John Duff Brown, physician, son of Nancy Ann (Howell) and John (Waco) Brown, was born in Lexington, Kentucky, about 1823. He was brought to San Antonio, Texas, by his parents in 1827 or 1828. After his father's death in 1833, he lived for a time at Gonzales with his uncle, Henry Stevenson Brown, and at Brazoria, where his mother operated a hotel. He returned to Kentucky to attend a seminary in Lexington and, after graduating from Collier College, began the practice of medicine at Jackson, Kentucky. Brown returned to Texas in 1847 and practiced medicine with his uncle C. S. Brown at Gonzales until he entered John C. (Jack) Hays's western regiment for service in the Mexican War. In 1848 Brown married Mary Anna Mayes of Tuscumbia, Alabama. He reentered the army early in 1849 to serve as assistant surgeon for the company under Henry E. McCulloch. From 1849 until the Civil War, Brown practiced medicine and operated a plantation at Oakland in Colorado County. Although over age, Brown volunteered for the Confederate Army, first in Ebenezar B. Nichols' regiment at Galveston and then in Company D of Waul's Legion. He was serving in Mississippi in 1864, when he was discharged because of disability. Brown moved to Llano County, where he continued to practice medicine while farming and ranching. His reminiscences, written in 1907, were published in the Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association in 1909. Brown died in Llano on May 10, 1908.
Is history important to you?
We need your support because we are a non-profit organization that relies upon contributions from our community in order to record and preserve the history of our state. Every penny helps.
Please make your contribution today.
John Duff Brown, "Reminiscences of Jno. Duff Brown," Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association 12 (April 1909). Frank W. Johnson, A History of Texas and Texans (5 vols., ed. E. C. Barker and E. W. Winkler [Chicago and New York: American Historical Society, 1914; rpt. 1916]). Texas State Journal of Medicine, September 1928.
Health and Medicine
Physicians and Surgeons
The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.
“Brown, John Duff,”
Handbook of Texas Online,
accessed May 21, 2022,
Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
Original Publication Date:
Most Recent Revision Date:
June 29, 2017
This entry belongs to the following Handbook Special Projects: