The founders of the Brinegar family in America came from Germany at an early day in the history of this country and one of them, Adam Brinegar, served with distinction in the Revolutionary war, locating afterward in North Carolina, when he migrated to Kentucky, from which state he went to Indiana. He died at the remarkable age of one hundred and fifteen years, longevity seeming to be a peculiarity of the family, for the grandmother lived to the age of one hundred and four years. Another distinguished member of the family served in the Mexican war. Henry Brinegar, the father of our subject, was the eldest of eight brothers and survived the other seven. He was born in Indiana on December 8, 1823, and subsequently married in that state Miss Elizabeth Trogdon, a native of North Carolina, who was born in 1818 and died in Otter Creek township, this county, in 1889. The fatherís death occurred in the same township on April 30, 1912. In their family were four children: Melinda, born Mary 8, 1847, who passed away in Otter Creek township on February 23, 1908; John, of this review; Emma, who was born March 5, 1851, and died in Otter Creek township, September 10, 1904; and Isaac, born in Lucas county, October 27, 1858, and a resident of Otter Creek township. The three eldest children were born in Indiana.
John Brinegar was born in Lawrence county, Indiana, January 23, 1849, and when about six years old in 1855 came with his parents by ox team to Iowa, settling in Otter Creek township, Lucas county, of which he has since been a resident. They were among the earliest settlers of Lucas county and but sparsely inhabited and the families were separated by great distances, they endured all of the hardships of pioneer life. The father broke the virgin soil and gradually brought his land under cultivation. John Brinegar early accustomed himself to the primitive conditions and when a boy the howls of the coyote and wolf were the commonest sounds to his ears. He enjoyed such opportunities of education as the neighborhood afforded and early became acquainted with agricultural methods, assisting his father in the transformation of a raw stretch of prairie into a fertile farm. Courage and determination distinguished the family and perseveringly they remained and labored although many who followed them from Indiana returned to that state thoroughly discouraged by the prospects held out by the new territory. As the years passed success came to John Brinegar and, being industrious and thrifty, he acquired land from time to time until he now owns two hundred and twenty-five acres in Otter Creek township upon which are two sets of good improvements. Modern equipment and machinery facilitate his farm labors and he follows the most up-to-date and modern methods in his occupation, annually deriving a gratifying income through his effort. He also owns eighty acres of land in Harrison county, Missouri, well improved and under cultivation.
John Brinegar was married in 1870 to Miss Paralee F. Howard, who was born in Missouri on February 24, 1848. Her parents were Henry C. and Cynthia Ann (Bonner) Howard, both born near Bowling Green, Kentucky, the father on April 11, 1811, and the mother on February 3, 1812. The former died in Lucas county, Iowa, on September 7, 1867, and the latter in the same county on June 5, 1906. They were early settlers in this county, coming here in 1866 from Illinois, where the father had farmed for three years, removing there from Missouri. More extended mention of Mr. Howard is made on another page of this volume. Mr. and Mrs. Brinegar became the parents of five children, as follows: Elizabeth Ann, born January 22, 1871, who died February 10, 1880; Ida May, born October 10, 1872, who died in 1891; Dora P., born March 19, 1876, who died February 10, 1880, the same day on which occurred the death of her sister Elizabeth; Professor George Brinegar, born August 31, 1880, who attended the common schools and select school at Chariton, took additional work at Simpson College, Indianola, Iowa, for two years, completed the course at the State Teachersí College at Cedar Falls and has for the past four years filled the position of superintendent of the city schools at Luverne, Iowa; and John H., who was born in Medford, Oregon, January 4, 1889, who supplemented the knowledge gained in the common schools by a course of study at Simpson College at Indianola and is now assisting his father in the work of the farm.
A man of strong convictions in regard to local questions, John Brinegar votes the prohibition ticket and takes much interest in all questions that affect social conditions. He is an important factor for good in this locality and all movements undertaken for the betterment of the people receive his indorsement and active cooperation. He was formerly a member of the Evangelical church of Otter Creek township. A relic of former days interesting from the historical point of view is an old-fashioned log house which was erected on his farm by John Brinegar in 1872, taking the place of the old log cabin which had been erected by his father but which has long since decayed. A man of means and a man of high mind and character, John Brinegar is generally respected and esteemed, his name standing for achievement and progress.