Transcribed from "History of North Washington, an illustrated history
of Stevens, Ferry, Okanogan and Chelan counties", published by Western
Historical Publishing Co., 1904.
GEORGE W. BROWN, of the firm
of Brown Brothers, proprietors of the Elberta Hotel, Wenatchee, Chelan
county, now a successful business man, has led a most adventurous life,
the story of which would comprise many interesting and sensational chapters.
He was born at New Albany, Indiana, August
31, 1863, the son of Reuben W. N. and Melvina B. Brown. He has two
brothers, Noah N., his partner, and Reuben A., a farmer at Brown's Flat,
and a sister, Mrs. Julia A. Roe, mentioned elsewhere in this work.
He was reared in western Indiana until the age of fourteen, when his parents
came to Vancouver, Washington, whence his brother, Noah, had preceded them.
This was in 1877, and in 1880 he began working in the timber, continuing
the same employment for two years. He then went to California and
became foreman of a farm, thirty miles from Sacramento, and in 1885 he
returned to Vancouver, going thence to The Dalles with his brother Noah,
and thence to the Wenatchee valley. In 1886-7 he traveled extensively
over the state of California on horseback, and returning to the Wenatchee
valley engaged in the stock business until 1898. That year he enlisted
in Company D, Second Washington Battery, and went into camp at Vancouver,
remaining there until October 21, when he was mustered out. The following
spring he went to Alaska, where he suffered untold hardships amid inhospitable
tribes of Indians and the rigors of that frozen El Dorado. At one
period he was compelled to subsist on horse, at another, on dog meat.
The errand of the party with whom he was associated was to discover an
all-American route to the Yukon, and in the search they traversed land
where probably no white man had ever trod before. They discovered
"Simpson Pass" and cut their way through the heavy brush along the route.
At Fort Gibbons their Thanksgiving dinner consisted of one small ptarmigan
for six people--with appetites.
Our subject then left the government service
and returned to Wenatchee, later going to Reardan, Lincoln county, where,
with his brother Noah, he engaged in the hotel business. Fraternally,
Mr. Brown is a member of the Odd Fellows, and the A. 0. U. W. His
political affiliations are staunchly Republican, although he is by no means
an active partisan. In the community in which he resides he is a
most popular citizen and highly esteemed by all friends and acquaintances.
Mr. Brown being of an energetic and adventurous
disposition, finds it difficult to remain a resident in one locality, and
so travels extensively. One reminiscence of his life, of which he
carries the marks, was an attempted hold-up by a robber at one in the morning,
while in a California hotel. Mr. Brown resisted the ruffian and received
a wound in the arm. He adroitly escaped the would-be murderer, however,
and later gave information which led to his capture and conviction to the
penitentiary for a term.