Phillip Brown

PHILLIP BROWN. Like many other men of Eastern Kansas who are now possessed of independent means and hold well-established positions in their various communities, Phillip Brown was in modest circumstances when he first came to this state. At that time, in 1879, he had been in the United States for nine years, but had not made any appreciable advancement, owing to the fact that his operations had been conducted in a community where it was necessary that a man be possessed of large capital in order to compete with his fellows. In Kansas, however, he found a field in which his energy, ability and ambition could be readily converted into cash, and has never regretted his decision in casting his fortunes with those of the Sunflower State.

Mr. Brown was born in the Rhine country of Bavaria, Germany, in 1850, a son of Jacob Brown and a grandson of a Bavarian soldier who fought in the army of the great Napoleon. Jacob Brown was born in Bavaria, was a man of ordinary education, and in his native land followed the life of a laborer. On coming to the United States, in 1873, he secured employment at the Bona Print Works, Wappinger's Falls, Dutchess County, New York, at which place he died in 1884. He was a Christian man and faithful member of the German Lutheran Church, and when he died was the first person buried from the new church at Wappinger's Falls, and the first whose funeral services were held in the new church. Mrs. Brown survived him ten years and was also buried there. Their children were four in number, of whom two died in infancy; Apollonius is now Mrs. Popp and resides at Auburn, New York; and Phillip is a resident of Shawnee County.

Phillip Brown attended school in his native community until reaching the age of thirteen years, at which time he left home and went to the City of Munich, in order to learn the trade of locksmith. This he mastered and followed for seven years, at the end of which time, in 1870, he emigrated to the United States, in search of an opportunity to better his condition, as all he could see in the future in his own country was a life of hard work with but very little opportunity of accumulating a satisfying property. When he arrived in this country, Mr. Brown did not readily secure remunerative employment at his trade, and so turned his attention to farming, a vocation which he followed for about nine years. During this time he had managed to accumulate savings in the neighborhood of $200, and was far from satisfied with his condition. In the year 1879, while walking on the streets of Wappinger's Falls, New York, he met a friend whom he had known some years before, Ed Worsley, who was newly-arrived on a New York visit from Maple Hill, Kansas. Mr. Worrley waxed enthusiastic over the opportunities offered young and ambitious men in Kansas, and strongly advised Mr. Brown to take a chance with his earnings in the West. Within three days the latter was ready and in due time arrived in the state which he has since made his home. After one year in the vicinity of Maple Hill, he moved to Dover Township, Shawnee County, where his farms are now located, being about five miles northeast of Dover. His start, owing to his small finances, was naturally a moderate one, but with the passing of the years, he has by perseverance and industry accumulated two eighty-acre farms, finely improved and with substantial buildings and up-to-date implements and machinery. During the past twelve years he has held four public sales of stock, from which he has realized more than $6,000, is the owner of a modern home at Seabrook, and in every way is accounted a substantial citizen. He assisted in the organization of the first Sunday school in the neighborhood, and it was there that he learned to read in English. Fraternally, he is affiliated with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, having first joined Lafayette Lodge No. 18, of Wappinger's Falls, New York, and demitted to Dover Lodge No. 490, of Dover, Kansas.

Mr. Brown was married to Miss Annie Younghans, and they have had nine children: William R.; Edward; Charles Jacob, who is conducting the old home farm at Dover; Frederick; Walter A., who is a resident of Topeka; Minnie Dora, who is now Mrs. Fry and resides at Council Grove, Morris County, Kansas; George W., a resident of Topeka; Ernest, who is engaged in farming in Auburn Township, Shawnee County; and James.


A Standard History of Kansas and Kansans, written and compiled by William E. Connelley, Secretary of the Kansas State Historical Society, Topeka. Chicago: Lewis Publishing Company, copyright 1918; transcribed 1997.
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