Horace Greeley Brown, of Garfield county, who was one of the earliest settlers on Rifle creek and is now one of the most prosperous and popular citizens of that portion of the county, was born on April 8, 1855, in Burlington county, New Jersey, and was there reared and educated, attending only the district schools. He remained at home until he reached the age of twenty, then passed some years working in a machine shop at Smithsville, in his native state, at small wages. After that he opened a meat market there on his own account, which he conducted six months. He then moved to St. Louis, where he secured employment in the machine shop of Hall, Brown & Company, of which his brother Charles S. Brown is president. From St. Louis he went to Joplin and later to Granby, Missouri, and at the latter place he conducted a meat market eighteen months with good results. In the spring of 1879, under the influence of the gold excitement at Leadville, this state, he came to that camp and, making his headquarters there, he freighted between that place and Pueblo and Canon City, and also carried on a meat market at Leadville, being successful in both enterprises, but losing all his money in mining. On April 3, 1883, he moved to the ranch he now owns and occupies, taking a squatter’s right to a tract of land, and after the government survey was made preempting one hundred and sixty-four acres, to which he has since added forty, making his present ranch two hundred and four acres in extent, of which about three-fourths can be easily cultivated. The place has an abundant supply of water in its own right, and as he tills the land with care and judgment, the returns for his labor in hay, grain and vegetables are very good. He also has ten acres in fruit which yield abundant harvests of superior products and bring him in a handsome revenue. His main reliance, however, is upon hay and cattle. Mr. Brown has been prominent in the local affairs of the section, and has ever been foremost in every work of improvement and every duty of a good neighbor and citizen. He, J. J. Langstaff and William L. Smith buried the first white man who died in this vicinity, the coffin for the purpose being made by James Moss, of Rifle, out of a wagon bed, timber in the neighborhood being very scarce. When Mr. Brown settled in this region it was the unbroken wilderness, still abounding with wild game of all kinds and infested with beasts of prey. Indians also were numerous, but in the main they were not unfriendly. The nearest trading points were Aspen and Grand Junction, settlers were few and it was far between them, and the conveniences of life were scarce and difficult to get. But the spirit of the settlers was resolute and triumphed over every obstacle, pushing forward the progress of the region with good speed and on a substantial basis. Mr. Brown is the son of George C. and Harriet (Swing) Brown, natives of New Jersey and residents of a place known as Brown’s Mills. The father was a farmer and operated saw and grist-mills and also conducted a store and a hotel. In addition he was active in the real-estate business, and as a zealous Republican took a leading part in local affairs. Both were members of the Methodist church. The father died on March 20, 1863, and since then the mother has made her home at Mt. Holly. Three of their four children are living, Charles Swing Brown, president of the Hall & Brown Wood Working Machine Company of St. Louis; Horace Brown, and Georgia, wife of John Adams, of Waco, Texas. Mr. Brown was married on October 8, 1895, to Miss Hannah L. Lacy, a native of Ohio and daughter of James R. and Elizabeth (Crawford ) Lacy, who were born, reared and married in Pennsylvania and moved to Ohio in the early days of its history. They came to Colorado in 1887 and are now living at Rifle. Although possessing business acumen and personal characteristics that would probably have made him successful in any environment, Mr. Brown has found in Colorado circumstances adapted to his tastes and has made them subservient to his progress and prosperity. He is therefore well pleased with the state of his adoption and looks forward with confidence to the great future that is in store for it. Its people are enterprising and broad-minded themselves, and they appreciate enterprise and breadth of view in others. So he stands well in his community, and what is more to the purpose, he deserves the regard in which he is held.
Horace Greely Brown passed away in 1935. His widow, Hannah (Hannie) would live to be in her 90’s, passing away in 1963. Both are buried in Rosehill Cemetery in Rifle Colorado.
Source: Bowen, A. W. Progressive Men of Western Colorado. Chicago: A. W. Bowen & Co., Publishers. 1905.