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Below is a family biography included in The History of Polk 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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Henry Brown. Intimately connected with the farming and stock raising interests of Polk County is the above mentioned gentleman, who was born in Broome County, N. Y., July 21, 1831, and is the son of James and Martha M. (William) Brown, the former born in Dutchess County, N. Y., in 1800. Grand father Brown was cast away from an English vessel, it is supposed, off the coast of Rhode Island, and was picked up by a kind hearted man by the name of Godfrey Brown, who named the child Caleb Brown. James Brown followed a seafaring life along the coast of New York for some time, and at last, in Broome County, N. Y., met and married Miss William, who was born in that county in 1811. After marriage they lived there for some time, and then moved to Susquehanna County, Penn. Afterward they visited their son in Polk County, Mo. The father died in 1879, and lies buried in the Bolivar graveyard. The mother is still living, and is a resident of Auburn, N. Y. She is a member of the Methodist Church, as was also her husband. He was a farmer; a Democrat in politics, and was captain during militia days. In their family were twelve children, two sons and ten daughters. The second of these children and the only son now living, Henry Brown, worked during his boyhood days on the farm, and, although he had fair opportunities for an education, did not realize the benefit to be derived from a good schooling’, and neglected these opportunities to a considerable extent. At the age of twenty-one he began for himself by hiring out, and for fourteen years was engaged in operating mills. In 1868 he, in company with others, came to this county, and February 10, 1876, he was united in marriage to Mrs. Louisa Tanner nee Cordell, a native of Sangamon County, Ill., born February 24, 1839. By her previous marriage she had five children, three living: Jacob, Frances S. and William H. By the second union three children were born, “one now living named Lillie. When he began life Mr. Brown had nothing, but with determination and pluck he went to work, and is now one of the leading farmers of his community, being the owner of 360 acres of land. He is also considerable of a stockman. Politically he affiliates with the Democratic party, and he is a member of the Wheel.

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This family biography is one of 132 biographies included in The History of Polk County, Missouri published in 1889.  For the complete description, click here: Polk County, Missouri History, Genealogy, and Maps

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