Biography of William Brown

WILLIAM BROWN. Christian County has long had the reputation of being one of the best farming and stockraising counties in the State. Not only do the farmers here give much attention to these industries, but they are generally men of enterprise and information who are well posted on all the current topics of the day. Prominent among those who have done their full share in advancing every interest of the county is William Brown, who was born in Wilkes County, N. C., April 27, 1845, and is the youngest of four children born to Rufus B. and Ruth (Barnes) Brown. The other children were named as follows: Sarah, single, died in Stone County; Nancy is the wife of William Pope, of Stone County, and Elias died in Arkansas when young.

The early days of our subject were passed on a farm with limited educational advantages, and from the age of eight years he was reared in southwestern Missouri whither he had come with his parents. For a time he served in the Seventy-second Missouri State Militia, and was in a fight at Hemphill Barrens, in Stone County. About 1868 he was married to Miss Eliza White, a daughter of Jonathan White, an old resident and prominent farmer of Stone County. Mrs. Brown was born in Tennessee, and died May 7, 1892. Eight children were the fruits of this union: Lizzie, deceased, was the wife of Sherman Vance; Robert, Peter, Lydia, Henry, George, Carrie and Emma. For two years after his marriage our subject resided on his father’s farm in Stone County, and then located on his present farm one mile south of Billings, where he now has 160 acres of well-improved land, on which is a pretty rural house and comfortable outbuildings. He has bought and fed considerable stock, principally hogs and cattle, and is one of the sturdy, honest farmers of Christian County. Socially he is a member of the “Knights of the Horse,” and politically a Republican. In his religious views he is a Methodist. His father, Rufus Brown, is one of the pioneers of Stone County. He was born in Wilkes County, N. C., January 9, 1819, to the union of James and Nancy (Brookshire) Brown, natives of the Old North State, the father born in Wilkes and the mother in Randolph County. The entire lives of the parents were spent in that State. She was a worthy member of the Baptist Church. Mr. Brown was a farmer, and the son of James Brown, of North Carolina. The latter and wife passed all their days in North Carolina, They were the parents of ten children, as follows: Joseph, Thomas, Frank, Eli, Samuel, James, Susan, Humphrey and Elizabeth. There was another not remembered. William Brookshire, father of Mrs. Nancy Brown, was a farmer, and died in Wilkes County, N. C. Rufus B. Brown, the father of our subject, was the twelfth in order of birth of fourteen children: Eli, William, Rebecca, Nancy, Benjamin, James, John, Thomas, Joel, Elizabeth, Riley, Rufus B., Wilson and Alfred. Rufus B. Brown was married first in 1841 to Miss Ruth Barnes, daughter of Brindley and Sally Barnes, who died in Wilkes County, N. C. Mrs. Brown was born in that county, and died in Christian County, Missouri, in 1874. The following year Mr. Brown married Miss Susannah M. McCrosky, a native of Sullivan County, Tennessee, born in 1832, and the daughter of William B. McCrosky, who came to Christian County just before the war. He was a farmer and died in this county.

In 1851 Mr. Brown came by ox-team to Greene County, Missouri, and was six weeks and three days on the road. After living one year on Grand Prairie he located in the woods where he now resides, fifteen miles north of Galena, where he has 320 acres, 100 acres of which are cleared. He was one of the first settlers of this region, and is one of the best know n citizens. He was an infantry man in the North Carolina Militia in an early day, and in 1838 served in collecting the Indians of North Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, etc., and delivering them over to the cavalry for removal west. He served three years in the Civil War, and was mustered out March 18 , 1865. He was first in Company F, Fourteenth Missouri State Militia. about a year, and then in Company B, Eighth Missouri State Militia, until the close, operating in Missouri and Arkansas. He was in the Marmaduke fight at Springfield and one at Ozark. Although in many skirmishes and engagements he was never captured or wounded. He and wife are worthy members of the Methodist Church, and although formerly a Democrat in politics, he is now in union with the Republican party. Mrs..William Brown’s father, Jonathan D. White, was one of the prominent farmers of Stone County. He was born in Roane County, Tennessee, in 1814, to the marriage of Joseph D. and Margaret (Coffer) White. Joseph D. White died at Mobile, Ala., while a soldier under Jackson, in the War of 1812. He was a teacher and a son of William White, who died in North Carolina. Joel Coffer, the maternal grandfather of Mr. White, died in North Carolina, as did his wife. Jonathan D. White was married in 1841 to Miss Elizabeth Ann Estes, daughter of John C. Estes. He was one of the early settlers of Stone County, and one of its most extensive farmers.


A Reminiscent History of the Ozark Region: comprising a condensed general history, a brief descriptive history of each county, and numerous biographical sketches of prominent citizens of such counties. Chicago: Goodspeed Brothers Publishers. 1894.

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