From the Portrait and Biographical Album of Jefferson and Van Buren Counties – 1890


JOHN L. BROWN

John L. Brown, a veteran of the late war and an early settler of Van Buren County, Iowa, now residing in Fairfield, Jefferson County, was born in the town of Yellowbud, Ross County Ohio, February 1, 1838, and is a son of G. Washington and Mary Long Brown. His father, the youngest of eleven children, was born in Huntingdon Pennsylvania, in the year 1811, and was of Scotch and German descent. He came to Iowa with his family in 1846, settled in Van Buren County, and is now a resident of Keosauqua. The mother was born in Highland County Ohio in 1809, and was descended from English ancestry.

Our subject was a lad of eight years when he accompanied his parent so to Iowa, reaching Keosauqua at Christmas time. The family settled on a farm in Vernon Township, Van Buren County Iowa, where he was reared to manhood, receiving his education in the public Schools. Responding to his country’s call for troops he enlisted for the late war on August 1, 1861, as a member of Company G. Third Iowa Cavalry, was promoted from Third Corporal to First Sergeant and in June 1864, was commissioned First Lieutenant in the Freedmen’s Bureau Service and assumed staff duty, serving until that department was closed out in 1866. Lieut. Brown took part in many important engagements, including the battles of Tupelo, Guntown, Selma, Columbia, Little Rock, Hartsville, Grierson’s raid, Moore’s Mill and in skirmishes too numerous to mention. He was in command of the provost guard at Memphis at the time of Forrest’s celebrated raid on that city. Toward the close of his service he received an injury in the left hip, which at first took the form of a tumor and at times caused him much pain, unfitting him for duty. After his return from the war his ailment increased and eventually resulted in an abscess, which affected first the left leg and then the right until their usefulness, as a means of locomotion, was virtually destroyed. Mr. Brown has now been a sufferer for nearly twenty-five years and from the rugged man of six feet, three inches in height, weighing two hundred and thirty pounds, he is reduced to one hundred and fifty six pounds in weight and is perceptively lessened in stature. However, not withstanding his physical
afflictions he is cheerful and makes the best of his misfortune.

On February 25, 1864, in Fairfield Mr. Brown was united in marriage with Miss Martha Bell, daughter of Asahel Brown, an early pioneer of Jefferson County. Mrs. Brown was born in Huntingdon Pennsylvania and came to Fairfield Iowa with her parents in July 1844. To Mr. and Mrs. Brown has been born one child, a daughter, Lulu Z., who is now the wife of George Colburn, of Des Moines. Mrs. Brown and her daughter are members of the Baptist Church. Mr. Brown is a Republican in politics and a member of George Strong Post. No.19, G.A.R. His father was also a soldier of the late war; joining the regiment known as the Iowa Graybeards, in 1863 and, after nine months service, was discharged on account of physical disability. Out subject, continued to reside in Van Buren County until 1871, when he removed to Fairfield, where he has since resided. He has made many warm friends throughout the community and is held in high esteem by all who know him.

I am not related and I am posting this biography for those who may find this person in their family history.