Miami County, Ohio Genealogical Researchers -- Sponsored by the Computerized Heritage Association


    When the destruction of the Union was threatened by the secession of the south, Henry Brokaw was among those who responded to the country's call for troops and loyally aided in preserving the nation intact, so that not one state should be taken from the splendid galaxy that forms the republic. In times of peace he is as true and loyal as when upon the battle fields of the south he followed the stars and stripes, and such a man well deserves mention among the representative citizens of Miami county. He was born in Spring Creek township, this county, June 20, 1844, on a farm now owned by Josiah Fry. His father, James Brokaw, was born in Staunton township, this county, in 1822. The grandfather was a native of New Jersey and with a team he and his family made the journey westward to Ohio at an early day. Reaching this county he secured a claim of eighty acres of government land and thereon erected a log cabin. At the time of their removal there were three children in the family, but the birth of others increased the number to eight, who were named as follows: Eliza, Henry, Sarah, Mary, Martha, James, Caroline Michel and Ellen, and with the exception of Caroline and Martha all were married and reared families. The grandfather died at the age of seventy-two years. He was an earnest Christian man, who took an active part in church work and did all in his power to promote the Master's cause among his fellow men. James Brokaw, the father of our subject, having arrived at years of maturity, married Margaret Sims, daughter of Joseph Sims and a sister of ex-Governor Waucup, of California. This marriage was blessed with three children namely: Henry; Joseph, a resident farmer of Spring Creek township, Miami county, and James M., who is proprietor of a men's furnishing goods store in St. Joseph, Missouri.

    In the usual manner of farmer lads Henry Brokaw was reared and early became familiar with the duties and labors of the farm. After the inauguration of the civil war, however, he left the plow and shouldered his rifle, preparatory to aiding in the defense of the Union. He enlisted in 1862, as a private in Company E, One Hundred and Tenth Ohio Volunteer Infantry, and at the battle of Winchester was taken prisoner. After being incarcerated in Libya prison for thirty days he was transferred to Belle Isle, and a few days afterward was sent to a tobacco house then used as a prison by the Confederates. Subsequently he was paroled at Richmond and sent to Annapolis, Maryland, and on being exchanged he rejoined his regiment. He participated in many of the most important battles of the war, including the engagements at Locust Grove, Mine Run, Wilderness, Spottsylvania, Gains Mills, Cold Harbor, Bermuda Hundred, Petersburg, Monocacy, Charleston, Smithfield, Flint Hill and Cedar Creek, and at Washington, D. C., received an honorable discharge in 1865.

    When the war was over and the country no longer needed his services Mr. Brow returned to Spring Creek township, where he has since been engaged in farming and in dealing in timber. He was married, January 14, 1867, to Sarah E. Baker, and they have eight children, namely: James M., Joseph E., William H., Charles E., Mary G., Frank E., Nor F. and Mettie M. All are yet living with the exception of William H. The family home is situated just across the Miami river from Piqua and occupies an attractive location. The farm comprises one hundred and twenty-seven acres of rich land, which is improved with all the accessories of the model farm, indicating the practical, progressive spirit of the owner. Mr. Brokaw also has two other tracts of eighty acres each, and from his well developed fields he secures a good income. In his political views he is a Democrat, and for six years has served as assessor of Spring Creek township, but his time and attention have been more largely given to his business affairs, in which he has met with signal success, gaining that sure reward of honorable and well directed labor.

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