William Brown, a native of Pennsylvania and cooper by trade, moved his stave mill from Lutesville to a spot on the Castor river four miles southwest of Advance on the Houck Line. His new factory was built in December 1881, and became the nucleus for which the town of Brownwood was built around. It was a popular spot to picnic at by citizens of nearby New Lakeville (Advance) (Info from Mike Moroni's, Advance: A look at the first one hundred years).
In 1881, Louis Houck's railroad line ran from Cape Girardeau to New Lakeville (present day Advance, Missouri). William Brown, a successful cooper (barrel maker), had invented a method of using steam to make wooden kegs. He had a factory in St. Louis and a mill in Lutesville (Marble Hill) that made staves for the barrels. Unhappy with the way J. Gould's Iron Mountain railroad treated him, he sought out an alternative way to get his materials from mill to factory. He approached Houck and said that he would build a new mill west of New Lakeville on land he already owned, if the railroad would build its line to the mill. Houck and agreed and extended his line west four miles of New Lakeville to Brown's Mill, later named Brownwood.