W. S. Brown was born in Preble county, Ohio, September 16, 1824. His parents, Solomon and Lydia Brown, were both natives of New York, and when the subject of this sketch was but an infant they moved to Henry county, Indiana, where he was reared upon a farm and educated in the common schools. In the spring of 1847 he came to Missouri and settled in Harrison county on the 7th of May of the same year. He was appointed and served as the first postmaster at Bethany. While living in Bethany he engaged in mercantile business. In 1848 he came to this county and moved his stock of goods to Cravensville, but in 1851 abandoned the mercantile business and began the practice of medicine, which profession he had been studying for several years, and has made that his principal business since, together with farming. In 1858 he went to Texas, and after a stay there of eighteen months returned to this “county.
He was elected justice of the peace in 1860. October 1, 1861, he enlisted in the six month service and was a lieutenant of the company commanded by Captain Bromfield.
At the expiration of his time he again enlisted, this time in Company Thirty-third Regiment Enrolled State Militia, and was elected first lieutenant, and soon after was recommended and commissioned by the governor as colonel of the regiment, September 15, 1862, and was with the regiment when in service until the close of the war. In 1866 he was again elected justice of the peace, which place he filled four years, and has since held a number of other responsible positions in the county.
Dr. Brown was united in marriage, August 13, 1846, to Miss Phila A. Hammond, who was born November 3, 1826, and died December 12, 1862. They became parents of the following named children: Melissa A., born December 7, 1848 died; Lydia E., born January 1, 1851- died; Melinda J., born March 26, 1853 -died; Alva C., born September 8, 1855; Mary F., born July 3, 1858-died; Malvina T., born June 24, 1860; Phila A., born December 9, 1862. April 16, 1863, Dr. Brown married Miss Sarah Scott, who was born December 6, 1823. They had one child, John M., born June 24, 1864, who died.