Early and Recent History and Genealogical Records
of Many of the Representative Citizens
JAMES M. BROWN. The name James M. Brown does not sound very Irish-like, neither does the bearer of this plain old cognomen possess many of the outward characteristics of the Celtic people, but it is evident that he has inherited many of the praiseworthy traits of his ancestors, which have resulted in his success in his chosen field of endeavor and in his popularity among his associates. For we all know that there is no better blood in this country than Irish blood. Our subject is filling the responsible position of master mechanic at the Springfield Gas and Power Company. Such positions are not attained without careful preparation.
Mr. Brown was born in Knoxville, Tennessee, May 28, 1864. He is a son of John and Mary (Perry) Brown, the latter dying in 1910 at the age of seventy years. The father was born in County Cork, Ireland, where he spent his boyhood, immigrating to the United States when he was about nineteen years of age, and located in Tennessee, where he became a railroad contractor, making his home at Greenville, Greene county, that state, where his death occurred at the early age of forty-eight years, in 1894, and he was buried at Quaker Knob, Greene county. As a contractor he built railroads in eastern Tennessee, Virginia and Georgia. His family consisted of six children, namely: William M. is an engineer for a railroad company, operating coal mines in North Carolina; Thomas, formerly a stationary engineer, lives at Little Rock, Arkansas; Daniel is engaged in farming in Texas, James M., subject of this sketch; Mary, a trained nurse, resides at Morristown, Tennessee; Sallie is married and also resides at Morristown, Tennessee.
James M. Brown received his education in the public schools, but left his text-books when only twelve years of age to go to work in a saw mill at Bull's Gap, Tennessee, where his duties were to keep the sawdust thrown back out of the way and to pull the whistle three times a day, considering the latter privilege an honor. He was later fireman at the mill, receiving a dollar and fifty cents per day, after he had been working only six months at the plant. He held this position for two years, and being a close observer and a willing worker, became a full-fledged engineer before he was he worked on a farm two years; then worked in a water mill on Clear fifteen years of age. He then went to McDonald county, Missouri, where creek, hauling flour from the mill for one year, then came to Ash Grove, Greene county, about 1880, securing a position with the Likins Milling Company, and helped erect a plant there, of which, when it was finished, he was engaged as engineer, which position he filled until 1895, then came to Springfield and was employed by the Springfield Electric Light Company, later the Springfield Traction Company, as engineer, and three months later was appointed chief engineer, continuing in this position until 1913. The work became too heavy and he then took a position as repair man, and is now master mechanic at the Springfield Gas and Power Company, in whose service he has been employed for a period of twenty years. He has given eminent satisfaction in every respect, being not only an expert engineer and mechanic, but is faithful, reliable and trustworthy.
Mr. Brown was married on October 28, 1890, to Annie E. Sanford, of Walnut Grove, Missouri. She is a daughter of Robert C. and Mary (Holder) Sanford, To this union two children have been born, namely: Millard F., who was educated in the Springfield ward and high schools, is single, and he has been employed in the main office of the Frisco railroad for five years; Sanford, who was educated in the high school, Drury College and a local business college, is connected with the Heer Dry Goods Company, of Springfield.
Mr. Brown owns a pleasant home on North Main street. Politically, he is a Republican, and, religiously, a Presbyterian. He is a member of the National Association of Steam Engineers, of which he was formerly secretary. Fraternally, he belongs to the Modern Woodmen of America and the Independent Order of Odd Fellows.
Springfield-Greene County Library