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Armstead Brown

Born in Missouri and reared in Illinois his early manhood was spent in Wisconsin which state he left in 1849 for California across the plains. At that time Mr. Brown had a wife, and a family of six children whom he left behind until he could exploit the new El Dorado. In September 1849, be arrived at what is the town of Shasta and engaged in mining and for a time, in company with Dr. ShurtHff, now of Napa, conducted a trading post.

Mr. Brown has the distinction of having named Shasta. A meeting had been called for that purpose and most all the population was in attendance. Several names were presented, but the name "Shasta" presented to the meeting by Mr. Brown, was adopted as the name of the town. Having concluded to make California the future home of himself and family, Mr. Brown returned to the States and settled up bis business and with his family was again crossing the plains in 1851.

In the fall of that year the party rolled into Pleasant Valley (El Dorado County) so named at that time by Mr. Brown because they struck a good lead there. After putting in about a month at Pleasant Valley they moved on to Jackson, driving up to the French Gardens that they might secure feed for their cattle. This was in October. After remaining a few weeks at the French Gardens Mr. Brown took up a lot on the Jackson Gate road (the one on which L. Poggi recently built a new residence) and got out poles and shakes, bought the boards and built a house by setting the poles in the ground and nailing on the sides and roof.

The floor was of dirt. The family moved in and Mr. Brown begun the practice of law. Since then he has been continuously connected with the affairs of Jackson and of Amador County. He was president of the board of town trustee's during the entire time the town organized as a corporation.

He practiced before the County Court of Calaveras county before the county divided, and his name appears as attorney in the records of the first cases tried before the District Court, at ita first session after Amador County was organized in 1854, the record* of said Court being now part of the archives of the County Clerk's' office here. Afterwards he practiced before the Courts of the State and particularly of Amador County. He was a member of the Legislature for three terms before 1870. In 1876 he was appointed County Judge to complete an unexpired term and afterwards elected, serving until enforcement of the new Constitution, January 1, 1880.

Judge and Mrs. Brown married at the ages of 21 and 17 years respectively, and lived together but a little loss than sixty years, up to the time of her death in 1896. The result of their union was ten children, but three of whom are now living, Mrs. A. Askey of San Jose, Mrs. Maggie Folger and George W. Brown of Jackson.