Sunday, September 16, 2012

1927 Brown Family Reunion Meeting in Hudson, Ohio

I have started transcribing the minutes and associated letters and papers from the Hudson Library Collection of Owen/John Brown Family Reunions.The Reunions began in 1926 and continued through the 1960's, except for two years during WWII, due to the high cost of traveling.

Here are the minutes from the 1927 meeting.  Note that the numbers in { } are the numbering system that Dr. Clarence Gee started tracking the family with, and I have continued to use.  Please enjoy.

Minutes of the Brown Reunion

June 5, 1927

Meeting was opened by the President, John Owen Brown{B18732}of Fort Wayne, Ind., greeting all and expressing his pleasure that so many of the family were present, happy to see some new faces’ and regretting that a few were missing.
In the absence of the Secretary, Doris Brown Malone, the President called as Secretary pro tem Edna Brown Kalbrunner, {B187311} who read letters from Mrs. Nellie Lusk and Doris Brown Malone, regretting their inability to be present. Doris Malone’s letter coming from Capris, Italy, where she is now living. Also a letter from our Historian, Lydia Crothers {B18792}, regretting her absence, due to illness in her family.  She reports in the year past, no marriages, two births – daughter [Dorothy Stiles {B1873451}]to Mr. and Mrs. Newell Styles  B187345}, Washington D.C. – a son [Perry Crothers, Jr {B1879241}]to Mr. and Mrs. Perry Crothers {B187924}, Tacoma, Washington.
The grim reaper having taken four* members of our family:
Lucien Brown {B1867}, St. Andrews Fla. (son of Oliver Owen Brown {B186} – grandson of Owen {B18)
Charles P. Brown {B18422}, Akron Ohio (Son of Jason {B1842} – grandson of John {B184})
Charles Brown {B18632} (Son of Lemual Brown {B1863}– grandson of Oliver {B186})
Lucien Brown {B18XIII1}, Portland, Oregon (Son of Edward Brown {B18XIII} – grandson of Owen {B18})

She also reports on Decoration Day – she stood beside the graves of Grandfather Frederick Brown {B187} and father Salmon Brown {B1879} in the Kilbourn, Wis. Cemetery. Her grandfather died in 1877 and she has only a few remembrances of him, but many of his expressions were often repeated by her father, the one “Filled with pardonable pride” comes to her and it applies very well in speaking of our ancestry. She also recalled how her father looked singing “Land where my fathers dies, land of the Pilgrims pride,” and she realized the ownership he felt.
She thinks to, we should instruct our children in our family history that they may be filled with pardonable pride in their ancestors service to this our country, and in this way help safe guard their integrity.
There also was a letter from Mrs. F B Alexander {B18412} of Put-in-Bay who is the daughter of John Brown {B1841} the eldest son of Captain John Brown {B184} and Wealthy Hotchkiss Brown, thanking Mrs. Shiley for her kind invitation and owing to business reasons she would be unable to be with us. She also states that John Brown {B1841} came to Put-in-Bay after the insurrection at Harpers Ferry and that she, Mrs. Alexander, was born, married and is still living in the same house.
Two interesting papers were read. One was the story of the life of Owen Brown {B18}, early settler of Hudson, by himself for his daughter Marion Brown Hand {B189}, and was a wonderful description of the hardships endured after the Revolution and yet the devote attitude which over came and helped bear all the trials.
The other paper was an accurate description of the John Brown home on the lane, connecting two main roads, this home is still standing.
Both papers may be had from the Secretary for inspection.
Mr. Charlie Brown {B18731} then moved the date for this annual reunion be changed from the first Sunday in June to the last Sunday in June, and his motion was adopted.
Mrs. Aura Styles requested we express our appreciation by letter to our absent Historian Lydia Crothers {B18792}, and the Secretary was so instructed.
Our President called on Mr. A N Waite who gave us a very interesting and humorous talk on the apprenticeship of his grandfather to Owen Brown, he also told us that the staircase which stands in the home now occupied by the Snedon family in Hudson was built by John Brown himself.
Rev. John Logan Lindlay of the Congregational Church of Hudson then told us that Owen Brown {B18}was a charter member of his church, and because of this connection he was very much interested in the Brown family, and wondered where the family Bible given to Lawrence Pease by Owen Brown was, and he expressed a desire to see it returned to the Brown family. He also suggested we assume care of the Brown graved in the Hudson Cemetery. He further extended an invitation to us to attend the 125th anniversary of Hudson, beginning September 4, 1927 with morning services at his Church.
Mrs. Elizabeth Rogers Miller, who now lives in the Old John Brown home in Hudson extended an initiation to us to her home.
The following officers were elected for the ensuing year:
President                     John Owen Brown {B18732}
Vice Pres                     Mrs. Eliza Lavina Reed
2nd Vice Pres               Salmon Brown
Secretary                     Edna Brown Kalbrunner {B187311}
Assistant                     Isabel Brown  {B187913}
Historian                     Lydia Crothers  {B18792}
Assistant                     Mrs. Flora Bartsche {B18XIII2}

Our President requested we sing “God be with you ‘till we meet again” which we did, and after all together repeating Mizpah, we adjourned, and accepting the kind invitation of Mr. and Mrs. Earl John Johnson, who now occupy the John Brown Farm, we walked down the roadway to their home, where we saw the site of the old tannery, the old burial vault, the deed to this vault in Mrs. Johnson’s possession, the old home and all had a drink of cool water from the old, old well.
After which we returned to the Hine Home to bid adieu to each other and to thank our kind host and hostess for our very happy day.
Edna Brown Kalbrunner

*Additional deaths are list at the end of the minutes. They must have been announced at the meeting.

Doris Jeannette Brown {B186325}– daughter of Charles S {B18632} and Hannah Brown,    Died Jan 22, 1927, aged 28 years

Charles Stores Brown {B18632} – son of Lemuel Stores {B1863} and Julia Brown       Died March 31, 1927 aged 65 years

Both are buried in Lakewood Park Cemetery Cleveland Ohio

Saturday, September 15, 2012

A Page From Annie's Autograph Book - HDCW Hill

Miss Brown:
            Borne on times tempestuous way:
            Rolling surges hast the day;
            On to that last flickering ray;
            Wilt thou not as a friend O say!
            Note FEI, and skating day!

                                      Truly your friend,
FEI March 4th 1863        HDWC Hill
                                        Schroon Lake

Henry Dollitt W. Christon Hill, was born in Schroon, Essex County, New York in 1939, the third child of Gilson and Harrietta Hill.

On the 1850 census, we find Gilson (30), Harrietta (30), George G (18), Mary S (16) and Henry DWC (11), living in Schroon, Essex County, New York on the Hill's farm. On the 1860 census 11 year old Rosetta M. has joined the family.

March of 1863 we find Henry DWC Hill attending Fort Edward Institute with Annie Brown in Fort Edward, New York. He is 24 years old, and Annie is 19. His signature page in Annie's Autograph Book is written in prose, each line beginning with the letters of her last name.  It is a charming prose, and I can't help wondering what happened at "skating day?"

A year and a half later, August 29, 1864, a 25 year old Henry enlisted at Plattsburg, New York as a Private into 142nd Infantry, Company H to serve for one year. He was wounded in the neck during the "Battle of Fair Oaks & Darbytown Road" also known as the "Second Battle of Fair Oaks" in Virginia on October 27, 1864. During the 2-day battle, the Union had 1,603 deaths and casualties, while the Confederates only had 100. Henry was lucky to just be injured in the neck. He and his entire Company mustered out on June 7, 1865, at Raleigh, North Carolina.

According to his Military Records, Henry was 6 feet tall, with a dark complexion, blue eyes and brown hair. He listed his previous occupation as "student" on his war records, and he must have continued his education after he mustered out, because in the Lawyers Record and Official Register of the United States, published in 1872, Henry was admitted to the Schenectady New York Law Registry on April 7, 1869.

Between 1865 and 1870 Henry married Edna Jennie [last name not known]. In the 1870 census we find Henry, Edna and baby Harry living in Whitehall, Washington, New York, where Henry worked as a lawyer and Edna kept house. Henry was obviously doing quite well as the census shows him with Real Estate valued at $2000 and personal property also valued at $2000. A fortune in 1870. An internet search for HDWC Hill + Lawyer returns many examples of his work as a lawyer. On the 1880 census the family has added 4 year old Newton.

I haven't found much else about good ol' skating Henry, though I did find two personal genealogy family trees that list his year of death as 1899.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Follow Up to the Charles White Movie

I emailed the Fun with History group to let them know that I had linked to the film on their website. I got this cool email back from Chris, showing just how small the John Brown World is.


What great story! I live 45 mins. from Harper's Ferry and have been to the old Firehouse there many times. Even more interesting, I was riding with my friend one day to see a car that was for sale. He took me to see where he used to live. As we drove down the old driveway, I looked up and saw we were driving right next to the house on the Kennedy Farm. My friend used to rent the house directly behind it.

I'm glad the video helped you make a connection. If you want a better copy of the video, it is in the public domain and can be downloaded at:

Thanks again for sharing your story.


Monday, September 10, 2012

Los Angeles Times story about Owen's headstone

Reporter Gail Holland interviewed me for this story.....30+ minutes on the phone and I get a one line mention! Oh well. Read the Los Angeles Times article here

BUT...... the article did mention a documentary that I went in search of and it is amazing!

Background info:
Ian White found the Owen Brown headstone in August 2012. His father was Charles White, an artist featured in the 1971 documentary, "Five Artists."  When Ian was a lad, the family lived at the base of Little Round Top (aka Brown Mountain). The film shows Ian and his sister running up the mountain to the Owen Brown grave site, and then shows the children examining the headstone. Charles White was an amazing artist and clearly admired John Brown: in fact John Brown and Abraham Lincoln were the only white men he did portraits of. (See items below)
This film is thirty minutes long, and Charles White is the second artist featured on it. There is no timer on the film, so I can not give you an exact time stamp, but the film is worth watching.

So without further ado, I present to you this amazing film. Please enjoy!

5 Artists - 1971 30 min
Five African-American artists - Charles White, Romare Bearden, Richard Hunt, Barbara Chase-Riboud, and Betty Blayton are featured in this 1971 documentary.

Abolitionist John Brown

John Brown