Crawford County, Iowa, IAGenWeb


Frank Arthur Brown

Frank Arthur Brown, mayor of Manilla and a leading business man of Crawford county, is a native of Argyle, Lafayette county, Wisconsin, born February 20, 1869. His parents were Thomas Henry and Mary Ann (Penniston) Brown, the former born in Hartford, Connecticut, and the latter in Nottingham, England.

The father was educated and grew to maturity in his native state and as a young man moved to Lafayette county, Wisconsin, where he was married. Later he took up his home in Shelby county, Iowa, where he continued three or four years, finally settling on a farm in East Boyer township, Crawford county. He removed to Manilla when the town was started in 1896 and has ever since been in the employ of the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul Railway.

He served for three years and three months in the Union army during the Civil war, being a member of Company G, Thirty-first Wisconsin Volunteers. His command was assigned to the Army of the West and participated in the Atlanta campaign and the celebrated march of Sherman to the sea. He is a member of the Presbyterian church and his wife is a member of the Methodist church.

Our subject's grandfather Brown was one of the early settlers of Lafayette county, Wisconsin, where he died at the age of seventy years. He had five children: Thomas Henry, Alexander, Joseph, Mollie and Jane. The maternal grandfather, Daniel Penniston, was born in England. He came to this country about 1855 and settled near Argyle, Wisconsin, where he engaged in farming and also in mining. He was twice married and there were two children by his first union. Mary Ann and Charles. Mrs. Penniston died on shipboard of cholera when the family were coming to this country.

Six children blessed the union of Thomas Henry and Mary Ann Brown, namely: Frank Arthur, the subject of this review; Eliza Catharine, now the wife of E. C. Baker, of Manilla; Abbie Caroline, now Mrs. Arthur Brink of Galva, Iowa; Fred Neroy, of Manilla; Celia Ann, who married Leslie Anthony and is now deceased; and Emma Jane, the wife of William J. Kehr, of Wessington Springs, South Dakota.

Frank Arthur Brown came with his parents to Iowa at the age of five years and grew to manhood in Crawford county on his father's farm. He was educated in the district schools and continued at home until eighteen years of age, when he started out in life for himself by working by the month for farmers in the neighborhood. After ten years of industrious application he rented a farm on his own account, which he cultivated to good advantage for seven years. In 1905 he purchased an interest in the Manilla Roller Mills and moved to town, becoming a partner of R. Rasmussen in the milling and grain business, a vocation to which he seems eminently adapted judging by the success that has attended his efforts along this line. He is also secretary and a stockholder of the Manilla Telephone Company and owns a quarter section of land in Lyman county, South Dakota, his wife being the owner of two quarter sections.

In May, 1900, Mr. Brown was united in marriage to Miss Carrie T. Barber, a daughter of Rockley and Sarah A. (Tomlinson) Barber. Mr. Brown is a descendant of worthy ancestry and in his career has shown the traits of ambition, energy and thrift which are so essential in the accomplishment of any worthy purpose. He justly occupies a high place in the estimation of the people of this section.

He and his wife are members of the Presbyterian church, of which he is trustee. Fraternally he is connected with Golden Leaf Lodge, No. 595, A. F. & A. M., and the Knights of Pythias. He gives his allegiance to the republican party and was elected mayor of Manilla in the spring of 1910 and still occupies that office, having discharged its duties in such a way as to meet the unanimous approval of the people. His interests are closely identified with Manilla and he is recognized as one of its most progressive and enterprising citizens.

Source: History of Crawford County, Iowa. Vol. II. Chicago: The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co., 1911.