The well established family physician obtains an influence in any community which is more far-reaching than that of any man sustaining other relations to the public. The reasons for this are too obvious to require mention here. Dr. N. J. Brown is to the people of Hailey the ideal family doctor, and he is the oldest physician and surgeon in the place. He cast his lot with the citizens of Hailey in 1883 when the town was but two years old, and from that time he has practiced his profession in Hailey and its tributary territory, and shown a helpful interest in every movement tending to the greatest good of his townspeople.
Dr. Brown comes of a good old English family, and was born in Stanstead, Canada, March 10, 1854. Generations before that time his progenitors had come over in the Mayflower and located in New England, whence his particular branch of the family had, in the exigencies of life, found its way to the Dominion. The “pilgrim” of the Brown family who landed at Plymouth Rock was James. Ozias Gilbert Brown, the father of Dr. N. J. Brown, was born at Epsom, New Hampshire, March 27, 1806, and, now in his ninety-fourth year, is living in Stanstead County, province of Quebec, rounding out a life as a useful citizen and a successful farmer. He married Miss Margaret Foss, a native of Canada but of New Hampshire lineage, who could trace her ancestry back to a “pilgrim” refugee. She died at the age of forty-eight years, leaving five children. Her eldest son is now seventy-one years old. The subject of this sketch is her youngest son. Two of her sons served the Union cause in the war of the rebellion and died from disease contracted in the army.
Dr. Brown, whose name heads this sketch, was educated at McGill University, at Montreal, and at Dartmouth College. His degree of M. D. was conferred upon him November 3, 1875, and he began the practice of his profession at Montreal. Three months later he moved to Red Oak, Iowa, where he was in successful practice for some time. While on a visit to some friends at Grundy Center, Iowa, in 1877, he was induced to locate with them, which he did for a time.
October 19, 1878, Dr. Brown married, at Eldora, Iowa, Miss Celia Frances Eastman, the daughter of ex-Lieutenant Governor E. W. Eastman, a prominent attorney and one of the pioneers of that state. A few weeks afterward he contracted pneumonia, and when he had partially recovered he was advised by brother physicians to spend some time in the climate of Colorado as the only means which held out any certainty of his complete restoration to health. He went to Colorado December 28 following and remained there until his removal to Hailey, in April 1883. This place possessed dual advantages for him, being both prosperous and of the right altitude for him. Health awaited him here, and almost at once he entered upon a prosperous and growing practice, which extends for many miles throughout the country. He has established a commodious, well appointed and altogether delightful home, in which a generous hospitality is dispensed.
In general Dr. Brown is first and beyond all a physician. His profession commands him before any other interest. But at the same time he has not been blind to his opportunities, and has secured several valuable gold and silver mining interests, to the development of which he devotes intelligent attention, with good prospect that they will prove profitable. He is a member of the American Medical Association and of the Idaho State Medical Association, and has been local surgeon of the Union Pacific and the Oregon Short Line Railroad Companies ever since 1883. Fraternally he is one of the highest Masons in the state, belonging to the blue lodge, chapter and Commandery, and has taken all the Scottish rite degrees up to and including the thirty-second. He is also a Mystic Shriner and a Knight Commander of the Court of Honor, which makes him eligible to the thirty-third degree, the last and highest in Freemasonry. He has membership also in the Ancient Order of United Workmen and in the Modern Woodmen of America.
Dr. and Mrs. Brown have four sons, Newell J., Jr., Newbern N., Austin F. and Gilman.
The Doctor has identified himself with every worthy interest of Hailey and is considered one of its most enterprising, progressive and public-spirited citizens. He is popular beyond most of his fellow townsmen and has an influence second to that of no other. He possesses a frank and genial manner, which makes him friends wherever he goes, and such is his strong, helpful character that he is enabled to retain all of these friends.