Insert is the approach to house.
HOME OF HON. B. F. BROWN, WASHINGTON CO. IA. pg. 261
HON. B.F. BROWN resides upon section 26, Cedar Township. He is a native of Knox County, Ohio, born May 3, 1833, and is a son of Joseph and Rachel (Hood) Brown, the former a native of Brooks County, W. Va., and the latter of Baltimore County, Md. When twelve years of age, the family moved to Brooks County, W. Va., where our subject grew to manhood, received the rudiments of an English education in the common schools, and entered Bethany College, which was founded by Alexander Campbell, of the Christian Church, and of which
Mr. Campbell was then President. Mr. Brown continued in this college three years, taking the scientific course, and graduating therefrom in 1857. After graduating he returned to his father's farm, where he remained until 1858, and then came to Washington County, Iowa. Here he engaged in teaching school, and remained fourteen months.
During this time Mr. Brown formed the acquaintance of Miss Sarah Kinkade, a native of Union County, Ohio, and daughter of Eleazer Kinkade, a native of Brooks County, W. Va. They were married on the 21st of August, 1860, by Rev. William Vanatta, of the United Presbyterian Church. by this union there are two children, a son and a daughter. Charles R. was born in Brooks County, W. VA., Oct. 1, 1862. After attending the district schools of his neighborhood, he entered the academy at Washington, Iowa, from which institution he graduated in 1880. The following year he entered the State University at Iowa City, from which he graduated in 1883. He then read law one year in Davenport, with Davison & Lane, of that city, and then went to Des Moines, where he worked as a stenographer in the Hawkeye insurance office. Having been converted, and believing that he was called upon to preach the Word, he entered the Theological Seminary of the Methodist Episcopal Church, at Boston, Mass., where he is still a student, spending his vacations as a minister in charge of a congregation at Plympton, seven miles from Plymouth Rock. He is a young man of excellent promise, and intends taking a thorough theological course. Ella M. born June 25, 1871, resides at home.
Immediately after his marriage, Mr. Brown, with his young bride, went back to West Virginia, where he remained, engaged in farming till 1873, when he again returned to Washington County, Iowa, and located in Jackson Township, where he bought 180 acres of land, and there lived three years, when he sold the same and bought 200 acres of land on section 26, Cedar Township, where he now resides, having one of the finest and best improved farms in the county. His dwelling-house and barn were erected at a cost of over $4,000. In the fall of 1879, Mr. Brown was elected a member of the Fifteenth General Assembly of Iowa, and served one term with credit to himself and to his constituents. He was elected on the anti-monopoly ticket.
In addition to general farming, Mr. Brown is engaged somewhat extensively in stock-raising. He is a practical farmer and in that work has been quite successful. As already stated, his farm is one of the best in Washington County, the improvements all being of the better class. A full-page lithographic view of the place is shown on an accompanying page. Mr. Brown is a thorough business man, and was one of the organizers of the Washington County Savings Bank, and has been one of its Directors since its organization. He is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, of which body his wife is also a member. In the work of the Church both take special interest, and do all in their power to advance the cause. Politically, Mr. Brown is a Republican. He is a man well informed on all subjects of general interest, and is able to express himself in a forcible manner. As a citizen, no man stands higher in the estimation of the people.
Joseph Brown, the father of our subject, also came to Washington County, Iowa, in 1873, and settled in Marion Township, where he lived till his death, in 1882. He was a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and had been for over fifty years. Few men were more highly respected or had the confidence of the people in a greater degree. Shortly after coming to the county, he was elected a member of the Board of Supervisors as a representative of Marion Township, and served two years.
COL. WILLIAM B. BELL, of Washington, IOwa is one of the best known citizens of the county. He is a native of Muskingum County, Ohio, born in 1832. His father, William Bell, was a native of Pennsylvania, and in an early emigrated to Muskingum County, Ohio, where he was one of the pioneers, and where he improved a farm in the heavy timber. He there married Mary Culbertson, a native of Edinburgh, Scotland, who came with her parents to this country when quite young, the family settling in Richland County,
Ohio. After their marriage, Mr. and Mrs. Bell settled in Muskingum County, Ohio, where eighteen children were born to them, eight sons and ten daughters. Eleven of this number are now living. Both parents died in Ohio many years ago. They were members of the Associate Presbyterian Church, and in the community where they resided were well and favorably known, being honest and upright in all their dealings.
The subject of this sketch was reared upon a farm, and there remained until he was seventeen years old, when he was apprenticed to learn the trade of a blacksmith, serving three years, and receiving $36 per year, together with his washing and mending, in addition to which he was allowed two weeks each season to work in the harvest field. On completing his three years' service as an apprentice, he visited various parts of the State in search of a location, but returned to his old home and continued working at his trade until the fall of 1854, when he came to Iowa, landing at Muscatine on the 23d of November. In the spring of 1855 he commenced business for himself in that city, and was principally engaged in repairing the coaches of the Western Stage Company. This was quite a profitable venture. In September, 1856, he came to Washington, Iowa, and embarked in business on the West Side, forming a partnership with Mr. Childs, under the firm name of Childs & Bell. the business was that of wagon and carriage manufacturing, together with general blacksmithing. In the spring of 1861, the partnership was disolved, Mr. Bell then erecting a portion of the Bell Carriage Factory.
The war for the Union was now in progress, men were needed for service in the field, and in response to the call of President Lincoln for 300,000 men, Mr. Bell enlisted, and was unanimously chosen Captain of Co. C, 8th Iowa Vol. Inf., a company composed of citizens of Washington County. Previous to this he had been commissioned Captain of another company, but declined to serve. On the organization of the 8th Infantry he was offered a Lieutenant Colonelship, but declined the commission, preferring to remain with his company, which had shown its regard for him by electing him unanimously as Captain. The regiment rendezvoused at Camp McClellan, Davenport, from which place in September, 1861, it was sent to Benton Barracks, and there equipped for the field. It was then sent to Jefferson City and placed under command of Col. Steele, where a force was being organized under Gen. Fremont to march against Price. In the campaign which followed, the 8th Regiment actively participated. After chasing Price through Missouri and into Arkansas, it returned and went into winter quarters at Sedalia.
In March, 1862, the regiment was sent to Pittsburg Landing, and in the battle of Shiloh, which occurred a few days after, took an active part, being in the center of what was known as the "Hornet's Nest," where 248 men were killed and wounded. Capt. Bell was taken prisoner, together with his whole company, as were also 3,500 others, including Gen. Prentiss. The day after their capture they were sent to Memphis, and thence to Mobile. It was next moved to Selma, and from there to Talladega, where they were kept two weeks, and then returned to Selma, remaining two and a half months. From Selma they were sent to Montgomery and placed in a rail pen, and from there to Atlanta, where they were quartered in the court-house for two weeks; from there they were sent to Madison, Ga., and quartered in an old cotton factory for three months, then removed to Columbia, S. C., and kept temporarily in jail, from which place they were sent to Libby Prison. After being in Libby about two weeks, they were paroled and formally exchanged at Aikin's Landing, from which place they were sent to Washington, D.C., where Capt. Bell and others received a leave of absence for thirty days, during which time he visited his family at home. In the fall of 1862 the regiment was sent to Missouri in the neighborhood of Rolla, and from there returned to Benton Barracks, where, in December, it was re-organized. The following spring it joined Grant's forces at Vicksburg, thence crossed the Mississippi, taking an active part in the first assault on Jackson, and then returning, went into rifle-pits in the rear of Vicksburg for thirty days, and in the assault of May 21 lost heavily.
After the capture of Vicksburg, on the 4th of July, 1883, the regiment took part in the second
battle of Jackson, from which place it went to Brandon, Miss., where it was engaged in a sharp fight. At Black River the regiment went into camp, and there, July 28, 1863, Capt. Bell was mustered in as Lieutenant Colonel of the regiment. From this time on till the close of the war he had command of the regiment. During the fall of 1863, it was on a raid through Mississippi, and in the winter following veteranized. Those re-enlisting returned home on a veteran furlough. Returning at the expiration of his furlough, Col. Bell rejoined his regiment at Memphis, Tenn., in April, 1864. While there, Forest made a raid upon the city, and was driven back by the 8th Infantry, assisted by others. The citizens of Memphis for this raised Col. Bell $1,000 to pay for a horse, and $25 for shoulder straps, and also presented the regiment with a flag, which is now in the archives of the State.
From Memphis the regiment was sent to New Orleans, thence to Mobile, and from March 27 to April 8, 1865, was several times engaged in the assaults on Spanish Fort, and for its bravery and pluck in the final assault, the regiment was permitted to inscribe the banner "First at Spanish Fort." The regiment made the final charge and were the only ones that engaged the enemy inside the fort. After the capture of Spanish Fort and Ft. Blakesly, the regiment was sent to Montgomery, Ala., where Col. Bell was assigned to provost guard duty, where he remained until June 24, 1865, when he was mustered out of the service. Returning to his home in Washington, Col. Bell fell sick, and for three months was unable to do any business. He then returned to his old business and built up a splendid trade in wagon and carriage manufacture. In this business he continued until 1882, and met with good success. In 1878 he was appointed Postmaster at Washington, by President Hayes, from which position he was retired by President Cleveland in 1886.
Col. Bell was married in Muskingum County, Ohio, Oct. 25, 1855, to Miss Nira C. McDonald, a daughter of William McDonald. By this union there were born four children: Emma B. married William A. Wilson, and died March 11, 1882; George W. is now residing in Kansas City, and Harry and Cora are at home. For several years, and until the summer of 1887, Harry was Deputy Postmaster at Washington. Col. and Mrs. Bell are members of the United Presbyterian Church at Washington.
In every position where he has been placed Col. Bell has served in an honorable manner; whether in the shop as the employer of men, in the field as commander of the volunteer soldiers of the war, or as an official, he has served in a creditable manner, and in every position has made true and life-long friends. The cause of all this is because he has been true to others. For almost a third of a century he has been a citizen of Washington. In all that time he has been brought in contact with the people, and to-day has probably as few enemies and as many friends as any citizen of Washington County.