Today Karen’s Chatt travels virtually to Montgomery County, Kansas, to the once grand home of James Henry Brewster. His home is often referred to as a mansion by family members.
I have written about James Henry Brewster (1841-1916) before. He was my great-great-great-uncle, the brother of my great-great-grandfather Daniel Brewster (1845-1917). My Brewster ancestors originally came from Pennsylvania. Daniel Brewster lived most of his life in Adams County, Indiana, but his brother James Henry moved farther west.
After leaving Pennsylvania James Henry Brewster resided in New Philadelphia, Ohio, until 1884, when he moved to a farm east of Independence, Kansas. He made a beautiful home on that farm, a home that “had all the modern conveniences and comforts of the best homes of the city.”
There was a gazebo on each side of the house. At one time they contained large bird cages that held bright colorful parrots.
A beautiful chandelier hung from the front porch.
At a time when Independence had no park, James Henry prepared an attractive park on his farm which was the scene of many public gatherings.
James Henry Brewster was a well-known Montgomery County, Kansas, general building contractor. He erected the Montgomery County Court House, the Lincoln School, the Washington School, and other prominent buildings in Independence.
James Henry was a business leader in Montgomery County. He was an oil and gas operator, selling natural gas to Independence until they got their own refinery. He tried to get a railroad from Caney to Cherryvale, going through Independence and by his farm. He had the project financed and traveled to London, England, with Col. Porter of Caney on project business. Although the prospects were good at one time the financial conditions in the east and in Europe made it necessary to abandon the project. 
James Henry was a successful farmer. He served in the Civil War and he was in the First National Bank, Coffeyville, Kansas, when the Dalton Gang committed their final bank robbery on 5 October 1892.
And James Henry was a family man. He married Jane Newton in New Philadelphia, Ohio, in 1866 and they had 11 children.
Apparently, James Henry Brewster’s mansion is not currently occupied and has run down over the years. However, in its day it was quite impressive.
Thanks to Deb, a direct descent of James Henry Brewster and my fourth cousin, for sharing these photos and some family stories. Deb descends from James Henry’s daughter Caroline “Callie” (Brewster) Wilson (1870-1947). Deb’s mother, now in her 80s, visited the mansion when she was a child and hopes to get to see it again someday.
 Find a Grave.com, James Henry Brewster memorial no.32067930, Mount Hope Cemetery, Independence, Kansas; citing obituary, Independence Daily Reporter, Independence, Kansas, 12 Mar 1916.