A well known pioneer settler of Louisa county is Jeremiah Browning, who for more than fifty years was actively
engaged in the cultivation of his farm in Grand View township where he is now living retired. He was born in New
Jersey on the 19th of November, 1825, and is a son of William and Grace (Fish) Browning. Both the paternal and
maternal grandparents were early colonial settlers, living near Philadelphia; and in all probability some of the
ancestors of Jeremiah Browning were Soldiers in the Revolutionary war. After their marriage the parents located
in Gloucester county, New Jersey, where they resided until 1839. In the latter year they came to Iowa, entering
a claim in Concord township, Louisa county. Here about 1848 the father passed away and the mother died in 1876,
in the house in which her son Jeremiah now resides. Of their union there were born twelve children of whom the
son Jeremiah is the only one surviving.
Little opportunity was given Jeremiah Browning to acquire an education. He was only a lad of fourteen when the
family settled in Louisa county, where at that time the educational facilities, in the rural districts particularly,
were very limited and inadequate for the settlers were too few and lived too far apart to organize a school and
when the district had become sufficiently populated to support a school he was too old to attend. Iowa formed a
portion of the frontier at that period. Life was very primitive and upon those brave men and women who form the
advance guard of civilization devolved all of the hardships and privations of pioneer life. The Browning family
was large, their means limited and the source of revenue very uncertain, so that while little more than a lad the
son Jeremiah was compelled to assume the responsibilities of manhood. When he first began working for himself he
broke prairie with oxen, following this employment for several years thereafter. Some time later he bought sixty
acres of land which he cultivated for a short period then sold. In 1859 he bought his present homestead, which
contains two hundred and sixty acres of land on section 29, Grand View township. He has made all of the impprovements
upon his place which he continued to cultivate until 1901, when he retired from active farming, but still lives
Mr. Browning, who has twice married, took for his first wife Miss Mary Randleman, to whom he was united in 1854.
Their life together was not long as she passed away in 1859. Three sons were born of this union: George, William
and John, all of whom are deceased. Mr. Browning was a widower for eleven years, then in 1870 he married Miss Sarah
Walker, a native of the east. Unto them were born six children: Susan, who lives in Muscatine; Edith and Mary,
who are deceased; Grace, a resident of Louisa county; Charley, the only son, also deceased; and Ethel, the wife
of Hilton Lieberknecht. Mr. Browning died in the spring of 1901.
In religion Mr. Browning is of the Christian faith, while in politics he is a democrat, but has never been an officer
seeker. Mr. Browning is one of the highly esteemed citizens of Grand View township and is accorded the respect
which rightfully belongs to one whose years are many and whose life is honorable.
History of Louisa County, Iowa
From Its Earliest Settlement to 1912
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co.
Decatur County, IA
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