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Posted By: Volunteer (email)
Date: 6/3/2005 at 12:09:21

Biography reproduced from page 437 of the History of Kossuth and Humboldt Counties, Iowa published in 1884:

John Brown, son of Robert and Anna (Quin) Brown, was born in Westmoreland, Aug. 12, 1830. When twelve years of age he left home and worked for a farmer until sixteen years of age, for $6 a month. He then worked on the Lancaster & Carlisle railroad, within sixteen miles of his father’s home. He also carried picks to a blacksmith shop to be sharpened, making a little more than board. When seventeen years of age, the man for whom he was working was about to move away, 150 miles, and wanted Mr. Brown to go with him. He went home on a visit and informed his parents of his intentions. His father did not object, but his mother being very much opposed to his going, came out and said; “John, we will never see you again.” John answered, “Mother, in one year I will be back.” He never saw them again. He was once within thirty miles of home, but being poor and having neither money nor good clothes, he was ashamed to go home, for John was sometimes in rather straightened circumstances. About this time Mr. Brown decided to come to America, telling his employer that he would be back in a year. A singular coincidence happened. The vessel was twenty-two days making the trip, but Mr. Brown got over in twenty-one days. The examining physician came out to meet the boat, and Mr. Brown went in with him, thus arriving one day ahead of the vessel. Being sick when he arrived, he remained in the hospital for six weeks, then hired to work on a railroad again, but worked only one and a half days. He went to New York, forty miles distant, and came across a Yankee, who gave him $6 a month during the winter. He then hired to A. Lanson Hubard, of Cortland Co., N. Y., for one year at $100. Mr. Hubard was a Church member, and with him Mr. Brown acquired steady habits. He staid with Mr. Hubard three years, the last year receiving $160 dollars. Mr. Brown then married Susan Cordon, and moved to Elmira, Dodge Co., Wis., purchasing forty acres of timber land. Failing to pay for this land he sold it and removed on a farm belonging to Col. John Cochran, on which he lived one year. While on this farm they lost three sons with diphtheria. Mr. Brown lived in various localities near there one year, then moved to the pineries of Wisconsin, and, in 1862, enlisted in the 3d Wisconsin Volunteers. He was taken to Camp Randall, and failing to pass inspection returned home. Mr. Brown and his wife parted after living together eight years. They had one daughter—Emma Jane, eighteen months old, whom the mother claimed. He saw her six months after their separation, but not again for many years. His wife, however, gave Emma Jane away, as he learned afterwards, she having married again. She instructed Emma to find her father, and having come to Black Hawk Co., Iowa, and having of a man in Kossuth county of her father’s name, wrote to him and received answer that he was really her father. In 1881 she made her father a visit, and they were re-united. She now lives with her husband, Francis A. Wood, five miles north of Mr. Brown’s place. When Mr. Brown first came to Kossuth county, in 1864, he took as a homestead eighty acres of land on section 36, township 97, range 29, Burt township. He now owns a quarter section. He put up the first sod house in the county. He married, in 1868, Adelia C. Coles. She died in 1880. They have two children—Emma Jane and Effie Rosa May. In 1883 Mr. Brown erected a neat frame house on his place, in which he now lives. He had a stable struck by lightning, killing his team, and has suffered severely by grasshoppers. But he has surmounted all difficulties and now stands among Kossuth county’s best farmers and most respected citizens. He is a republican and is sub-director of the township. Mr. Brown is a member of the Presbyterian Church.


Kossuth Biographies maintained by Linda Ziemann.
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