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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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M. A. Brown resides on section 4, Jones township, where he carries on general agricultural pursuits. He has owned and improved, at different times, four farms in Union county and has thus been closely associated with its agricultural development and progress. He has lived in the county since 1883 but is a native of New York, his birth having occurred near Utica on the 10th of October, 1846. His father, Alexander Brown, was a native of Connecticut and was there reared. When nineteen years of age he married Ruby Ann Whipple and removed to New York, settling in Oneida county, where he opened up a new farm. He became widely known as a speculator and also as a drover, purchasing stock which he would drive across the country to market. He spent his last years in Oneida county and passed away after residing for a half century upon the one farm.

M. A. Brown was reared to manhood in the place of his nativity upon the old homestead and to some extent attended the public schools but is largely self-educated, as his time and labors were needed in the development of the father’s farm. He was married in New York in 1872 to Miss Sarah Miner, a native of Massachusetts, and they began their domestic life upon a farm, where they lived for some years, when Mr. Brown bought land, which he brought under a high state of cultivation. He improved five different farms in the state of New York and then saw the agricultural opportunities of the west and made his way to Iowa in 1883. Here he located in Jones township and made investment in one hundred and thirty acres of land south of the village of Thayer. Some improvements had been put upon this place. He later bought two eighty-acre tracts of land near the home place, which he cultivated and developed. After nine years he sold his farm south of Thayer and bought a place north of the village comprising one hundred and sixty acres. Upon this he erected a good residence and two big barns, after which he carried on the work of farming in the cultivation of the cereals best adapted to soil and climate. He also planted a good orchard and set out a grove and made this place one of the attractive features of the landscape, adding to its value and pleasing appearance by the many modern improvements which he put upon it. On selling that property he removed to Thayer, where he lived until 1901, when he purchased the farm upon which he now resides, attractive land of one hundred and sixty acres. Here he has put up a large barn, has fenced his fields and is carrying on the work of repair and improvement. He also set out some fruit and altogether had a good place, but in the fall of 1907 he sold it and will soon remove elsewhere.

In 1901 Mr. Brown was called upon to mourn the loss of his wife, who died on the 8th of March of that year. He was again married in Thayer, February 17, 1904, to Miss Lulu E. Northrup, a daughter of Squire S. A. Northrup, a prominent citizen of Jones township, a veteran of the Civil war and the present postmaster of Thayer. Mrs. Brown was reared and educated in this county and for some years prior to her marriage was a successful teacher.

Mr. Brown is an advocate of democratic principles and desires the success of the party, feeling that the best interests of the country will be served thereby. At local elections, however, where no issue is involved, he casts his ballot regardless of party affiliation. He is now serving as township trustee, which office he has filled for six years. He is a very energetic man, wide-awake, alert and progressive, and his work has been of direct benefit to the county in its agricultural improvements. At the same time his labors have brought to him substantial benefits and he is now one of the prosperous and respected farmers of the 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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