The physician occupies one of the most responsible as well as confidential relations in our social existence. To him are entrusted our innermost secrets, as well as the lives and welfare of our dearest friends. To worthily and acceptably fill such a position is one of the most difficult tasks ever imposed on man, and such a task has been assumed by Austin Irvin Brown, who has had a long and varied experience. Gifted with a love for his chosen profession, quick of intuition, and generous and sympathetic in his work, he has won the respect and esteem of the people of Vienna, Illinois, his chosen field of practice. Dr. Brown was born on a farm near Buncombe, seven miles west of Vienna, in Johnson county, Illinois, March 16, 1858, and is a son of R. W. and Mary A. (Peterson) Brown.

Richard Brown, the grandfather of Dr. Brown, was a native of Tennessee and a pioneer settler of Southern Illinois, settling in Massac county, near Metropolis, in the early '40s. His son, R. W., also born in Tennessee, was a lad when the family came to Illinois, and here he learned the trade of carpenter, which he followed at Anna for a few years previous to settling on a farm near Buncombe, Johnson county. Later he bought another tract of land, one and one-half miles west of Vienna, and there continued to engage in agricultural pursuits until his death in 1899. Early in life he was united in marriage with Mary A. Peterson, who was born in 1834, at West Eden, daughter of Owen and granddaughter of Thomas Peterson, natives of Tennessee, and she died in March, 1910. Mr. and Mrs. Brown had six children, as follows: Mrs. Ellen Thacker, George W., Olive (deceased), Owen P., Albert (who died in infancy), and Austin Irvin.

Austin Irvin Brown received his primary education in the district schools, and later attended select schools in Vienna, taught by Professor W. Y. Smith and Joseph W. Smith. Beginning in 1887, he taught school for three years, and in the meantime, in 1889, began the study of medicine. In 1890 he entered the P. M. College, in Indianapolis, which he attended for one term, and then, after passing the examinations of the State Medical Board of Arkansas, he practiced medicine in that state for a period of six months during 1891. In the fall of that year he entered Marion Sims College of Medicine, at St. Louis, and by pursuing his studies during an extended term of seven and one-half months, in order to meet the requirements of the State Medical Board, he graduated in the spring of 1892, with the degree of M. D. Locating at Belknap, Johnson .county, he practiced medicine successfully until 1900, and then after a three months' stay in Cairo, in partnership with Dr. Hall Whiteaker, he established himself in Vienna. Dr. Whiteaker subsequently located in Mound City, and since that time Dr. Brown has been in charge of a constantly increasing clientele. He is progressive in his ideas and is constantly seeking to advance himself in his profession, having taken three post-graduate courses during his professional experience. In 1899 he took a course in the Chicago Polyclinic Institute; in 1906 he pursued a post-graduate course in the New York Polyclinic, and in 1909, took another course in the Chicago school. Dr. Brown is an active member of the Egyptian Medical Association, comprising the physicians of Johnson, Williamson, Massac and Pope counties, and has served as president of this society for two terms. He is also a member of the Illinois State and American Medical Associations. His fraternal connections are with the A. P. & A. M., Blue Lodge, of Vienna; Royal Arch, of Vienna; Knights Templar, of Cairo; the Modern Woodmen; the Royal Neighbors; the Eastern Star; the Odd Fellows; the Rebekahs and the Modern Brotherhood of America, all of Vienna, His religious belief is that of the Methodist Episcopal church, and both he and his wife have shown much interest in religious and charitable work.

In 1889 Dr. Brown was married to Geneva Whiteaker, a daughter of Captain Mark and Elizabeth (Denton) Whiteaker, of Vienna, and they have two children: Essie, who is twenty-one years old, and Charles R., thirteen years of age. More extended mention of Captain and Mrs. Whiteaker, both of whom belong to the old families of Southern Illinois, appears on other pages.

Dr. Brown is a man who may be said to have chosen well. Possessed of a kind, sympathetic nature, a keen sense of discrimination, a natural taste for the various branches of the medical profession, he has made a signal success.

Extracted 07 Nov 2018 by Norma Hass from History of Southern Illinois, by George Washington Smith, published in 1912, volume 3, pages 1327-1328.

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