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Below is a family biography included in The History of Dallas County, Missouri published by Goodspeed Publishing Company in 1889.  These biographies are valuable for genealogy research in discovering missing ancestors or filling in the details of a family tree. Family biographies often include far more information than can be found in a census record or obituary.  Details will vary with each biography but will often include the date and place of birth, parent names including mothers' maiden name, name of wife including maiden name, her parents' names, name of children (including spouses if married), former places of residence, occupation details, military service, church and social organization affiliations, and more.  There are often ancestry details included that cannot be found in any other type of genealogical record.

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Thomas M. Brown, attorney at law, Buffalo, Mo. Prominent among the many wide-awake and enterprising citizens of Dallas County stands the name of the gentleman whose brief biography follows. Schooled and reared in the cradle of necessity, Mr. Brown has shown by his very successful life here, during the past eight or nine years, the sterling worth of his manhood, and has drawn around him many friends, the result of his close application to public and private matters, and a masterful completion of his work. He is a native of Illinois, was born in La Salle Ill., February 4, 1854, and is the son of John M. and Mary (Mulholland) Brown, natives of the Emerald Isle, who sought for themselves in their early life a home on the American Continent. John M. Brown was a merchant by occupation, and followed this occupation in Illinois for some time. He then removed from there to Missouri, and subsequently (projecting a journey to Pike’s Peak) he located in Johnson County, Kas., where he passed the remainder of his life. Mrs. Brown afterward returned to the Missouri home, where she subsequently became the wife of John M. Guthridge, and bore him six children. Our subject grew to manhood on the farm of his foster-father, and obtained a fair common-school education. Upon attaining his majority, he sought the Lone Star State, where he spent nearly a year. He had been reared to hard manual labor, and used it as his stock in trade, but the State of Texas did not furnish him, as he thought, remuneration sufficient for his labors, and he returned to old Missouri. He here completed a good schooling, and afterward taught school. His early inclinations were for the study of law, and to this end the young man bent his energies. As soon as he could afford it, he entered a law office, his preceptor being the Hon. Daniel P. Stratton, of Stockton, Mo., from whose office he was admitted to the bar in 1880. Mr. Brown immediately cast about for a location, and for a while he was at Hartville, in Wright County, Mo., where he made many strong and true friends, but did not stay there long, and located here. He came here in the spring of 1880, and in the fall of that year he was nominated and elected to the office of prosecuting attorney of Dallas County, a position he filled most acceptably during his term. To his credit it may be said that upon his retirement the citizens of Dallas County testified to their appreciation of his services by re-electing him to that office, and continuing him as their prosecuting attorney for another term. Upon his retirement from public life, Mr. Brown gave close attention to his practice, and has placed himself in the front rank of his profession. He is a versatile speaker, a deep reasoner, a logician of the old school on financial matters, and in this respect, which is certainly a cardinal principle in his character, we question very much whether he has any superiors, and few equals, in this judicial district. He has “hewed to the line,” and made a success of his efforts. He owns over 1,000 acres of farm land, a very considerable city property here, a half interest in the Dallas County Bank and perquisites. He has a lucrative practice, and is today blessed with a realization of his early hopes when coming here, nominally a penniless attorney. Mr. Brown was happily married in Cedar County, Mo., January 20, 1881, to Miss Josie M. Beck, daughter of Isaac F. and Martha (Fielder) Beck, worthy citizens of Cedar County, Mo. Mrs. Brown is a lady of estimable attainments, and has, with her husband, the universal respect of all acquaintances. They are members of the Christian Church, and Mrs. Brown is a worthy and active member of the Ladies’ Aid Society. Mr. Brown is a Master Mason, and a member of Reddick Lodge No. 361. He is a genial gentleman, affable and courteous to every one he meets; has a sound head, well set on a strong and healthy body. He enjoys his successful life here, however, very unostentatiously. We present his portrait.

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This family biography is one of 74 biographies included in The History of Dallas County, Missouri published in 1889.  For the complete description, click here: Dallas County, Missouri History, Genealogy, and Maps

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