NER O. BROWNLEE is descended from one of the oldest pioneer families of Washington county, Penn. Archibald Brownlee, the earliest known ancestor, was born near Glasgow, Scotland, and passed his early youth in his native land. When a young man he emigrated to America with his wife and family, and locating in eastern Pennsylvania resided there many years previous to the Revolution, and there reared a family of children, three of whom were: Thomas (born in Scotland), James and William. The Indians becoming hostile drove settlers (mentioned) back to eastern Pennsylvania. The Revolution breaking out, Thomas enlisted under General Washington, and was one of his ferrymen crossing the Delaware. He was also one of Washington's select marksmen, and was a man of great muscular power, weighing from two hundred and fifty to three hundred pounds.
Thomas Brownlee, son of Archibald, grew to manhood, and was married to Martha Shearer. After taking up his claim and after the Revolution the young man came farther west, locating in Buffalo township, Washington Co., Penn. He there entered 600 acres of land, nearly half of which tract is still in the possession of his descendants. His brothers, James and William, and his cousins, James and John Brownlee, each took up 600 acres. The following children were born to Thomas and Martha Brownlee: Hamilton, Archibald, David, Margaret, Jane and Martha; all of whom are now deceased. The mother of those children died, and after several lonely years, Mr. Brownlee was united in marriage with Elizabeth Muncy, who bore him four children: William T., Elizabeth, Rachel and Susan, all of whom are deceased. Of these children, William T. Brownlee was killed in Missouri, by a neighbor with whom he had some trouble.
Archibald, son of Thomas and Martha (Shearer) Brownlee, was born January 12, 1795, on the farm in Buffalo township, Washington county. He was one of the first Abolitionists, and took an active part in smuggling slaves, being interested in the underground railway, which was made to assist the fugitive negro in escaping to Canada. Mr. Brownlee was married to Keziah, daughter of William, and descendant of Archibald Brownlee, and the following children were born to their union: Joanna (residing in Kansas), Ariel (living in Buffalo township, Washington county), Ebenezer (a minister in Blue Earth City, Minn.), Margaret (living in Washington county), Keziah (deceased), Martha, Elizabeth and Jonathan (residents of Washington county). Of the above family, Ariel Brownlee was born July 16, 1829, on the property in Buffalo township which he now owns. He received a common-school education, and was reared to farm work. He enlisted in Company A, Eighty-fifth P. V. I., under Capt. H. J. VanKirk, and took part in the engagements of Fair Oaks, Deep Bottom and numerous skirmishes. Receiving his discharge, he returned to the farm upon which he has since resided. Politically he is a Republican, and in religion a United Presbytery.
Jonathan Brownlee, son of Archibald and Keziah Brownlee, was born in Buffalo township, Washington county, and passed his youth on the farm, where he received a fair education, and afterward taught eight terms of school. On November 28, 1854, he was married to Catherine Anderson, daughter of Benjamin Anderson, Donegal township, Washington county, and to them the following children have been born: Anderson (a minister (U. P.) living at Martin's Ferry, Ohio), Alvin (deceased), Nettie, Ner O., Carrie, Jennie, Melvin (deceased) and Hervey (deceased). Mr. Brownlee has a farm of 136 acres and is engaged in stock raising, giving especial attention to breeding hogs, sheep and cattle. In politics he is an active Republican, having filled various township offices.
Ner O. Brownlee, born March 3, 1861, son of Jonathan and Catherine (Anderson) Brownlee, received a fair education, to which he has added much valuable knowledge, making stock raising a special study. On October 29, 1886, he was married to Beatrice, daughter of Thomas Noble, of Wheeling, W. Va. This lady died November 28, 1892, leaving two children: Thomas Owen, born January 4, 1888, and Louisa C., born July 16, 1889 (died June 20, 1891). Like his father Mr. Brownlee is a Republican, but not an active politician. In religion he is connected with the United Presbyterian Church at Claysville.
Text taken from page 1241 of:
Beers, J. H. and Co., Commemorative Biographical Record of Washington County, Pennsylvania (Chicago: J. H. Beers & Co., 1893).
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