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Joshua L. Brown (1828-1913)


Posted By: Karon Velau (email)
Date: 11/3/2022 at 22:56:49

Joshua L. Brown
(January 7, 1828 – December 28, 1913)

While “the race is not always to the Swift nor the battle to the strong." the invariable law of destiny accords to tireless energy, industry and ability, a successful career. The truth of this assertion is abundantly verified in the life of J. L. Brown, who, though he has met with many difficulties and obstacles, has overcome these by determined purpose and laudable endeavor, working his way steadily upward to success. He was born in Delaware County, New York, January 7. 1828, and has therefore passed the psalmist span of three score years and ten. His is an honorable old age in which he is enjoying, not only the fruits of former toil, but also the respect and good will of his fellow men. His father, Stephen Brown, was a native of the Empire state, and there married Hannah Walker, who was also born in New York. About 1829 they removed to Pennsylvania, and the mother died six months later in Nanticoke, Pennsylvania. The father took a contract for construction work on the North Branch canal of the Susquehanna river and was for some time actively associated with that work. After the death of his first wife, the father married Lydia Decker, a native of Pennsylvania, and
removed to Wyoming county, that state, where he engaged in the lumber business until his death, which occurred in 1857. By the first marriage there were two children, but the sister of our subject is now deceased. Ten children were born of the second marriage. I. L. Brown, of this review, was only about a year old when his parents went to Pennsylvania and in a subscription school of
Wilkesbarre he began his education. He also attended the district schools of Wyoming County and later became a student in the Wyoming Seminary, completing his education when twenty-two years of age. His more advanced course was secured entirely through his own efforts, for his labors enabled him to pay his board, tuition and other expenses connected with seminary work. Entering upon his business career, he became connected with the manufacture of lumber and followed that pursuit in Pennsylvania for several years. After his marriage, which occurred at Windham. Pennsylvania, August 25, 1852, he continued in the lumber business until 1855 and in that year he sought a home in the Mississippi valley, settling in Grand Detour, Ogle County, Illinois. There he established a lumber yard and in connection with the sale of building materials he also, engaged in contracting, remaining in Ogle county for ten years. In 1865 he arrived in Iowa, settling in Johnson Township, Webster County, where
he engaged in farming, securing a homestead claim. He also bought land, becoming the owner of a half section of raw prairie and marsh land. Digging ditches, he partly drained this, and with mule teams and oxen broke the ground and planted his crops. He also erected a little frame house twelve by fourteen feet. During the second year he purchased a house and as the years passed he added one by one to his farm the improvements which enabled him to facilitate his work and secure there from a good income. "When a decade had passed he came to Manson in 1875, and owing to ill health, retired from active business life. The needed rest and recreation, however, soon benefited him, and after about two years he began merchandising as a member of the firm of J. L. Brown & Son. a partnership which was
maintained until 1882. when our subject sold his interest and has since lived retired in the enjoyment of a well earned rest.
On the 25th of August, 1852, Mr. Brown was united in marriage in Windom Township, Wyoming C Pennsylvania, to Miss Jannett S. Stevens, who was born in Pennsylvania, July 2j, 1828, and was a daughter of Stephen Stevens, a native of Glasgow, Scotland. On coming to this country, her father married Ann Marie De La Plain, a native of Philadelphia, in which city the wedding was celebrated. The father was a wholesale merchant in Glasgow, but after coming to America engaged in the lumber trade. He erected a number of sawmills and near them lie built houses for the men whom he employed. He also endeavored to make Bowman's creek navigable, and in that enterprise lost much of his money, for at one time he was quite wealthy. Subsequently he became proprietor of a hotel in Tunkhannock, Pennsylvania, where he remained until his death. In his family were thirteen children. Mrs. Brown's death occurred June 8, 1898. The marriage of Mr. and Mrs. Brown was blessed with five children: Orrin O. married Emily Yates and was killed in a railroad accident at Waseca, Minnesota. His widow has since married George Ebersole and lives in Manson. By her first marriage she had four children, of whom two are yet living — Frank O., and Merrill J. George B. Brown, the second member of the family, married a Miss Messenger and after her death wedded Miss Lent. By both marriages he had two children. Orrin and Guy being of the first union, while Byron and Elsie are children by his present wife. He is now engaged in the life insurance business in Rockwell City. Hannah M. is the wife of G. I. Long, one of the editors and proprietors of the Manson Journal. Ada died at the age of three years. William S. married Viola Cheshire and after her death wedded Stella Fonts. Their home is in Manson and he is engaged in the coal business. By his first marriage he had twin daughters, Edna and Erma. Mr. Brown has a good modern residence in Mans, m and is a well known and highly esteemed person of the community. While residing in Webster county he was elected supervisor of Webster County, and held the office for three years. He also filled other township offices there and a number of township positions in Lincoln township. Calhoun County. Since coming to Manson he has served as a member of the city council and at all times he has given an unfaltering support to the Republican party since casting his first presidential vote for John C. Fremont. Socially he is a member of Morning Light Lodge, A. F. & A. M., and has been identified with the craft since 1859, having been initiated into the order in Ogle county, Illinois. In all his life he has been true to its principles of brotherly kindness and mutual helpfulness. His entire freedom from ostentation or self-laudation, together with his honesty in all business affairs, have made him one of the most popular citizens of Manson, with whose history he has now been identified for many years. [Source – Biographical Record of Calhoun County, Iowa, by S.J. Clarke, 1902, p.453]


Calhoun Biographies maintained by Karon S. Valeu.
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