Pages 400-402, transcribed by Carolyn Ward from History of Allen and Woodson Counties, Kansas: embellished with portraits of well known people of these counties, with biographies of our representative citizens, cuts of public buildings and a map of each county / Edited and Compiled by L. Wallace Duncan and Chas. F. Scott. Iola Registers, Printers and Binders, Iola, Kan.: 1901; 894 p., [36] leaves of plates: ill., ports.; includes index.




JUDGE ALEXANDER WILLIAM J. BROWN, the late pioneer and Captain of Company F, Sixth Kansas, war of the Rebellion, was one of the locally conspicuous characters on the Kansas frontier. His prominence lies in his being a settler at such an early date and from his various relations to the settlers along the Neosho and its tributaries in Allen county. He, in company with his son, Alexander H. Brown, left Saline county, Illinois, in the month of May, 1835, with an ox team for Kansas. They crossed the Mississippi at St. Louis, the Missouri at St. Charles and at Rock Port, keeping the western trail to the Kansas line twelve miles south of Kansas City. They were headed for the Neosho Valley but soon after they entered the Territory the road disappeared and their last fifty-five miles was made without pilot or guide other than the sun and stars. On entering the county the little caravan went into camp a half mile north and about two hundred yards east of where North Maple Grove school house now stands. It was the month of June and the heavy rains had swollen Deer Creek so that it could not be forded. Some settlers were discovered to be on the south side of the creek and, while delayed, they were "helloed" over and found to be of the same family, but of the tribe of Isham. Isham Brown and Dallis Martin on Deer Creek, Moses Followell on Elm Creek, the Baker brothers on the Neosho River and Mr. Ferguson on Rock Creek, were the persons who reached this locality ahead of Judge Brown. The latter crossed the prairie from Deer Creek to Rock Creek and


there located by purchasing Mr. Ferguson's interest in a claim for $100 in gold, a yoke of cattle and a wagon. His was the first permanent settlement on Rock Creek and the second permanent settlement in the northern part of Allen county, for none of those mentioned above, except Dallas Martin, remained amongst us till a very recent date.

The condition of our subject was a trifle extraordinary and very unusual for he came to the county with sufficient means to count him as a wealthy man, whereas, the average pioneer found himself exhausted in purse by the time he had passed the first winter in his new home. This fortunate condition of the judge's was turned to the public as well as to his personal good. It enabled him to confer acts of charity where it was most deserving and appreciated and in many ways did his benefactions contribute to the comfort and happiness of the first settlers of his locality.

There was the largest possible opportunity for engaging in the cattle business and this our subject did in connection with the subjugation and improvement of his farm. He was one of the successful men of his time and was one of those men whose opinion is sought and valued for its wisdom and a gentleman whose interest in any public matter assured the more unanimous cooperation of the citizens. He was one of the early Probate Judges of the county and he performed the first marriage ceremony in Allen county. His selection to the captaincy of a company in the volunteer service shows him to have been in accord with the patriots of '61. His regiment, the Eighth, was made a part of the Sixth Kansas and was rendezvoused at Fort Scott. The Judge resigned in less than a year and returned to civil pursuits. He died in 1866 at the age of fifty-two years.

A. W. J. Brown was born in Kentucky. He went into Saline county, Illinois, with his mother and step-father, Mrs. and Mr. Daniel Coy. He was limitedly educated, was fond of books, a student of history—ancient as well as modern—and, while interested in politics, was not a politician. His three half-sisters were Rhoda, Elizabeth and Martha Coy. They married David Evans, Samuel Miller and Jacob Barker, respectively, and passed their lives in Illinois.

Our subject's first wife was Eliza Barger who died near Iola in 1861. For his second wife he married Mrs. Margaret Robinson, a daughter of the pioneer physician Dr. John Hart, who came to Allen county in 1857. The children by his first wife were: John L., deceased, ex-sheriff of Allen county; Alex. H., born March 12, 1840; Lottie, wife of John H. Harris, also one of our pioneer citizens; Julia, who died young; Eliza, recently deceased, wife of John E. Thorpe, an Iola patriot and a pioneer; William, Albert and Mattie, wife of Lee Patton, of Indiana. A son by his second marriage is Orlie Brown, of Oklahoma.

Alexander H. Brown has, with the exception of two winters, been a resident of Allen county for a term of forty-five years. This is a longer term than any other man now in the county has to his credit. He was a farmer and stock man and trader till 1884 when he took up his residence in Iola. He has been identified with the "ins and outs" of county matters nearly ever since the war. Whatever he could do in any way to advance


the general interest of his town or county he has done, or in whatever way he could assist a neighbor in distress or help a brother over a piece of "corduroy" his hand was ready. In 1885-6 he was Deputy Sheriff of Allen county. Like his father, his Republicanism is of the staunchest variety. He was married March 20, 1864, to Annie L., a daughter of Jonathan Masterson, who came to Kansas from Bloomington, Illinois. Mrs. Brown was born July 17, 1845, and died October 18, 1900. Their children are: Minnie, wife of P. L. Augustine; Hattie, wife of George Fryer, and Miss Ella Brown.

Previous | Home | Next