Thomas Brown

Their Story

Estimated birth year:1837
Marital Status:Y
Real Estate Value:0
Value of Personal Estate:0
Family Number:52
House Number:52
Household Members:
 Richard Brown   43
 Ellen Brown   42
 Thomas Brown   23
 Mary J Brown   19
 Ellen Brown   17
 Richard Brown   11
 Henry Brown   8
 Charles Brown   3
 lilly M Brown   1

Nature endowed Colonel Tom Brown with an abundanceof good common sense. He was not an educated man, but he knew howto get things done; in other words, he was a natural-born executive. This quality of his life was reognized by the United States Government when they sent him to investigate and report upon the Knights of the Golden Circle. If found concrete expression when he acquired the right of way for the Chicago and north Western Railway Company into the city of Pierre, S.D. And it was amply reqarded when he rose to a directorship of the Rock Island lines. Big me een think in big terms. Colonel Brown was such a man. He saw life on a large scale. Thebigger the task the more courageously he undertook it. No obstacle could appall him. If a railway company sent him to buy landfor a right of way, he bought it! By his own modest confession in the pages of this volume, he never lost a purchase, regardless of difficulties; and someof the difficulties which he overcame in this lineof work would have completely appalled the average man. The real heart (humanity) of the man was most astounding. How Pathetically e describes herein the "Hero" of the penitentianry in Sioux Falls, and the little "Topsy" of the Children's Home. One can scarecely sit still on a chair and read his eloquent portrayal of "Topsy" of the Children's Home. One can scarecelysit still on a chair and read his eloquent portrayal of "Topsy", and "Pat" the ex-convict, an officer in the department of a big railway company during the Columbia Exposition; "Pat," the convict whom Colonel Brown quietly and sympathetically reformed. No "Sherlock Holmes" was ever invented by a Conan Doyle that even approached him! "Truth is stranger than fiction." To be sure! And Tom Brown told the truth about Pat. Read it! There is nothing else like it-either in history or in fiction. Marvelous man! His influence was always for the good. Tom Brown lived a clean life. He was not only a man's man, but a manly man. How touchingly he describes for us the young ladies who accompanied them on their hazardous trip to Confederate Gulch, Montana immediately after the close of the Civil War. How often through his life he tells us he refused strong drink. He does not argue temperance; he did a greater thing: he lived it! Little wonder Dame Nature extendd his span of life to the accustomed "three score years and ten," and then added fifteen years more on top of them. He lived from August 17th, 1837 to January 22, 1922-a period of eighty-five years. Although born in England, Colonel Tom Brown loved his adopted land-America. He came to this country at the tender age of eleven years, when his young life was as yet plastic and his ideals were as yet to be formed. When the Civil War broke out in 1861, he promptly enlisted in Co (I) Wisconsin Infantry, and offered himself a living sacrifice upon his adopted Country's alter. Noble deed! Noble Man! His enlistment expired in August, 1862, but he re-enlisted in July, 1863, and served with distinction to the colose of the war. He was with Sherman on his famous "March to the Sea". In 1867, he came back to Wisconsin from Montana; slipped on to the finger of Miss Mary Morse the wedding ring which he had made special for her in Montana; moved to Sioux Falls in 1872 and occupied the first frame house in the city. Four sons came to bless their home: Marshall R., Oscar A., Harry T., and Nye P., who died in infancy. Colonel Brown was a man with a vision. He had a vision when he went to Montana in search of gold. He had a vision when he brought his young bride to Sioux Falls and began to pioneer in the west. He had a vision when he bought Sam T. Clover's prinshop in Sioux Falls, converted it into a bindery and began making blak books for South Dakota. And his visions were always right! He was, in other words a shrewd, far-seeing man-extra-ordinary in perception and achievement.

Click here for more stories

Original census image