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Delaware County, Iowa


 Biography Directory

Austin D. Brown

Businessman & Undertaker

Manchester Twp.


     Austin D. Brown is the proprietor of a furniture and undertaking establishment at Manchester, where his enterprise and initiative have gained him recognition as a leading business man. He was born in Coffins Grove township, this county, August 23, 1862. His father, Andrew J. Brown, was born March 12, 1840, in Birmingham, Ohio, and in the early '50s, probably in 1854, arrived in Iowa, where he spent the summers at work upon the farm, while in the winter seasons he attended school. He had reached the age of twenty two years when in 1862 he enlisted for service in the Twenty seventh Iowa Volunteer Infantry. He lost an arm while at the front and then returned to Coffins Grove township, where he took up the profession of teaching. Later he was elected county clerk and filled that position for four years. He remained one of the respected residents of the county to the time of his death, which occurred November 22, 1912. In early manhood he wedded Emily E. Smith, who was born in Indiana, June 14, 1845, and who died at the comparatively early age of twenty seven years. She was a daughter of Frank K. Smith, one of the pioneer settlers of Coffins Grove township. Mr. and Mrs. Andrew J. Brown were the parents of four children, of whom a daughter died in infancy, the others being: Austin D.; Merton K., who has also passed away; and Wade A., of Los Angeles, California.
    Reared under the parental roof, Austin D. Brown acquired his early education in the public schools of the county and subsequently pursued a course in the Manchester Academy. Previously he had entered the office of the Manchester Democrat, in which he served as "devil" for a year. He then went with the Press, remaining in that office until he entered the academy. When his textbooks were put aside he became driver of a wagon for the Ford Brothers and later entered their grocery store as a clerk, remaining with them until the fall of 1883, when he secured a position in the hardware store of Lawrence & Lister, continuing with that house until January, 1887, when he went upon the road for a wholesale hardware house, covering central Iowa. He was thus engaged until March 20, 1895, when he purchased the furniture and undertaking business of H. C. Smith, of Manchester, and has since been numbered among the enterprising and progressive merchants of the city. He carries a large and well selected line of goods, is thoroughly reliable in his business methods, systematic in management and unfaltering in enterprise. As a result of these qualities his business has increased fourfold.
    On the 1st of October, 1885, Mr. Brown was joined in wedlock to Miss Anna O. Wooldridge, a daughter of the Rev. Lucian P. arid Mildred A. (Mills) Wooldridge, of Macon, Missouri, both of whom are deceased. Mr. and Mrs. Brown became the parents of four children: Lucian W., now deceased; Mildred A., who married Dr. Edwin Cobb of Marshalltown; Clarence A., a senior in the high school; and a daughter who died in infancy. Ever interested in the cause of education, they have given their children good opportunities in that direction and for four years prior to her marriage Mrs. Cobb attended Oberlin College and Conservatory at Oberlin, Ohio.
    In politics Mr. Brown is a republican and is proud of the fact that his last presidential ballot was cast for William Howard Taft, for he firmly believes in the principles of the party. He holds membership in the Congregational church and is prominently known in Masonic circles, having membership in Manchester Lodge, No. 165, A. F. & A. M.; Olive Branch Chapter, No. 48, R. A. M.; Elam Council, R. & S. M.; Nazareth Commandery, No. 33, K. T.; De Molay Consistory, No. 1, A. A. S. R.; and El Kahir Temple, A. A. O. N. M. S., of which he served for two years as illustrious potentate and for four terms as representative to the imperial council for North America. He is also a member of Hyperion Lodge, Knights of Pythias. His Masonic connections have made him widely known throughout the state, while his laudable ambition and indefatigable energy have won him a creditable place as one of the merchants of Manchester.


~ source: History of Delaware County, Iowa and its People, Illustrated, Volume II. The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company, 1914, Chicago. Page 102-103.  Call Number 977.7385 H2m; LDS microfilm #934937.

~transcribed and contributed by Constance Diamond for Delaware County IAGenWeb


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