BREWER, JAMES, - Only reliable men, whose probity and loyalty have been fully tested, can be placed in a position of responsibility, so that the A. L. Ide & Sons establishment is to be congratulated upon having a man of the character of James Brewer as watchman. He was born in Springfield, November 9, 1844, a son of John Brewer, of Kentucky who married a Sangamon County girl. The father was a farmer, who came to the country at a very early day, settling in Springfield, where he was married. He had two sons and one daughter, those now living being, Mrs. Elizabeth Markley, of Pekin, Ill., and Mr. Brewer. The parents died in Springfield and are buried in Oak Ridge Cemetery.
Going to school in Springfield, James Brewer grew up, and when old enough began working, being engaged in various lines until he learned book biding. He found employment for a number of years in this line, becoming foreman for the Payne Bindery. He was also employed in the construction of the State Capitol and over twenty years ago accepted his present position with the Ide Company. Mr. Brewer has a war record, for when hostilities were declared he enlisted in Company E, One Hundred Thirty-third Illinois Volunteer Infantry, participating in several important battles, and his discharge was signed by President Lincoln. At the close of his service he returned to Springfield and resumed his private occupations. Naturally, considering his military service, he is a member of the G.A.R., being connected with Stephenson Post, No. 30.
On August 17, 1886, Mr. Brewer was married in Springfield, to Amelia Pond, born in Morgan County, Ill., daughter of Cyrus J. and Martha C. (Williams) Pond, natives of Pennsylvania and Ohio, who came to Morgan County. Their family consisted of eight children, five of whom survive: Mrs. Brewer; Cynthia, wife of James Alsbury, of Latham, Ill.; Carl, in the coal business in Chicago; Frank O., of Peoria; A. is living in St. Louis.
Mr. and Mrs. Brewer became the parents of eight children, two of whom are now living. James H., at home, and Martha O., in the employ of the John Bressmer Company, of Springfield. Mr. Brewer owns his pleasant home at No. 401 Smith Street, as well as other property. It is his pride that he was one of President Lincoln's personal friends. He and Mrs. Brewer are members of the Baptist Church and in politics he is a Republican.
The history of the Brewer and Pond families is very interesting. For a short time the great grandfather of Mrs. Brewer was a soldier in the Revolutionary War, fighting under General Washington. Her grandfather on her mother's side was a soldier in the Mexican War, the Black Hawk War and in the war against the Mormons. He was a resident of Springfield for a number of years. Mrs. Brewer's father was a farmer and followed that calling in Morgan County, Ill., for many years, finally retiring and moving to Concord, where he died. His widow came to live with Mrs. Brewer and there died. Mr. Pond was a member of Company B, One Hundred and First Illinois Volunteer Infantry, during the Civil War, participating in many battles, and was wounded at Lookout Mountain. He had the misfortune to be seriously wounded and was also taken prisoner. The bullet which was extracted from his wound together with his picture and the flag of his regiment, can be seen among the mementoes of war at the State House. The members of both families have been representative men and women, in whose hands could be trusted the affairs of their communities, for through good and evil times they have proven their worth.