Mark S. Brewer
Among the honored sons of Oakland, Honorable Mark S. Brewer, one "to the manor born" among the beautiful lakes that checker its surface, justly takes his place. He is the youngest son of Peter and Mary Brewer, whose portraits adorn another page of our work. He was born in the township of Addison, in the county of Oakland and State of Michigan, on the 22d day of October, 1837, and until he was twenty years of age remained under the parental roof, assisting in the labors of the farm, and attending the common school of the district during the winter season at- a log school-house situated on his father's farm. The country was new, his parents were poor in this world's goods, and it was with difficulty the lad could get suitable clothing in which to attend school. His mother often took her own shoes from her feet, and gave them to her boy to wear to school, when the weather became too severe for him to go without shoes.
In 1857 his health became somewhat impaired from overwork; he was compelled to leave the farm and seek other employment; and in the winter of 1858 he commenced teaching at a district school, and followed that vocation for the three succeeding winters, and during the remainder of the seasons of 1859 and 1860 he attended the school at Romeo and Oxford Academy.
In the spring of 1861 le entered the law-office of Hon. W. L. Webber, of East Saginaw, where he pursued the study of the law until the fall of that year, when the little means he had earned the winter preceding became exhausted, and he again taught school the succeeding winter. In the spring of 1862 he resumed his legal studies in the office of Governor Wisner, in Pontiac, to which place he came on foot, with a scant wardrobe, and but sixty dollars in money, the latter his savings from his winter's salary. His stock in trade was "pluck." He pursued his legal studies during the spring, summer, and fall of 1862, and taught school again in the winter following, and in the spring of 1863 recommenced his legal studies with Hon. M. E. Crofoot, Governor Wisner having given his life to his country.
Mr. Brewer was admitted to the bar in March, 1864, and on his admission formed a co-partnership with Judge Crofoot, which was continued until January 1, 1876, when it was mutually dissolved and Mr. Brewer continued his practice alone. He was circuit court commissioner for Oakland County from 1867 to 1871, two full terms; city attorney for the city of Pontiac, 1866-67. In' 1872 he was elected State senator from Oakland County, and served as such during the years 1873 and 1874. In 1876 he was nominated by the Republican party of the sixth congressional district of Michigan as their candidate for representative in Congress, and was elected, receiving a majority over Hon. George H. Dumond, his opponent, of seventeen hundred and forty-one votes. Mr. Dumond received at the preceding election, in 1874, sixteen hundred and thirty-six majority.
Mr. Brewer has always been an ardent politician, acting with the Republican party since he attained his majority, and since the campaign of 1864 has been prominent in the canvass of each succeeding election. He has been a member of the Republican State central committee and chairman of the committee for Oakland County since 1870. Mr. Brewer is a popular and effective speaker on the stump as well as before a jury, and is highly esteemed, not only by his particular political friends, but by his acquaintances of opposite political faith generally, all of whom bear willing testimony to his worth as a citizen and a man.
Source: History of Oakland County, Michigan by Durant, Samuel W. Philadelphia: L. H. Everts & co., 1877.