Sunset at Gowanus Bay

Sunset at Gowanus Bay
Sunset at Gowanus Bay, Henry Gritten, 1851

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Children of Peter Brewer and Hannah Sanborn: Sylvester Brewer

Sylvester Brewer, born 12 August 1804 at Highgate, Vermont, is believed to be a son of Peter Brewer and Hannah Sanborn. The date and place is from the History of Jefferson County, Wisconsin, page 639, which does not state the names of his parents. Sylvester Brewer's death certificate in Wisconsin gives his date of death as 18 or 19 December 1879, age 75, but then records his date of birth as 12 August 1819, the year clearly being incorrect and inconsistent with his age at death. The place of his birth and names of parents is not stated. He died in Jefferson County, Wisconsin. It is possible that Sylvester is a son of one of Peter Brewer's brothers, such as Jacob Brewer. But since few records can be found to substantiate Jacob Brewer's family, and since Sylvester did name a son, Peter, we place Sylvester as a probable son of Peter Brewer and Hannah Sanborn pending the appearance of any evidence to the contrary.

Sylvester Brewer was married twice and may have had as many as thirteen children between his two wives. He lived at Highgate, Vermont, in Pennsylvania, in Trumbull Co., Ohio, and finally at Jefferson, Jefferson Co., Wisconsin. He is buried in Greenwood Cemetery in Jefferson, Wisconsin.

Sylvester Brewer is found on the 1830 census at Highgate, Vermont, with a household of 1 male under age 5, 1 male age 10-15, 1 male 20-30 (himself), 1 female 10-15, 1 female 20-30, and 1 female 60-70. The two children aged 10-15 illustrate the difficultly in working with the earlier census records in which only the head of household is named. The ages given tell us that these two children were born between 1815 and 1820. Sylvester himself, born in 1804, was only sixteen in 1820, and therefore these two children cannot be his.

Sylvester's first wife was Elizabeth Armstrong, and according to the above mentioned History of Jefferson County, Wisconsin, which was published in 1879, the year of Sylvester's death, they had four children: Alphonso, Franklin, Horatio and Elizabeth, with Alphonso and Horatio deceased prior to 1879. Sylvester probably provided this information to the publisher himself, although some of it has been difficult to confirm through other records. Missing from this biography is Sylvester and Elizabeth's first child, a son named Sidney Howard Brewer who is buried in Highgate, Vermont with the inscription: "This Lonley Babe so Young & Fair / Cut Off By Early Doom / Just Come to Shew, How Sweet a Flower / In Paradise Would Bloom" son of Sylvester and Elizabeth Brewer, "who departed this life August 10th 1831 aged 17 months and 4 days." (McLellan Cemetery Records  for Franklin Co.. Vermont Historical Society, Barre, Vermont).

Of the four children mentioned, Franklin and Horatio Brewer can be traced. Neither Alphonso or Elizabeth are recorded with Sylvester's family on the 1850 census (at Jefferson, Jefferson Co., Wisconsin), nor has any other record, that can be attributed to either one, been identified. We accept their existence based upon the account found in the History of Jefferson County, Wisconsin (1879) and have to assume that they were born some time between 1832 and 1842, and either died at a young age, or left home as teenagers.

The son Franklin, is found almost exclusively in later records as Frank B. Brewer, with one source stating his name as Frank Bradley Brewer. As mentioned in the biography of Sylvester Brewer, he was a physician, apparently the first of many among the descendants of Sylvester Brewer. Frank B. Brewer was born on 6 August 1831, most probably at Highgate, Vermont. In 1850 he is found as a single man in Fountain Prairie, Columbia Co., Wisconsin, enumerated in the household of Marvin Sturges, a farmer. No occupation is recorded for Frank. Probably in 1860, he married Josephine Miner, who was only sixteen at the time. She was born in New York, probably in Cayuga County (central New York, Finger Lakes region), a daughter of James and Arminda Miner. Frank and Josephine lived at Hebron, Jefferson Co., Wisconsin; Chicago, Illinois; Fairbury, Livingston Co., Illinois; and Evanston, Illinois. They had two sons, Frank Miner Brewer (1864-1911) and Clyde S. Brewer (1874-1925), both of who were physicians, were married and have descendants. Numerous members of the these families are buried at Hebron Cemetery in Hebron, Wisconsin. Frank B. Brewer died 12 May 1908, and Josephine died 25 January 1925.

Horatio Brewer, according to census records, was born about 1836 in Pennsylvania. He served during the Civil War as a private in Company E, Wisconsin 28th Infantry, from 15 August 1862 to 8 June 1865. He was married to Submit Lockwood, lived in Jefferson County, Wisconsin, had two children, and died 8 April 1869. His children were Irene M. Brewer, born Nov 1859, married John H. Wait and relocated to Portland, Oregon, and Robert C. Brewer, born about 1862, married Carrie Quick and lived at Fort Atkinson, Jefferson Co., Wisconsin. Horatio's wife, Submit Lockwood, later married Charles J. Collier in Wisconsin and was living in 1900 in Portland, Oregon.

Sylvester Brewer has not yet been located on the 1840 U. S. census. However, he did marry his second wife, Sarah Hake, on 7 May 1840 in Trumbull County, Ohio. There are a number of Hake heads of households found in Trumbull Co. in 1840, and perhaps Sylvester and his new wife are included within one of those families. Sylvester and Sarah (Hake) Brewer had eight children, and the dates of their birth are given in the History of Jefferson County, Wisconsin (1879), page 639. From at least 1850 onward, Sylvester and Sarah lived at Jefferson, Jefferson Co., Wisconsin.

Of the eight children of Sylvester and Sarah, only daughter Leah did not marry. She was born in 1841 and died in 1868.

Of the remaining seven children, son Daniel (1843-1933) married first Rosetta C. Smith, from whom he was divorced. He married second, Lottie Jean Rogers, and they had one daughter, Bethel R. Brewer who married Andrew Bertrum Claudon. Daniel was a physician and lived at Fairbury, Livingston Co., Illinois.

Margetta Brewer, who's name also is recorded as Maryette and Marietta, was born in 1843, according to her Wisconsin death certificate, or in 1845, according to the biography in History of Jefferson County, Wisconsin. She died in 1907. Margetta was first married to Fredrick Gustave Weber (or Webber) and they had four or five children. In 1870, the couple is enumerated in the household of her father, Sylvester Brewer, at Jefferson, Wisconsin. With them are two sons, William, age 2, and Arthur, age 1. Their surname is spelled WEBBER, and her husband is recorded as Gustavus Webber. In 1880, Fredrick G. Weber and Margett Weber are found in Chicago, Illinois with daughters Edith and Mary Weber, ages 8 and 4 respectively. In the same year, the sons William and Arthur are recorded as William BREWER and Orlow BREWER, and are enumerated in the household of the widow Sarah (Hake) Brewer in Jefferson, Wisconsin. Fredrick G. Weber may have died during the decade of the 1880s, and in 1891 she married, as Mariett Weber, Thomas Spry, who was a widower and about 20 years her senior. In 1900 they are found at Koshkonong, Jefferson Co., Wisconsin and in the household are her daughters, Edith Barton, called a widow, and Mary Webber, single, age given as 17. In 1905, as Maryetta Spry, divorced, she is the head of household at Fort Atkinson, Jefferson Co., Wisconsin, with daughters Edith BREWER, age 34, and Mary W. BREWER, age 22. The sisters, Edith and Mary, apparently lived together for the remainder of their lives and are found together on the census records of 1910, 1920, 1930 and 1940 in either Fort Atkinson or Koshonong, Wisconsin. Curriously, Edith is always called Edith BREWER, while Mary is Mary WEBBER. Mary died in 1940 and Edith in 1946. As mentioned, the sonWilliam Webber, died in 1923 at San Antonio, Texas. He is buried at Evergreen Cemetery in Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin. Whether or not he married has not yet been discovered. The son Arthur, or Orlow, Webber, was married to Mary Alice McLean, usually referred to as simply, Alice, on the census. They were at Chicago, Illinois in 1900, at Goldfield, Esmeralda Co., Nevada in 1910, and back in Chicago in 1920. One daughter, Hester Lilly Webber, was born on 18 March 1902 in Cook Co., Illinois. There is a badly worn gravemarker in Evergreen Cemetery, for which a submitter to Find-A-Grave posted the deceased as "Orion O. Brewer, 1869-1903." This may be Arthur/Orlow's grave, though he was clearly alive in 1920. A bit more research, and a look at the records of the cemetery, is needed here. I suspect that Margetta had two daughters named Mary. One appears on the 1880 census age 4, and she probably died young, as all records pertaining found later pertaining to Mary Webber, point to her being born in 1883.

Peter Brewer (1846-1938) was born in Ohio, lived at Jefferson, Wisconsin, and is buried in Evergreen Cemetery. He married Louise Pfiefer (1855-1934) in 1883. They had one daughter, Hazel Lulu Brewer, born 12 June 1889 at Jefferson, Wisconsin. She was married to John Paul Shultis (Schultis, Shultes, etc.) about 1912, and they had five daughters born between 1913 and 1924 (Viola, Mabel, Bernice, Ruth and June). Hazel Lulu and John Paul were divorced by 1930. She lived at Jefferson, Wisconsin and died there in 1976. John Paul Shultis registered for the draft in 1942, while living at Josephine, Oregon.

Sylvester H. Brewer (1852-1937) also lived his entire life at Jefferson, Wisconsin. He married Margarith Pfiefer (1858-1937) in 1879. Their one child, a daughter, Mary Brewer, was born 26 July 1886 at Jefferson. She married Raymond Jung (also spelled YOUNG) in 1905. He was born in 1884 and died in 1960. Mary died in 1983 and they lived at Jefferson, and had four children, Malvin/Melvin, Floyd, Wesley and Josephine.

Sarah Brewer, born 10 January 1853, was married to Elias J. Hayner on 13 October 1885 in Jefferson County. He died on 1 May 1896 in Rock Co., Wisconsin. I have been unable to locate Sarah after her marriage, and I have not found any children.

Cynthia Brewer (1855-1944) was married in 1879 to James W. Roe. They lived at Koshkonong, Wisconsin and had eight children, Arminda, Roy, Elias, Leonard, Jessie, Charles, Sidney, and James B. Marriages have been found for Arminda (to Bert Cunitz) and Leonard (to Christine Lemke), and there appear to be marriages for a few of the others.

Jay B. Brewer, born 13 January 1859, was married twice. First to Mary E. Koss in 1881, and they had two children. She died in 1906, and about 1908, Jay Brewer married Cora Ludemann. Jay B. Brewer was a physician and surgeon, and lived at Jefferson, Wisconsin. Further info on his daughter, Maude E. Brewer, born in 1884, has not been found after the 1900 census. His son Jay Claude Brewer (1889-1966) was also a physician and was married to Beulah Clark about 1924 (no children found). Jay B. Brewer died on 13 April 1932 from injuries sustained in a automobile crash in 1931. His second wife died in 1955. Jay Claude Brewer and his wife Beulah, were both killed in a car crash on 11 September 1966.

A good deal of the records and information gathered on the descendants of Sylvester Brewer and his two wives was gathered through the use of You are welcome to toggle through his descendants there (Sylvester Brewer). Additional info has been added to the Brouwer Genealogy Database which was updated yesterday.

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