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Rankin Family History Project

Judge Robert Milton Brewer


Judge Robert Milton Brewer was born in Spencer County, Ky., September 27, 1820, and is the son of George W. and Sarah (Fox) Brewer. It is supposed that George W. Brewer was born in Prince William County, Md., and Sarah Fox in Old Virginia. Both came to Kentucky with their parents when children, in which State they grew to maturity and were married. They reared four children: Robert Milton, Mary E., the deceased wife of Stephen Tucker; Martha A., the wife of Timothy Brewer, and Sarah Candace, the deceased wife of Raphael Tucker.

George W. Brewer's wife died in Kentucky in 1833, and in 1841 he removed his family to Perry County, Mo., where he died in November, 1842. George W. Brewer was one of a family of eleven children born to Charles Brewer and wife, who with their nine other children settled in Perry County in the vicinity of the present town of Perryville in 1818. George W. being the only child married, he remained in Kentucky until the date before mentioned. The other children married in Missouri, and each one reared a family.

The name of Brewer has been associated with every enterprise in Perry County since its early history. The subject of this sketch first married Mary Brewer, a daughter of John Brewer, whose original homestead embraced the site of Brewerville, and his house, in which his son, Romanus I., now resides, stood near where the mill now stands. John Brewer entered a section of land, adjoining which he secured fifty acres of a Spanish grant. Judge Brewer now resides on the latter.

His wife died on April 26, 1866, having borne six children, one son of whom is living, John T., who married Angie Willemine. The following October Judge Brewer married Mary E. Higgs, a native of Perry County, Mo. Her mother was reared in Kentucky, but was married to Mr. Higgs in Missouri, by whom she became the mother of four children.

The family returned to Kentucky, where Mr. Higgs died, after which his widow married Leo Tucker, both now dead. By his second marriage Judge Brewer became the father of ten children. Those living are James J., Mary O. (wife of Reuben R. Fenwick), Mary G., Milton E., Annie L. and Sarah E.

In 1846 Judge Brewer was elected justice of the peace, and served until 1854, when he was elected judge of the county court, and being re-elected, served two terms. In 1862 he was elected to represent Perry County in the Legislature, which position he filled honorably.

At the beginning of the Civil War he was one of the first to enlist, and was chosen captain of Company B, Fourth Missouri Regiment, with which he served until the expiration of his term of enlistment. In 1862 he raised the Sixty-fourth Regiment of Enrolled Militia, and was commissioned colonel, serving until the regiment was disbanded.

He was then appointed to fill a vacancy as representative of his county in the Legislature. In 1879 he was again elected to the Legislature by the Democratic party, and at the expiration of his term of office was appointed by Gov. Thomas T. Crittenden to fill a vacancy on the judicial bench of Perry County, after which he was elected to the same position and is still in office. His official life has been blameless and pure, and he is highly esteemed and honored by all who know him.

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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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