NORTHWESTERN IOWA ITS HISTORY AND TRADITION VOLUME III 1804-1926
A. R. Brown
The progress of any section of the country depends upon the individual success of its citizens, and through the capable conduct of a modern business enterprise A. Ray Brown has contributed his share toward the commercial development of Sioux City. He was born April 28, 1879, at Deep River, Iowa, and his father, Thomas J. Brown, was a Virginian. The latter resided in the Old Dominion until he was about eighteen years of age and then came to Iowa with his parents. He engaged in farming near Iowa City and Deep River and later purchased land in the vicinity of Jefferson, this state. He resided on that place for several years and then went to Nebraska, acquiring a farm near Butte. At the end of two years he sold the property and in 1894 returned to Iowa, purchasing land in Woodbury county which he operated during the remainder of his life. He passed away May 28, 1899, and his widow, Etta (Gilliland) Brown, now resides in Morningside. She was born in Iowa City in 1844. A. Ray Brown received his education in rural schools near Jefferson, Iowa, and Butte, Nebraska, and also attended the public schools of Sioux City for a year. He remained at home until he was of age and then obtained a position with the Bekins Van & Storage Company, with which he spent twelve years, becoming thoroughly acquainted with the business. He next became a locomotive fireman for the Chicago & Northwestern Railroad and acted in that capacity for about seven years. In 1917 he started in business for himself at Sioux City, securing a good location at 514 Eighth street, and organized the Brown Van & Storage Company, of which he has since been the executive head. He has formulated many well devised plans for the development of the undertaking and has ever been guided by the principle that true commercialism rests upon the foundation of integrity. As a natural result his business has expanded rapidly and he now operates five trucks. He has seven employes and his warehouse has a capacity of twenty-two thousand square feet. He keeps thoroughly abreast of the times, changing old methods to suit new conditions, and has established a well merited reputation for conducting his business in a prompt and efficient manner.
In November, 1924, Mr. Brown was united in marriage to Miss Ella Van Sickle, a daughter of Ora and May Van Sickle, who are now living in the vicinity of Minneapolis, Minnesota. Mr. Brown is connected with the Independent Order of the Odd Fellows and the Order of Locomotive Firemen & Engineers. He is nonpartisan in his political views, regarding the qualifications of a candidate as a matter of first importance, and his life is governed by the teachings of the Presbyterian church.