J. W. BROWN
J. W. Brown, one of Atlantic's prosperous attorneys, is a native of Muskingum county, Ohio, where he was born in 1824. There he spent his boyhood days, and as soon as he had arrived at proper age, began attendance at school. Among the schools he attended in Ohio was Dennison University. He also studied for the legal profession in Ohio, under Judge James, of Zanesville. In the spring of 1848, he removed to Indiana, where he remained eight years. For seven years of this time he was clerk of the court in Grant county. While in Indiana he also attended the law department of the State University, at Bloomington, where he graduated in 1857. Leaving Indiana, he traveled by team to Southwestern Missouri, locating for a short time in Springfield. From there he came to this county, having traveled in all twelve hundred miles by team, with household goods packed in the then almost universal prairie schooner. When he first located in Lewis, there was but a scant foundation of the town which afterward grew up on the site. lie bought four hundred acres of land. For the first two years his farming operations were carried on under considerable disadvantages; wood had to be hauled seven miles, and other necessaries like uncomfortable distances. In I860, he went, like most of his neighbors, to Pike's Peak. While on this trip he was captured, on White river, by the Indians, but was afterwards released, and he arrived at California Gulch, now Leadville, in an almost starving condition. Finding no prospects of making money out there, he returned to Lewis, where he resided till 1863, when he removed to his farm. In 1869, he came to Atlantic, and was elected mayor in 1872, and made his residence here until 1876, when he again returned to the farm, on account of ill health. He has now one thousand acres of splendid stock land, most of which is sown to grass. The place has many valuable improvements. In 1883, he came again to Atlantic, with the determination of making this his future home, and was chosen city solicitor for that year. January 1, 1884, he opened a law and collection office in the Copeland block, where he still continues to transact business. He was married in Indiana, in the spring of 1819, to Miss Hannah A. Gregg, a niece of Colonel Steel. They have had seven children: Martha J., J. A., Preston (deceased); Lewis C, now employed on Des Moines Daily News; Frank E., Ida Russell, and Mary B. Mr. Brown was the second lawyer in the county, having located in Lewis in April, 1856. He was also the first county superintendent of schools, having been chosen to fill that position in 1858. The residence, on Chestnut street, which he now occupies, is the same one he built when he located in Atlantic in 1869, and during the entire time, Mr. Brown has lived in Cass county, he has always been active in all the reforms of the day; county before party, has always been his motto.
Contributed by Lisa Varnes-Rex from "History of Cass County, Iowa. Together With Sketches of its Towns, Villages and Townships, Educational, Civil, Military and Political History: Portraits of Prominent Persons, and Biographies of Old Settlers and Representative Citizens." Springfield, Ill.: Continental Historical Company, 1884, pg. 388-389.