Brown, William H.

Born: 1798-XX-XX Connecticut

Died: 1867-06-17 Amsterdam, Netherlands

Flourished: Chicago, Illinois

Brown was admitted to the bar in New York, where he began the practice of law. In 1818, Brown came to Illinois with a group of men which included Samuel D. Lockwood and settled in Kaskaskia, the state capital. Brown received an appointment in 1819 to the position of clerk for the United States District Court for the District of Illinois and held that position for sixteen years. The federal court was required to maintain an office at the state's capital so Brown moved to Vandalia, Illinois, in 1820 when it became the new state capital. He was the editor and owner of a local newspaper and was part of a group of people in Illinois who successfully worked to prevent Illinois from becoming a slave state. In 1835, he was appointed cashier of the State Bank of Illinois and moved to Chicago to undertake his duties. When the Chicago branch of the bank went out of business in 1837, Brown remained in Chicago and returned to the practice of law, partnering for many years with Alfred Cowles. In 1850, he was living in Chicago's Seventh Ward and owned real estate valued at $50,000. He was one of a group of men who purchased the charter for the Galena and Chicago Union Railroad and later served as its president. By 1860, he had moved to Ward One and owned a personal estate of $10,000. He died during a tour of Europe.

John M. Palmer, ed., The Bench and Bar of Illinois: Historical and Reminiscent (Chicago: Lewis, 1899), 2:621-25; U.S. Census Office, Seventh Census of the United States (1850), Ward 7, Chicago, Cook County, IL, 367; U.S. Census Office, Eighth Census of the United States (1860), Ward 1, Chicago, Cook County, IL, 63.