Jacob Brown was born on May 9,1775, in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. He became a teacher and land surveyor. As a young man of 24, Jacob Set out for the North Country in February 1799, settling on a creek he named Philomel. He immediately began clearing land for a 20-foot-square family cabin. He and brother Samuel, who arrived in May, next built a two story store building. By October the clearing for what would become the village of Brownville was well underway and Jacob became a land agent for New York magnate James D. LeRay de Chaumont.
In December 1802 Jacob married Pamela Williams, with whom he would have nine children. Although without formal military training, he was appointed Captain, then colonel of the 108th Regiment of the New York Militia at the onset of the War of 1812. In the spring of 1811, as Brigadier General, he was charged with defending the frontier from Oswego 300 miles to St. Regis with 600 untrained men. He maintained postwar headquarters at his home from 1815 to 1821 before moving to Washington as Generalâ€“in-Chief of the US Army. He died there on February 24,1828.
General Jacob Brown Mansion
Brownville's historical heart is the General's Georgian mansion. Built from 1811 to 1815, native limestone frames the 22 room home. Local woods contributed pine and cedar for floors, oak for the main entrance. Each room has a fireplace, four chimneys dominated the roofline along with eyebrow windows. The mansion now houses the village office, library and community center.