Jonathan Fairbanks and Clyde Edwin Tuck

Past and Present of Greene County, Missouri

Early and Recent History and Genealogical Records
of Many of the Representative Citizens


FRANK E. BROWN. Successful farming calls for the best of judgment. It means good crops, good live stock well fed and handled, and a thoroughly balanced business in every way. No business needs better management all around than farming. So many chances for failure are present that it is the exceptional farm that is strong in every particular. Most farms succeed in spite of certain weaknesses. Some of these weaknesses can be corrected; others are due to conditions that cannot be improved, such as naturally poor soil, short growing seasons, steep hills and various things. No better example of a good general farmer, stock man and horticulturist than Frank E. Brown, of Campbell township, near the Springfield city limits, could be found in Greene county. He has applied business principles to his farming and has used his mind as well as his brawn. He hails from the far-away rugged state of Maine, but before casting his lot with the people of the Ozarks, engaged in mercantile pursuits in Minnesota a number of years.

Mr. Brown was born August 6, 1860, at Sangerville, Maine. He is a son of Francis and Tamar (Brown) Brown, and a grandson of Oliver Brown, who was a native of Maine his parents being among the, pioneers of that state. He grew up and married in his native locality and later removed to Sangerville, having been among the first settlers at that place, and there he spent the rest of his life engaged in farming and died there, and there occurred the birth of his son Francis Brown, our subject's father. The latter grew up on the homestead on which he worked when a boy and in spare times learned the carpenter's trade. After the Civil war he removed to Minnesota, and engaged in contracting at Minneapolis, later moving to the southern part of that state and farmed a few years in the vicinity of Leroy. His death occurred in Minneapolis in August 1896, at the age of seventy-three years. His family consisted of eleven children, four of whom are living at this writing, namely: Anna, who lives in Everett, Washington, is the wife of Clinton Stephans, a relative of the noted civil engineer, Frank Stephans; Mrs. Ada Jones, whose husband is deceased, lives in Minneapolis; Mrs. Fannie Hartley lives in Minneapolis; Minnie Stephens lives at Red Wing, Minnesota, and Frank E. of this sketch.

The subject of this review was educated in the common schools of Minnesota, where he removed with his parents when a child; however, he left school when thirteen years of age and began learning the carpenter's trade, later managed his father's farm, and during his father's last illness he was appointed by the governor of the Gopher state as a delegate to the Farmers' Congress which met in St. Paul. He continued general farming there, also maintained a store for some time.

Mr. Brown was married at Leroy, Minnesota, March 7, 1888, to Anna Palmer, a daughter of Cady and Sarah (Palmer) Palmer. Her father was a farmer and one of the first settlers in the vicinity of the town of Leroy. There Mrs. Brown grew to womanhood and attended the public schools. The union of our subject and wife resulted in the birth of four children, named as follows: Mrs. Grace May Holder is the wife of a civil engineer, and she lives with her father; Charlie L., a graduate of the Agricultural department of the University of Missouri at Columbia, also lives at home; Ida and Ruth are both at home and are students in the Springfield high school. The eldest daughter of our subject is a talented musician; she has the distinction of being the first and only pupil to graduate in all branches also in vocal music at Drury College. Mrs. Brown died in the fall of 1914.

Mr. Brown remained in Minnesota until in the spring of 1903, when he removed to Greene county, Missouri, arriving here on March 5th. He had purchased four hundred acres in Campbell township the year previous. He began improving this valuable tract and soon had it under modern improvements and also built an attractive two-story eleven-roomed house with all modern conveniences, finished in original genuine black cherry, seventeen hundred feet of which fine lumber he cut from his own land, doing the work himself, as he is a skilled carpenter and experienced builder. He has carried on general farming and stock raising on an extensive scale, making a specialty of a good grade of cattle, among his herd being a splendid Holstein bull for which he paid four hundred dollars when a calf. Mr. Brown leased his farm some time ago and merely oversees it in a general way, having retired from active farming, a lease of ten years being made to his son and Mr. Holder, his son-in-law, who has given up his work as civil engineer, in which he is quite accomplished, in order to devote his entire attention to the farm. An indication that this is not only a rich farm but is well operated is seen from the fact that a field of one hundred acres of wheat in 1914, averaged over nineteen bushels per acre.

Politically, Mr. Brown is a Democrat, but while a careful voter and loyal to his party he has never sought political leadership, although he has held numerous minor offices, such as road commissioner and was a member of the school board in Minnesota for a period of twenty-five years during which he did much for the general improvement of the schools in his district. Fraternally, he belongs to the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, and was a past grand knight in Minnesota. He is a man whom it is a pleasure to meet, being well informed, hospitable and companionable.

[1588-1590]


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