One of the retired farmers of Brown county, who in former years of toil accumulated a competence sufficient to enable them to put aside business cares, is Zachariah Brown, of Reserve. A native of Maryland, he was born in Carroll county on May 17, 1825, and is of English and Irish descent. His grandfather, Benjamin Brown, was a native of England, and, on coming to America, took up his abode in Maryland, where he became the owner of a plantation and a number of slaves. In his family were three sons, Vachel, Benjamin and Joshua. The first named was the father of our subject. He, too, was a native of Maryland, and there spent his entire life, becoming a prominent farmer and nurseryman of Carroll county. He operates his land by the aid of his slaves, and acquired a comfortable competence. His wife, who bore the maiden name of Sarah Fagan, was also a native of Maryland, and was a consistent member of the Baptist church. This worthy couple became the parents of ten children: Joshua, a railroad man, who built and controlled a road from the Relay House to Annapolis; Susan, wife of V. Todd; Henry, a farmer; Mrs. Sarah Chester; Vachel, who was connected with railroad business in early life, but afterward followed farming; Mrs. Elizabeth Crow, whose husband was a miller in western Pennsylvania; Benedict, a school teacher, who died at the age of twenty-five years; Upton, a farmer of Galva, Illinois; Zachariah; and Mrs. Urith Cochran. Of this family only Upton and Zachariah are now living. The father died in Maryland at the advanced age of eighty-four years, the mother when sixty-two years of age.
Mr. Brown, whose name introduces this review, obtained his education in the subscription schools of his native state and remained under the parental roof until a short time before obtaining his majority, when he secured a clerkship in a store near his home. While thus employed he was married, and soon after he began work on the railroad. Later he engaged in merchandising on his own account, conducting his store in Maryland until 1864, when he sold out and made a prospecting tour in the West. In the fall of the same year he removed to Missouri, locating in Johnson county. He purchased a farm near Warrensburg and continued its development and cultivation for a few years, after which he came to Brown county, Kansas, in 1871. Here he bought a tract of raw land from Major Morrill, comprising eighty acres adjoining the Indian reserve. He built a small cottonwood house and fenced the place with cottonwood lumber, all of which he hauled from the Missouri river. He broke his own land, followed that labor with the planting of crops and soon garnered rich harvests as the result of his toil and endeavor. In 1874 grasshoppers destroyed everything that was grown in this section of Kansas; but, with that exception, he has usually harvested good crops and has been generally successful in his efforts. From time to time he extended the boundaries of his farm by additional purchase until it comprised two hundred and eighty-four acres, the greater part of which he placed under a high state of cultivation. He also engaged in stock raising and in feeding stock for the market.
Mr. Brown was married, in 1848, to Miss Lucinda Hyatt, who was born in Hyattstown, Maryland, in 1829, a daughter of Asa Hyatt, also a native of that state. He was proprietor of a hotel at Hyattstown, Montgomery county, Maryland, and was a prominent and influential citizen, widely and favorably known in his community. He filled the office of justice of the peace for some time and was always known as "'Squire Hyatt." He married a Miss Phillips, and to them were born the following children: Levi, who was a merchant and constable in early life, who died in Columbus, Missouri; Ellen; Mrs. David Zeigher; Mrs. Anna Welch; and Mrs. Lucinda Brown. Unto our subject and his wife were born nine children, namely: Florence, wife of J. Hart; Mrs. Mary Kincaid; Mrs. Ana Cramer; Quintus, who is agent for the Missouri Pacific Railroad Company and also proprietor of a drug store in Eagle, Nebraska; Jessie, wife of Oliver Print; Asa, who is proprietor of a drug store in Nebraska; Grace, at home; and Mrs. Effie Tackley, who is acting as her father's housekeeper. The wife and mother died in 1886, mourned by many friends. She was a faithful and active member of the Christian church, to which Mr. Brown also belongs, serving as one of its elders. In politics he was a Democrat until 1896, when the attitude of that party on the money question led him to give his support to President McKinley. In 1899 he retired from active business life, rented his farm and took up his residence in Reserve, where he is now enjoying the fruits of a well-spent life. His honesty and fairness in all trade transactions have ever been above question, and his genial manner and true worth of character have made him a valued and representative citizen of Brown county.