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Collection Description

The George W. Brown collection is a compilation of personal documents of the Brown family and those of the Society of Friends.  Among its contents are a handwritten journal, a household record book, a copybook, a few retail receipts, newspaper biographical articles and obituaries.  A unique item is a handmade autograph book. 

Members of the Society of Friends religious organization, or Quakers as they were called, populated Benjaminville (or Bentown) in the mid-19th Century.  The Brown collection includes the record book of the Benjaminville Monthly Meeting of Women Friends, 1867-1912, as well as several publications of higher levels of the Friends organization.

The materials, which are organized in one box, date from approximately 1863 to 1929.  Folder 1 contains George W. Brown’s biographical information, gleaned from cemetery records and obituaries, as well as his photograph found in The Illustrated History of McLean County.  Folders 2-4 contain Brown household documents.  Folder 5 has a copybook written by Alcinda Allen, possibly a relative of Rebecca Allen Brown, George’s second wife.  Folder 6 has biographical information about Elizabeth Coale, Bentown area resident and mother-in-law of George’s daughter Jennie.  Folders 7-9 are Society of Friends materials, while Folder 10 is an advertisement for a toy top. Folder 11 is a miscellaneous collection of personal items.


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