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Earl H. and Alta Brown

Photo page 349

Earl Hite Brown, the son of Mr. and Mrs. Warren L. Brown, was born November 9, 1881. He was raised on a farm five miles southeast of Madrid, and attended the Pierce Grove School.

Alta Clement Brown was the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Clement, and was born June 22, 1882, in Cable, Illinois. She attended the Des Moines public schools, having moved to that city with her family when she was eight years of age. As a young woman, she learned the dressmaking trade, and worked in the dressmaking department of Harris and Emery's store in Des Moines for eight years.

Earl began working for his uncle, Dan Mytinger, who ran a jewelry store in Madrid at that time. When he was 21, he began his formal training as a jeweler in 1903, in Des Moines, taking part of his training at Des Moines University, and where he was employed by G. L. Eason, also a jeweler. In 1904, he started in the jewelry business in Sheldahl.

It was through a friend who taught at the Pierce Grove School that Earl and Alta met. He was boarding with the friend, and Alta came to visit the friend. They were united in marriage on September 27, 1905.

That same year, they moved to Madrid, where Earl's father, Warren L. Brown, built a building now occupied by the P & J Cafe. Earl opened his jewelry store there (he was the third jeweler doing business in Madrid at that time), and they lived in back of the store. Earl continued in the jewelry business until he retired in 1955, after 50 years in business in Madrid. Mrs. Brown assisted Earl in his business during that time as well.

The Browns purchased the first lot in Vestal Addition to Madrid, and built the first house in the addition in 1907. Howard and Berniece Spring later lived in that house.

Both were active members of the Methodist Church for many years. Alta was a life member of the Women's Society of Christian Service, which is the women's organization of the Methodist Church. Earl was also active in various civic affairs, being a member of the Masonic Lodge and a Past Patron of Eastern Star. He served two terms on the school board and two terms on the town council. In addition, he enjoyed hunting, fishing, and woodworking. He particularly enjoyed making cabinets for grandfather clocks.

The Browns were parents of three daughters: Mrs. Willard (Louise) Cooper, now of Pocatello, Idaho; Mrs. Herald (Helen) Partello, of Boone; and Mrs. Ivan (Edna E.) Littlehale, of Peterson, Iowa.

Helen and Herald have one daughter, Susan K., who married Lloyd V. Dove. The Doves are parents of a son, Michael V., and a daughter, Kristine K. Edna, or "Betty," as she is known to her friends, first married Edward H. Bargefield, and to their marriage was born one son, Edward H. Mr. Bargefield passed away at an early age, as a result of a heart attack. "Eddy" married Nancy Nelson, and to their union were born two children, Douglas E., and Molly Mae. Nancy died early in life, and Ed has since married Patricia Johnston, who has a daughter, Kisa, by a prior marriage. Edna also remarried after the death of her spouse, and she and her second husband, Ivan H. Littlehale, were the parents of one daughter, Mary E.. Mary married Rod Raveling, and they are the parents of a son, Robert M., and a daughter, Rebecca A. Betty was widowed a second time, and now makes her home near Mary, in Peterson.

Mr. Brown passed away at the Boone County Hospital on October 3, 1967, at the age of 85. Mrs. Brown passed away December 18, 1967, just two and one-half months later.

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