Hon. Michael Brown, of Big Rapids, has been connected with the judiciary
of Mecosta County since the year 1868, and has a long and honorable
record in the municipal history of Big Rapids, and as attorney for the
business concerns of whose legal interests he is guardian and manager.
His parents, Ira and Sophia (Blew) Brown, were of Dutch extraction. He
was born in Indian Creek Tp., Pulaski Co., Ind., April 20, 1841. He was
reared on a farm, and attended winter terms of school until 16 years of
age, when he was sent to the college at Franklin, Ind., and subsequently
to that at Crawfordsville, Ind. (The latter institution, in 1876,
conferred upon him the degree of Master of Arts.)
One month after he attained his majority he enlisted at Indianapolis in
Co. B., 2nd Ind. Cav., Capt., John B. Edwards. He was in the Union
service three years, and was under fire at Stone River, Chickamauga,
Mission Ridge, Siege of Knoxville, Mossy Creek, Dandridge, and May 9,
1874, was taken prisoner at Dalton, Ga., and confined at Andersonville
in the stockade prison, whose unmitigated atrocities he suffered five
months. He weighed 90 pounds when transferred to the prison-pens of
Florcence, where (and at Charleston) he spent four more dreary months
under rebel surveillance. He was mustered out at the expiration of his
term of enlistment at Nashville, Tenn.
In 1866 he came to Michigan, and in October entered the Law Department
of the University at Ann Arbor, where he was graduated in March, 1868.
He settled at Big Rapids in September of the same year and commenced
practice as an attorney, establishing his desk in the office of John F.
Brown & Co., lumber dealers. In t he spring of 1869 he was elected
County Superintendent of Schools, serving one term. In 1873 he was
elected Mayor of the City of Big Rapids, holding his incumbency one
year. The Common Council of the city appointed him to revise the
municipal charter, which he did in 1875, and on the submission of the
instrument to the State Legislature it was passed without change.
The Hon. A. H. Giddings, Judge of the Fourteenth Judicial Circuit, died
Dec. 10, 1876, and ten days later, Gov. Bagley appointed Mr. Brown to
fill the remainder of the term. At the regular fall election of 1878
Judge Brown was elected to the same office without dissent. He resigned
the post Jan. 3, 1881, and is now attorney for the B. R. Boom Company,
and has been the local legal adviser of the G. R. & I. Railroad Company
since the completion of their road.
Judge Brown was married Aug. 3, 1870, to Mary A., daughter of Levi J.
and Mary (Lyman) Osbourn. She was born in Speedsville, Tompkins Co., N.
Y. in 1852. Of five children born to them, Maud S. and Herbert I. are
deceased; the remainder are Carrie, Lillian H. and an unnamed Infant.
Judge Brown is a member of the order of Masonry and Knights Templar. He
owns his residence and four city lots therewith, besides several lots in
other quarters of the city. We give his portrait in this Album.