Harrison D. Brown
Harrison Douglas Brown, familiarly known to all as "Doug." Brown, is a native Iowan, born in McGregor, June 24, 1861, and was the son of Mathias J. Brown, born in New York State and Bertha (Amundsun) Brown, a native of Norway. They came to McGregor in Clayton county about 1850, where the father followed the trade of plasterer until his death June 3, 1885. The wife survived her husband ten years, dying September 19, 1895. They were the parents of seven children. Clara, the oldest living child, is the wife of John R. Rallton of St. Louis; George W. resides in Lakeport, Florida; Douglas, the subject of this sketch; Bertha, deceased; Alma, who is now Mrs. George Heilma of McGregor; and Cyrus, deceased.
Douglas Brown received his elementary education in the McGregor public schools, but at the age of thirteen he was obliged to give up his studies and begin the making of his own way in the world. In 1877, he, together with his brother, went to Minnesota, where for three years he was employed by a railroad company. Abandoning railroading as a business, he went to McGregor, Iowa, in 1882, where he took up the tinner's trade, engaging in that work until 1884, spending two years in McGregor and three in Elkader. At the end of that time he entered into business for himself, opening a hardware store, which is the oldest and most complete of its kind in Elkader, dealing in hardware and stoves of all descriptions, and which includes thoroughly up-to-date tinning and plumbing departments.
He was united in marriage to Emma Heilman, May 11, 1886, a native of Clayton county, and the daughter of Jacob and Eliza (Schmidt) Heilman, both natives of Germany, but who immigrated into America in their early youth, joining the sturdy pioneer colonies which have done so much to place Iowa in the front rank of the states of our Union.
Mr. and Mrs. Douglas Brown have but one child remaining of the four that were born to them. Their firstborn were twins, one of which died in infancy, and the other, Hazel, reached the age of eight years; and H. Douglas, the only survivor, is affectionately called "Doug., Jr."
Mr. Brown takes an active interest in the affairs of the Republican party, of which he is a member, and has served on the city council as alderman, and on the school board. He belongs to the Masonic Lodge, is a thirty-second degree member of the Ancient and Accepted Order of Scottish Rite, and affiliates with the Congregational church, in all of which he holds a deservedly high standing.
Notwithstanding his varied time absorbing occupations, our subject finds opportunity to wield a poetic pen, and has given glimpses of the great pleasure afforded him in his favorite pursuit of railroading in several poems, entitled, "The Old Elkader Line" ; "On the Old I. and D." ; and "Beulah Land." While he claims no particular literary merit for these verses, yet the descriptions given in them are unexcelled and were read with great interest and appreciation by his many friends in Clayton county. He describes the pioneer experiences of Mr. V. R. Miller, an old pioneer, most aptly in a poem, a portion of which is quoted below:
source: History of Clayton
County, Iowa; From The Earliest Historical Times Down to
the Present; by Realto E. Price, Vol. II; page 58-59
Return to 1916 Biographies Index