Leonard R. Brown, one of the progressive and public-spirited citizens of Dallas county, resides in Dawson, Dallas township, and is the owner of three hundred and twenty acres of land, which he rents. Mr. Brown was born March 29, 1862, in Mason county, Illinois, a son of R. C. and Hannah (Vanlaningham) Brown. The father was a native of the Buckeye state and became an early settler of Mason county, Illinois, where he was married and lived until 1874, when he came to Dallas county, this state, and opened up a farm, whereon he made his home for several years but later took up his abode in Lincoln county, Nebraska.
Leonard R. Brown was reared to farm life in Dallas county and during the period of his boyhood and youth pursued his studies in the district schools. He remained with his father until he had reached mature years and then established a home of his own by his marriage, in 1882, to Miss Sarah Carnes, who was born in Boone county, Iowa, a daughter of James Carnes, one of the early settlers of Lee county, this state.
Following their marriage the young couple took up their abode on a farm which Mr. Brown had purchased, but after a residence of five years thereon he removed to Dawson and engaged in the grain trade, first representing a firm in Kansas City. He later built an elevator and engaged in business on his own account, conducting the same for seventeen years. During this time he met with gratifying success and accumulated a competence that enabled him to invest in land, being now the owner of two tracts of one hundred and sixty acres each. In July, 1906, he disposed of the grain business. For about five years he also engaged in raising shorthorn cattle, but now gives his entire time to agricultural pursuits. He has always been a very active business man and his sound judgment and close application have been his most salient characteristics.
As an active worker in local political ranks Mr. Brown supports the republican party, and was an active worker in the last campaign. He has served on the school board and for one year filled the office of justice of the peace, while on several occasions he has been a delegate to county conventions.
Mr. and Mrs. Brown have become the parents of two daughters and a son: Florence, the wife of H. C. Randolph, a farmer of Dallas township, by whom she has one daughter, Violet; Bertha, the wife of Harry Stahl, of Des Moines, by whom she has a daughter, Helen; and Harry, a student in the schools at Dawson. Both Mr. Brown and his wife are prominent in fraternal circles. He is a Master Mason, belonging.to the lodge at Perry and he also affiliates with the Odd Fellows and both he and his wife are identified with the Rebekahs, in which she has served through all of the chairs and is now a past grand. Mr. Brown is also a charter member of the Modern Woodmen of America, in which he has filled all the offices.
Mr. Brown is well known not only in Dawson, but in various sections of the county, and he is justly accorded a place among the prominent and representative citizens of Dallas county, for he belongs to that class of men whose enterprising spirit is used not alone for their own benefit but for the advancement and promotion of the community.
Source: Past and Present of Dallas County, Iowa, by Robert F. Wood, S. J. Clarke Publishing Company Chicago, IL, 1907.