Andrew John Brown, who changed his name from “Brogd” when arriving in America, is listed as “John Brown” in the 1875 Kansas state census in Caney Twp., residing with the family of E. Anderson (female), a farmer from Sweden. This John was aged 30 and also a farmer from Sweden. The household included a 30-year-old female cook from Sweden, named C. Brown, and a 5-year-old girl named Minnie, aged 5, born in Sweden.

Caroline, Minnie, and Andrew John Brown

On reviewing the neighbors of Ms. Anderson and comparing them to the plats in the 1881 Atlas, it can be ascertained this household was probably living close to, or in, section 13 of Caney Township.

The beginning of Andrew John Brown’s obituary, which appeared in the Tyro Truth on April 14, 1916, fills in the details of this family:

Andrew John Brown was born near Jonkoping Sweden on June 10, 1846 and departed this life April 10, 1916 at his home in Spring Valley Neighborhood three and a half miles north of Tyro, Kansas. He was sixty nine years and ten months old. Before he came to America he served as a soldier in his native country’s service for a period of four years.


He came to America during the year 1872 and lived here on his claim until his death. He was a devoted and consistent member of the Swedish Lutheran church, having been confirmed in that faith at the age of 15.


He was united in marriage to Miss Caroline Soderstrom on April 30, 1869. To this union were born three daughters, Minnie E Pocock, Anna V Dobson and Josie A Mason all of whom are left to mourn his departure. He leaves one brother now residing in Sweden.

There are two points of note in this obituary. The most significant being that Andrew did not arrive in America until 1872, after the Ingalls family had already left Kansas.

The other point of interest is the name of his youngest daughter, at the time of his death, “Josie A. Mason.” This particular daughter of Andrew and Caroline, Josephine A. Brown married William M. Mason, the oldest son of another of the Ingalls family’s neighbors, Edmund Mason. The 1900 federal census records the following household, #253, in Fawn Creek, rather than Caney Township:  Brown, Andrew J., a farmer, aged 53, from Sweden; Brown, Caroline, his wife, aged 53, from Sweden; Mason, Josephine A, his daughter, aged 21, born in Kansas; Mason, William M., his son-in-law, aged 24, born in Kansas, working as a farm laborer (presumably for Andrew)

In the 1900 census, Andrew was living next to the family of Edward Anderson. The 1881 atlas shows that A. J. Brown owned 81.22 acres in section 18 of Fawn Creek Township, adjoining land belonging to A. Anderson. In the 1916 plat atlas of Montgomery County, this same piece of land is shown as belonging to John Brown, adjoining Ed. Anderson’s land. This section is adjacent to section 13 of Caney Township, as discussed above. Andrew also obtained a patent for this land, comprising 81.22 acres, on April 1, 1876, under the name, John Brown (SE1/2 NW1/4 & Lot #2). Interestingly, his wife’s family, the Soderstrom’s, also owned land in the neighboring section 19.

However, as interesting and coincidental as this may be, because Andrew arrived in America too late to have delivered Christmas presents in 1871 and resided in the area for the rest of his life, he cannot be Laura’s Mr. Brown or Mr. Edwards.