James A. Brown, the genial proprietor of the Depot Stables, San Rafael, where fashionable turnouts and lively roadsters are always to be had at reasonable rates, is a native of the old Buckeye State, born in Licking county, August 7, 1846, the fourth of eleven children born to James and Dorothy (Gissell) Brown, the former a native of Virginia, the latter of Ohio.† The genealogy on both sides is traceable back to the early colonial history of America.† The parents are both living and reside in the city of Oakland.† Our subject removed with his parents to the State of Iowa when but nine years of age, where he was reared and educated.† In 1871 he came to California, locating at Gilroy for a period of four years, and the five years following his headquarters were at San Jose, he being a commercial traveler.† Later he engaged in the undertakerís business at Marysville for two years, and in 1882 built a stable and conducted the livery business n Oakland until 1887, when he permanently located at San Rafael and established his present business.† Aside from this Mr. Brown has also other business, namely, real estate in most of the prominent cities in California.† Politically he is allied with the Democratic party and takes an active interest in school matters.
He was joined in marriage at San Rafael, October 26, 1887, to Mrs. M. Louise Fronk, a native of Ohio and daughter of William McKinney, and was prominently identified with the progressive element of this State.† He lost his life by accident during a sojourn in the State of Ohio.† Mr. Brown is a man of good address and pleasing manners, and has the respect of a large circle of friends.
Mr. McKinney crossed the plains to California in 1849 and brought with him a herd of thoroughbred horses.† He was also the owner of the famous Grey Eagle horse.† After his death his widow sold him for a good price, and he was afterward sold to Highland Stock Farm in Boston for between $10,000 and $15,000.† Mr. Brown made a fortune while in California by loading large teams with provisions for Pikeís Peak.† His widow, Mrs. L. M. McKinney, is now a resident of San Rafael.
Transcribed by Donna L. Becker
Source: "The Bay of San Francisco," Vol. 1, pages 601-602, Lewis Publishing Co, 1892.
© 2004 Donna L. Becker.