Joseph Brittain was born in the state of Indiana sixty-seven years ago and is a son of John S. Brittain, who was of English ancestry. After arriving at years of maturity the father married Miss Mary Russell, a native of Indiana, and after residing in that state for a time they removed to Buchanan county, Missouri, in 1837. There the father died, at the age of forty years, while the mother, long surviving him, passed away at the age of seventy-three years. They were both members of the Methodist church and were people of high respectability. In their family were seven children, namely: William, who served as a soldier in the civil war and is now living in Osborne county, Kansas; James, Joseph, Mary, Wilson, George, John and Elam.
Joseph Brittain, whose name introduces this record, was reared on his fathers farm in Missouri and on attaining his majority was married, in Buchanan county, that state, to Miss Mary Folwell, who died in 1859, leaving a daughter, Mary, who is now residing near Cedarville, Smith county, Kansas. The mother was a member of the Methodist church and an earnest Christian woman, who won the love of all who knew her. For his second wife Mr. Brittain chose Miss Levitha J. Barnes, and to this couple were born three children: William Aaron, who is residing near Formosa, Jewell county, Kansas; John F., of Harper county, Kansas; and Mrs. Mattie Murphy, also of Harper county. Mrs. Levitha Brittain, who was a consistent member of the Christian church, died a few years after her marriage, and on the 24th of April. 1875, Mr. Brittain was joined in wedlock to Mrs. Emily Murphy. a native of Indiana and for some years a resident of Gentry county, Missouri. Her parents were Solomon and Mary (Reid) Grayhill, both now deceased. They were the parents of seven children: Alvira; William, who was a soldier during the civil war and is now deceased; John, who also was a member of the army and has passed away; Mary, Emily, George and Dan. Mr. Grayhill died at the age of fifty-two years, while his wife passed away at the age of eighty-six years. Their daughter, Emily, was married, at the age of eighteen years, to James Murphy, who died in 1861, leaving a son, Luther Murphy, who is now in Harper county, Kansas. After the death of her first husband Mrs. Murphy became the wife of Mr. Brittain, and by this marriage there are two sons James, a young man of twenty-three years, and Joseph, who is now in his twentieth year.
Mr. Brittain has a valuable farm in Doniphan county, where he has resided since 1863. His land is under a high state of cultivation and the various improvements upon the place stand as monuments to his thrift and enterprise. He carefully manages the fields and derives therefrom excellent harvests and in all his business dealings he is honorable and straightforward, thus winning the confidence and good will of those with whom he is brought in contact. In politics he is a supporter of the Republican party and keeps well informed on the issues of the day. Socially he is connected with Severance Lodge, F. & A. M., and takes an active interest in its work. He and his wife, together with their eldest son, are consistent members of the Baptist church and the family is one of prominence in the community. enjoying the hospitality of the best homes of Wayne and other townships.