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Rankin Family History Project

Gregory Brewer


Gregory Brewer is the son of John and Ann (Hagan) Brewer, early settlers of Southeast Missouri. The Brewer family settled in Perry County in 1818, having come thither from Kentucky. Ann Hagan was a daughter of Aquilla and Mary (Tucker) Hagan, who removed from near Lexington, Ky., to Perry County, Mo., in 1797, and settled upon a Spanish grant of 600 acres, on which they lived and died. Their children were Rebecca Ann, Mary, Elizabeth, Susannah, Theresa, Christina, James, John and Michael.

This family were among those instrumental in organizing the Catholic Church in Perry County and for many years services were held in their cabin. They were married by Rev. Father Theo. Baden, the first Catholic priest ordained in the United States. Not one member of this large family is left. The last one, James Hagan, died in 1886, aged eighty-two years.

John Brewer and Ann Hagan were married in the first Catholic Church built in Perry County, and to their union were born eight children, three of whom, Elizabeth Layton, Timothy and Gregory, are living. After the death of his first wife John Brewer married Cecelia Layton, in the year 1837. She is still living, aged seventy-four years.

To this union were born ten children, of whom Romanus, John O., Mary Ann and Vincent are living. Gregory Brewer was married to Sarah Riney in 1857, and began their domestic life on the old Riney homestead, which was entered by Sarah's father Thomas Riney, who first secured 640 acres, to which he added the balance of 1,100 acres. His first wife was a Miss Duvall, and his second, Mrs. Sarah (French) Manning. Seven children were born to the second marriage, of whom Mrs. Brewer was the youngest. She was born on the farm which is her present home, and upon which her parents lived and died, the father when seventy-three years of age, and the mother when sixty-eight.

Mr. and Ms. Brewer are the parents of nine sons and four daughters. Those living are Francis T., Elliott, Clarence, Perry, Alice (Mrs. Kendrick Cissell), Antoinette (Mrs. Vincent Miles) and Emily. Those dead are Louise (Mrs. Ferdinand Cissell), Thomas, John T., James T., Vincent and William.

Mr. Brewer has always engaged in agricultural pursuits, and has a nice farm under a good state of cultivation, where he and family have a comfortable and happy home.

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The Goodspeed Publishing Company compiled a series of histories of various counties in the U.S. in the late 19th century. The information in the History of Southeast Missouri, published in 1888, was provided by the contemporary residents of Perry County and her neighboring counties. The biographies are a valuable source of genealogical information, despite a few minor inaccuracies. We are glad to present the transcribed biographies here for anyone researching Perry County's history.

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