Cerro Gordo County Iowa
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It would be difficult to think of any citizen in the locality whose loss would be more severely felt and more sincerely regretted than that of James H. BROWN, whose death occurred April 5, 1910, at his home in Bath township, one mile north of Rockwell, following a one week's illness with pneumonia and heart trouble. He was a man of varied ability; a stock-raiser and agriculturist of the most scientific and advanced methods; a man of marked political influence; and associated in some high capacity with most of the important organizations of town and county, as well as state. He valued the interests of the whole community above those of the individual, giving most generously of time and energy to the public service, and he is mourned by hosts of friends. Truly, "To live in hearts we leave behind is not to die."

James H. BROWN was born in Boone county, Illinois, July 9, 1855, his parents being David and Agness (HAMILTON) BROWN. He was of Scotch descent and as one of his biographers adds, "Of Scotch thrift and of Scotch integrity." Soon after the attainment of his majority he went to Winnebago county, Illinois, where he engaged in farming and from there removed to Bath township, Cerro Gordo county, where he ever afterward made his home.

He had all of the secrets of successful farming at his finger tips and at the time of his death was the owner of five hundred acres, all highly improved and highly productive. He was associated with numerous enterprises, being at the time of his death chairman of the board of supervisors of Cerro Gordo county; president of the Farmers' Cooperative Brick & Tile Company at Mason City; president of the Rockwell Farmers' Cooperative Society; president of the Rockwell Farmers' Telephone Company; president of the State Farmers' Cooperative Grain Dealers Association; president of the Cerro Gordo Mutual Insurance Association; and director of the Farmers' State Bank of Rockwell. For twelve years he was president of the Rockwell Farmers' Cooperative Society and assisted in the organization of the state association; was president of the Farmers' State Cooperative Mutual Elevator Insurance Company, and was a director and stockholder in the Peoples' State Bank of Mason City.

Mr. BROWN was united in marriage to Miss Janet McMILLAN, their union being celebrated at Mason City, Iowa, April 18, 1884. Besides his widow he is survived by one son and four daughters, by name: Howard, Maud, Agnes, Eppie, and Merval, at home. He is also survived by his aged mother, Mrs. David BROWN; by five brothers, John, William, Hugh, Edward, and Robert; and two sisters, Mrs. Charles BROWN and Mrs. Robert COLVILLE, all living at the home in Illinois. He was an excellent husband and father, his home life being ideal.

Mr. BROWN was a stanch and enthusiastic Republican and was eminently well fitted for the political field. Six years ago he was nominated for supervisor without opposition, twice thereafter renominated and at the time of his death was chairman of the board. The social and fraternal side of his nature was well developed and he took great enjoyment in his associations in this line.

The funeral of Mr. BROWN was held in the Congregational church, Rev. L. D. BLANFORD conducting the services and preaching the sermon. There were many magnificent floral offerings. The county officials attended the funeral in a body, as did the officials of the Farmers' Society, the Brick & Tile Company and the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, the latter conducting the services at the grave. Some of Rockwell's most prominent citizens acted as pall bearers. As a mark of respect the business houses closed during the funeral hour.

To quote from the Rockwell Phonograph, which has given an adequate account of his life and services, "As on of the pioneers of Bath township James H. BROWN has been identified with its history. No man in Bath township has ever contributed more to it history and its upbuilding, has had a firmer hold upon the hearts of its people, or will be more sadly missed from all its councils than James H. BROWN . . . In all the positions of trust and honor Mr. BROWN'S sole aim seemed to be to 'make good' and hundreds of friends today mourn his untimely departure from the sphere of earthly activities."

Mrs. BROWN is a native of Boone county, Illinois, born April 5, 1860, to Neil and Margarette (McARTHUR) McMILLAN, both natives of Scotland. They came to America as young man and woman and married in the United States. The mother died in Illinois when Mrs. BROWN was young and the father came to Cerro Gordo county in 1879 with our subject where he was farming. Here his death occurred, at sixty-eight years of age. He was a Republican in politics.

Mrs. BROWN was reared and educated in Boone county, and since her husband's death she has rented the most of her farm.

SOURCE: Wheeler, J. H. History of Cerro Gordo County, Iowa. Vol. II. Pp. 465-66. Lewis Pub. Co. Chicago. 1910

Transcription by Sharon R. Becker, February of 2011



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