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Below is a family biography included in the book, Portrait and Biographical Record of Johnson and Pettis County Missouri published by Chapman Publishing Company in 1895.  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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JOHN B. BROWN. Few citizens of Johnson County are more deserving of special notice than the subject of our sketch, who is self-made, and by the exercise of industry and economy has accumulated a handsome fortune, so that he is now enabled to live retired. He owns a good estate in township 47, range 25, on which he has placed many improvements.

Mr. Brown was born in Washington County, Pa., September 16, 1828, and is the son of Andrew and Margaret (Brarard) Brown, both of whom were born in the Old Country. The mother came to America and met and married her husband in the state of Ohio. They soon thereafter removed to Pennsylvania and farmed for some time, when they changed their location, this time making their home in West Virginia. There the father died about 1862, and his good wife passed away in 1859.

In the parental family were the following children: James, Betsy, Margaret, Rachel, Maria and John B. The latter lived at home until twenty-seven years of age, about which time he married and began working in the coal mines. The lady of his choice was Miss Elizabeth Rondells, a native of Ohio, whence she was taken by her parents to West Virginia. She was born in the year 1837, to Josephus and Margaret Rondells. Some time after the removal of their daughter to this state they came to Cooper County, where they lived for a time, but later became inmates of our subject’s household, where Mr. Rondells died. His wife now makes her home in Cooper County, with her youngest son, Frank.

For five years after his marriage Mr. Brown continued to live in Brooke County, W. Va. In the mean time he had been receiving such encouraging letters from his brother-in-law, Mr. Bowman, who was living in Missouri, that he decided to try his fortunes in this state also. He accordingly packed together his household goods, and did not tarry anywhere until reaching Lexington, Mo., in 1863. He lived with Mr. Bowman for about two years, when he obtained a position in Sedalia, driving a team in the employment of the Government. His duty was to haul hay and provisions to be used by the soldiers. When this work was no longer necessary, he returned to Lexington, but very soon went to Hazle Hill, near which place he rented a farm. He cultivated this for about one year and then moved on to the Thomas Anderson Place. This he also made his home for a twelvemonth, and at the expiration of that time he was enabled to make a purchase of land. He bought forty acres at that time in another part of the township, and selling it sometime later, became the owner of a seventy-acre tract west of his present home.

Mr. Brown lived on the above farm for eight years, when he disposed of it by sale and bought forty acres now forming part of the estate on which he lives. He moved upon this tract about thirteen years ago, and so prosperous has he been in all his ventures since coming here, that he is now the possessor of one hundred and ten well-cultivated acres. The farm was an unimproved tract, but under his able management he has made of it one of the most valuable estates in the township. About two years ago he sustained a heavy loss by the burning of his farm buildings, but he lost no time in replacing them.

To our subject and his wife there have been born twelve children, all of whom are living with the exception of three. The eldest died unnamed, and Annie, the second-born, was Mrs. Harmon Iiams at the time of her decease. She had formerly been married to Walker Crawford, who is also dead. Ida died at the age of twelve years. The remaining members of the family are Alvin, Maggie, Floyd, Oliver, Josiah, Andy, Lettie, Luther and Lizzie.

Mr. Brown has witnessed the development of this section and has also aided very materially in bringing this wonderful change about. He has never desired official honors, preferring to devote his time to grain and stock-raising, but has been persuaded by his fellow-townsmen to serve as a member of the School Board of the Simpson District. He is and always has been a Democrat in politics.

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This family biography is one of the numerous biographies included in the Johnson County, Missouri portion of the book,  Portrait and Biographical Record of Johnson and Pettis County Missouri published in 1895 by Chapman Publishing Co.  For the complete description, click here: Johnson County, Missouri History, Genealogy, and Maps

View additional Johnson County, Missouri family biographies here: Johnson County, Missouri Biographies

View a map of 1904 Johnson County, Missouri here: Johnson County, Missouri Map

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