THE BROWN FAMILY
THE BROWN FAMILY of CLINTON COUNTY, OHIO AND RIPLEY COUNTY, INDIANA
Marjorie Fletcher Page Update: November 2011
GEORGE W. BROWN 1 AND SARAH (HIGHLANDS) BROWN
George W. Brown 1 was born 15 January 1809, possibly in Pennsylvania. His parents are unknown. He married 26 March 1834, probably in Fayette County, Pennsylvania. Sarah Highlands, born 10 December 1812 in Fayette County, Pennsylvania. She was the daughter of John Highlands, a Cabinet Maker who died on the Gost homestead in 1826, leaving five daughters and Catherine (Ghost/Gost/Jost) Highlands. Sarah Highlands joined the Baptist Church in 1828 at the age of sixteen years, later transferring her membership to the Methodist Church after moving to Ohio. Catherine's parents were Craft Ghost/Ghoste and Catherine (maiden name unknown). Craft Ghost's will was written 18 February 1804 in Bullskin Township, Fayette County, Pennsylvania and was probated 26 March 1804 in that county (film #0861066 Family History Library, SLC, UT). His widow's name, Catherine "Ghoste" is on the tax records for Bullskin Township, Fayette County, Pennsylvania in 1806. His beloved wife "Catherine" is mentioned in his will and his beloved daughter, Catherine who married John Highlands, is the only child mentioned in his will. He does mention a nephew, Craft Ghost and a grandson, John "Hollands". It appears that Craft and Catherine Ghost had only one child.
Craft Ghost or Gost, was a German who served as a soldier in the French and Indian war in 1755 and later was with the Garrison at Fort Ligonier. Having obtained a knowledge of his country from his experience in the army, he came to Westmorland as a settler, working at his trade of bell-making. At the insistence of Col. Meason, he opened a shop near the latter's residence where he made bells and sharp-edged tools until he had accumulated $2,200. in Continental money, which proved worthless just about the time he was ready to invest it in land. This misfortune obliged him to begin life anew, but in time he secured from Meason 126 acres of land in Bullskin Township (From the History of Fayette County, Pennsylvania).
In "The History of Fayette County, Pennsylvania", Craft Ghost is listed as being an owner of property in Bullskin Township, Fayette County, Pennsylvania in 1788. Craft "Gost" and Henry White are listed in 1791 as being the overseers of the poor. In "The History of Venango County, Pennsylvania", Craft Ghost is listed with the names of parties taking land for settlement and improvement. He received 370 + acres on the waters of Scrubgrass Creek. The date of the survey was November 20, 1800. The will of Catherine Highlands, wife of John Highlands was written March 10, 1842 and probated January 18, 1849 in Bullskin Township, Fayette County, Pennsylvania. She names her daughters, Christiana Atkinson who married Jesse Atkinson; Mary Fleming who married Robert Fleming; Catherine Powers; Sarah (Highlands) Brown who married George W. Brown ; Laura Highlands; daughter Lavina who was unmarried; son, John C. "Hollands".
The Brown Family moved to Clinton County, Ohio in September 1840, settled near Westboro and lived there until September 1854. An indenture dated 15 April 1840 shows that George W. Brown bought land in Clinton County, Ohio near Westboro on the waters of the East Fork on the Little Miami River from a Josiah Graham and wife, Mary. After leaving Ohio, they moved to Ripley County, Indiana and located about 6 miles east of Napoleon. There were ten children born to the George W. Brown family. Mr. Brown was a Weaver by trade. He died 23 August 1858 at the age of 49 years, 8 months and 8 days and is buried in the Mud Pike Cemetery in Ripley County near the family farm. Sarah (Highlands) Brown died at the age of 84 years in 1896 and is buried by her husband and other members of the family
Children of George W. Brown and Sarah (Highlands) Brown
1. Esther Ann Brown 2 (George W. Brown 1) born 25 December 1834 in Fayette County, Pennsylvania; died 18 January 1913 at the age of 78 year, 1 month and 23 days. She is buried at Westboro, Ohio. She married in September 1854, Thomas S. Jackson born 17 September 1830 at Martinsville, Clinton Co., Ohio; died 31 December 1882 and is buried at Westboro, Ohio. He was a school teacher, lawyer and farmer. Esther and Thomas Jackson remained in Ohio when the rest of the Brown family moved to Indiana. Thomas and Esther Ann (Brown) Jackson had children: Frank, Erastus, Laura Lucinda, Charles D., Alice, Edward, Walter and Jasper Leroy.
2. John Highlands Brown 2 (George W. Brown 1) born 8 February 1837 in Fayette County, Pennsylvania; died 16 August 1918 at 81 years, 6 months and 8 days. He is buried in the South Park Cemetery at Greensburg, Indiana. He married (1) 29 March 1863, Olive E. Gookins of Ripley County, Indiana. Olive died shortly after the marriage from tuberculosis. He married (2) 17 March 1866, Mary Jane Dashiell, a neighbor girl, born 1 February 1848 in Ripley County, Indiana. She was the daughter of John Thomas Dashiell and Elizabeth (Montgomery) Dashiell. They lived 6 miles east of Napoleon, Indiana.
3. Samuel Brown 2 (George W. Brown 1) born 25 December 1838 in Fayette County, Pennsylvania; died at his home on North Broadway in Greenburg, Indiana 1 November 1918 at 9:40 P.M. and was buried in South Park Cemetery in Greensburg, Indiana. He married 7 October 1866, Sarah Ann Stegner born 7 May 1848; died 9 May 1931 at the home of her son, Ben Brown. She was 83 years of age. She is buried in Greensburg, Indiana. She was of Dearborn County, Indiana.
At the outbreak of the Civil War Samuel enlisted in Company H of the 5th Indiana Calvary where he served 3 months. He then transferred to the 1st Reg., United States Calvary on November 19, 1862. He took part in 30 battles during his term of service, among them were the Battle of the Wilderness, Cold Harbor and Chickamauga. He was discharged with honors November 19, 1865. They had children: Benjamin H.; Edgar M; Rose; Jessie; Minnie May; Sadie Clair and Mary, known as Mayme.
4. LaVina Brown 2 (George W. Brown 1) born 9 March 1841 in Ohio; died 9 January 1909 at the age of 67 years 10 months and 18 days. She married (1) James Campbell who died 30 May 1882 at the age of 51 years, 7 months and 3 days. They lived on the Mud Pike Road, just south of the Laughery Bridge. She married (2) Mr. Sutton. She was making plans to marry a 3rd time when she was killed in her house and it was set afire. She had no children but had taken a niece, Zella Stegner of Kansas when her mother had died in 1881. Zella stayed with the aunt until her teens.
5. Sarah Jane Brown 2 (George W. Brown 1) born 6 September 1843 near Westboro, Clinton County, Ohio; died 12 January 1881 of pneumonia. She married 18 April 1866, Lewis M. Stegner who was a brother of her sister-in-law, Sarah A. Stegner who was the wife of Samuel Brown. They resided in Kansas and were the parents of four children: Bertha, born 17 May 1867; Claude, who was deaf and who was known as Ted; Zella; and Arthur born September 1880.
Lewis M. Stegner remarried and lived in Oregon. His second wife was Sarah Keisling and they were married 1 December 1881 in Portland, Multnomah County, Oregon. They lived at 1051 Rodney Ave., Portland, Oregon.
6. George William Brown 2 (George W. Brown 1) born 15 March 1846 in Clinton County, Ohio; died 28 June 1873 at the age of 27 years, 3 months and 13 days. He married 29 September 1867, Sarah F. White. They were the parents of 3 children: Carrie, Norman and George III.
7. Catherine E. Brown 2 (George W. Brown 1) born 12 December 1848 in Clinton County, Ohio; married 4 June 1872, Benjamin F. Dubois. They took Arthur Stegner into their home after the death of his mother, Sarah Jane (Brown) Stegner in January 1881.
8. Robert Fleming Brown 2 (George W. Brown 1) born 28 May 1851 in Clinton County, Ohio; died 25 January 1858 of brain fever at the Brown home in Ripley County, Indiana. He died at the age of 6 years, 7 months and 27 days. He is buried in the Mud Pike Cemetery.
9. Ranzell Brown 2 (George W. Brown 1) born 6 January 1854 in Clinton County, Ohio; died 17 April 1916. He married 17 March 1874, Alice Thackery of Ripley County, Indiana. They lived in Ranzell's parents home north of the Laughery Bridge and east of Napoleon, Indiana. They had children: Luella (Lula); Olive, and James E., born 27 March 1878; died 12 October 1882 and is buried in the Mud Pike Cemetery.
Alice (Thackery) Brown and her husband, Ranzell Brown were attacked and an attempt was made to burn the house with their bodies inside but the fire was discovered and the bodies found. Alice died of severe blows but her husband was still alive and was able to talk but wouldn't tell who was guilty of the dreadful act. Their son-in-law, Lynn Wagner was soon arrested and after a heated trial, was sent to prison where he died several years later. Both Ranzell and Alice Brown died 17 April 1916 and were buried in the Mud Pike Cemetery. Ranzell was 62 years, 3 months and 11 days old and Alice was 59 years, 1 month and 9 days old. John Highlands Brown was called to the scene of the fire and murder on 17 April 1916 and witnessed the awful scene of his sister-in-law and brother, Ranzell. He wasn't well and always afterward could see blood on the floor and his daughter, Nettie May always blamed her two cousins, Lula and Ollie for calling him down there as she always thought it hastened her father's death in August of 1918.
10. Jesse Brown 2 (George W. Brown 1) born 13 March 1857 in Ripley County, Indiana; died 23 August 1864 being only 7 years, 6 months and 9 days old. He had been a sickly child and when he heard a spoon rattle in a glass he would shutter as he knew more medicine was coming his way. He is buried beside his parents and his sister, LaVina (Brown) Sutton in the Mud Pike Baptist Church Cemetery in Ripley County, Indiana.
SAMUEL BROWN 2 AND SARAH ANN (STEGNER) BROWN
OBITUARY: The Greensburg Daily News...November 18, 1918
Samuel Brown was born December 25, 1838 in Fayette County, Pennsylvania. He died at his residence on North Broadway in Greensburg, Indiana November 1, 1918 at 9:40 o'clock in the evening.
When two years of age he removed with his parents to Westboro, Ohio. then, at the age of 16 years he moved with the family to Ripley County, Indiana.
At the outbreak of the Civil War, he enlisted in Company H., 5th Indiana Calvary where he served three months. He then transferred into the 1st Reg't, United States Cavalry, November 19, 1862. He took part in about 30 battles during his term of service, among them was the Battle of the Wilderness, Cold Harbor and Chickamauga and other minor engagements. He was discharged November 19, 1865. On October 7, 1866 he was united in marriage to Sarah A. Stegner of Dearborn County, Indiana.
To this union were born two sons and five daughters. The sons are: Benjamin H. of Indianapolis and Edgar M. Brown of Anderson, Indiana. The daughters are: Mrs. Rose (Nathaniel) Gentry of Greensburg; Mrs. Jessie (James) Underwood of Greensburg; Mrs. Mae (James) Gartin of Rushville; Mrs. Sadie (William) Billiu of Anderson; and Mrs. Mamie (Clarence) Stott of Westport. All residents of Indiana; 17 grandchildren and five great grandchildren have been born into the family.
Mr. and Mrs. Brown celebrated their golden wedding two years ago (1916) at their home on North Broadway with a family reunion of the children and grandchildren.
Twelve years ago he moved to Greensburg from Westport, which place has been his home until the day when he moved up into his "house not made with hands" fitted up for him on the other side of the "Mystic Stream". He was the last one of a family of ten children. His brother, John H. Brown, preceded him in death only a few weeks ago. He was a long-time member of the M.E. Church and up to the time of his death, he was an active member of Pap Thomas Post No. 5, G. A. R. This death marks the passing of another one of our good and highly esteemed men. His life was a true type of our average of American manhood, a fine exemplification of the possibilities of the common man. As Husband, he was loyal and true. As a father he was indulgent and kind; he loved his children and they all loved him. As a soldier he proved patriotism by his long and faithful service by the side of his comrades during our nation's great and eventful struggle from 1861-1865. For more than half a century since the war as a citizen, he has been as loyal and patriotic as he was during the war. We claim for him along with the rest of our Grand Army comrades, a definite and marked consistency of life. As soldiers, we loved our country well enough during the war to die for it by the thousands; and since that time we have loved it well enough to live for it up to the highest standards of American citizenship.
As a man and neighbor, Mr. Brown enjoyed the respect and esteem of all who knew him. As a churchman and Christian, his faith was simple and implicit. His mind was not troubled with any speculative questionings. Being an old time convert he was in love with the old-time doctrine of the church. In his soul there was always to be found a ready response to the things that were true and of good report. He loved the standard hymnology. He very much preferred the good old songs of our faith, such as thrilled the soul of men and women, creating holy zeal and divine enthusiasm as they did, to the classic music, so called, of these modern times. "Jesus Lover of My Soul", "Nearer My God to Thee", and Cowper's great poem, "God moves in a mysterious way, His Wonders to Perform" were his favorites. Having lived a Christian's life, our dear Brother Brown has entered into a good man's reward.
l-r: Sadie, dau. Marion
Sadie, gr son, Robert
The Brown Family
Minnie May (Brown) Garton
Children of Samuel Brown and Sarah A. (Stegner) Brown
1. Rosie Brown 3 (Samuel Brown 2, George W. Brown 1) born 12 October 1868; died 1920. She married 7 January 1866, Nathaniel Gentry.
2. Jessie Brown 3 (Samuel Brown 2, George W. Brown 1) born 14 December 1869; died 1945. She married 22 December 1892, James Underwood.
3. Minnie May Brown 3 (Samuel Brown 2, George W. Brown 1) born 23 October 1871 in Westport, Decatur County, Indiana; died 20 October 1960 in Whittier, California. She married 5 November 1891 in Burney, Decatur County, Indiana, James William Gartin born 8 March 1871 in Burney, Decatur County, Indiana; died 13 June 1942 in Whittier, California. He was a son of Felix Gartin and Dorcas (Pavy) Gartin. The children of James and Minnie May Gartin were: Walter Raymond Gartin, born 23 December 1893, died 14 February 1918; Nellie Mae Gartin, born 29 March 1898; Lotus Felix Gartin, born 24 May 1901, died 14 March 1980, married (1) Phyllis Cassidy, (2) 25 July 1923, Hortense Orcutt born 22 September 1903, died 6 April 1999. All three children of James and Minnie Gartin were born in Burney, Decatur County, Indiana. James and Minnie Gartin moved to Whittier, California where they had an orange grove and a farm.
4. Sadie Claire Brown 3 (Samuel Brown 2, George W. Brown 1) born 27 August 1873 in Westport, Decatur County, Indiana; died 30 September 1963 in South Pasadena, California. She married 21 July 1895 in Decatur County, Indiana, William Kyle Billiu born 22 November 1869 in Decatur County, Indiana. He was the step-son of George W. Billiu and the son of Harriet Isabel Borden. For more information see THE BILLIU FAMILY.
5. Benjamin Harrison Brown 3 (Samuel Brown 2, George W. Brown 1) born 6 November 1876; died in 1934 very tragically. He worked for the railroad and was killed on the job, being run over by a train.
6. Mary Elizabeth Brown 3 (Samuel Brown 2, George W. Brown 1) born 27 September 1879; died 18 February 1966 in Westport, Decatur County, Indiana. She married 16 July 1896, Clarence Stott.
7. Edgar M. Brown 3 (Samuel Brown 2, George W. Brown 1) born 3 June 1882. He married 17 September 1902, Lydia Luginbell.
SADIE CLAIRE (BROWN) BILLIU 3 AND WILLIAM KYLE BILLIU
Sadie Brown, dau, Sarah Esther
l-r: Marion, Marshall, Vernon, Earl, Sarah Esther
William K. Billiu, son Earl
Sadie Claire Brown 3 (Samuel Brown 2, George W. Brown 1) born 27 August 1873 in Westport, Decatur County Indiana; died 30 September 1963 in South Pasadena, California at the age of 90 years. She married 21 July 1895 in Decatur County, Indiana, William Kyle Billiu born 22 November 1869 in Decatur County, Indiana; died 30 August 1935 in Huntington, Cabell County, Indiana. Sadie and William Billiu were separated but not divorced. Sadie moved to California with her daughter, Marion. William stayed in West Virginia where he died in 1935, being hit by a car and killed while crossing the street near his gas station in Huntington, Cabell County, West Virginia. Sadie worked in downtown Los Angeles at the May Company Department Store before her retirement.
Children of Sadie Claire (Brown) Billiu and William Kyle Billiu
1. Sarah Esther Billiu 4 (Sadie Claire Brown 3, Samuel Brown 2, George W. Brown 1) born 26 April 1896 in Westport, Decatur County, Indiana; died 31 December 1949 in Los Angeles County, California. She married (1) about 1916, Thomas Edmond Fletcher, divorced (2) Elmer Virgil Gibson.
2. Earl Adolphus Billiu 4 (Sadie Claire Brown 3, Samuel Brown 2, George W. Brown1) born 12 September 1897 in Westport, Decatur County, Indiana; died November 1970 in Huntington, West Virginia. He married (1) 30 June 1919, Mona Sherman (2) Jessie Smith (3) 5 January 1925 in Kanawha County, West Virginia, Margaret Durbin born 1903.
3. Vernon William Billiu 4 (Sadie Claire Brown 3, Samuel Brown 2, George W. Brown 1) born 1 March 1899 in Westport, Decatur County, Indiana; died 21 June 1955 in Huntington, West Virginia. He married 5 August 1921, Edria Mabel Grady.
4. Marshall Luther Billiu 4 (Sadie Claire Brown 3, Samuel Brown 2, George W. Brown 1) born 7 April 1902 in Westport, Decatur Co., Indiana; died 1 March 1964 in Los Angeles, California. He married Helene Sophia Dupuis born 21 July 1909; died 29 January 1960 in Compton, California. They had sons: Royal, Bruce and Dale, all deceased.
5. Marion Abigail Billiu 4 (Sadie Claire Brown3, Samuel Brown 2, George W. Brown 1) born 9 June 1905 in Westport, Decatur County, Indiana; died 29 November 1979 in South Pasadena, California. She married Fletcher Briggs Watson born 23 September 1901 in Vermont; died 9 March 1976 in South Pasadena, California. They had children: Fletcher Briggs Watson, Jr.; twins, Nancy and Larry Watson. Briggs and Larry are now deceased.
SARAH ESTHER (BILLIU) FLETCHER 4 AND THOMAS EDMOND FLETCHER
Thomas Gordon Fletcher
Marshall G., Thomas G.
Marshall G., Sarah E., Thomas G.
Fletcher Family, Coney Is.
l-r: Robert, William
Sarah Esther Billiu 4 (Sadie Claire Brown 3, Samuel Brown 2, George W. Brown 1) born 26 April 1896 in Westport, Decatur County, Indiana; died 31 December 1949 at the Methodist Hospital in downtown Los Angeles, California at the age of 53 years. She died of a brain tumor, was operated on but the tumor had spread and could not be removed. She lived only a few months after the surgery. She married (1) about 1916, Thomas Edmond Fletcher, divorced about 1933/1934 (2) about 1936/1937, Elmer Virgil Gibson. Thomas Fletcher was the father of her children. There were no children born to her marriage to Elmer Gibson.
Sarah Esther Billiu and Thomas Edmond Fletcher moved from Indiana to Kanawha County, West Virginia about 1916. Thomas and Sarah Esther (Billiu) Fletcher had 4 sons, including a set of twin boys born in 1917. The twins, Thomas Gordon and Marshall Grant Fletcher were born in Dunbar, Kanawha County, West Virginia. The two younger children, William Richard and Robert Edgar Fletcher were born in Charleston, West Virginia. Thomas Fletcher's father, Ulysses Grant Fletcher, was the president and founder of the Fletcher Enamel Company in Dunbar, West Virginia.
Sarah Esther and Thomas Fletcher separated about 1933/1934. Esther (she went by Esther) took her two young children, William and Robert with her to Los Angeles, California where her mother and sister had moved a few years before, leaving her two older sons with their grandmother in Charleston, West Virginia so they could finish high school. They rode the bus from Charleston to Los Angeles but ran out of money in Texas and had to send for money from her sister, Marion, so they could continue their journey. After their graduation, the two older boys also moved to California to be near their mother and the rest of the family. She rented a bungalow on Santa Barbara Avenue in Los Angeles near Exposition Park. Her two young boys, Robert and William had many happy memories of playing in the large park and using the Olympic size swimming pool. The 1930's were very happy years for a child growing up in Los Angeles. Esther worked for Sears Roebuck and Company at Slauson and Vermont Avenues for many years. About 1936/1937 she met and married Elmer Virgil Gibson. He was a mechanic by trade and a very good step-father to William and Robert. They bought a house on 74th Street in Southwest Los Angeles and lived there until the children had graduated from Washington High School. That house was sold in 1943 and they bought a house a few blocks away in the 1200 block on 71st Street. Esther's uncle and other members of the family decided to move to Grants Pass, Oregon and go into the cattle business. Esther and Elmer Gibson thought they might like Oregon too so they sold the home on 71st Street and bought a rural home in Glendale, Oregon near Grants Pass on Cow Creek about 1944/1945. The first winter that they were in Oregon it rained most of the time and the creek rose and they were afraid it would flood the house. There was much thunder and lightning and that scared Esther into selling the home and moving back to California even though they had only been there for a few months. On returning to California, they bought a home in Inglewood on Brett Street. Esther and Elmer Gibson lived at this home at the time of Esther's death.
Children of Sarah Esther (Billiu) Fletcher and Thomas Edmond Fletcher
1. Thomas Gordon Fletcher 5 (Sarah Esther Billiu 4, Sadie Claire Brown 3, Samuel Brown 2, George W. Brown 1) a twin, born 16 June 1917 in Dunbar, Kanawha County, West Virginia; died 6 May 1945 at Cherry Point, North Carolina on a training exercise. He was never married.
2. Marshall Grant Fletcher 5 (Sarah Esther Billiu 4, Sadie Claire Brown 3, Samuel Brown 2, George W. Brown 1) a twin, born 16 June 1917 in Dunbar, Kanawha County, West Virginia; died 29 December 1973 in Dunbar, Kanawha County, West Virginia. He married (1) Phyllis June Hill born 30 June 1921; died 28 December 2001 in California. they had one child and then divorced. He married (2) Faith Hanning, had five more children.
3. William Richard Fletcher 5 (Sarah Esther Billiu 4, Sadie Claire Brown 3, Samuel Brown 2, George W. Brown 1) born 11 November 1923 in Charleston, Kanawha County, West Virginia; died 25 April 1980 in California. He was never married.
4. Robert Edgar Fletcher 5 (Sarah Esther Billiu 4, Sadie Clair Brown 3, Samuel Brown 2, George W. Brown 1) is a 3 year Navy veteran of World War II and served in the South Pacific aboard LST 242, he married Marjorie. They have 3 children, 6 grandchildren and 9 great grandchildren.
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