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Judge Robert Varner Brown


Judge Robert Varner Brown, a prominent citizen of Perry County, Mo., was born in Ste. Genevieve County, on January 20, 1834, and is a son of James S. and Mary (Varner) Brown.

James S. Brown was born near King's Salt Works in Washington County, Va., and was a son of William Brown. The latter married a Miss Scott, and was a Revolutionary soldier, a member of Gen. Washington's body guard.

James Brown located in Ste. Genevieve County, Mo., in 1818, after which his father made his home at his residence until his death in 1844, at the age of ninety-five years, being one of the last survivors of the Revolutionary heroes in the State. James S. Brown was the owner of many slaves and a section of land on Saline Creek, which now belongs to his two eldest sons, William and John.

James S. Brown died on March 11, 1855, but his widow still survives, hale and sprightly at the advanced age of eighty-five years. She is the mother of twelve children, nine of whom are living: They are Matilda (Mrs. John Kenner), William V. (who has been twice married, the last wife being Delilah Cashion), John (who has been twice married, the second time to Eliza Williams), Nancy (who has been twice married, now the wife of Thomas Shumach), Robert Varner, Elizabeth (Mrs. Francis K Tucker), Rhoda (Mrs. Jasper Erwin), Asenath (Mrs. Clinton Erwin), and Cullen (who married Emma Martin). The united ages of these children and their mother at this date (1888) is 577 years. The children were all born in Ste. Genevieve County, and all have been prominent citizens of Southeast Missouri.

On September 23, 1857, Robert Varner was married to Margaret E. Tucker, a member of the family known as the "Long Tuckers," and is a daughter of Josephus and Nancy (Kinner) Tucker, who immigrated to Missouri from Georgia. Nancy Kinner was born in Ste. Genevieve County, Mo., but her parents were natives of Tennessee, who located in Missouri in 1804.

Robert Varner Brown and his young wife began domestic life on land in Ste. Genevieve County, which he purchased in 1854, but after several years he erected a handsome residence on some land in Perry County, to which he removed his family, where they have since resided in ease and comfort. To them were born ten children, only four living: Robert V., Jr. (who married Louise Coffman), Nancy J. (Mrs. Victor Brewer), Eunice and Fred. Susie M. Brown, nee Mercer, the widow of Henry R. Brown a deceased son of Judge Brown, has for several years been a teacher in the county.

During the Civil War Judge Brown served in the Federal Army, and, as he was not regularly discharged, still claims to be a soldier. In 1862 he enlisted in Company B, of Col. Leavenworth's regiment of the Enrolled Missouri Militia, in which he served as orderly sergeant.

After the war he was engaged in agricultural pursuits exclusively until 1880, when he was elected judge of the county court from the Western District of Perry County, and having been re-elected every two years, still holds the position. The judicial board of the county have gained a well deserved reputation, and none of them stand higher in the estimation of the public, than Judge Brown.

In 1858 he was made a Master mason in Perryville, and is now a member of Saline Lodge No. 226, at St. Mary's.

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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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