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.