BROWN BROTHERS occupy a most prominent position among the stock-raising farmers of the town of Smithfield, who constitute an important element in its business circles. The subjects of our sketch, Fred G. and John E. Brown, natives of Madison County, were born in Smithfield, one in the year
1840 and the other in 1843. Emerson Brown, Sr., their grandfather, who was born in Connecticut, in early life removed to New York, and, coming to Madison County, took up land in Smithfield, being among the original settlers of the place. He built a log house, improved a farm, and there spent the remainder of his life, dying at a venerable old age.
Emerson Brown, Jr., father of our subjects, was born on the old homestead in Smithfield, and reared to a farmer's life. He married Margaret Douglass, a native of Scotland, and subsequently bought a farm in Smithfield, which he made his permanent home. He carried on general farming in a successful manner until his death, at the age of fifty years. His good wife survived him several years, and died at the age of seventy-four, having reared a family of six children, all of whom are now living. She was a member in good standing of the Methodist Episcopal church. In politics Mr. Brown was a Republican, and for three terms served as Road Commissioner. Two sons took an active part in the late Civil War, Burton Brown having been a volunteer in Company D, One Hundred and Fourteenth New York Infantry, and James a member of the Light Artillery in a Wisconsin regiment.
Fred G. and John E. Brown were reared to manhood and educated in the town of Smithfield. Being young men of exceptional ability, energetic and ambitious, and desiring to become established in life, they, united their savings, and bought a tract of land, consisting of seventy acres, which they operated judiciously for some time. Disposing of that, they purchased the farm they now own and occupy, and where they carry on a most prosperous business. Their estate consists of two hundred and ten acres of arable land, which they utilize to good purpose, raising
hops, hay, and the cereals common to this section of the country on a part of it. Another part is devoted to grazing, stock-raising being an important industry with them. They make a specialty of raising horses of the Norman Percheron breed. In addition thereto, our subjects have an excellent dairy, composed of twenty-five head of Holstein cattle, which they find most profitable.
In the management of their farm the Messrs. Brown display excellent judgment and skill; and the premises are made very attractive, the substantial buildings being models of convenience, and the handsome residence giving indications of the good taste and ample means of the owners. Fred G.
Brown, the elder brother, is married, and has one child, Flora E., who was born in 1872, and is living at home. The brothers are both Republicans politically, and Fred has served as Collector two terms and as Constable two years. Religiously, he is a member of the Methodist Episcopal church.
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