From Ohio History Central
Waldo F. Brown was a well-known American author and lecturer in the 1870s and 1880s.
Brown was born in Massachusetts in 1832. In 1848, he moved with his parents to Butler County, Ohio. He attended Miami University for one semester before becoming a farmer.
During the 1870s and 1880s, Brown became one of America's best known writers on agriculture. He wrote articles for various newspapers, magazines, and other journals under several pseudonyms, including "Agricola," "Solomon Smith," and "Squire Bung." In 1872, he became the agriculture specialist on the staff of the Cincinnati Enquirer. Brown also published a farm journal of his own called TheChristian Farmer. In 1884, he also wrote The Farm and Stock Cyclopedia, a handbook that became very popular among farmers across the United States.
Brown became well known for his colorful depictions of farm life and the farm people. In one article, Brown contended that there were three types of farmers. First, there was "Peter Poverty," who was known for his laziness and poor managerial skills. Second, there was "Sam Skinsoil," who worked several farms at once, only to move on to new land once his original fields were depleted of nutrients. Finally, there was "William Wealthy." This man was hard working and treated his farm, his animals, and his family in a loving manner.
In his articles and speeches, Brown tried to educate farmers as to the most profitable farming techniques. He taught them how to prevent soil erosion and of the importance of crop rotation. Brown, like a number of other agricultural specialists in the late nineteenth century, tried to help small farmers produce the most crops on their land as inexpensively as possible.
Waldo F. Brown died in 1907.