BROWN, NARD, BIXLEY, WILSON
Posted By: Tammy (email)
Date: 11/10/2011 at 12:45:23
THOMAS BROWN, of Grundy Centre, is now serving as Sheriff of Grundy County, and is a well known citizen. A native of England, he was born in Lincolnshire, on the 30th of April, 1844, and is a son of William Brown, who came to America with his family in 1849, and located in Whiteside County, Ill. There he took up Government land, and upon the farm which he improved made his home for five years, when in 1854 he went to Benton County, Iowa. He there entered Government land, and also in Bremer County. He was one of the earliest settlers of the former county, and there improved a farm of about three hundred acres, placing it under a high state of cultivation. His death occurred in 1866. His wife, who bore the maiden name of Mary M. Nard, is now living in Grundy County.
Under the parental roof our subject was reared to manhood, but at the age of eighteen he left home to enter the service of his county. On the 20th of August, 1862, he enlisted in Company G, Thirteenth Iowa Infantry, and was mustered out June 6, 1865, after three years’ service. On the 22d of July, 1864, he was taken prisoner at Atlanta. For a time he was incarcerated in Andersonville, was then taken to Charleston, and later to Florence, S. C., where he was confined until the 24th of February, 1864. He was then sent to a prison in Goldsboro, N. C., but soon afterward was paroled and put within the Union lines at Wilmington, N. C. He then went to Annapolis, Md., and thence to St. Louis, where he was granted a furlough and received his final discharge in Clinton, Iowa. He participated in the siege of Vicksburg, the battles of Chickasaw Mountain and Nickajack Creek, and a number of other engagements. During the third day of the battle of Atlanta he was made prisoner.
On his return from the war, Mr. Brown located in Benton County, Iowa, where he followed farming until April, 1869, when he removed to Grundy County. He purchased an unimproved farm of eighty acres in Colfax Township, which at that time contained only eight houses, and began the development of his wild land. He also purchased another eighty-acre tract and made a good farm, which continued to be his home until the spring of 1876, when he came to Grundy Centre and embarked in the livery business. This he followed until 1878. In 1877 he was made Deputy Sheriff of the county, and served in that office until January, 1881, when he was elected Sheriff on an independent ticket. He has since acceptably filled the position. He is now serving his sixth term and his twelfth year. No other incumbent has so long held the office. In 1891 and 1892 he was President of the Iowa State Sheriffs’ Association, and was one of the organizers of the Inter-State Sheriffs’ Association.
In 1866 Mr. Brown married Miss Ellen M. Bixley. She died in 1879, leaving two children: Arthur, who is now in Wyoming; and Winnefred, who is engaged in teaching school. In 1882 Mr. Brown was united in marriage with Miss Lydia M., daughter of Thomas Wilson, of Stephenson County, Ill. Four children blessed this union, three of whom are now living: Everett T., Lyle and Leo. Bee died at the age of three years and one month.
Mr. Brown was a Republican until 1877. He then became independent in politics, but on account of his free trade sympathies, he joined the Democracy. He belongs to Wilson Post No. 71, G. A. R., of which he has been Commander. He has represented the post at a number of state encampments, and also in the National Encampment at Milwaukee. He has filled all the chairs in the Odd Fellows’ lodge, and belongs to the Sioux Tribe of Red Men. Mr. Brown has a wide acquaintance throughout Grundy County. His long continuance in office indicates his faithful service and the confidence reposed in him. His friends are many, and by all he is held in the highest regard for his sterling worth and the many excellencies of his character.
Portrait and Biographical Record
of Jasper, Marshall and Grundy Counties, Iowa
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