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One of the enterprising farmers of northeastern Kansas, living near Hiawatha, William S. Brown, was born in Ross county, Ohio, December 8, 1841, and is a son of William and Martha (Writtenhouse) Brown. His paternal grandparents were George and Mary (Stewart) Brown. His maternal grandfather was Samuel Writtenhouse, who married a Miss Smith. William Brown was a native of Pennsylvania and a farmer by occupation. He had seven children, of whom four sons and a daughter survive, the latter being Mrs. Pricer, of Brown county, Kansas.

The subject of this review spent the first nineteen years of his life in Ross county, Ohio, where he obtained his education in the public schools and in the summer months worked upon the farm. In June, 1860, he put aside his business affairs and personal considerations in order to enter his country's service, and joined Company A, Eighteenth Ohio Infantry, under command of Colonel T. R. Stanley. Soon after the organization of this regiment they were sent to Louisville, Kentucky, and then to Bowling Green, that state. In February, 1862, the command was transferred to Nashville, Tennessee; and took part in the engagements at Bowling Green and Nashville, Tennessee, and guarded the Nashville, Memphis & Charleston Railroad, under command of Colonel Mitchell. On returning to the capital city they prepared and started in pursuit of General J. S. Negley, and subsequently participated in the battles of Stone River and Chickamauga on the 19th and 20th of September, 1863. At the latter place Mr. Brown was wounded in the fore-arm by a gunshot, which disabled him for some time. On the 9th of November, 1864, his time of enlistment having expired, he was honorably discharged at Columbus, Ohio, at which time he held the rank of orderly sergeant.

Returning to Ross county, Mr. Brown assisted his father, who at that time was engaged in milling, but in June, 1865, he removed to Illinois, and soon after went to Holt county, Missouri, where he remained for two years, dealing in live stock and farming. In 1867 he removed to Brown county, Kansas, and purchased his present farm of one hundred and sixty acres, placing the same under a high state of cultivation. He has since erected excellent buildings, including a substantial residence, barns, sheds and all the necessary outbuildings. He has also extended the boundaries of his property by the additional purchase of ninety acres, and now he has a valuable tract of two hundred and forty acres. He has carried on general farming and also given considerable attention to the breeding of red pooled cattle. He believes in raising the best grades of stock, holding the wise opinion that high grades are more profitable.

In 1865 was celebrated the marriage of Mr. Brown and Miss Frances M. Middleton, a native of Ross county, and a daughter of Lawrence and Margaret (Brown) Middleton. They now have four children: Laura A., the wife of A. C. Potter, of Hiawatha; Jessie J., the wife of L. S. Brown, of Canyon City, Colorado; Nellie Belle, the wife of H. S. Donly; and Samuel Todd, at home. Mr. Brown is a Republican in his political affiliations, and has served for a number of years as a township trustee, discharging his duties in a prompt and able manner. Socially he is connected with Hiawatha Post, No. 130, G. A. R. His residence in the county covers a period of a third of a century, during which time he has witnessed much of the growth and development of this region and has borne his part in its advancement.