Biography of William Brown of Perry, Iowa

William Brown
William Brown

On the 2d of February, 1907, there occurred an event which was the occasion of deep sorrow in the village of Perry as well as the surrounding districts, for on that date William Brown, who had been an honored and respected citizen of the county for thirty-two years, departed this life. Mr. Brown had for many years been engaged in farming and gardening on a well improved tract of land adjoining the limits of Perry, having located thereon in 1875, and he was therefore widely and favorably known in this district. He was born near Morgantown, in Monongahela county, West Virginia, June 17, 1845, and was there reared and educated. After putting aside his text-books he engaged in teaching in his native county for a short time but the attractions of the new western country took him as a young man to Illinois, where he was engaged in teaching both in Putnam and Bureau counties.

It was in the former county on the 6th of March, 1873, that Mr. Brown was united in marriage to Miss Mary Etta Stickel, who was born and reared in that county, where she was also engaged in teaching for a time. A sketch of her father and her brother, Addison Stickel, is also given in this volume.

Following his marriage Mr. Brown engaged in farming in Putnam county for one year and also followed that pursuit in Bureau county for a similar period. In 1875 he removed to Dallas county, this state, having previously made a trip here and purchased a tract of land, situated in Dallas township, south of Dawson. Locating on this farm he there opened up and developed a good property and made his home there for several years. Eventually he traded that property for a farm near Perry. Removing to the place, he erected a good house and barn, set out an orchard and made many other improvements, thus making it a model property. He was there engaged in carrying on general agricultural pursuits and also did gardening, selling his products in the city markets.

Mr. Brown was also an honored veteran of the Civil war. He enlisted in 1864, when a young man of seventeen years, as a member of Company G, First Regiment of West Virginia Cavalry, with which he served until the close of the war, receiving an honorable discharge July 8, 1865. While at the front he displayed great bravery and returned home with a most honorable and creditable military record.

The marriage of Mr. and Mrs. Brown was blessed with eight children but one daughter, Cecil A., died in infancy. The surviving members of the family are: Jessie Mabel, the wife of Charles Bills, a resident farmer of Boone county, Iowa, her family numbering two sons, Harold and Loren Bills; Sina M., the wife of Thomas Morfoot, of Boone county, by whom she has a daughter, Rachel; Grace, the wife of William White, a merchant of Juniata, Nebraska, and the mother of two children, Phyllis, and Hiram White; Arthur C., a young man, who is carrying on the home farm; Orpha, who graduated from the Perry high school and is now engaged in teaching; Percy A., who was given liberal educational advantages and is now holding a business position in Perry; and Wilfredo, a young lady at home. Mrs. Brown and the daughters are members of the Christian church at Perry, while Mr. Brown was identified with the Methodist Episcopal church during his residence in his native state.

Politically Mr. Brown was a republican and although he kept well informed on the political questions and issues of the day he was never an office seeker. He was identified with Redfield post, G. A. R., at Perry. He was an active and industrious citizen, a man of good business ability, and commanded the confidence and esteem of all with whom he was associated. He loved his home and his family and his most pleasant hours were spent in their companionship and it is within the family circle that his loss is most deeply felt. The widow with her two sons and daughters still resides on the home farm and the family is highly respected in their home locality as well as in Perry

Source: Past and Present of Dallas County, Iowa, by Robert F. Wood, S. J. Clarke Publishing Company Chicago, IL, 1907.

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