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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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O. S. Brown, who is carrying on general farming, stockraising and dairying in Sand Creek township, is leading a life of unfaltering activity, keeping abreast at all times with the progressive spirit which is manifest in agricultural circles and which has wrought a marked transformation in the methods of farm work in the last half century. He owns one hundred and eighty acres of land on section 32, constituting one of the excellent farms of the neighborhood, and during the years of his residence in this county, dating from October, 1875, he has stood as a typical representative of the farming interests which have given Iowa place with the leading agricultural states of the Union.

Mr. Brown was born in Union county, Ohio, March 13, 1851, his parents being William C. and Sylvia (Griswold) Brown, natives of Virginia and Ohio respectively. Although born in the Old Dominion William C. Brown was reared in the Buckeye state and became a farmer of Union county, where he lived until his removal to McLean county, Illinois, settling near Leroy, where he carried on farming and reared his family.

Mr. Brown of this review was reared in McLean county, where he remained with his father until he had attained his majority. He then went to the west in 1875, locating first in Furnace county, Nebraska, where he secured a homestead claim of one hundred and sixty acres. He worked it for one season, but in the fall of the same year came to Iowa and spent one fall in Ringgold county. In 1876 he purchased eighty acres of his present farm, which, when it came into his possession, was a tract of wild, unbroken prairie on which not a furrow had been turned nor an improvement made. After building a little home upon the place he began to till the soil and nature brought to fruition in rich crops the seed that he had planted in early spring. As the years passed, the farm work has been carried forward with good success and the place has been improved through the erection of good barns, sheds and cribs, while he has also remodeled and added to the house. As his financial resources increased he extended the boundary of his property by an additional purchase of one hundred acres and enhanced its attractive appearance by setting out a grove of fine maple and evergreen trees. The farm is neat and well-kept in appearance and since locating in this county Mr. Brown has provided for his support in agricultural lines, which George Washington said, is the most useful as well as the most honorable occupation of man. In addition to tilling the fields, he has raised and fed stock, keeping high grades of Poland China hogs, also good grades of shorthorn cattle. He likewise conducts a dairy business and this proves a profitable source of income.

Mr. Brown was married in Sand Creek township, this county, on the 3d of April, 1879, to Miss Elizabeth Kate Berry, who was born in Burlington, Iowa, but was reared in Sand Creek township, a daughter of J. C. Berry, one of the pioneers of the county, who is mentioned elsewhere in this volume. Unto Mr. and Mrs. Brown have been born twelve children, five sons and seven daughters: Ira C., who is now a student in the Kansas City Veterinary School; Frank B.; Orin; Elijah E.; William H.; Winifred, the wife of Robert Snider, a farmer of Ringgold county, Iowa; Adella, the wife of Albert M. Mason, a farmer of Sand Creek township; Laura, Zilpha, Ruth C. and Olive R., all yet at home; and Mabel, who died at the age of nine years.

Mr. and Mrs. Brown are faithful members of the Methodist Episcopal church of Shannon City, in which he has served as a trustee. He has also rendered capable service to his community as township clerk and township trustee, as assessor and as justice of the peace. For twenty-five years he figured prominently in the public life of the community and his labors were an element in its progressive development. He has never felt himself bound by party ties but, on the contrary, has voted independently. Great changes have come since his arrival in the county. He has seen the uninhabited prairie transformed into farms which are the homes of a contented and prosperous people, while in their midst have here and there sprung up flourishing villages that have introduced into the community all of the comforts, opportunities and advantages of the older east. Mr. Brown has done his full share in the work of general improvement. There was not a house on the direct line of the road between his place and Creston at the time of his arrival, but a number of settlers came in the same year in which he took up his abode here. His official duties and his business interests in former years brought him a wide acquaintance and he has many friends throughout the county. He belongs to the Modern Woodmen Camp and in his life is true to the beneficent spirit of that fraternity, which promotes mutual helpfulness and brotherly kindness.

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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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