John G. Brown, who was of Scotch-Irish descent, was born in Charleston, S. C., June 23, 1785. He received in youth a fair English education, and in early manhood emigrated to Kentucky. He was, on the 17th of October, 1810, married to Eliza M. Barnett, to whom were born four children,—Juliet D., Eliza Jane (Mrs. L. W. Monson), Emeline A. (Mrs. J. L. Mothershead), and Alexander M. Mrs. Brown died in September, 1820, and he was again married in October, 1821, to Mrs. Mary C. Todd, nee Winston, who was of English lineage and the daughter of James Winston, a soldier of the Revolution, and his wife, Sarah. Mrs. Brown was born in Louisa County, Va., in 1791, and was a lady of much refinement and culture. On her marriage to Mr. Brown she was the widow of Dr. Henry Todd, of Bourbon County, Ky. Her death occurred in May, 1859. The children of Mr. and Mrs. Brown are Mary T. (Mrs. Stephen D. Tomlinson), James Winston, Margaret M. (Mrs. W. T. Sprole), and Caroline S., James W. and Margaret M. are the only survivors of all Mr. Brown’s children, the former having come, when but eighteen months old, with his father to Indianapolis. He is consequently among its earliest settlers.
Mr. Brown, while a resident of Kentucky, engaged in the manufacture of woolen goods, which business was continued until his removal to Indiana in the fall of 1825. His strong convictions on the slavery question induced his removal from Kentucky. Believing that all men were created free and equal and entitled to the blessings that freedom confers, both he and Mrs. Brown liberated their slaves and removed to a free State. About the year 1830 he formed a copartnership with W. H. Morrison for the purpose of conducting a general mercantile business, which was continued until his death, with the additional interest involved in the cultivation of a farm in the suburbs. In politics he was a Henry Clay Whig, though content to let others share the labors and honors of office. He was a zealous member of the First Presbyterian Church of Indianapolis, in which he was an elder and one of its most active workers. All measures for the advancement of morality and the furtherance of the best interests of society found in Mr. Brown a warm supporter and friend, though feeble health prevented active participation in works of philanthropy. His death occurred in May, 1838, in his fifty-third year.
Sulgrove, B. R., History of Indianapolis and Marion County, Indiana; Philadelphia: L.H. Everts & Co., 1884, 785 pgs., pp. 505-506.