Early and Recent History and Genealogical Records
of Many of the Representative Citizens
THOMAS TOLIVER BROWN. When Thomas T. Brown, one of Greene county's honored citizens of a past generation, passed away, there was added to the list of lamented dead whose earthly records closed like the "good and faithful servant" spoken of in Holy Writ, and as long as memory remains to those who knew him the influence of his noble life will remain as a source of encouragement and inspiration. "Our echoes roll from soul to soul and grow forever and forever," according to the poet Tennyson, and the good we do lives after us through all the ages, handed down from generation to generation. Who, then, can measure the results of a life work? Not to condemn, but to aid, Mr. Brown made the practice of his life, and many of his friends and acquaintances are better and happier for his having lived, for though the voice is stilled in death, the spirit of his work remains as the deep under-current of a mighty stream, noiseless but irresistible. His influence was as the delicate fragrance of a flower to those who had the pleasure of his friendship. His sympathies were broad and ennobling, and his life was beautiful in its purity and virtues.
Mr. Brown was born May 20, 1856, in Newton county, Missouri. He was a son of Smith W. and Mary (Goodman) Brown. The mother had been previously married to a. Mr. Brock. The father came from Tennessee to Missouri in 1856, and the mother of our subject also came from that state. Smith W. Brown.was a man of fairly good education. He studied law in his youth, was admitted to the bar, and practiced his profession in Greene county for several years. During the Civil war he enlisted in Company F, Eighth Missouri Volunteer Infantry and served three years in the Union army, taking part in several battles and a number of skirmishes. He was also recruiting officer for a time. After the war he returned to Greene county and took up masonry, also continued practicing law. He drew a pension from the government in later years, having been wounded in one of the battles of the war. He continued the practice of his profession until his death in 1910, but spent many years on the farm, and he was active in the affairs of the Masonic Order. Thomas T. Brown was one of two children by his father's first marriage, he having been the eldest. The other child, a girl, died in infancy, the mother dying about the same time. His father married a second time but did not live long with this wife separating when the subject of this sketch was two and one-half years of age. The elder Brown hired a family named Bailles in Bois D'Arc, this county, to take care of Thomas T., and the latter remained in that home three years then went to live with his grandfather, with whom he remained until he was about seven years of age, when Smith W. Brown married a third time, moved to Greene county after the war and here spent the rest of his life. Upon his last marriage he took our subject into his home and there he remained until he was fourteen years of age when he left home. In the meantime he had been attending school and obtained a meager education. When he was nineteen years of age he was married to Nancy Owens, September 16, 1875. She is a daughter of Richard and Nancy (Garoutte) Owens, natives of Tennessee and Indiana, respectively. To Mr. and Mrs. Owens eleven children were born, namely: James was a soldier in the Civil war and was killed in the battle of Pea Ridge, Arkansas; Isabelle married Andy Chaisteen, of Greene county, is deceased; Andrew J. lives in Oklahoma; Charlotte married Martin Marias and is now deceased; Richard W., deceased; Bernice is the wife of William Brakebill and they live in Greene ,county, Missouri; Mary married George Likens and they live in Greene county; Napoleon B. lives in Douglas county, Missouri; Nancy Elizabeth is the widow of the subject of this sketch; Sampson B., and Jeremiah both .live in Lawrence county, this state. All the above named children lived to be grown, and the youngest one living was fifty years old in April, 1914.
To the union of Thomas T. Brown and wife the following children were born: Effie is the wife of Robert Nelson and they live in Barry county, Missouri, and have ten children; May, deceased, was the wife of Ferd Jackson, and left five children; Dollie F. is deceased; Lulu, deceased; Sam R. lives in Pond Creek township, this county, and has four children; Katherine is the wife of Roy Browning and they live in Greene county and have five children; Richard, and Smith, both live in this county also; Martha W. is the wife of Chris Bielier and they live in Greene county, and have one child; Mary V. is the wife of Dal Davis of this county and have one child; the two youngest children were twins and died in infancy. Mrs. Nancy E. Brown has twenty-nine living grandchildren and one great grandchild, all of this generation, and all but one live in Greene county. Mrs. Brown owns an eighty-acre farm of rich bottom land, one of the desirable small farms of this part of the county. It is operated by her youngest son who has remained at home. He is married and has one child.
Thomas T. Brown devoted his active life principally to agricultural pursuits; however, he was for many years engaged in other occupations. Soon after his marriage he went into the drug business which he followed about two years, then sold out and started a nursery business on his farm, which he managed in connection with farming for six years. Later he took stock in the corporation known as Owen & Cahill, which manufactured fence building machines, and was connected with this concern for four years, then secured. employment with the L. E. Lines music house of Springfield, with which he remained for a period of seven years, or until his health failed, causing him to give up active business and retiring to his farm in Ponk Creek township, where he remained until his death about six years later, on September 4, 1909. He was very successful as a business -man and gave entire satisfaction to his employers. He was broad-minded, far-sighted and was a good mixer, and, dealing honestly with the business, world, always had the confidence of those with whom he came in contact.
Fraternally he was a member of the Modern Woodmen. Politically he was not a party man, voting for the man rather than the party. He was a man of upright character and loyal in his friendships, and his death was a loss to the community.
Springfield-Greene County Library