E. Church, of which they were members through life. To them were born some children while in Ohio. In 1838 they moved to Jennings county, Ind. Here they raised a family of 13 children, all
of whom lived to be men and women grown. There were seven sons - James, George, John, Adam, Lemuel, Howard and Harry. The daughters were: Sarah, Almeda, Margaret, Jennie, Eliza and Mariah. Four of the sons and five daughters
are still living. James in Kansas, George in Wisconsin, Adam, jr., in Minnesota and Lemuel in Alabama. Sarah lives in Hamilton county, Almeda and Mariah in Jennings county, Margaret in Jefferson county, Ind., and Jennie in
Illinois. All the daughters were present at their father's funeral, but none of the sons. Five of the sons were good soldiers in the Union army during the Civil War, and all lived to serve their time except John. He and Adam
were captured during retreat of Gen. Banks in West Virginia. They were taken to Castle Thunder; thence to Belle Isle, and finally released on parole. Adam survived but John was too far gone to recover and died as a result of
hunger and exposure, at Ft. Delaware Oct. 4, 1862. The next to follow was Howard, who died August 31, 1872. Eliza died January 22, 1880. Janette, the wife and mother, died June 23, 1881. Harry died September 8, 1883. Father
Brower, the subject of this sketch, died in Hamilton county at the residence of his daughter, Sarah Shepherd, November 14, 1892, aged 92 years, 7 months and 1 day. The remains were conveyed to Hopewell, Jennings county, where fineral services were funeral services were conducted by Rev. F. P. Jewett, of Paris. His text was Psalms 37: 37. "Mark the perfect man and behold the upright; for the end of that man is peace." The sermon was full of comfort for
all Christians, and especially consoling to the surviving relatives and friends of the deceased. All the departing members of the family with the exception of John are buried side by side in the Hopewell cemetery, on the banks of
Graham creek in Jennings county.
Hopewell has been the home church of the family for more than 50 years. I have just read a letter written by G. W. Batchelor, of Ft. Delaware, to Mr. Brower, informing him of the death of his son John.
The letter was written October 6, 1862, two days after John died. Mr. Batchelor was taken prisoner at the same time John was captured. They were together during a long and perilous confinement and were both paroled at the same time.
The last words spoken by John were addressed to Mr. Batchelor, whose kindness to him has never been forgotten by the family. Although it has been more than 30 years, Mr. Batchelor still has a warm place in the hearts of the surviving
Mr. Brower was given license to exhort in 1844. He was a great lover of and worker for the church all through his long and eventful life. His house was a home for preachers. Dr. Wood, Dr. Hester, Dr. Jenkins,
Dr. Dolph and many others were partakers of his hospitality and were his especial friends. His early opportunities for acquiring an education were very meager yet he was an extensive reader, a close thinker and possessed a fund of
general information. He was for many years a Justice of the Peace, and during his official life it was his universal custom to discourage litigation. He would spend any reasonable amount of time trying to effect a compromise between
contending parties and would receive nothing for his services but the satisfaction of having done what he felt to be his duty. Deeds, mortgages and civil contracts were often made and acknowledged by him for which he would accept no pay.
A common remark of his on such occasions was: "Come and pay us a visit and the bill will be settled. Such a Justice would naturally get much official work to do. His office never paid its own expenses. To work industriously at
everything he undertook was a part of his nature. He was a good conversationalist, was kind, sympathetic and benevolent. He had the entire confidence of his neighbors and those who knew him best. He was a strong anti-slavery man whose
voice was often heard in public assemblies denouncing this evil. Of course he was a warm advocate and supporter of the civil war. Being a strictly temperate man, he denounced the drink habit in unmeasured terms. He was a man of
distinctive individuality and had the courage of his convictions. When the path of duty was made pain to him, neither friend nor foe could cause him to swerve from it. He was one of those who would have given his life for his convictions
sooner than compromise with evil. His life, if written, would be a commentary on human possibilities, and an inspiration to the young. He lived like a man and died as only a Christian can die.
G. F. WHITSITT - Deputy, Ind., Nov. 21, 1892
You may use this material for your own personal research, however it may not be used for commercial publications without express written consent of the contributor, INGenWeb, and