Felix C. Brown, the proprietor of the Elmwood Hospital of Leavenworth, Kan., was born in Buchanan county, Mo., Aug., 13, 1843, a son of Gideon L. and Matilda (Patton) Brown. The father was a son of Felix Brown, of North Carolina, who descended from a long line of Scotch Presbyterian ancestors, who were prominent during the Colonial period, and fought in the Revolutionary war. When only a boy, Gideon came West with his father and located at Knoxville, Tenn., where he was reared to manhood. Felix's mother was a native of Tennessee. Her first American ancestors were refugees from the North of Ireland, who settled in South Carolina, and her parents, who were both born in South Carolina, immigrated to Tennessee at an early day. Gideon Brown removed from Tennessee in 1831, and became one of the pioneer planters of Jackson county, Missouri. Subsequently he removed to Platte and Buchanan counties. He was a man of shrewd business judgment, energy and enterprise and was considered one of the most successful planters in the locality. In 1854 he visited what is now Kansas, at that time still known as Nebraska Territory, and took up land about eight miles west of Leavenworth, but never removed to this state. In 1856 he sold the land and confined his activities to farming in Buchanan county, where he had many friends. He was actively interested in politics, but never aspired to hold office. He was a Democrat, a large slave holder, and sympathized with the pro-slavery party. He died in 1858, but was survived by his wife, who made her home in Wallace, Mo., until her death, in 1902.
Felix C. Brown was reared upon his father's farm, and at the age of nine years accompanied his father on a trip to the present State of Kansas, and remembers the stirring times of the border warfare. When only fourteen he accompanied an expedition to Salt Lake City, under charge of Col. Albert Sidney Johnston. The party spent the winter at Fort Bridger, and nearly starved to death for lack of provisions. Soon after this Mr. Brown began to freight from Leavenworth, for Russell, Majors & Waddell, who held a contract to supply food to the army at Forts Laramie, Bridger, Kearney, Bents and Union. At the outbreak of the Civil war he enlisted in the Confederate army, and was assigned to Colonel Gates' regiment. Within a short time he was transferred to the First Missouri light artillery, with which he served until the close of the war. He was at the battles of Prairie Grove, Fall of Little Rock and was wounded at a skirmish near Newtonia, Mo., and at Jenkins' Ferry, but neither time seriously. He took part in all the battles west of the Mississippi river, in which the department of the Mississippi participated, with the exception of the battles of Elk Horn and Helena. He was in the Red River campaign, serving as a gunner. The light artillery went into winter quarters and soon after surrendered at Shreveport, La. After the downfall of the Confederacy, in 1865, Mr. Brown returned to Missouri and took charge of the old homestead. After farming five years he came to Kansas, in 1872, and located in Atchison county, where he opened up a farm near the present town of Potter, but returned to Missouri in 1880. Three years later he came to Leavenworth to take charge of an asylum, known a "Maplewood." He remained at the head of the hospital for a year, after which he engaged in the livery and grocery business for four years. In 1888 he built a fine private sanatarium south of the city, of which he has since been the head. In 1898 he moved the location of his institution to the southwest part of the city, at the corner of Quincy and Madison streets, where he has a beautiful park of ten acres of land on a slight elevation. The hospital has ample accommodations for twenty patients, both men and women. The patients are treated by various physicians of the city, and are cared for by the well trained attendants. Since 1883 Mr. Brown has made a special study of all mental diseases, and he is assisted in this work by his son, and they have met with marked success in treating and caring for the insane. The hospital has every modern and sanitary equipment for the comfort of its patients and the convenience of the attending physicians. Mr. Brown is a stanch supporter of the Democratic party, and takes an active interest in public affairs. While living in Atchison county he served as trustee of Walnut township for two terms, and twice has been a candidate for alderman from the sixth ward of Leavenworth. Fraternally he is associated with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows.
Feb. 15, 1866, Mr. Brown married Jincy A. Blakely, a native of Platte county, Missouri. Her father was Felix Blakely, a descendant of an old South Carolinian family, who came to America long before the Revolution, and whose members took part in the stirring times just before the colonies separated from the Mother Country. Mr. Blakely was born in the eastern part of Tennessee, but immigrated to Missouri, where he opened up a prairie farm. He is ninety years of age, but is still hale and hearty, having recently returned from a trip to California, Seattle, and other points of interest on the Pacific coast. He makes his home with his daughter, Mrs. Brown, in Leavenworth. Eight children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Brown: Thomas J., who is sheriff of Leavenworth county; Cora M., the wife of Arthur Land; Maude, the wife of C. H. Masterson, of Leavenworth; Felix L., of Leavenworth; Gideon A., at home; Jesse, who lives at Weston, Mo.; Ernest, at home, and Kirby, who lives at Ohio, Neb.Pages 925-927 from volume III, part 2 of Kansas: a cyclopedia of state history, embracing events, institutions, industries, counties, cities, towns, prominent persons, etc. ... / with a supplementary volume devoted to selected personal history and reminiscence. Standard Pub. Co. Chicago : 1912. 3 v. in 4. : front., ill., ports.; 28 cm. Vols. I-II edited by Frank W. Blackmar. Transcribed December 2002 by Carolyn Ward. This volume is identified at the Kansas State Historical Society as microfilm LM195. It is a two-part volume 3.
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