Term: Brown County [origin of place name]
Definition: one of the first three counties created in 1818 by Michigan territorial governor Lewis Cass; its seat was at Green Bay.
Brown County was named for Major-General Jacob Brown of the United States Army (Gannett, Place Names, p. 33; Wis. Hist. Colls., i, p. 112). General Brown (1775-1828), born in Pennsylvania, was a successful leader in the War of 1812-15. At its close he retained the command of the Northern division, and in 1821 was made general-in-chief of the army. He died at Washington, D.C.
Description from John W. Hunt's 1853 Wisconsin Gazetteer: "BROWN, County, is bounded on the north by Oconto, on the east by Kewaunee, on the south by Manitowoc, and on the west by Outagamie, and a portion of Oconto. It derived its name from General Brown, commander-in-chief of the army, and was originally organized by an act of the legislative council of the Territory of Michigan, approved 16th October, 1818, and then included all of the territory of the present state of Wisconsin, east of a line drawn due north from the northern boundary of Illinois, through the middle of the Portage be tween the Fox and Wisconsin rivers. Its limits have been decreased from time to time, until at present it contains only fourteen and a half townships, being 21 by 24 miles square, with an addition of 3 by 6 miles to its northwestern corner. ¿ Its streams are: Fox, (Neenah), Manitoo, (or East), Ashwabena and Big Suamico rivers, and Duck creek. The soil is better adapted to grazing than the raising of grain, although it produces good crops of wheat, rye, oats, potatoes, &c. The surface is mostly level or slightly undulating, with but little swamp or waste land. It is mostly heavily timbered, with maple, beech, birch, &c., interspersed with pine and a good proportion of hemlock. ¿ The population in 1825 was 952; 1830, 964; 1836, 2,706; 1838, 3,081; 1840, 2,107; 1842, 2,146; 1846, 2,632; 1847, 2,914; 1850, 6,222. Farms, 267; manufactories, 23; and dwellings, 1,005. It must be borne in mind that new counties were established from the county of Brown, between nearly every taking of the census, and that the foregoing table, so far as showing the increase of population is concerned, is a very unsatisfactory one."
[Source: Kellogg, Louise Phelps. "Derivation of County Names" in Proceedings of the State Historical Society of Wisconsin for 1909, pages 219-231.]