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The Brown Family

Part 1

Captain Aaron Mercer of Winchester, Va. and his son-in-law, Ichabod Benton Miller arrived at Columbia in southwestern Ohio in December 1788. In 1790, Mercer moved to Garard's Station. Around that time Mercersburgh (Newtown) was surveyed.

Massie, Nathaniel Survey No. 2276 A. Anderson TP-Newtown-surveyed for Nathaniel Massie, Assignee. 600 Acres of land on part of a military warrant no. 463 on the waters of Clough Creek [in southwestern Ohio]...

A 1790 map of Mercersburgh shows that the first lot owners were: Captain Aaron Mercer, Surveyor, Ichabod B. Miller, Thomas Brown, Alexander McConnelshew, James Grimes, David Ziegler, William Milner, J. Dunseth, Isaac Sturges, John Repsher, Michael DeBolt, Lot Cooper and Ed. Mercer. They did not begin building until 1792 when they erected a stockade on land not yet formally owned by them. Mercer did not legally purchase the land from Massie until May 19, 1796. The stockade was never attacked by the Indians because it was too well-fortified and had a spring within the walls. By 1796 only two cabins were built outside the stockade. However, in 1794 General Anthony Wayne had defeated the Indians at Fallen Timbers and, after the Treaty of Greenville in 1795, the settlers began moving from the stockade and taking up their farms and homes.

The following is from Newtown, Ohio - 200th Anniversary Bicentennial Edition 1792 - 1992:

Thomas Brown married Anne Mercer, daughter of Captain Aaron Mercer. Brown built his log home here with a store in front, facing the road that was cut through the center of the In-Lots, one to ten. That road is now Main Street and Brown's place stood on what is, today, the Mini Park, just east of the Feed store. In 1803 when our citizens voted for representatives to the Ohio Legislature following the creation of the State by act of Congress of the United States, Thomas Brown's store was the polling place.
State representatives from Anderson Township elected in 1803 were Thomas Brown and I.B. Miller.

Thomas and Anne Brown had two sons, Hope and Thomas, born around 1804 and 1806 respectively. Thomas and Anne Brown died in 1806. They were the victims of the cholera epidemic. Dr. Lambert Richardson and his wife raised the orphaned sons of Thomas and Anne Brown. Both boys became physicians and were still living in Hamilton and Clermont Counties in the 1850s.

The name "Newtown" came by a strange bit of bickering by the people of the town. One half of the town wanted to keep the name of "Mercersburgh." The other half wanted to name it "Newtown" for the town they came from in Virginia. There were many heated and bitter fights on the subject. No one really knew how it was settled, but when the Post Office opened in 1810, it was named Newtown.

Given this brief early history of Mercersburgh/Newtown, we can continue with the history of the family. Ralph Pruiett, Sr. learned from the Historical Society of Newtown that his great-great-great-grandfather was Hubbard Brown who arrived in Mercersburgh shortly after 1805. He was the town's first blacksmith and, as far as we know, he was not related to Thomas Brown the storekeeper. Hubbard Brown raised at least five sons and five daughters. While we do not know the names of his daughters at this time, we know the names of four of his sons: Thomas and Isaac who became blacksmiths, John, a shoe maker, and Jacob, a wagon maker. The four identified sons show up clearly in the 1850 census as well as other censuses before and after that. Based on their ages in those censuses and information from Thomas Brown's headstone, here is what we know at this time about these four sons:

This chronology for the births of Hubbard Brown's sons suggests that he moved to Ohio between 1805 and 1809. The 1800 census indicates that Hubbard Brown likely had two sons and two daughters when he moved his family to Ohio.

1800 Census - Middletown Township, Bucks County [Census Record]
NameM(-10)M(10-16)M(26-45)F(-10)F(26-45)
Hubbert Brown11121

The 1820 census indicates that Hubbard Brown's family now included three sons and three daughters who could not have been born at the time of the 1800 census:

1820 Census - Anderson Township, Hamilton County [Census Record]
NameM(-10)M(10-16)M(16-18)M(45+)F(-10)F(10-16)F(45+)#Agr.#Com.#Mfg.
Hubbard Brown11112111

Thomas Brown, son of Hubbard Brown, is listed in the 1840, 1850 and 1860 censuses for Anderson Township in Hamilton Co., Ohio. In the 1840 census he is listed as age 40-50 with a female, age 30-40, probably wife Sarah, and nine children living with him. In the 1850 census, it is clear that his and wife Sarah's ages are reversed. Sarah died in 1859 at the age of 55 and, therefore, does not appear in the 1860 census. Based on the 1850 and 1860 censuses, here are the children of Thomas and Sarah Brown:

William K. Brown, son of Thomas Brown, was a member of the 138th Ohio National Guard which was mustered in May 14, 1864 for 100 days, becoming the 138th Ohio Infantry. His regiment was immediately sent to the Washington, D.C. area where they served mostly on garrison duty until Sept. 1, 1864 at places like Harpers Ferry, Forts Albany, Craig, and Tillinghast, White House Landing, Bermuda Hundred, Point of Rocks, Broadway Landing, and Cherrystone Inlet. William K. Brown may have been one of the eight enlisted men who died during their service, all due to disease.

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