Pioneering Families
... with Roots in Madison County

Index to
   When the tocsin of war sounded men flocked to the nation's standard from the fields, the work shops, the counting rooms and the offices, the spirit of patriotism burning proudly within each breast, each soldier being ready to face danger and if necessary meet death in defense of the stars and stripes and the cause represented by Old Glory. Iowa has reason to be proud of her military record during its darkest hour in our country's history. Captain Charles Perry Brown was among the number who almost before the smoke from Fort Sumter's guns had cleared away offered their aid to the government and went to the front, and he proved a most brave and loyal soldier throughout the period of hostilities. Captain Brown is now living retired in Ottumwa, spending his days in well earned ease. He was for a number of years prominently identified with financial interests as president of the Ottumwa Savings Bank, which he organized in the fall of 1887.
   His birth occurred in Warren, Herkimer county, New York, on the 30th of October, 1840, his parents being the Rev. Charles Edward and Frances (Lyon) Brown. The father, who was born in Oneida county, New York, February 23, 1813, was a son of Rev. Phillip Perry Brown, whose birth occurred in Bennington, Vermont, September 17, 1790, and who died in Madison, New York, September 23, 1876. Rev. P. P. Brown was a Baptist minister, holding pastorates of various Baptist churches in central New York. His mother, Anna Perry Brown, was a member of the family of Oliver Hazard Perry of naval fame. Betsy Dickey, wife of Rev. P. P. Brown, was born in Weathersfield, Vermont, October 23, 1788, and died in Hamilton, New York, April 2, 1862. Her father was a Scotch-Irishman, who came from Londonderry in the north of Ireland to Londonderry, Nevi Hampshire, before the Revolutionary war. Rev. C. E. Brown, in telling the story of his life, said: "My parents moved from Augusta for Smithfield in Madison county, New York, and there I lived amidst the privations of pioneer life until my eighteenth birthday." In 1831 Rev. C. E. Brown started out in life for himself and began to work on a farm. At a revival meeting in 1832 he became a Christian and was baptized by his father, shortly afterward entering the Hamilton Literary and Theological Seminary. He then taught school until 1835 and did some ministerial work. On July, 15, 1838, he reentered the Hamilton Seminary and was ordained on the l0th of September. On the 26th of September, 1838, in the Baptist church at Little Falls, he was married to Frances Lyon, the Rev. H. Beach officiating. He then became pastor of a church at Norway, Herkimer county, New York, but in 1840 was assigned to missionary work in Iowa. On May 2, 1842, he and his family left Utica, New York, for the west. His story of the journey, the hardships and privations of pioneer traveling, is most interesting and covers many pages of a book written by his son, Captain Charles Perry Brown. He was appointed to Iowa by the American Baptist Home Mission Society. He made his first home at Maquoketa, Jackson county, and in the following fall removed to Davenport. After nine years of arduous and successful labor in his calling failing health obliged him to return to New York in May, 1851, where he spent six years in central and western counties, returning to Iowa in July, 1857, to make a home in Howard county. He was a man of excellent executive ability and sound judgment, was enterprising and progressive and possessed unusual strength of character--qualities which insure success in the commercial world. However, he preferred to devote his life to the betterment and uplift of humanity in the service of his Master. His demise occurred at Ottumwa, Iowa, on the 23d of July, 1901, while his wife was called to her final rest on the 12th of June, 1887. The latter, a noble Christian woman and a devoted, loving wife and mother, was a daughter of Dr. Benjamin Lyon, of Herkimer county, New York, whose wife, Mrs. Brown's mother, was Margaret Duncan, daughter of Richard Duncan, a prominent Scotchman who left his native land on account of political disturbances and settled near Schenectady, New York, at an early day.
   To Rev. Charles E. and Frances (Lyon) Brown were born five children. Benjamin P., a native of Norway, Herkimer county, New York, was drowned in the Maquoketa river, in Jackson county, Iowa, on the 20th of June, 1848. On the morning of that day he had read, with his parents and younger brother, the first chapter of Mark. The next in order of birth is Charles Perry of this review. James De Grush, born in Le Claire township, Scott county, Iowa, February 9, 1846, was connected with the freight department of the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad at Ottumwa and is now general agent of the New York Central lines at St. Joseph, Missouri. George Lyon Brown, born in Herkimer county, New York, July 29, 1853, died from injuries received while coupling cars at St. Paul Junction, Minnesota, September 1, 1871. William Carlos, twin brother of George L. Brown, was formerly general manager of the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad and in 1901 became vice president and general manager of the Lake Shore & Michigan Southern and Lake Erie & Western Railways. On January 1, 1909, he was made president of the New York Central lines and held the office until he retired in January, 1914.
   Charles Perry Brown acquired his education in the common schools of New York and Iowa and was a teacher in country district schools in northern Iowa during the winter terms of 1859, 1860 and 1861. He was the first volunteer from Howard county for the Civil war, enlisting about April 20, 1861, in the Decorah Guards, a Winneshiek county company, which was mustered into the service of the United States as Company D, Third Regiment Iowa Volunteer Infantry, at Keokuk, Iowa. The first, second and third regiments of Iowa infantry were organized at Keokuk about the same time, all being there together before any left for the field. At the organization of his company Mr. Brown was elected third corporal and in March, 1862, was promoted to be second sergeant. He was made first lieutenant of artillery in May, 1863, and in September, 1864, was appointed captain and assistant adjutant general of volunteers by President Lincoln, holding that position until discharged in December, 1865. He served continuously from April 20, 1861, until December 31, 1865, when he was honorably discharged by war department order, for the reason that his services were no longer required. He was on staff duty about three years as regimental and brigade quartermaster, aide-de-camp and assistant adjutant general, serving more than a year with Major General Stephen A. Hurlbut, who commanded the Fourth Division, Army of the Tennessee, at Pittsburg Landing, Shiloh and Corinth, and later the Sixteenth Army Corps and the Department of the Gulf. He participated in every battle and campaign in which his command was engaged.
   After leaving the army Captain Brown returned to his home in Vernon Springs; Howard county, Iowa, and was there married. On the 1st of March, 1871, he came to Ottumwa as clerk in the office of General John M. Hedrick, supervisor of United States internal revenue for a district comprising eight north, western states and territories. He was soon after appointed United States internal revenue agent on the recommendation of General Hedrick and served in that capacity until October, 1881, resigning on account of failing health. Some of the most prominent citizens of Ottumwa in speaking of Mr. Brown's work. in this office say that the service he rendered state and nation at this time cannot be overestimated. The Ottumwa National Bank was then being organized and Captain Brown was offered and accepted the position of cashier. In August, 1883, he left the bank to become auditor of the coal mining, railroad and supply companies owned and operated by J. C. Osgood. This work, proving too arduous, was given up in July, 1884, and for three years he was out of business. In the fall of 1887 he organized the Ottumwa Savings Bank and was its president until August, 1895, when the condition of his health obliged him to give up all business.
   On the 30th of August, 1866, at Vernon Springs, Howard county, Iowa, Captain Brown was united in marriage to Miss Adeline Phoebe Fall, daughter of Rev. George W. Fall of that county, the wedding ceremony being performed by the Rev. Charles E. Brown. Mrs. Adeline P. Brown is deceased, having passed away at Boulder, Colorado, on the 20th of April, 1903. By her marriage she had become the mother of five children. Frances Lyon, who was born at Cresco, Iowa, October 6, 1868, died at McGregor, this state, on the 31st of August, 1869, and was buried in the family lot of Rev. George W. Fall at Cresco. Benjamin Perry, whose birth occurred at McGregor, Iowa, December 11, 1869, acquired his education in the public schools of Ottumwa and after putting aside his textbooks entered the retail hardware store of the Harper & McIntire Company, then Harper, Chambers & Company, becoming connected with that establishment in May, 1886, in order to learn the business. In September, 1888, he began work in the Ottumwa Savings Bank, was made assistant cashier in 1891, and in August, 1895, was promoted to the position of cashier, in which capacity he is still serving, being widely known as a popular, capable and successful banker. On the 8th of May, 1895, he wedded Miss Laura Kendall of Ottumwa, the marriage ceremony being performed by the Rev. L. F. Berry. Charles Edwin, whose birth occurred at Ottumwa, Iowa, November 9, 1872, there passed away on the 14th of October, 1874. Edith Adeline, who was born at Ottumwa, August 3, 1875, died at the Glockner Sanitarium in Colorado Springs on the 6th of June, 1893. Louise Fall, born in Ottumwa on the 28th of January, 1881, attended the public schools of this city in the acquirement of an education. On the 2d of May, 1905, in Ottumwa, she gave her hand in marriage to Lester M. Linton, the ceremony being performed by the Rev. P. A. Johnson.
   Captain Brown has now passed the seventy-third milestone, on life's journey and enjoys the respect and confidence of all who know him. In the varied relations of life he has stood as a man among men, accepting no false standards, holding to high ideals and exemplifying his sympathy with the world's progress in his own life. 

Source: Anonymous. History of Wapello County, Iowa. Chicago: S.J. Clarke Pub. Co., 1914, Volume 2, pp. 600-604.



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