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The IAGenWeb Project

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

Pages 458-461

ELWYN F. BROWN, one of the prominent lawyers of the Benton county bar, is a member of the law firm of Whipple, Brown & Mossman, and is also the present county attorney, having been elected to this office November 3, 1908. He has practiced in Vinton since 1901, having come here from Kearney, Nebraska.

He is of a family which has produced other men prominent in public life and business. His brother, Norris Brown, is the present United States senator from Nebraska, and his other brother, Leon Brown, is managing editor of the Des Moines Register & Leader.

Elwyn F. Brown was born in Maquoketa, Jackson county, Iowa, July 29, 1866. His parents were William H. and Eliza (Phelps) Brown, both of early families of that section of Iowa. William H. Brown was born in 1840 and was brought to Iowa in 1845, was engaged in the mercantile business at Maquoketa with Mr. Goodenow until 1870, and has since resided in Polk county, for five years on a farm and since then in the city of Des Moines. His wife is also still living. They had three sons, Norris, Elwyn F. and Leon. Norris, the senator, graduated from the University of Iowa with the class of 1883, practiced law in Kearney, Nebraska, was elected and served six years as attorney general of the state, and was then elected to the United States senate, taking his seat March 4, 1907. Leon, the managing editor of the Des Moines Register & Leader, is a graduate of the University of Iowa in the class of 1890.

Elwyn F. Brown was four years old when the family moved to Polk county, and he received his early education in that county and Des Moines. After graduating with the class of 1887 from the University of Iowa, he began the study of law with Judge Church at Jefferson, Iowa, and later with Howard & Rose, and was admitted by examination before the supreme court of Nebraska, May 25, 1888. He then began practice with his brother Norris, and the firm of Brown & Brown continued until January 5, 1901. The election of the senior member to the office of attorney general caused his temporary residence in Lincoln, and Mr. Brown soon after came to Vinton and bought the practice of Judge G. M. Gilchrist. He associated himself in practice with Senator Whipple, and they continued as Whipple & Brown until May 1, 1909, at which date the present firm was organized. Mr. Mossman was a student in Cornell College (Iowa) and is a graduate of the law department of the University of Missouri with the class of 1908. In the fall of that year he took examination before the supreme court of Iowa and was admitted to practice.

Mr. Brown has been a member of the Knights of Pythias order since he was twenty-one years old, and is also a member of the Masons at Vinton. His politics is Republican and he and his wife are members of the Presbyterian church. He married, at Vinton in 1889, Miss Ethelwyn Gilchrist. She is a daughter of Hon. G. M. Gilchrist, one of the most prominent members of the Benton county bench and bar. They have two children, Elwyn, aged sixteen, and Merle, fourteen, in 1909, both in the Vinton high school.

Picture of Elwyn F. Brown

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