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Biographical Sketch
Alonzo P. Browning
Brown County, Kansas


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The following transcription is from a 750 page book titled "Genealogical and Biographical Record of North-Eastern Kansas, dated 1900.  These have been diligently transcribed and generously contributed by Penny R. Harrell, please give her a very big Thank You for her hard work!

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Alonzo P. Browning, well known as a representative farmer of Brown county, was born May 28, 1830, in Genesee county, New York, his parents being John L. and Lucy (Tillottson) Browning.  The father was a native of Rhode Island and the mother of Connecticut.  The paternal grandfather Joshua Browning, was born in New England and was of German lineage.  His children were: William; Nathanial; John L.; Nancy, wife of Mr. Richardson, a merchant of Buffalo; and Mary.

John L. Browning was reared to manhood in New England and after his marriage took up his abode on the Holland purchase in New York where he spent his remaining days as a farmer and stock dealer.  He wedded Lucy Tillottson and they became the parents of six children: Mrs. Elizabeth Herlbut; John T., an attorney at Moline, Illinois, who served in the legislature of that state and is a very prominent and influential man; Alonzo P.; Lucy A.; Nancy A.; and Lewis, who was formerly a teacher but is now a merchant in Norwich, Connecticut.

Alonzo P. Browning was reared in the Empire state upon the home farm and early became familiar with all the duties and labors that fall to the lot of the agriculturist.  In early manhood he was engaged in teaching school and made his way to Ohio, where he was married, in 1859, to Miss Julia Kinney, who was born in Vermont, December 6, 1832, on her father's farm in Middleboro.  The children of Mr. and
Mrs. Browning are as follows: William H., born in 1860, a teacher now residing on the Pacific coast; Edward W., born 1861, a farmer of Brown county, Kansas; Gertrude, born 1863, wife of J. A. Smith, a merchant of Lincoln Centre, Kansas; Walter R., born December 23, 1866, clerk at Padonia, Kansas; and Arthur K., born October 6, 1875, at home.

Her parents were D. B. and Betsy (Matthews) Kinney.  Her grandfather, Joseph Kinney, was of English descent and her maternal grandfather, D. B. Matthews, was a surveyor in the employ of the government and surveyed nearly all of the land near Middleboro.  His children were: D. B., the father of Mrs. Browning; Kendrick; Sarah; Alfred and Charles.  D. B. Kinney was born on an island in Lake Champlain, where some of the family yet reside.  Later in life he removed to Ohio, where he carried on agricultural pursuits.  His children were: Mary, who became Mrs. West and after the death of her first husband married Mr. Rodes; Mrs. Browning; Henry, of Omaha; Rose; Mrs. Sarah Stebbins; Mrs. Lucy Robbins, whose husband is a minister of the Congregational Church in South Dakota; and Edward, a civil engineer of Minnesota.  Rose was a home missionary for many years and during the civil war went to the south, ministering to the sick and wounded.  Later she was a missionary to the Caroline Islands for seven years.  Her health failed her and she is now in Denver, Colorado, hoping there to regain her lost strength.  She was a member of the Congregational Church. 

In 1860 Alonzo P. Browning removed to southwestern Iowa and the same year came to Kansas, where he purchased the farm upon which he now resides, taking up his abode here in 1861.  It was a tract of raw prairie, only ten acres having been broken.  He fenced the place with cottonwood lumber and wire, dividing his land into fields of convenient size, and soon placed the greater part of it under a high state of cultivation.  When he came to Kansas in 1860 everything was suffering from drought and he had no trouble to buy a claim.  In 1874 the grasshoppers damaged all the crops but these obstacles did not discourage him and with characteristic energy he carried on his work, meeting with success.

His stock consisted first of an ox team and one cow and his household effects were all loaded in one wagon.  As the years have gone by, however, he has secured good machinery and to his home he has added many of the comforts and conveniences known to the older east.  The farm has been made to bloom and blossom as the rose and he has become one of the extensive and prosperous agriculturists and stock dealers of the neighborhood.  His farm, too, was in the path of the cyclone of 1896 and in a few moments it destroyed the work of years, his home and orchard, shade and ornamental trees, fences and barns all being demolished.  However, the family escaped unhurt.  Thus from time to time fate has seemed to interpose in his successful career, but he has pressed forward in the face of obstacles and difficulties and has at length triumphed over all disadvantages, being today one of the prosperous and enterprising agriculturists of the community.

He and his wife are members of the Congregational church and take an active interest in everything pertaining to the welfare of the community.  In politics he was formerly a Republican but now usually ballots with the Prohibition party, although he does not hold himself bound by party ties, feeling free to support whomsoever he pleases regardless of political affiliations.  Mr. and Mrs. Browning have many warm friends in the community and enjoy the hospitality of the best homes in their neighborhood.

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Last update: Friday, July 18, 2003 20:22:09

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