In the 1870 federal census, D. B. Brown is listed as a 21-year-old lawyer from Pennsylvania, in household #15. Like Josiah J. Brown, he had connections to Presbyterian missionaries.

David was born in 1849, the seventh and penultimate child of Rev. David B. Brown, Sr. and his wife, Alice H. Pusey. He had 4 older sisters (Helen Ann, Mary Crawford, Alice Hill, and Elizabeth Cooper) and two older brothers, John, and David’s namesake, David B., who died at 11 months old. Four years after David was born, the final child, James Cooper was born.

David’s father was born in the small village of Newton, Scotland, about 10 miles from the edges of Edinburgh, overlooking the Firth of Forth. Alice Pusey was a native Pennsylvanian and they were married in Philadelphia Oct 24, 1835. When David, Jr. was born, David, Sr. was a home missionary, seeking to establish a church in Coudersport, Potter Co., PA. In a report for the American Home Missionary Society for 1849, the year of David, Jr.’s birth, his father wrote:

I live in the centre of a region larger than the States of Connecticut and Rhode Island together, in which there is not a single place of worship, i.e., church buildings from my house, is the following: 36 miles east, 26 miles north, 28 miles west, and 70 miles south. May God help us to raise a temple to his praise in this vast and desolate region.

Rev. Brown succeeded in his vision—when David, Jr. was just one year old, the first church ever built in Coudersport was a Presbyterian house of worship, erected in 1850, as a result of his father’s perseverance over several years.

Rev. David B. Brown, Sr. and his wife, Alice H. Pusey

David B., Jr. clearly inherited his father’s drive, perseverance, and ambition but, rather than becoming a man of the cloth, he pursued a legal education instead. He was already a qualified lawyer on his arrival in Kansas in 1869 and was admitted to the practice of law in Montgomery County on May 9, 1870 (during the same court session for which George A. Brown was on the grand jury). Duncan’s History of Montgomery County gives us some wonderful insight into his background and personality, even echoing the perseverance of his father:

D. B. Brown was admitted to the bar on the certificate of his admission in the Supreme Court of the District of Columbia. He came to Independence from Indiana and was a brother of Mrs. Theodore Filkins [Alice Hill Brown], one of the early settlers of the country. He was a young man, about twenty-four years of age and of fair attainments and displayed great energy, industry and perseverance, and it was freely predicted by the lawyers who knew him that a bright future awaited him in the profession. He contracted a severe cold from exposure in efforts to erect a building on Penn. avenue, near where is now located the harness store of John Cramer, which developed into pneumonia and ended his career on earth (p. 197).

As this account describes, David died way too young, apparently passing away on August 18, 1870 in Independence, at the age of just 21. The date of his premature death, which was before Christmas 1870, precludes David from being the man that brought the Ingalls family their presents from Independence.

This advertisement appeared in the Independence Pioneer newspaper just a few weeks before David Brown’s death:

Independence Pioneer (Independence, Kansas), 02 Jul 1870, Sat. Page 1