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Below is a family biography included in History of Union County, Iowa published by S. J. Clarke Publishing Co., in 1908.  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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F. M. Brown is numbered among the prominent farmers of Shannon City, owning a beautiful and well improved farm of two hundred acres, adjoining the city limits. He has made not only a creditable business record but also a creditable military record and has done much active work for the development of the community in which he lives. He has been identified with the interests of the state of Iowa since 1857 and though he has resided in Union county only since 1896, he is widely and favorably known in this part of Iowa. A native son of Indiana, he was born in Jay county, May 15, 1837, and has therefore passed the seventy-first milestone on life’s journey. When he was but an infant his father died and the mother afterward returned with her family to Licking county, Ohio, where her father served as county sheriff during the period of the war of 1812.

F. M. Brown was reared upon the farm and the work of field and meadow early became familiar to him. Good educational privileges were afforded him and for twenty-three years he engaged in teaching school, thus contributing in substantial measure to the intellectual progress of the community in which he labored. He remained at home until 1857, when, removing westward, he became a resident of Scott county, Iowa. Two years later he took up his abode in Cedar county, Iowa, where he purchased land and opened up a farm, converting the wild prairie into cultivable and productive fields. There he was married on the 12th of February, 1861, to Miss Elizabeth P. Kester, a native of Crawford county, Ohio, and a daughter of Levi Kester. The father came to Iowa in 1850.

After his marriage Mr. Brown improved his farm, which he further developed and cultivated until 1876. In the meantime, however, he responded to the country’s call for aid, enlisting in Cedar county in 1864, as a member of Company I, Forty-sixth Iowa Regiment of Volunteer Infantry. He then went south to Memphis, where he was on guard duty until taken prisoner by the guerrillas on the 24th of July, 1864. The term of his incarceration continued until April 18, 1865, being confined in Cahaba (Alabama) prison. After released he returned northward to Davenport, Iowa, where he was honorably discharged and mustered out.

When the country no longer needed his aid Mr. Brown returned to his farm in Cedar county, upon which he lived until 1876. In that year he located in Adair county, where he purchased land and carried on farming for about seven years, when in 1883 he removed to South Dakota. There he entered land from the government, securing a prairie claim of one hundred and sixty acres and a tree claim of equal amount, thus coming into possession of a half section of land. At that place he continued for thirteen years, when he sold his property in South Dakota, removing to Shannon City. For two years he rented land in the edge of Ringgold county, after which he purchased his present farm of two hundred acres adjoining the corporation limits of Shannon City. His time and energies have since been devoted to the improvement and further development of this property, which has become an excellent farm, indicating in its well kept appearance his careful supervision and practical methods.

As the years have passed by the following children were born to the family of Mr. and Mrs. Brown: Bessie, who died at the age of twenty-one years; George A., who is upon the home farm; Cyrus Oscar, who is a graduate of the South Dakota Agricultural College and the State University at Lincoln, Nebraska, and is now a lawyer of Douglas, Wyoming; James A., who attended the same institutions as his brother Oscar and won the degree of Master of Arts, while at the present time he is practicing law in Lincoln Nebraska; Sarah, a graduate of South Dakota Agricultural College, who for several years has been successfully engaged in teaching school and makes her home with her parents; and Frank M., a graduate of Lincoln Business College, who is a rancher of Douglas, Wyoming.

After coming to Shannon City Mr. Brown was soon recognized as a man of value in matters of citizenship, his labors and cooperation constituting elements for progress and improvement. He is now serving on the school board and is its president. He is a member of the Grand Army of the Republic and for two years served as commander of Henry Damon Post. He belongs to the Methodist Episcopal church, of which he is an official member, and his interest in the church work in its various departments is manifest in many tangible ways. His wife and children also belong to the church and Mr. and Mrs. Brown are a most highly esteemed couple, enjoying in large measure the warm regard and good will of all with whom they come in contact. It is a pleasure to meet them and they have a host of warm friends in Shannon City and Union county.

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This family biography is one of 247 biographies included in The History of Union County, Iowa published in 1908.  For the complete description, click here: Union County, Iowa History and Genealogy

View additional Union County, Iowa family biographies: Union County, Iowa Biographies

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