It was in 1908 when the Brown family decided to move to Belshaw, Ind. and erect a grain elevator. With the help of several men and $7000, they were able to build all the buildings and the elevator which still exists there today. Mr. Brown tells us that at that time their elevator was the second largest local loading elevator in the U.S. The largest being somewhere in Iowa. The only means that corn was delivered to the elevator was by horse and wagon and then shipped out by rail. Corn then sold for a penny a lb.
During his boyhood years Billy attended the Pine Grove School located on the East side of 41 where the trailer park is today.
Mr. Brown tells us that the nicest thing that ever happened to him occurred in the fall of 1915 because of an obstinate Model T Ford, which needed assistance in cranking. He met and then later married a school teacher then in our community, Miss Ottie Baughman. In 1918 he left for his duty in World War I. He returned home and on June 6, 1920 they were married.
During their first years together they resided in Belshaw where Mr. Brown continued working for the elevator. In 1924 they decided to embark on a new career so they moved to Lowell where they began a variety store. Their new store was called Brown's bazaar and was located next to the school superintendents office. In 1932 because of the depression, Mr. Brown felt it was time to move on to a more secure job. He then went to work for a firm in Gary known as the Trib of K. It was shortly after that that Mr. Brown began his long career with Sears Roebuck and Co. He had been working for the Spindler Co. (which became Sears in later years) for 10 years when asked if he would move to a new position at the first Sears Roebuck store in Lowell. He began as an all around clerk and worked his way up to top assistant manager when he retired from 31 years of service in December of 1963.
He has been very active in our community as President of the Board of Trustees for the Methodist Church, member on the finance committee for the church and also head usher. He is presently Vice President of the Lowell Library Board, 50 year Mason, and was for two years Worthy Patron of the Eastern Star.
He and his lovely wife enjoy traveling and in 1965 went to Central Europe for 21 days to again return in 1968 for another 37 days. In 1972 they had the pleasure of going to Hawaii and in 1973 they traveled with the Senior Citizens to Nassau.
Mr. Brown keeps very busy with his assistance to the Wreath Guild of which Mrs. Brown belongs, an all around handyman, with his very interesting bell collection, raising roses, and reading, especially in his library of books on old cars.
Looking back over his life, Mr. Brown feels that the things that impressed him most were the various mechanical inventions such as the radio, television, telephone, and above all the day that man landed on the moon.
Mr. and Mrs. L.W. Brown have two sons, Robert Clinton Brown born in 1926 and Rex Leland Brown born in 1936.
In 1946 Mr. Brown purchased a very large old farm house from A.W. Maull Tool Co., which owned the farm that is presently now owned by Mrs. Arlene Russell. The house had to be moved due to the widening of Rt. 41. The materials salvaged from this home built four complete houses, one of which Mr. and Mrs. Brown reside in today at 270 W. Oakley.
In addition to their most fulfilling life together, Mr. Brown knows no enemies, only 4000 friends.
Go to L.W. "Billy" Brown, "Pioneer History Index," for further information.
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