Cleveland county is proud to number among her representative citizens George Brown, a well known attorney and statesman with residence in Rison. His birth occurred on the 3rd of December, 1874, a son of John W. and Josephine (Case) Brown.
The paternal grandfather, Abner Brown, enlisted for service in the Civil War from Tennessee and shortly after the close of that conflict removed with his family to Arkansas. Here John W. Brown was reared to young manhood and commenced farming. He has since followed agricultural pursuits, achieving more than gratifying success, and he is now living in the northern part of Cleveland county, on a highly improved farm. He is sixty-eight years of age.
In Tennessee in 1872, was celebrated the marriage of Mr. Brown to Miss Josephine Case, who is likewise in her sixty-eighth year. She is of Irish descent, members of her family having come from Ireland to America in 1850, location in West Tennessee. There Mrs. Brown was born. To the union of Mr. and Mrs. Brown three boys and six girls were born, all but one girl living. George Brown, whose name initiates this review, is one of twins, they being the first born.
In the acquirement of an education George Brown attended the public schools of Cleveland county and as a boy of fourteen years he started out in life on his own account as a farm hand. He likewise worked as a laborer in various sawmills in Mississippi, Tennessee, Louisiana, Texas and Oklahoma and at the age of twenty-five years started to study for the ministry. For three years he held pastorates in the rural districts of Cleveland county but in 1902 returned to his work in the sawmills, also securing work on various farms throughout the state.
During his spare time Mr. Brown studied law, Judge Woodson Mosley, further mention of whom is made elsewhere in this work, being his preceptor. In 1907 he was admitted to practice in the circuit court of Cleveland county and he remained a constant student of his chosen profession, attending many lectures in the law department of the State University at Fayetteville. He never received his LL.B. degree, but in 1917 was admitted to practice in the supreme court. He now practices in all state and county courts and has an extensive and lucrative general clientage. He also does corporation work and is local attorney for the Lane & Bowler Company of Stuttgart, attorney for the Boke Oil & Gas Company of Rison and looks after the legal affairs of I.E. Moore and other large planters of this county.
In 1905 Mr. Brown was elected to the office of justice of the peace, holding that position until 1???. Subsequently he represented Cleveland county in the Arkansas state legislature in the session of 1909-1911 and introduced the first state-wide prohibition bill in the legislature. He has served for short periods as deputy prosecuting attorney and in the absence of the regular prosecuting attorney served through one session of court in that office. He has also served through part of two terms as special judge, in the absence and disqualification of the regular judge and during the sessions of 1917 and 1919 and in the special session of 1920, was a member of the state senate.
In 1919 he was joint author, with Senator Greathouse and Senator McFarland, of the bank guarantee bill, which was introduced by failed to pass in that session. In August, 1917, he volunteered for service in the United States army and went into training at Leon Springs near San Antonio, Texas. There the Seventh Infantry Officers Training Corps was stationed. After a tryout of twenty-seven days, however, he was honorably discharged and a short time after ward was commissioned by the president of the United States, Woodrow Wilson, as a member of the district exemption board for the eastern district of Arkansas.
After serving three months in that capacity he resigned to accept a commission as first lieutenant in the Arkansas National Guard and he was active in recruiting work until the government abandoned the volunteer system. He then offered his services to Major Moore, constructing quartermaster in charge of the government acid plant at Picron, this stae, was accepted and assigned to position as checker in the government store room. He served in that capacity until twenty days after the signing of the armistice, when he again received his honorable discharge.
On the 23rdof January, 1910, was celebrated the marriage of Mr. Brown to Miss Mattie Harrison, daughter of Jessie Harrison; a well known citizen of Rison. They have one adopted daughter, Hazel Kesterson Brown, seven years of age, who is a student in the local schools. Mrs. Brown is prominent in the social and club circles of Rison and is president of the Robert H. Crockett Chapter, Daughters of the Confederacy at Rison. She is likewise worth matron of the chapter of the Order of the Eastern Star here.
The religious faith of the family is that of the Baptist church, to the support of which they are generous contributors. Mr. Brown is active in the affairs of the American Legion and is a charter member of Hale Post of Rison. Mr. Brown’s career has been notable, inasmuch as he has worked his way upward to a prominent position in legal and financial circles and also by reason of the excellent service which he has rendered in public office. Possessing a most genial and pleasing personality he has made many stanch and true friends and has won the confidence and respect of all with whom he has come into contact.