- Born: 12 Sep 1796, Somerset Co., MD
- Marriage (1): Eliza Kooken
- Died: 26 Jun 1866, Wyandot Co., OH
- Buried: Abt 29 Jun 1866, Pleasant Ridge Cemetery, Vanlue, Wyandot Co., OH
William Brown was one of the few first white settlers of Crawford Township. He was born in Maryland September 12, 1796. His wife, Eliza Kooken, was born in Berks County, Penn., February 14, 1804, and they were married July 3, 1822. From an old diary begun by Mr. Brown in 1822, we obtain some interesting facts given in entries as follows: "November, 1822, entered land near the Big Spring Reservation." "July 20, 1823, left Columbus, Ohio, for my land, with the intention of building a cabin, digging a well, etc. On my arrival, my heart for the first time failed me. The day was dark and rainy. We had spent more than half of it driving from Tymochtee out, the road being nothing but mire and water. The ground where we halted was clothed with a heavy growth of timber, so much so that we could scarcely see the sun at noon, and to add to our misfortune, we could not work without being stung by nettles, neither could we remain at ease for the hungry mosquitoes. These difficulties I could have borne with fortitude had I been there on a visit for a few days only, but when I reflected that they could be removed only by years of hard labor, I was ready to conclude that I had acted the idiot in purchasing the land, and the lunatic in attempting to settle it." "The next day I set Ora Harris, the young man who came with me, to digging a well. I took Mr. Carey's horse to Squire Hodges, and he soon discovered that all was not right with me. He therefore immediately set about to aid me to obviate my difficulties by telling me a long flattering story, the purport of which was that he had not the least doubt that should I set in and continue with determined perseverance, my undertaking would be crowned with complete success, that I would not only make a good living, but that, in a few years, I would become independent. *We have authority also for stating that a daughter was born in this township to Asa and Martha Lake in 1821. (t) The diary referred to was kindly furnished its by Hiram J. Starr, son-in-law of Mr. Brown. This story, although I know it was much exaggerated, gave me considerable relief. I returned to our encampment about dusk and was greeted with the joyful news that Orra had got water! The next morning the clouds dispersed and the sun once more visited our lonesome woods. "Squire Hodges' flattering advice, getting water so conveniently, and the appearance of fair weather, in a great measure dissipated my dreadful forebodings, and I began work quite cheerfully. We remained six weeks, built a cabin, laid the lower floor, put up the chimney to the mantel-piece.... laid the back wall and hearth and returned home. " * * * "April 5, .1824, set out with my horses, wagon, plows, etc., for squire Hodges' for the purpose of raising corn." "July 1, returned home; July 15, returned again to my land to finish my cabin. September 1, home again." "October 7, loaded up my goods and chattels and with my family I set sail' for my intended home. After a prosperous journey of four and one- half days we landed at our lonesome abode October 12, 1824." "October 22, my wife had a fine daughter, which we named Ellen. "May 22, 1825, planted fourteen acres of corn." Here the entries of the old diary, now yellow with age, close, so far as they pertain to the settlement of the family in this township.
The "fine daughter" which Mr. Brown refers to with so much paternal pride is now the wife of Hiram J. Starr, and, as stated above, was said to be the first white child born in this township. It will be observed that Mr. Carey and Squire Hodges were residents of this locality when Mr. Brown first settled here. It will also be seen that the first settlers in this now beautiful and prosperous region began with "dreadful forebodings" for the future. This was indeed "the forest primeval." The croaking of the frisky frog, the piping treble notes of the sanguinary mosquitoes, ever with an eye to business, the humming bee and the singing bird were all here in their primitive chorus; but they brought little cheer to the struggling settler with his limited fields of grain and big unlimited harvest of fever and ague. Mr. Brown entered 160 acres of land. His unceasing toil at last brought him to the grave; he died in 1866, and ten years later his faithful companion joined him in the realm beyond. (The History of Wyandot County, Ohio; Leggett Conaway & Co.; 1884; pp. 743-744)
William married Eliza Kooken, daughter of James Kooken and Eleanor Porter. (Eliza Kooken was born on 14 Feb 1804 in Lycoming Co., PA, died on 01 Jun 1876 in Wyandot Co., OH and was buried about 04 Jun 1876 in Pleasant Ridge Cemetery, Vanlue, Wyandot Co., OH.)