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The IAGenWeb Project

History of Benton County, Iowa
The Lewis Publishing Company, Chicago, 1910; Luther B. Hill, Ed.

Pages 814-817
JAMES BROWN, of Polk township, operates his farm of one hundred and twelve acres in section 3, and has been a resident of Benton county since 1852. He was born, April 20, 1847, in Indiana, and is a son of Abraham and Charlotte (Gilland) Brown. Abraham Brown was born in 1806, in Pennsylvania, and was a son of Andrew and Katherine Brown; he was reared in his native state and moved to Indiana and later to Iowa; his father died in Indiana. Abraham Brown entered forty acres of land in Iowa, and there reared his family, remaining on the farm until his death, September 1, 1880. He added to his first purchase until he owned two hundred and forty acres at the time of his death. His wife was a daughter of James and Mary (Carnes) Gilland, born in Virginia, October 24, 1813; she was reared in her native state and later moved to Indiana, where she married (first) Christopher Cagley, who died when a young man. She was married to Abraham Brown October 24, 1839, and her death occurred December 31, 1879, in Benton county, Iowa. The children by Mrs. Brown's marriage to Mr. Cagley were: Mrs. Barbara Titus, deceased; Mrs. Sarah Berry, of Urbana; and Jacob, deceased. Those born after her marriage to Abraham Brown were: Elizabeth, deceased; Martha, deceased, wife of Robert Berry; James; Samuel, a resident of Oregon; and Katherine, deceased, wife of Henry P. Lash, of Montana.

James Brown remained on the home farm until twenty-three years of age, and received a common school education. He bought the old home farm, which he later sold, and in 1893 purchased the place he now occupies, having lived here ever since. He breeds fine horses and mules, and also feeds hogs and cattle for the market. He is an ambitious, hard-working farmer, and has been very successful. Mr. Brown is a Democrat and a member of the blue lodge and chapter of the Ancient Free and Accepted Masons.

Mr. Brown married Anna E., daughter of John L. and Cynthia A. Burk, who were pioneers of Iowa, coming from Indiana in 1853. The father was a farmer and bought land in Polk township, where he reared his children, who were: William, living in the west; John, living in the south; Wilford, of Clermont, Iowa; Eldridge, deceased; Luther, deceased; Mrs. Brown; and Robert S., of Denver, Colorado. Mr. Brown and his wife became the parents of eight children, namely: One child that died in infancy, unnamed, in 1871; Ora E., wife of J. C. Burrell, of Polk township; Frank J., a physician living in Dufur, Oregon; Clara A., deceased; Scott 0., an engineer of the Rock Island railroad, living in Albert Lea, Minnesota; Grace G., wife of Ray Johnson, of Vinton; Seth L., who died in infancy; and Guy D., living on a farm adjoining his father's in Polk township.

When the parents of both Mr. and Mrs. Brown came to Iowa, they drove through in covered wagons and the land was owned principally by the government. None, or little of the land had been broken and the country was in almost its natural state. They did their trading at first at Dubuque, Iowa, one hundred miles away and later at Cedar Rapids, twenty-five miles distant.
Picture of James Brown family

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