James U. Brown, late a resident and prominent attorney of Hutchinson, Kan., was born in Bermuda, where his family was an old one of high social standing. As a youth his greatest desire was to obtain a good education. He therefore came over to the United States, and after a thorough preparation entered DePauw (the Asbury) University at Greencastle, Ind. Through his diligence he made great progress in his studies, was active in college work, a leader in his class and became a member of the Phi Delta Theta fraternity, but his health failed and he was advised to go west. Consequently he came to western Kansas just at a time when that section of the state was in its first development. He located in Greeley county, and, although a mere boy, was appointed the first county clerk when the county was organized under the proclamation of Gov. John A. Martin. Mr. Brown soon came to be recognized as a leader of men. He was twice elected to the state legislature; was admitted to the bar, and with his pleasing personality quickly built up a lucrative practice. It was in Greeley county that he met Miss Etta Harden, and on April 26, 1891, she became his wife. When the Spanish-American war came on in the spring of 1898 Mr. Brown enlisted in Company E, Twenty-first Kansas regiment, and was elected first lieutenant of his company. While the regiment was stationed at Chickamauga, Ga., that summer a severe attack of typhoid fever came near ending his life, but the careful nursing of his wife restored him to health, though the effects of the fever were never wholly eradicated from his system. He was a favorite in his company and regiment and was a help and strength to many of his comrades. At the close of the war, when the regiment returned to Hutchnson, Mr. Brown decided to make his home in that city, where he soon became one of the leading citizens in many ways. He was twice elected county attorney and in fact could have had any office within the gift of the people. In politics he was an unswerving Republican, but in his official conduct and personal friendships party lines were entirely ignored. As prosecuting attorney he took the view that it was nobler to save some poor fellow who had gone wrong than to send him to prison, and though his administration of the office was preëminently successful he always tried to redeem the men he prosecuted. He served as chairman of the Republican county central committee, where his qualifications as an organizer came into good play. He was a close friend of Congressman Madison, and at the latter's solicitation he accepted the chairmanship of the Congressional committee of the Seventh district. When it became necessary in 1910 to appoint a supervisor of the census for this district, Mr. Madison recommended Mr. Brown, who received the appointment, and in this position as in all others he faithfully discharged his duties. His private life was above reproach. Having been brought up in the Episcopal faith he was a member of that denomination, served as vestryman of the parish and as teacher of a class of boys in the Sunday school. He was also a strong supporter of the Young Men's Christian Association; was a firm believer in the golden rule and tried to live up to its teachings; and practiced his religion without ostentation or bigotry. A volume could be written of his charitable deeds, but it is sufficient to say that they live in the hearts of those whom he befriended and in the memories of those who knew him best. His death occurred at Hutchinson on April 30, 1911, and was sincerely mourned by a large circle of friends.Pages 1121-1122 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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