John Brownlee born c1811-1865

An account of the life of John Brownlee who was one of the first miners and shippers of iron ore to Youngstown.

John Brownlee.  One of the first miners and shippers of iron ore to Youngstown was John Brownlee, who opened the mines at the mouth of Yellow creek.  He was born in Scotland, April 12, 1811.  In 1832 he emigrated to America and came direct to Trumbull, now Mahoning county, and settled in Poland township.  He became engaged in general farming and stock raising, to which he gave exclusive attention until the opening of valuable mineral deposits offered a more profitable field of industry.  He married June 14, 1842, Eliza L., daughter of Isaac and Leah (Frazee) Powers, who was born in Youngstown township January 22, 1822.

Mr. Brownlee had the Scotch temperament, exact and exacting, conscientious and prompt in all his dealings.  It is a credit to his foreign birth that from his first acquaintance with American institutions he had a strong hatred of slavery and his political affiliations were with the anti-slavery sentiment.  He was a Free-soiler, Abolitionist and later a Republican.

To carry on his business operations more advantageously, he removed to Youngstown in the spring of 1864.  His death occurred the following September.  Mr. and Mrs. Brownlee were the parents of six children, of whom four are living, viz:  A. B., a well known coal dealer in Youngstown; Isaac P., engaged in the stone trade; Mary I., wife of Luciius Cochran of Youngstown, and Leah M., wife of George McKelvey of Hubbard township.  Mrs. Brownlee continues to reside in Youngstown, being possessed of a comfortable competence and surrounded by kind children.  

It was Mr. Brownlee’s enterprise that assisted materially in the development of the iron industry, and consequently he should be held in remembrance as one of the number who laid the foundation for the rapid and substantial growth of this city.

History of Trumbull and Mahoning Counties, Ohio.  Cleveland H. Z. Williams & Brothers, 1882


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