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Rankin Family History Project

William Varner Brown


William Varner Brown, farmer and one of Ste. Genevieve County's leading men, and son of James S. and Mary (Varner) Brown, ws born March 7, 1823. Being the eldest child, his services were required at home about the time he should have attended school, and as a consequence, his education was limited.

In 1841, he married Mis Evalina Hunt, and located on a farm in Perry County. His wife died in 1845, leaving a son 18 months old.

In 1845, Mrs. Brown married Miss Susan Beard of Ste. Genevieve County. After remaining in Perry County until 1851, he sold his farm and located in Ste. Genevieve County, on a farm he had purchased from his father. Shortly after coming to Ste. Genevieve County his second wife died leaving three small children.

In 1853, Mr. Brown married Miss Sarah Black, who died the following year. After getting along the best he knew how with his motherless children for three years, he married Margaret Jennings, who bore him six children.

She died while her children were small, and Mr. Brown struggled along with his children, doing his own work, etc., one year, and was then married to Delilah Cashion, of Perry County. He has five children now living: Litha (wife of George Beard), Florence (wife of James Cleveland), Alice (wife of George Rankin), Henrietta (wife of M. Rond), Luther and William Varner, Jr.

Mr. Brown has always taken a great interest in the public schools, and has given his children good educational advantages. His youngest son is being educated at Farmington, Missouri.

Mr. Brown has a good farm of 333 acres, well improved and stocked. He makes a specialty of raising fine chickens and hogs. He also devotes some of his time to the raising of horses, and now owns a good running horse. Mr. Brown is a member of the Masonic fraternity, also a member of Farmers Alliance, and is a man whose hospitality is known throughout the surrounding country.

He had one son, Elias, who was born in 1844 and died September 23, 1873. He was drafted in 1863, and served until the close of the war. He was assistant officer in discharging the Illinois and Indiana troops at Mobile, Alabama.

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The Goodspeed Publishing Company compiled a series of histories of various counties in the U.S. in the late 19th century. The information in the History of Southeast Missouri, published in 1888, was provided by the contemporary residents of Perry County and her neighboring counties. The biographies are a valuable source of genealogical information, despite a few minor inaccuracies. We are glad to present the transcribed biographies here for anyone researching Perry County's history.

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