ABB J. BROWN, one of the early residents of Montague county who is currently engaged in stock farming, was born in Terrell county, Georgia, on the 2nd of May, 1850. His parents were Abb and Polly (Isom) Brown, likewise natives of Georgia, in which state they were reared and married. The maternal grandfather was a quarter Cherokee Indian, who followed agricultural pursuits, and was a respected resident of his community. Abb Brown, the father, was a son of Abb Brown, Sr., who was an early settler of South Carolina, where he devoted his attention to agricultural pursuits, becoming an influential resident of his home locality. He had no aspiration for public honors or office but preferred to devote his attention quietly to his agricultural pursuits and spent his entire life in South Carolina. He had two sons: Ezekiel, a farmer of Georgia; and Abb Brown Jr.
The latter was reared in South Carolina and when he attained to man’s estate went to Georgia, where he was employed as an overseer, occupying a good position of that character for many years. He was married five times in Georgia and was the father of twenty-two children born of four of the marriages. All lived to adult age. Following his first marriage he brought a plantation and was engaged in farming. He became a prominent agriculturalist and slave owner and was one of the substantial residents of his part of the state, gaining success as the years went by. In 1864 he sold his property in Georgia and bought property in Florida, where he remained until the time of his death, which occurred in 1877 when he had reached the ripe old age of eighty-four years. The war greatly diminished his estate and through the emancipation proclamation he lost twenty-one slaves. The earning of a lifetime were thus largely swept away. In politics he was a strong and influential Democrat and for a number of years while living Georgia he served as justice of the peace. He was a well educated man and always kept informed on the questions and issues of the day and he was likewise well read in the law. The mother of our subject survived her husband for a number of years, remaining at the old homestead in Florida until her death in 1887. She was a consistent and worthy Methodist and was a lady of many excellent traits of character. She became the mother of seven children: Abb J., of this review; Mrs. Jane Barrington; Mrs. Fannie Mosely; Ezekiel, who died in Florida; Joseph, who is living in that state; Lagrand, deceased; and Napoleon, who is living in Florida.
Abb J. Brown removed with his parents from Georgia to Florida when fourteen years of age and was there reared to manhood. In 1872, the year following his marriage, he came to Texas, locating in Montague county near where he yet resides. He began the experiment of farming, believing that it might be profitably conducted here and in his efforts he has won success. He located on this land and yet makes his home on the original property. He has made excellent improvements here, placing the fields under cultivation and now has a good farm, owning one hundred and fifteen acres of land which he purchased from the original owner and to which he has since added until he now owns seven hundred acres, of which three hundred and fifty acres is under cultivation. He has assisted some of his sons in starting farm work on their own account, but he keeps about one hundred acres to cultivate for himself. He formerly engaged in handling cattle quite extensively, but in more recent years has given his attention to general agricultural pursuits. Since he has made a start in this county he has never purchased but fifty bushels of corn. That was in the season of 1886, when his corn crop was short. With the exception of that year he has not only raised enough for his own use, but also some to sell, and most of the time has harvested very good crops of corn and other products. He has raised as high as twenty-nine bushels of wheat to the acre, one hundred and four bushels of oats and eighty-five bushels of corn. He is satisfied with his prospects of farming and to his agricultural pursuits devotes his entire time and attention. He is a stanch Democrat, but has never aspired to office, preferring to give his undivided energies to his business affairs.
Mr. Brown was married in 1871 to Miss Georgia Hill, who was born in Florida October 3, 1850, and is a daughter of James and Sarah (Caraway) Hill, both of whom were natives of South Carolina, but were married in Florida, where they took up their abode upon a farm. There all of their children were born. At tone time the father likewise engaged in merchandising, and at the time of the Civil war he entered the Confederate army, with which he continued to serve until the close of hostilities. While in the army he was detailed to the commissary department. When the war was over he returned until 1871. When he removed to Texas and for two years was a resident of Tarrant county. He then came to Montague county, where he engaged in farming, and for some years he followed that pursuit, but is now living retired at Belcher. His wife, however, died in May, 1895. At the age of seventy-six years he is enjoying the fruits of his former toil in a well earned rest. His political allegiance is given to the Democracy. In his family were seven children: Mrs. Georgia Brown; Clayton, who is engaged in the hardware business in Montague; Rosa, the wife of John Brown; Eliza, the wife of George Stafford; Belle, the wife of T. Willis; Adda, who married L. Risten, and Daniel R., living in Oklahoma.
To Mr. and Mrs. Brown have been born seven children: Robert L. and William G., who follow farming; Alice A., the wife of J. Griffith; Frank M., a bookkeeper; Rosa, Fannie B. and Laura E., all at home. The mother is a member of the Methodist church. The family have a wide and favorable acquaintance in this part of the state and enjoy the hospitality of its best homes.
Source: B. B. Paddock, History and Biography of North and West Texas (Chicago: Lewis Publishing Co., 1906), Vol. II, pp. 112-113.