K. W. Brown, an early Ames settler, is pictured in September of 1864 with the sword given to him by the soldiers of Company L, 13th New York Heavy Artillery. It was always my custom in the leisure hours or in idle moments to drop into the tents of some of the enlisted men and remain for as long as duty would permit. You may recall that some of these men had served with me when we stood shoulder-to-shoulder in another command, and they were very dear to me. How kindly they felt toward me was testified to by the sword, belt, sash, hat, and the shoulder straps ... given to me [by them].
Kendrick Wade Brown was born in Jefferson County, New York, on July 4, 1842. He volunteered for service in the Union Army in 1861. Wounded several times during his four years of service, he was mustered out as a captain in Company K of the 186th New York Volunteer Infantry. His regiment was encamped overnight in front of No. 444 Broadway in New York City before offically being discharged at that location. Later, when he became a traveling commercial salesman in 1872, headquartered in Ames, Iowa, he discovered that the clothing concern he was representing had its headquarters at No. 444 Broadway, New York City. When Ames installed telephone service, Brown had the first residential phone in town, and asked for the number 44.
In 1865 when Kendrick Brown came to Ames, the town had been in existence for little more than a year. At the time of his arrival, Ames had a population of about 100. K.W. built a single story wood frame building on a lot on Main Street Ames just to the east of where the American Legion Building stands today. Brown's building burned down in January of 1886, but was replaced by the brick structure which later held many bakeries.