Biographical and Historical Record of Ringgold and Decatur Counties, Iowa, (Lewis Publishing Company (1887)), pp. 581-82:
"WILLIAM A. BROWN, proprietor of the Brown House, Leon, Iowa, has been a resident of Decatur County since ten years of age.He was born in Huron County, Ohio, April 9, 1844, the seventh of eleven children of Hugh and Harriet (Burns) Brown.In 1854 Hugh Brown moved with his family to Decatur County, and settled in Garden Grove Township, and during many years of his prime was one of the wealthiest men of the county.He owned a fine farm of 500 acres, a large flouring mill and was quite extensively engaged in the mercantile trade at Garden Grove.Many a man has reason to remember him with gratitude for the assistance he has given, and many he has reason to remember for their ingratitude. His obliging disposition caused him to give his name as security for the fulfillment of obligations by others, and in the end he was obliged to meet the whole amount, and thus he became heavily involved and lost the greater part of his property, and now at the advanced age of seventy-six years, instead of living in affluence, owns only the small farm where he lives in High Point Township.William A. Brown volunteered in the defense of the Union, in August, 1862, and was assigned to Company L, Third Iowa Cavalry, and in January, 1864, re-enlisted as a veteran and served over three years, never being absent from duty.His first engagement was at Hartsville, Missouri, where his brother John was taken prisoner and he had two bullets shot through his coat.His regiment has a fine record for gallant service being in over forty engagements, and he at all times did a soldier's duty, never shirking, but manfully performing his part.After his discharge he returned to his father's home, and in November, 1866, married Kate L. Miller, who was born in Crawford County, Ohio, in 1847, a daughter of Isaac Miller, now of High Point Township.Mr. Brown has engaged in several lines of business with varied success, and January 1, 1886, purchased and took possession of his hotel property.His genial and hospitable manner, aided by his most estimable wife, is fast gaining him a good patronage from the traveling public.In 1883 he was elected sheriff of Decatur County, on the Fusion ticket, and in 1885 was a candidate for re-election, but, with the whole ticket, was defeated.In politics he is a Democrat, and one of the prominent men in the local councils of his party.He is a member of Grand River Lodge, No. 78, F. & A. M., Leon Post, No. 251, G. A. .R., and of the Knights of Pythias.He has two sons - William A., Jr., born in 1867, and Fred L., born in 1882."