Samuel A. Brown House

302 W. 6th Street

Newton, KS 67114

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This Queen Anne-style home was built in 1887 and designed by the Varney Brothers Architects of Detroit, Michigan, as the home of Samuel A. Brown and family. Samuel A. Brown arrived in Newton in 1872 as an agent for Adams Express, which handled money and other valuables, using the trains for transport. In 1881, when Wells Fargo replaced Adams Express as the shipper for the Atchison, Topeka, Santa Fe Railway, Brown became the Wells Fargo agent in Newton. He remained with them until he became too ill to work in December 1915. He died just a few months later on February 4, 1916. What makes this home unique are the six different exterior treatments surrounding the home. There are three different types of shingles covering the second story, two different kinds of stick work and the primary cladding of wood clapboard covering most the exterior. From the newspaper, it appears that Brown was a dedicated employee and led a fairly simple life. So much so that he worked 42 years before he finally took a vacation. On December 11, 1912, this made the front page of The Evening Kansan-Republican. It stated "Veteran Express Manager to Rest - S. A. Brown will take his first vacation in 42 years." The article went on to describe an experience Brown had before coming to Newton. It states, "[In the early days], this county was wild and Mr. Brown can remember when he could sit in his [train] car door and see vast herds of buffalo over the prairies. In these days, also there were men that would do most anything for a little money and everything had to be guarded constantly to keep bandits from killing the messenger and making away with the valuables." Brown went on to share an incident that occurred when he was responsible for transporting a safe containing gold used to pay employees to Dodge City. Brown placed the safe inside a train car and covered it with packages.

 

"The train had hardly started when two masked men came in through the end door and covered him with their guns. When asked by the men to produce the safe he told them that he did not have it. A search was made but luckily the safe was not discovered. The men then left the car with instructions for Mr. Brown not to raise the alarm if he valued his life." The safe made it to Dodge City that day if not leaving Brown slightly shaken by the event. A search was performed, but the men would never found.

Taken circa 1901 title= Samuel A. Brown was the Newton agent for Wells Fargo. This photo of the men and dog outside of the Wells Fargo office was taken in April 1912. title=  title=

 

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