Brann the Iconoclast: A Collection of the Writings of W. C. Brann - Vol. 1

Brann the Iconoclast: A Collection of the Writings of W. C. Brann - Vol. 1

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Brann the Iconoclast: A Collection of the Writings of W. C. Brann - Vol. 1

Brann the Iconoclast: A Collection of the Writings of W. C. Brann - Vol. 1

Read FREE!

Excerpt

William Cowper Brann was born in Humboldt Township, Coles County, Illinois, January 4, 1855. He was not raised in the home of his parents, though his father, Rev. Noble Brann, survived him, and is still living. His mother having died when he was two and a half years old, he was within the next six months placed in the care of Mr. William Hawkins, a Coles County farmer, with whom he lived about ten years. As to his childhood experiences on the Hawkins' farm nothing is now known. They were probably such as are common to children raised in the country. Of Mr. Hawkins he always spoke kindly, referring to him as "Pa Hawkins." His nature was not suited to farm life, however, and he finally made up his mind to see more of the world, hence without ever having disclosed his resolution to any one, he quietly walked away one dark and cheerless night, carrying in a small box under his arm all that he then possessed, and leaving behind him the friends of his childhood in the only place he had ever known as his home, thus entering upon the active struggle of life at thirteen years of age, without friends, destitute of means, and almost entirely uneducated.

The first position he obtained was that of bell boy in a hotel. Later on he learned to be a painter and grainer, then a printer, a reporter, and finally an editorial writer. He was energetic, industrious and painstaking in whatever he undertook to do, therefore always employed. Early in his struggle he realized the need of an education, in the acquirement of which he applied himself with eager diligence. Nature had endowed him with keen perceptive powers, a retentive memory and great mental vigor, by means of which he soon accumulated considerable knowledge. Every moment that could be spared from his daily toil was spent in reading . . .

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