John Brearley

The Daily Record-Union (Sacramento, CA)
Tuesday, August 7, 1883

Yesterday John Brearly, a prominent banker at Lewiston, Idaho, died suddenly. Deceased came to the Territory in 1861. His age was 42. He was highly esteemed as a public-spirited citizen.

Lewiston Teller
Lewiston, Idaho, August 9, 1883

Death of John Brearley

The sudden taking off of John Brearley was a surprise to the greater portion of our community, though a few have been aware that he was suffering from a chronic disease internally that was liable to carry him away at anytime. He had been a resident in Lewiston and vicinity for nearly 20 years, and was extensively known by all classes, and was always an active energetic man, of good judgement in financial matters, but without a refined education. When he first came among us he was poor in pocket and turned his attention to the mining camps. He made friends wherever he went, and soon as an expressman from Elk City to Lewiston, he acquired some means. He was entrusted with a large amount of Gold dust from the miners, who paid him liberally for the risk he took in transporting the dust, amid robbers through the mountains. He was faithful to his trusts. He gained the confidence of John Proctor, an assayer, having much means of his own, who took him into the assay office and gave to him an insight and knowledge of the business, and when he left for San Francisco he turned over all his assaying business to Brearley, as well as the collection of his accounts, and assisted him with means to carry on the business of assaying and buying gold dust and bullion. Through Proctor and his own fidelity and sagacity in this business he accumulated considerable means and gave up the assaying and gave his principal attention to banking and exchange. He invested in the Lewiston ditch, purchasing out the greater portion, and the flouring mill near Snake river. He repaired and enlarged the same at an expense of $30,000, and divided his attention between banking and the manufacturing of flour, both for home and foreign markets. He was energetic and attentive in person to most of his business. He employed many men and was generally prompt in all his engagements with them, whereby they were generally trusty and faithful towards him and his interests. He was kind and liberal to the poor. Seldom did ever a man or woman, who was honest, appeal to him for aid and have to go away empty handed. He was prosperous, and in financial circles, both at home and abroad had acquired much business confidence. He had his enemies, but most of them were among the class, whose very instinct seems to be to envy a man who is prosperous. In matters pertaining to the public improvement and development of the place, he was ever among the most forward and liberal, and was often disposed to upbraid and condemn the sluggishness and illiberality of others, who were as able as himself to bear the public burdens. The community of Lewiston in his death has lost an energetic citizen whose place it will be found hard to fill and even his worst enemies will be compelled to admit this fact. He was taken down on Tuesday eve. and died at 3 P.M. on Saturday. From the time he was first taken he expressed the full belief, to his friends, that he should not recover, and gave full directions relating to the disposition of his property. He seemed to retain full consciousness up the almost the last gasp of life. He leaves a wife and two young daughters, a brother and family in Lewiston, and a brother and sister in Michigan, to mourn his loss. He was born in Wheatland, Michigan, and came to this coast when quite young and early became identified with the interests of North Idaho, and has adhered to her fortunes and made his money and invested nearly the whole of it here in the development of North Idaho's resources. In this respect he has been an example worthy of imitation by others who have made all their money here. We will all miss him.

Lewiston Teller
Lewiston, Idaho, August 9, 1883

In Memoriam.

Whereas, It has pleased an all wise Providence to remove from our midst, by death, our friend and associate.

Resolved: That in the demise of John Brearley the "Board of Education of the city of Lewiston," especially feels that it has been deprived of one of its most useful and faithful members, that the community has lost a good and kind man and public spirited citizen, the poor a generous friend and his wife and children an affectionate husband and father.

Resolved: That we, the members of this board, hereby offer to the family and relatives of the deceased, our sincere sympathy in teir sad berevement.

Resolved: That a copy of these proceedings be furnished each of the county papers for publication.

By order of the Board. H. Squier, Clerk.

Lewiston Aug. 6, 1883.

Lewiston Teller
Lewiston, Idaho, August 9, 1883


Brearley - In this city August 4 John Brearley, aged 41 years, 7 months and 8 days.

Contributed by Natalie Huntley

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