William H. BROWN, b. 1840

William H. Brown, living on section 16, Monroe township, one of the successful farmers and all-around business men of Mahaska county, is numbered with the veterans of the Civil war and the old settlers of this part of the state, where he owns and operates a neat and valuable farm of three hundred and twenty acres. He has lived in the county since 1852, coming here with his parents when a lad of twelve years. He was born in Morrow county, Ohio, April 6, 1840, and his father, William Brown, was a native of Virginia, who in his boyhood days accompanied his parents on their removal to Ohio, where he was reared and educated, attending the common schools. He afterward followed farming there and subsequent to the attainment of his majority he was married in Ohio to Miss Matilda McMillan, a daughter of John McMillan, a native of Ireland, who came to America and settled in the state of New York, whence he afterward removed to Ohio. Mr. Brown continued to farm in Ohio after his marriage but becoming imbued with a desire to settle on the frontier he sold his interest in that state and with his family, then numbering a wife and seven children, came to Mahaska county, Iowa, in 1852. Here he entered from the government the land upon which his son William now resides, but the previous hard work incident to making a home in a new country undermined his health, and in 1852 he passed away, leaving Mrs. Brown with an unimproved farm and seven children to support. She heroically took up the task, however, and kept her children about her, giving them a good education. She managed her farm and later all of her sons engaged in teaching school, showing the training of the mother as a preceptor. After attaining his majority William H. Brown purchased the interest of the other heirs in the home property and took his mother to live with him, her death occurring in 1871, when she was sixty-nine years of age. On the 1st of November, 1863, William H. Brown was married to Miss Margaret C. Ayers, a native of Ohio, and a daughter of William C. Ayers, who was also born in Ohio and came to Mahaska county in the early '50s, remaining here until his demise. Prior to his marriage Mr. Brown, when in his twenty-first year, had enlisted at Oskaloosa for service as a member of Company C, Fifteenth Iowa Infantry, and with his company rendezvoused at Keokuk, joining the regular army at St. Louis, where he went into camp. Later the troops were at Pittsburg Landing and at Corinth, and he served in the war for fifteen months, being disabled at Shiloh by a bullet which pierced his hand. Because of his disability he was honorably discharged in November, 1862. After regaining his health Mr. Brown began farming and improved and developed a good farm. He has since erected a good substantial two-story residence, also commodious barns and outbuildings and as the years have passed he has bought more land from time to time. The farm is now well fenced and tiled and is an attractive property. In addition to raising the cereals best adapted to soil and climate he also raises full-blooded Merino sheep, shorthorn cattle and Poland China hogs, and the farm is well watered and equipped for stock-raising, in which business he is very successful, placing a large amount of stock on the market annually. In 1890 Mr. Brown was chosen secretary of the Farmers Mutual Insurance Company of Mahaska county, which position he has since filled in an efficient manner. He is a man of resourceful business ability, having the power to coordinate plans, forces and possibilities, so that success results. In 1900 he was one of the organizers of the Bank of Rose Hill, and was chosen its vice-president and also one of its directors. This institution was capitalized at fifteen thousand dollars with J. R. Busby as cashier. Mr. Brown was for six years treasurer of the township board and was township clerk for fifteen years and thus his community has benefited by his labors, for he proved a most capable and efficient officer. His political allegiance his long been given to the republican party although he cast his first presidential ballot for Stephen A. Douglas, but has never ceased to regret it. Unto Mr. and Mrs. Brown have been born eight children: Winfield, who died at the age of twenty-four years; Anne, who died at the age of nineteen years; Cora, the wife of Dr. E. M. Haggard, of Indianapolis, Indiana; Lena, the wife of Charles Kent, superintendent of city schools at Charles City, Iowa; Ethel, the wife of Frank Garrett, both being missionaries of the Christian church in China since 1896; William H., who married Lucy Fisher and lives upon a farm adjoining his father's property; Justin, who has been a missionary in China since 1903; and Wirt, who married Lucy Lord and lives in a separate house upon the home farm, which he assists his father in carrying on. Mr. and Mrs. Brown and their family are members of the Christian church, of Monroe township, and take a most active and helpful part in its work. He has witnessed much of the development of the county and is one of the most public-spirited and energetic citizens here. He has always manifested the same loyalty in citizenship that he displayed when he joined the "boys in blue" and fought for the defense of the Union upon the battlefields of the south. In business affairs he has been found thoroughly reliable, being straightforward in all of his dealings yet he has never concentrated his energies upon his business interests to the exclusion of those duties which should claim a part of a man's attention-the duties relating to his citizenship and to his relations to his fellowmen. He is spoken of in most favorable terms by all who know him and he well deserves mention in this volume as a representative citizen of the county.


from Past and Present of Mahaska County, Iowa by Manoah Hedge The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co. 1906

Past and Present of Mahaska County, Iowa

Mahaska County, Iowa Genealogy

Iowa Genealogy

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