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The Brown Family

Part 3

John W. Brown Enlists in the Ohio Volunteer Infantry

John W. Brown served in the 79th Ohio Volunteer Infantry during the Civil War. He entered service as a Private in Company I on Aug. 13, 1862. He transferred to Company C on Oct. 1, 1862 and was appointed Corporal on July 21, 1864. He was mustered out with his company on June 9, 1865.

The 79th OVI was organized at Camp Dennison, Ohio in August 1862. They were ordered to Kentucky on September 3, 1862. During 1863, the 79th Regiment spent most of its time skirmishing with guerrilla bands and small Confederate units. They finally joined up with General Rosecrans at Bowling Green, Ky., and marched into Tennessee. Here they joined with General Sherman and started the march on Atlanta, Ga.

Major Battles for the Regiment:

About May 1, 1865, after the surrender of General Joe Johnston in North Carolina, the regiment marched to Richmond, Va., then traveled to Washington, D.C., for the Grand Review of the Armies before President Johnson and General Grant on May 23-24, 1865. They were mustered out on June 9, 1865 and returned home on June 17, 1865.

John W. Brown and Florence Viola Prickett

Florence Viola (Prickett) Brown
Florence Viola (Prickett) Brown

In 1866 John W. Brown married Florence V. Prickett. Some researchers indicate their marriage took place in 1861. We can find no records confirming either year as the year of their marriage. However, since their first child was born in late 1867, we lean towards 1866 as the marriage year. According to her headstone in Flag Spring Cemetery and a recently uncovered bible record, Florence was born on Dec. 27, 1841. Based on this Clermont County Guardianship Record as well as the bible record mentioned above, we now know that Florence's parents were Isaiah Prickett and Elizabeth Davidson who were married in Clermont Co., Ohio in 1838. Before the discovery of the bible and guardianship records, there was little evidence as to names of Florence's parents. While Isaiah Prickett appears in the 1840 census (as Isaac - his father was the Isaiah Prickett listed on the same page), neither Isaiah, Elizabeth nor Florence Viola Prickett appear in the 1850 census which was the first time that the names of wives and children were listed. In the 1860 census, we find Viola Prickett living as a Domestic with the Isaac Ferris family in Spencer Township in Hamilton Co., Ohio. The Ferris and Brown families lived around four miles from each other, so it's plausible that John W. Brown met Florence Viola Prickett while she lived with the Ferris family, particularly since the Ferris's were prominent farmers and the household included two blacksmiths. Blacksmithing was the Brown family business for many generations and it's not difficult to imagine John Brown meeting Viola Prickett when he (an apprentice carpenter) or one of his family members made a business trip to the Ferris farm.

John W. Brown and Florence (Prickett) Brown had four children:

According to the 1870 census, John W. Brown was living in Anderson Township with his wife Florence (Prickett) Brown and their son Elmore Grant Brown. His cousin, Francis M. Brown, son of Jacob Brown, lived next to John W. Brown. Also, according to the 1870 census, John W. Brown's uncle, John Brown, was living in Anderson Township; his son Warren Brown, daughter-in-law Bell (Hay) Brown and grandson Thomas were living with him. It's not known at this time when John Brown died, but there is no record of him in the 1880 census.

There were Special Notices in the Cincinnati Enquirer on Jan. 6. 1873 that may provide a clue as to when John Brown died. Two notices were from I.O.O.F. organizations, Spencer Lodge No. 347 and Anderson Encampment No. 85; the third was from Columbia Lodge No. 18 of the Knights of Pythias. The notices requested their members to assemble at their respective halls on Jan. 7 at 1:00 pm sharp to attend the funeral for Past Grand and fellow Knight John Brown. We do not know if John Brown was a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows or the Knights of Pythias, let alone a past Noble Grand or Knight, and there were several John Browns in the Cincinnati area around this time. However, the timing and the fact that John W. Brown and other family members were buried at Flag Spring Cemetery in Newtown, Ohio, an I.O.O.F. cemetery, suggests there may be a link. The fact that John Brown was a farmer and shoemaker might not preclude his having held the Knight or Noble Grand rank. T. [Thomas] N. Brooks, the Noble Grand of Spencer Lodge, was a farmer and A. [Andrew] J. Totten from the Columbia Lodge was a stone mason. Newtown, Ohio was just east of Spencer Township where the Spencer Lodge was located.

The 1880 census showed:

1880 Census - Anderson Township, Hamilton County [Census Record]
NameSexAgeRelationSingleMarriedProfessionPlace of BirthPOB-FatherPOB-Mother
John W. BrownM44CarpenterOhioPa?Ohio
Florence V. BrownF38WifeKeeping HouseOhioOhioOhio
Elmore G. BrownM12SonAttends SchoolOhioOhioOhio
Eva G. BrownF9DaughterAttends SchoolOhioOhioOhio
Edwin D. BrownM6SonAttends SchoolOhioOhioOhio

In 1890 John W. Brown appeared in the United States Census of Union Veterans and Widows of the Civil War. At the time he was living in Linwood, Hamilton Co., Ohio. He indicated that he was in Company C of the 79th Ohio Volunteer Infantry, achieved the rank of Corporal, and was discharged on June 9, 1865 after 2 years, 10 months and 25 days of service. On Aug. 23, 1890 John W. Brown applied for a pension based on his service in the 79th OVI. The Dependent and Disability Pension Act of 1890 "provided pensions for all veterans who had served at least ninety days in the Union military or naval forces, were honorably discharged from service and were unable to perform manual labor, regardless of their financial situation or when the disability was suffered." On Dec. 9, 1896 the Cincinnati Enquirer reported that he and numerous other Cincinnati area veterans and widows had received approval of their pensions.

Florence (Prickett) Brown died on Jan. 3, 1892 and John W. Brown died on August 6, 1904. Here's a copy of John W. Brown's death notice from the Cincinnati Enquirer. They are buried at Flag Spring Cemetery in Newtown, Hamilton Co., Ohio. John W. Brown's headstone is engraved as follows:

Corp'l J. W. Brown, Co. C, 79 Ohio Inf.

Here's a copy of the deed, signed on Feb. 13, 1892, in which John W. Brown agreed to purchase Lot 21 in Block C from the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, Flag Spring Lodge, of Newtown, Ohio. There were likely a number of burial plots in Lot 21, because John W. Brown, Florence (Prickett) Brown, Elmore Grant Brown, Jeanette (Turner) Brown and Edwin Brown are buried next to each other at the Flag Spring Cemetery.

Elmore Grant Brown and Jeanette Turner

Jeanette Brown around 1890
Jeanette Brown around 1890
Elmore Grant Brown around 1890
Elmore Brown around 1890

On Aug. 27, 1890, Elmore Grant Brown married Jeanette Turner who was born and raised in the east end of Cincinnati between Tusculum and Linwood. Elmore Brown was raised in Newtown, Hamilton County, Ohio. See the newspaper article at Turner, Part 5 for more about their "Elegant Wedding" including an expansive list of attendees, presents given to the bride and groom, the decor, and the music performed at the wedding.

Elmore Brown likely received training as a carpenter in his youth since his father and several members of his extended family were carpenters. However, it's clear, based on Cincinnati Directories (from 1888 thru 1904) and the 1900 census that his earliest employment was as a painter. Based on two letters exchanged between Elmore and Jeanette in 1889, we now know there was a short period in which Elmore had embarked on a different profession. It appears he got a job with the railroad in 1889, possibly the Ohio and Mississippi Railway which cut though southern Indiana. It's likely his brief stint in the railroad business was prompted, and perhaps facilitated by, his future wife's brother, Eben Forbes Turner, who worked for the Little Miami Railroad among others (see Turner, Part 6). In Jennie's April 24, 1889 letter written at the home of her grandparents (Andrew Jackson and Sarah Turner), she talked a lot about her family and referenced a recent death of a neighbor's son who was working "on freight at Red Bank" and "being so afraid they will bring Jack (likely her brother Andrew Jackson Turner) home in the same condition." It was clear that Jennie wasn't thrilled about her brothers' railroad jobs and that likely extended to her future husband's job as well. Unfortunately, the last page or so of the letter is missing, so we don't know if she went on to articulate those concerns in this letter or saved them for later. In his Monday, June 10 [1889] letter, Elmore was distressed that a letter Jennie had written had not caught up with him and left him unaware she was sick. He promised to get home by Wednesday to see her. However, in closing he said, "Jennie, I would like to live in Seymour [Indiana] because it is a nice place." Living in Seymour likely would have meant his continuing to work for the railroad. Given Jennie's concerns about railroad jobs in general, and their statements about missing each other so much while he was on the road, it's not surprising Elmore was back in the painting business by the time they got married in 1890.

Elmore Grant Brown kept at the painting profession for many years before taking a job as a janitor at Linwood School around 1905. At that time he and Jennie bought a home at 4738 Harris Street in Linwood, the same street (different house) where his father had lived before he died on August 6, 1904. According to the 1910 census, Jeanette's parents, George W. and Martha M. Turner were living with them.

1910 Census - City of Cincinnati, Hamilton County [Census Record]
House No./StreetNameRelationSexAgePlace of BirthProfessionBusiness
4738 Harris St.Elmore G. BrownHeadM42OhioJanitorSchool house
Jennette BrownWifeF42OhioNone
Herbert E.SonM17OhioTelegraph OperatorWestern Union
Erma M.DaughterF15OhioNone
Charles H.SonM8/12OhioNone
George W. Burner [Turner]Father-in-lawM66OhioMail ClerkGovernment Service
Martha M. Burner [Turner]Mother-in-lawF62OhioNone

Elmore and Jeanette moved quite a few times after they were married. Elmore's job at Linwood School and the home they purchased on Harris Street gave them a degree of stability they would enjoy for more than ten years. Harris Street was renamed Garland Street around 1910. Here's a 1912 map of the Linwood area. Garland Street is in the lower left corner of the map; Linwood School is top center on Eastern Avenue just across the railroad tracks. Elmore and Jeanette Brown lived there until early 1918 when Elmore switched jobs. At that time, their daughter Erma and her husband William Ellis Pruiett moved into the Garland Street house and Elmore and Jeanette moved to Hamilton Avenue to be closer to his new job. It's likely the Browns sold that house in late 1919 because both the Browns and Pruietts lived elsewhere according to the 1920 census.

1920 Census - City of Cincinnati, Hamilton County [Census Record]
House No./StreetNameRelationSexAgePlace of BirthProfessionBusiness
5819 Salvia Ave.Elmore G. BrownHeadM52OhioJanitorPublic school
Jennett BrownWifeF52OhioNone
[Charles] HarmonSonM10OhioNone
Erma May, Elmore, Jeanette, and Herbert Brown around 1900
Erma May, Elmore, Jeanette, and Herbert Brown around 1900

Elmore and Jeanette (Turner) Brown had three children:

Elmore Grant Brown in SUVCW Uniform
Elmore Grant Brown in SUVCW Uniform

Both Elmore Grant Brown and Jeanette (Turner) Brown were children of Civil War veterans. As the son of a Union Army veteran, Elmore Brown joined the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War (SUVCW). Organized in 1881, the SUVCW was the successor to the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR). Jeanette (Turner) Brown was the daughter of Union Cavalry veteran, George Washington Turner (see Turner, Part 4 for more on his service). Jeanette Brown joined several organizations (as evidenced in this newspaper obituary from 1954) including Mrs. Abraham Lincoln Tent No. 14, Daughters of Union Veterans of the Civil War (DUVCW); George H. Thomas Woman's Relief Corps (WRC) which was founded in 1883 as the women's auxillary to the Grand Army of the Republic; America Council 21, Daughters of America; and the Walnut Hills Chapter, Order of the Eastern Star. Here's a picture of Jeanette Brown attending what we suspect was a WRC meeting. While we can't read the framed documents in the background of the picture, they appear to be titled "Grand Army of the Republic" with the GAR logo just beneath. The Brown family received a letter and resolution from the Order of the Eastern Star commending her more than 30 years of service to that organization.

Around 1921, Elmore switched careers again and invested in a candy store on W. McMicken Street in the Brighton District of Cincinnati. Unfortunately, around that same time the old canal behind their store was being turned into a new subway system and the hill behind the store started slipping, so they had to evacuate the building. A few years later, the subway was abandoned and Central Parkway was built. In the meantime, they moved the store to 1163 Harrison Ave., one block east of Spring Grove Ave. The store was one block from the street car barn and much of their trade came from them. The store was in two parts. One half was ice cream, candy and tobacco. The other half was Dry Goods.

Elmore Grant Brown
Elmore Grant Brown
Jeanette Brown
Jeanette Brown

Ralph Pruiett, Sr. remembered that, as a child, he would watch his Grandpa Brown make ice cream on a stick. This was long before it became a common item. He would take a big scoop of ice cream, put a wooden spoon in it, dip it in Hot Chocolate, put it on wax paper to cool, then put it in the freezer. He sold his ice cream on a stick for five cents each.

Uncle Ed, Grandpa's brother, lived with them until he died in 1929. Uncle Ed had a stiff leg. He told the kids he was kicked by a mule. They learned later that he had TB of the bone and had to have the kneecap and part of the bone removed, which was why his leg was stiff.

Turner Family Reunion at Blanche Wortman's Home in Oakley - 1925
Turner Family Reunion at Blanche Wortman's Home in Oakley - 1925
Five Generations
Five Generations

Elmore Grant Brown died on Feb. 19, 1931 and Grandma Brown sold the store. Shortly after selling the store on Harrison Ave., Charles Brown talked his mother into buying a store at 14th and Race Streets in the Over-the-Rhine District. After Charles got married, the store was too much work for Grandma Brown. She sold it and moved to 2456 Gilbert Ave. at Peebles Corner. Over the years, her eyesight got worse and by the time she died on May 7, 1954 (see death notice) she was totally blind. Elmore and Jeanette Brown are buried at Flag Spring Cemetery in Newtown, Hamilton Co., Ohio.

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