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COMANCHE COUNTY, KANSAS: HISTORY & GENEALOGY
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Mark and Esther (Libbey) Brown


Surnames in this history: Brown, Lewis, Libbey & Matthews.

Mark G. Brown was the eldest of the seven children of Joshua and Cora Kitch Brown. He was born March 5, 1890, on the family farm just northeast of Larned, Kansas.

Joshua, Mark's father was national President of the Farmer's Cooperative Association in 1926, at a time when it was having a struggle for survival. He was among those received in the White House by President Calvin Coolidge. He gave 52 years to the Co-op movement.

Mark graduated from Larned High School in 1909 and went to the College of Emporia for two years. He took a short course in farming at Kansas State University. He taught his younger brothers and sisters at country school for a time.

He came to Wilmore in September 1915, to farm land owned by his father and uncle in the New Eden neighborhood, four miles south of Wilmore, traveling overland through Haviland with the team of horses his father had given him.

He was married to Esther Libbey, January 7, 1916, at Raton, New Mexico. Her family had moved from Larned to New Mexico to a cattle ranch.

She was born at Ottawa, Illinois, August 29, 1891, the second daughter of Wallace and Ida Libbey. The family moved to Kansas in 1909, settling at Larned. Mrs. John M. Lewis of the Alfalfa Lawn Farms, Larned, was her sister.

Together Mark and Esther raised Polled Hereford cattle, the start of which were a wedding gift from her father, who was a chartered member of the American hereford Association. New Eden Polled Herefords were sold to breeders in 21 states from Maryland to California.

They won many trophies and ribbons at shows and sales. They raised "Buster Brown", who was 1950 Champion Steer both at the 50th Anniversary National Polled Hereford Show in Kansas City and at the Kansas State Fair. "Buster Brown" was fitted and shown by Rowena Seaman of Wilmore.

Mark helped organize and was first president of the Comanche County Farm Bureau. Esther was the first president of New Eden Home Demostration Unit.

In November, 1965, he was given recognition for his thirty-seven years as a Ruling Elder of the Coldwater Presbyterian Church.

Mrs. Brown died April 26, 1973. Mark has been a resident of the Pioneer Lodge since the fall of 1971 while continuing his farming operation.

In 1975, Mark was elected to the Polled Hereford Hall of Fame for his contribution to the progress of the breed. His picture hangs in the national headquarters in Kansas City, Missouri. Perhaps their highest honor came in 1971 when the Kansas State Fair's first 'Standard of Perfection' show was named the "Mark and Esther Brown Polled Hereford Show."

They had two children: Wendell Brown of Wilmore and Mrs. Winifred Matthews of Haviland.

My Mother was really a naturalist who worshipped God in the beauty of the wild-flowers, the song of the birds, and the rolling panoramas he placed in Comanche County.

written by: Winifred Brown Matthews

Comanche County History, page 287, published by the Comanche County Historical Society, Coldwater, Kansas, 1981.


Notice from Enid, Oklahoma, "New Eden Polled Herefords Bull was Grand Champion at the Oklahoma Polled Hereford Association here today, and topped the sale at $4,500 in the sale. General average here on 40 head was $935, with the other highest priced bull bringing $3,000.

"Back in the Older Days", news item from December 14, 1951. The Western Star, Vol. 118, No. 20, Dec. 13, 2001.


NEW EDEN POLLED HEREFORDS

New Eden Polled Herefords, Wilmore, Comanche County, Kansas.  Photo from the 1959 Diamond Jublilee booklet.

N.E.DON PERFECT 8th
Champion Bull at Hutchinson, November 18, 1959. Sold for $2,775.00
==============================================================================

SIRES IN SERVICE:
G.P.H. DON PERFECT 24th            O.M.S. MODEST LAD 9th
N.E. DON PERFECT 26th

Young Cattle for Sale at All Times

Mr. and Mrs. Mark G. Brown & Son
owners

Seven Miles East of Coldwater, Kansas on 160 Highway
PHONE 5-F-11          Wilmore, Kansas

(from the Diamond Jubilee booklet, 1959.)


This page added to the site by Jerry Ferrin on 04 Sept 2002; it was last updated 25 November 2003; thanks to Bobbi (Hackney) Huck for her help with this page.