SIU Department Name | Page Title

siu logo siupress logo

SIU logo


Main Content Area

Growing Up with Southern Illinois, 1820 to 1861

Growing Up with Southern Illinois, 1820 to 1861

From the Memoirs of Daniel Harmon Brush

Add to Cart

Daniel Harmon Brush, with a Foreword by Michael C. Batinski


Paperback (Other formats: E-book)
310 pages, 5 x 8, 1 illustrations

Shawnee Classics


Additional Materials

About the Book

Daniel Harmon Brush came to southern Illinois from Vermont with his parents in the 1820s and found a frontier region radically different from his native New England. In this memoir, Brush, the eventual founder of Carbondale, Illinois, describes his early life in the northeast, his pioneer family’s move west, and their settlement near the Illinois River in Greene County, Illinois. Beginning as a store clerk, Brush worked hard and became very successful, serving in a number of public offices before founding the town of Carbondale in the 1850s, commanding a regiment in the Civil War, and practicing law, among other pursuits. Brush never let go of his pious New England roots, which often put him at odds with most other citizens in the region, many of whose families emigrated from the southern states and thus had different cultural and religious values. The memoir ends in 1861, as the Civil War starts, and Brush describes the growing unrest of Southern sympathizers in southern Illinois. Brush’s story shows how an outsider achieved success through hard work and perseverance and provides a valuable look at life on the western frontier.


Daniel Harmon Brush (1813–90), a native of Vermont, was a store clerk in the Jackson County river town of Brownsville and later held the offices of county clerk, circuit clerk, recorder, and probate judge. He bought land and founded the town of Carbondale in the 1850s. He served in the Civil War, commanding the 18th Illinois Regiment, but resigned in 1863. After his military service, he became a prominent attorney and important member of the business community in Carbondale.