Pictorial and Genealogical Record
of Greene County, Missouri

Together with Bibliographies of Prominent Men of Other Portions of the State, Both Living and Dead

DR. WILLIAM McF. BROWN. There is generally a wide diversity of opinion among the people outside of, the medical profession in their estimate of the skill and ability of a particular physician. A family is likely to pin its faith to one practitioner and distrust all the rest. If there is a member of the profession in Greene County who has successfully fought down this prejudice, and now stands secure in the confidence and high esteem of the general public, that man is Dr. William McF. Brown, a man whose research in the fields of science has. produced such remarkable results as to leave no question of his knowledge of his profession. He was born in Springfield, Mo., in 1861, a son of Dr. Joseph Addison and Martha A. (McFarland) Brown, who were born in North Carolina in 1828, and Greene County, Mo., in 1836, respectively. The father came with his parents to Greene County, Mo., and was educated at Ebeneezer and Green Mountain, N. C. He afterward became a student of medicine and graduated from the McDonald Medical College of St. Louis, after which be entered upon the practice of his profession at Springfield, and there made his home for some years prior to the war. For quite a number of years he has resided near the National Cemetery, where he still practices among his old patrons and friends. He is one of the oldest and best known physicians of the county, and is a man whom to know is to respect. Although of southern birth and breeding, he remained neutral during the war, prescribing and caring for the Federal and Confederate soldiers alike, and this was the means of making him many enemies who did all in their power to make his life in that section unbearable, their persecution continuing for a number of years after hostilities had ceased. He was of an amiable and peaceful disposition, and this doubtless prevented him from receiving harsher treatment at the hands of his tormentors. He is a prominent Mason, and in social and professional circles he occupies a high position. His brothers and sisters were: Emeline, wife of William Jessup, of Jamestown, Ark.; Lydia (deceased) was the wife of Anderson Pendleton, of Christian County, and at her death left one child; Jane, wife of Eli Jessup, of Christian County; John D., of Lead Hill, Ark., was all through the Confederate Army with Gen. Price, and was once wounded; Dr.Eli B., a practitioner of Billings, Mo., was shot through the shoulder while serving in the Confederate Army; William T. was in the Federal Army about one year, at which time he was honorably discharged for disability caused by sunstroke, and Dr. G. P. S., a practicing physician and surgeon of Christian County, and a graduate of the St. Louis Surgeons. Their father, John D. Brown, was perhaps a native of Randolph County, N. C. ,and was of English descent. He removed to Arkansas at an early day and soon after to Greene County, Mo., locating on a tract of wild prairie land near Henderson, which he converted into a fine farm and on which he died in 1863 of smallpox. He was a man of much natural intelligence and tact, and by profession was a lawyer. He was in public life a great deal, both in North Carolina and Missouri, and was Probate Judge of Randolph County, N. C.; for some years, was school commissioner of Greene County, Mo., for several years, and politically was a Democrat and an active worker for his party and for the public good. He was quite wealthy at the opening of the Civil War, but lost considerably during that time. His widow, whose maiden name was Jane Bray, is still living, aged about ninety years. Hon. William McFarland, the maternal grandfather of the subject of this sketch, removed from Cooper County, Mo., to Greene County at an early day, and located at Big James Springs, on the Gulf Railroad, where he built a mill which he run for some years. He became a prominent farmer and stockman, in which be acquired considerable wealth, but died on the farm on which Dr. J. A. Brown now resides, in 1865. He was twice elected a member of the State legislature, defeating John D. Brown, the paternal grandfather of the subject of this sketch. Mr. McFarland was first a Whig, but later became a Republican. He was considered an eloquent and forcible public speaker, and in this capacity his services were often required during political campaigns. His wife, Patsey Roberts, died about 1884. Her father, John Roberts, came to this country at a very early day from Kentucky, and conducted a distillery at Big James Springs. He was a man of undoubted courage, was very fond of pioneer life and one time killed a bear with no other weapon than his dirk knife. His wife, Rebecca Langley, died at the advanced age of about ninety years. Dr. William McF. Brown is one of the following children: Alice, wife of Joseph Danforth, of Greene County; Dr. William McF.; Henry, who died in childhood; James (deceased); Jennie, wife of C. J. Edmondson, of Greene County; Martha; Joseph Edward, and David Keating. The Doctor was reared on his father's farm andr eceived his education in the public schools of Springfield and in the Morrisville Institute after which he read medicine with his father, and in 1882 attended the Missouri Medical College, from which he graduated in l885. He practiced in Springfield for about a year thereafter, then a short distance east of the city until 1890, since which time he has been located at Strafford, where be has built.up a large and lucrative practice. He is a member of the Greene County Medical Society, and makes it his aim, and object, to keep thoroughly posted in the progress made in his profession. He is painstaking and conscientious in his practice and deserves the high esteem in which he is held. December 18, 1891, he was married to Alta, daughter of Robert and Margaret Love, of Pike County and Greene County, Mo., respectively, the latter being fifty-one years of age. They are now living at Strafford and have been the parents of ten children. Mrs. Brown was born in this county, and she and the Doctor have two children.


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