Alexander Brown, of Van Buren County. 1837-1910.
Alexander Brown was born near Carbondale, Pennsylvania, May 3, 1837, and died at Keosauqua, Iowa, August 10, 1910. Judge Brown was of Scotch descent, his father, Hugh Brown, and his mother, Mary Gibson, were both natives of Scotland and were married in that country. They were Presbyterians and emigrated to this country in 1820 or 1822, living two years at Albany, New York, then in Pennsylvania, and from there they came to the Territory of Iowa in 1842 and settled at Keosauqua, where the elder Brown in partnership with James Johnson erected and operated a flouring mill. He died in 1847, his widow surviving him thirty years, dying at the age of eighty in 1887.
His work as a law student was in the office of Judge George G. Wright in Keosauqua, Iowa, and he was admitted to the bar at Keosauqua, Iowa, in 1859 and commenced the practice of the law there at that time, spending the whole of his professional life in that city. He was Provost Marshal in the office of Robert Rutledge, Burlington, Iowa, two years; he served two years as County Judge of Van Buren County, and six years as County Auditor, at the close of which he returned to the practice.
In the fall of 1861 Alexander Brown and his brother enlisted in Company E, Fifteenth Iowa Infantry. The brother, Hugh, was made Second Lieutenant of the company and after about a year of service with the company, served on General Ord's staff for the remainder of the war, after which he joined the regular army, where he served many years, retiring with the rank of Major. Judge Brown was promoted March 1, 1862, from private to Sergeant Major of the regiment, which left Keokuk for the front on March 19, and arrived at Pittsburg Landing, Tennessee, April 6. On the first day of the sanguinary battle of Shiloh in which the regiment took part and came out with a casualty list of 213 killed, wounded and missing, Judge Brown was among the number of wounded. He recovered from his wound in time to reach his regiment and participate with it in the battle of Corinth, Mississippi, October 3, 1862, the regiment again losing heavily, and young Brown being again wounded so severely that it not only terminated his active service in the army, but became a severe drain upon his vitality through life. He was discharged upon surgeon's certificate of disability in February, 1863, and returned to Keosauqua. In the fall of 1867 he was elected Judge of Van Buren County and held this office until it was abolished by the legislature. He was elected to the State Senate in 1881. In 1894 he was elected County Attorney, serving two terms, and he was Mayor of Keosauqua continuously for a period of ten years till 1908, when on account of growing infirmities he declined to again run for the office. He was a member of the school board and also its president at the time of his decease. He was a member of the board of trustees of the Methodist Episcopal Church, a member of the Masonic fraternity, and of the Grand Army of the Republic.
SOURCE: Proceedings of the Iowa State Bar Association, Seventeenth Annual Session, Held at Oskaloosa, Iowa June 29 and 30, 1911, p. 24-5