FREEBORN G. BROWN, one of the pioneer of Benton County, now residing on section 32, Bruce Township, was born in Jackson County, Ohio, on the 15th of June, 1820. He is a son of Rev. Jeremiah Brown, a native of New York. His mother died when he was an infant, and his father married Elizabeth Masters, by whom he had nine children. She died in Sandusky County, Ohio, and his father again married, his third wife being Margaret Campbell.
Freeborn, the subject of this sketch, was reared upon a farm, and received but a limited education. He was married in Wayne County, Ohio, Feb. 14, 1842, to Miss Keziah Becker, born in 1823. By this union there were eleven children, seven of whom are now living—William H.; Mary Jane, wife of J. W. Mapes, of Tama County, Iowa; John R., of Benton County; Emily, wife of Edward McIntyre, now in Colorado; Irvin, now of Black Hawk County, Iowa; Milan D., now in Colorado; Clarissa J., wife of William Meeker, in Calhoun County, Iowa.
In 1857 Mr. Brown left Ohio for Benton County, having previously traded his home for a farm in Bruce Township, though he had never seen the land. He arrived here on the 8th day of May, and put in a small crop of corn. At that time there were but a few scattered inhabitants, around the groves. He built the first frame house in Bruce Township, hauling the lumber from Waterloo. His first markets for grain were Waterloo and Belle Plaine.
Mrs. Brown died in the fall of 1872. She was a sincere Christian and highly respected by all who knew her. Mr. Brown was subsequently married to Annie Crager, a native of Germany. They have one child—Jeremiah.Mr. Brown came to the county a poor man, but was hard-working and economical, and has accumlated a comfortable property. To-day he is one of the well-to-do farmers of the township. He has 240 acres of land, and has given two of his sons eighty acres each. He has held many of the local offices of the township. Mr. Brown has been an almost lifelong member of the United Brethren Church. He was a Class-Leader while living in Indiana, and felt lost without some place to worship, and therefore organized a prayer-meeting. He was also one of the pioneer circuit-riders of the church and followed the circuit for many years, and has also been Presiding Elder. He is a fluent talker, and has been an active revivalist, and by his own example has been the means of helping many to lead better lives and to become useful and esteemed members of society. He has aimed through life to do what he deemed right despite all obstacles and at whatever cost, and is highly respected by the community of which he is a member.
Source Citation: "1887 Benton County, Iowa Biographies" [database online] Benton County IAGenWeb Project. <http://iagenweb.org/benton/>
Original data: "Portrait and Biographical Album of Benton County, Iowa." Chicago: Chapman Brothers, 1887, p. 190-191.
Transcribed by: Sue Soden. Submitted to the Benton County IAGenWeb Project on January 28th, 2009. Copyright © 2009 The IAGenWeb Project.