WILLIAM E. BROWN -- Biographical Sketch --
WILLIAM E. BROWN, who is one of the most influential of the farmers of Cowley County, Kansas, owns 1,400 acres of the finest land in Grouse Valley, in addition to extensive pasture lands elsewhere. His farm is under a high state of cultivation, is all well fenced and in excellent condition, and his elegant home is acknowledged to be the finest in his section. Mr. Brown was born in Sandusky county, Ohio, October 28, 1854, and is a son of Valentine and Anna M. (Lawyer) Brown.
Valentine Brown was born in Bavaria, Germany, in 1830 (the name having been, (originally, spelled Braun), and came to this country at the age of nineteen years. He was a farmer by occupation, for many years, and later became an Evangelical minister. He died in September, 1894. He had served several terms as justice of the peace. His wife was born in Baden, Germany, November 11, 1828, and still resides in Sandusky County, Ohio. She came to this country at an early age and was united in marriage with Mr. Brown at Buffalo, New York. They became the parents of four children, two of whom died in infancy. Those living are William E.; and Emma (Barnhope), who is living on the old homestead in Ohio. William E. has four cousins living in this country, but the remainder of his relatives are in Germany.
William E. Brown received his educational training in the public schools of Ohio, and in the normal school in Seneca County, Ohio. He first worked upon the farm, and remained at home after reaching his majority. He was never far from his home until after his removal to Kansas, in July, 1884. He located in Windsor township, Cowley County, and purchased the farm in section 21, township 31, range 7, east, which was first preempted by John Tull, and by him sold to Mr.James, of whom Mr. Brown purchased it. He brought with him some fine thoroughbred bred stock, including Hereford cattle and Poland-China hogs. He built a large new barn, and resided on the property with his family, until July, 1900, when he bought the S. M. Fall property-one of the finest improved farms in the county. It comprises 560 acres, which with the 840 acres he had previously acquired, makes a farm of 1,400 acres, lying in the Grouse Valley. Of the 840 acres mentioned, 300 acres were obtained of Mr. James; 120 acres--part of the old Wilkins place--from D. L. Snowden; and 240 acres, from the Clover estate. In addition to this he owns 600 acres below Cambridge, which he purchased of Thomas Eaton, and 1,200 acres in the Flint Hills, to which various parties have held title, and which was acquired by Mr. Brown through loan companies. He handles stock largely, and has about 300 head of horses and cattle. He has 300 acres fenced, hog-tight, on the home farm, this having been done by the former owner. The buildings are all of comfortable size, well built and of good appearance, and show to good advantage from the road, as they are located upon a rise of ground. The beautiful home is surrounded by well kept grounds, with a good drive leading up to it from the road, and the fencing is largely of stone. Mr. Brown has a basement barn, 34 by 50 feet, in dimensions, and well arranged. He has 20 acres in fruit on his two farms, on one of which resides one of his sons. He has 120 acres planted in alfalfa, and has been very successful in its culture. The farm is drained by Grouse Creek, and the water supply is furnished by wells, from 12 to 16 feet deep.
Mr. Brown was united in wedlock with Barbara Gries, in Ohio. She was born in September, 1856, in Erie County, New York, and is a daughter of George and Barbara (Mitzel) Gries. She was one of six children, namely: George, who resides in Wood County, Ohio; Barbara; Libbie (Roush), of Michigan; Andrew, who lives in Sandusky County, Ohio; and Edward and Jacob, twins, whose home is in Ohio. Her parents moved to Ohio when she was nine years of age, and both are still living. Mr. and Mrs. Brown became the parents of 10 children, as follows: George Valentine; William Otto; Amelia; Henry E.; Harvey A.; Ida May; Alfred R.; Florence F.; Bessie Esther; and Willis V. George Valentine died at the age of two years. William Otto is in partnership with his father, and resides upon the latter's original Cowley county farm; he married Emma Hartle, a daughter of Samuel Hartle, Jr., of Delaware County, Indiana. Amelia died at the age of two years. Ida May is fourteen years old.
In politics, Mr. Brown is a Populist, and has served as township trustee and clerk. Fraternally, he is a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows lodge at Burden; the Ancient Order of United Workmen lodge at Cambridge (of which his son, Henry E., is also a member); and the Modern Woodmen of America, to which order his son, William Otto, also belongs. Religiously, Mr. Brown is a member of the Evangelical Association, and attends church at Cambridge. His portrait accompanies this sketch.
(This biographical sketch was taken from the 1901 BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD, published by BIOGRAPHICAL PUBLISHING COMPANY, Chicago, Illinois. The volume contains biographical sketches of the leading citizens of Cowley County, Kansas.
"Biography is the only true history"--Emerson
Copied to Word Perfect 29 May 1991 by Sam L. Pickens, Jr., 2123 West Skyline Road, Arkansas City, Kansas 67005.)