The village of Browningis situated on the W. 1/2 of section 26. It was surveyed and platted byLeonidas Horney for R. Dilworth. The plat was recorded in the officeof the circuit clerk, May 11, 1848. Its position on the Illinoisriver made it at an early day an important shipping point. Vesselsfrom Pittsburg discharged their cargoes here and regular lines of packetsrun to it from St. Louis. Long lines of teams might be seen everyday awaiting their turn at the warehouse. The town also obtainedan early importance in a mercantile point of view.
The first settler on thepresent town site was John Lippencott, who located as early as 1829. Thenext settler was Peter Holmes, in 1830, after whom the place was at onetime called Holmes’ Landing.
James Austin sold the firstgoods from a small general stock kept in a log cabin about 1849. A year or two later Benjamin Kirkbride sold goods from a more completestock kept in a frame building. In 1850 A. L. Wells had a store andfreight house at what was formerly called Vermont Landing, a short distanceup the river. R. R. Dilworth kept store on the present site of theware-house. It was destroyed by fire in 1853 and the present ware-housesoon followed. George McEvans then built a store in the town anddid business for three or four years, when he sold to Albert and MarionBates. In the meantime, G. B. and Wiley Hollingsworth built a storeand sold goods for a few years. Among the early merchants may bementioned the names of J. G. and H. H. Lassater, Charles Early, CharlesDilworth, S. F. Wallace, and E. M. and T. H. Bradley.
The first school in the villagewas taught by Miss Dilworth. The first school-house, a small framebuilding, was built in 1854. In it was taught the village schooluntil 1874, when the present school-house was built. It was a twostory brick building, and was erected at a cost of $2400, including equipments.
The town is at present ina thriving condition, and besides the handsome school building it has aneat frame church edifice of the Christian denomination and a lodge building,also frame.
Browning Flouring Millwas built on a former mill site in 1878. It is owned and operated by M.L. Justus. It does a combined custom and merchant business, and has threerun of burrs with a capacity of two barrels per hour. The other businessof the town is as follows:
General Merchandise.–S.B. Dray, Thomas H. Bradley, and George W. Fowler.
Groceries and Hardware.–JamesM. Carlock.
Drugs and Medicines.–J.S. Blackenship.
Hotel.–W. C. Ballmanand J. P. Campbell.
Browning Lodge No.309 I. O. O. F., was chartered in April, 1864, with William Bader, DanielIvins, Elias Gibbs, George W, Garrett, Henry Ventors and others as members.Its present membership numbers about twenty-five. Its financial conditionis good.
Excerpted from The CombinedHistory of Schuyler and Brown Counties, Illinois, 1882
Transcribed by Carol LongwellMiller for Schuyler County ILGenWeb
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