Pages 543-545, 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.




WILLIAM M. BROWN, deceased, was one of the pioneers to Allen county, having settled within her borders October 18, 1856. He was an emigrant from Henry county, Illinois, and was, unlike most of Kansas pioneers, possessed of ample means to provide for his family wants in case of an extended failure of crops. He was a thrifty farmer in Illinois and came to the western plains to provide his family with an abundance of


farm land in the hope of securing for them a more substantial hold upon the world of things in their battle of life. He settled west of the Neosho river, near Iola, where he became at once a prominent and conspicuous citizen. His prominence as a stock man and his extensive farming venture, for that day, made it necessary for him to employ much labor, and he did so frequently, when he really needed no one, simply to aid some worthy and struggling settler. His cribs, his cellar and his smoke-house were open to the needs of his neighbors in the days of the drouth of 1860 and so much of the milk of human kindness did he possess that he was looked upon, almost, as Divinely sent to stay the hunger and to provide, in a measure, the comforts of the destitute pioneers.

Mr. Brown made an experimental trip to Allen county in April of 1856, in company with Nimrod Hankins, and on this trip he purchased land to which he brought his family in the fall. He made the latter trip, like the former, by wagon which method of travel seemed to contribute much to his personal likes and comfort. Frontier life suited his tastes. His father went into Illinois as a pioneer and he, himself crossed the plains to California, with the forty-miners,[sic] in search of the metal which produced the excitement at Sutter's Mill.

William M. Brown was born in Floyd county, Indiana, May 14, 1823, and died near Iola December 27, 1865. He had just returned from a trip with his militia regiment, upon its march from the Price Raid journey, upon which trip he contracted a severe cold and death ensued from lung fever. He was a son of Samuel Brown who emigrated from Floyd county, Indiana, to Putnam county, Illinois, and died there at the age of ninety-two years. He was born near Lexington. Kentucky, June 1, 1799, and, it is believed, was a son of an Irishman. He was married May 10, 1851, to Lovina Ahers, who was born April 15, 1804. They were the parents of fifteen children at thirteen births and William Morton, our subject, was their second child. The latter was first married January 19, 1844, to Sarah J. Myers. The issue of this union was Marion Brown, a soldier in the 9th Kansas, who died from the effects of wounds received in the battle of Stone Lane, Missouri. William M. Brown's second marriage occurred March 18, 1842. His wife was Nancy E., a daughter of John and Deborah (Hankins) Hayes. The children of this union are: Orrin Brown, of Montana; Ruth L. and Samuel Brown, of Iola; John Brown, of Utica, Illinois; Deborah, deceased, wife of Samuel J. Jordan, left three children in Iola, and Albert L. Brown, of Long Creek, Oregon. Mrs. Nancy (Hayes) Brown married Daniel Horney and one child resulted from the union, a daughter, Miss Mary Horney.

Two of the fifteen children of Samuel and Lovina Brown died at birth. From first to last their names are: Martha, William M., Sarah, Mary and John, Alfred, Anna, Nancy, Lovina, Prudence, Louisa and Achsa and Albert. Their births covered a period of twenty years, from 1822 to 1842.

Samuel, son of our subject, was fifteen months old when his parents came to Allen county. He was born in Henry county, Illinois, July 11, 1865, and passed fourteen years of his life, in childhood, west of the Neosho


river, in Iola township. He returned to LaSalle county, Illinois, in 1871, and worked there as a farm hand till 1882 when he returned to Iola. He engaged in painting and decorating, and in clerking, till 1892, when he drifted into the gas business. He became associated with W. S. Pryor, the father of the gas field, as his foreman of mains and service extension that year and when the Iola Gas Company succeeded Mr. Pryor as owner of the business Mr. Brown was a part of the assets, so to speak, and has continued as foreman of the plant.

November 30, 1893, Mr. Brown was married in Iola to Susie A., a daughter of John Reimert, one of the old and prominent mechanics of the city. Mrs. Brown was born in Pennsylvania, January 20, 1871. Her children are: Russell Reimert Brown, Orrin Crosier Brown and Cecil Martin Brown.

The early politics of the Browns was Democratic. When William M. Brown came to Kansas there was something in the condition of things which caused him to charge his politics and he became a Republican. His sons espoused the same faith.

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