One of the best known citizens of Cottonwood county is the editor of the historical portion of this work, John
A. Brown, of Windom, who is rendering efficient service as county commissioner and who has in many ways contributed
to the welfare and advancement of his county. Mr. Brown was born in Symington, Ayrshire, Scotland, on August 8,
1841, and is the son of John and Elizabeth Brown. To these parents were born, besides the subject of this sketch,
three other sons, namely: S. W. of West Salem, Wisconsin; J. S., of Eugene, Oregon, and W. L., of Linton, North
Dakota. After securing some schooling in his native land, John A. Brown, in June, 1856, came to the United States,
locating first at West Salem, Wisconsin, where he remained until 1878. He then came to Windom, Minnesota, where,
until 1890, he engaged in agricultural pursuits. In November, 1890, Mr. Brown moved into the village of Windom,
where he has since resided. In former years Mr. Brown was active and successful as a farmer, but has now relinquished
the heavier labor of the farm and confines his active work to lighter gardening. He is financially interested in
several local enterprises, being a stockholder in the Farmers Co-operative Elevator Company, at Windom, and the
State Bank of Storden.
Politically, Mr. Brown is a Republican and has taken an active part in public affairs. In 1890 he was elected auditor
of Cottonwood county, serving two years; was deputy county auditor from 1893 to 1900, when he was again elected
county auditor and, by successive re-elections, served as such until 1910. In 1912 he was elected a member of the
board of county commissioners, his term as such expiring the present year (1916), thus making practically twenty
four years of almost continuous service in the public offices of his county. This record is not only remarkable
because of the years of service, but is a marked testimonial to the personal popularity of Mr. Brown, as well as
to his efficiency and faithfulness as a public servant.
Fraternally, Mr. Brown is a member of Prudence Lodge No. 97, Ancient Free and Accepted Masons, and LaGrange Post
No. 79, Grand Army of the Republic, of which he is adjutant. Mr. Brown's membership in the last named order suggests
an important epoch in his career. At the outbreak of the War of the Rebellion he enlisted, at LaCrosse, Wisconsin,
in Company B, Second Regiment, Wisconsin Volunteer Cavalry, of which he was appointed corporal, and then, quartermaster
sergeant. The regiment served in Missouri, Arkansas, Tennessee and Mississippi and was engaged in numberless raids
and expeditions, and participated in the successful siege of Vicksburg, serving under Generals Grant and Sherman.
After the conclusion of the Civil War, the Second Cavalry, with other cavalry regiments, under the command of General
Custer. marched overland from Alexandria, Louisiana, to Austin, Texas, there being signs of trouble with MExico.
They remained in Texas until November 15, 1865, when they were honorably discharged, and on December TO, 1865,
were paid off and mustered out at Madison, Wisconsin.
In his religious views Mr. Brown is a Presbyterian, but is affiliated with the Baptist church at Windom.
Mr. Brown was married, on October 22, 1880, at Windom, Minnesota, to Edith C. Allen, who was born near Lansing,
Iowa, in October, 1857. To this union have been born the following children: S. Allen Brown, born August 19, 1881,
is now auditor of Cottonwood county; E. Robert Brown, born March 22, 1883, is engaged in the banking business at
Minneapolis; Lucy E. Brown, born December 26, 1885, is at home.
History of Cottonwood and Watonwan Counties
Their People, Industries and Institutions
John A. Brown, Editor in Chief
B. F. Bowen and Company, Inc.
Cottonwood and Watonwan Counties, MN Biographies
Also see Railway Officials in America 1906