Ezra S Stearns.

Genealogical and family history of the state of New Hampshire : a record of the achievements of her people in the making of a commonwealth and the founding of a nation (Volume 4) online

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of John and Sarah Browne, who was born
in Newbury Massachusetts, October 24, 1665. There
were eleven children. John Browne's will was dated
in 1721, and was probated in 1722, which indicates
the year of his death.

(III) Samuel, eldest son of John and Abigail
(Browne) Browne, was born at Rowley, Massachu-
setts, July 20, 1686. In 1722 he purchased of his
sister Hannah and his brother Joseph, then of Bos-
ton, their rights to the estate of their father, John
Browne, then deceased. He lived several years in
Ryfield Parish and the town of Rowley. He was
collector of the parish and a prominent citizen of the
latter place. On February 11, 171 1, he was excused
from military service on account of a lame hand,
and on July 17, 1724, he was again excused, "provided
he keep arms and ammunition to" show when re-
quired." In 1729 he removed from Rowley to Lit-
tleton, Massachusetts, and with his wife was admitted
to the church in Littleton from Ryfield Parish. In
1736 he was constable at Littleton. In 1743 he moved
from that town to West Dunstable, now HoUis, New
Hampshire, where he was prominent in church and
â– town affairs, and was one of the committee to
arrange for the ordination of Rev. Daniel Emerson.
Samuel Browne's name appears frequently in the
registry of deeds in connection with the purchase
of valuable tracts of real estate. On May 17, 1716,
Samuel Browne married Elizabeth Wheeler, daugh-
ter of Josiah and Elizabeth Wheeler, of Salisbury,
Massachusetts, who was born July 12, 1695. They
had nine children : John, who died young ; Mary,
Josiah, John, whose sketch follows ; Hannah, who
married Samuel Farley, of Hollis ; Sarah, Susannah,
Martha, who married Eleazer Cummings, and re-
moved, after 1760, to Maine ; and Samuel. Samuel
Brown the father, died February 25, 1755, probably
at Hollis, and his will, which was probated on June
18, of that year, names his son Josiah as executor.
The widow, Mrs. Elizabeth Browne, was living in

(IV) John, third son and fourth child of Samuel
and Elizabeth (Wheeler) Brown, was born prob-
ably at Rowley, Massachusetts, and was baptized at
Byfield by Rev. Moses Hale, March 29, 1724. When
a youth of nineteen he moved with his people to
Hollis, New Hampshire, and six years later he set-
tled in the neighboring town of Monson, now a part
of Amherst, New Hampshire, where he lived for
sixteen years, serving as selectman during three years
of that period. In 1762, in company with his
brother Josiah, who had been a lieutenant in the
French and Indian war, and five other pioneers,
he traveled north along the Merrimack and Pemi-
gewasset rivers till they reached what is now Plym-
outh. Here they chose locations, built log cabins,
and began to clear the land for farms. In the spring
of 1764 they took their families into the wilderness.
The names both of John and Josiah Brown appear
among the grantees or proprietors of the new town,
and John Brown was taxed there till 1774, being
taxed the next year as a non-resident. He was one
of a committee of arrangements for' the ordination
of Rev. Nathan Ward, of Plymouth. John Brown

En^l ly SS.Salts So-ns.l'i^




was a practicing physician, though he probably never
graduated from a medical school. He was twice
married and had ten children in all, of whom seven
were by the first wife. She was Keziah Wheeler,
daughter of James Wheeler, who was born in Con-
cord, Massachusetts, March 10, 1726-7, married Oc-
tober 9, 1744, and died October 31, 1760, leaving
seven children. They were : Silas, who married
Lucy Wheeler, lived at Plymouth, New Hampshire,
and died in the Continental service, December 31,
'^177 '< John, who married Abigail Phillips, and was
a prominent citizen at Thornton, New Hampshire ;
Keziah, who married William Hobart, of Campton,
New Hampshire; Abigail, who married Samuel
Shaw; Phineas, Rebecca and Elizabeth, who married
Nehemiah Phillips. On February 18, 1761, Dr.
John Brown married his second wife, Martha Jewett,
daughter of Ezekiel and Martha (Thurston) Jewett,
of Rowley, Massachusetts, and sister of Rev. David
Jewett, of Candia, New Hampshire. They had three
children : Martha, Sarah and Stephen Thurston,
whose sketch follows. Dr. John Brown died May
6, 1776, and his widow survived him nearly twentj'-
one years, dying March 5, 1797.

(V) Stephen Thurston, youngest of the ten chil-
dren of Dr. John Brown, and only son and third
child of his second wife, Martha Jewett, was born
at Plymouth, New Hampshire, April i8, 1766, being
the second male child born in that town. He bought
sixty-five acres of land in what was afterwards
known as the Locke neighborhood in Bristol, this
state, and there built a log cabin and brought up
a family of ten children. Mr. Brown was a man
of ability and sterling integrit}^ belonging to the sect
of Quakers in whose faith, and according to whose
forms he reared his large family. On December 18,
1788, Stephen T. Brown married Anna Davis, of
Goffstown, New Hampshire, and their children were :
John, a soldier in the War of 1812, who married
Sally Ingalls, and died in Michigan at the age of
ninety-two; Anne, who married Isaac Swett and
lived in Bristol, New Hampshire; Samuel, who
married Susanna S. Dolloff, and lived in Bridge-
water, New Hampshire; Joseph, whose sketch fol-
lows ; Enos, who married Lavina Heath, and lived
in Bridgewater ; Martha, who married Daniel
Simonds, of Bristol, New Hampshire ; Sally, who
married Jacob Colby, of Weare, New Hampshire;
Hannah Locke, who married William Colby, of
Bow, New Hampshire; Stephen, who died at the age
of eighteen ; Mary Ann, who married Jeremiah B.
Warner ; IMichael, who died young ; Asenath, who
married Calvin Fuller, and lived in New Boston,
New Hampshire. Stephen T. Brown died in the
family of his daughter Martha (Mrs. Daniel
Simonds) at South Alexandria, New Hampshire,
May 4, 1839, aged seventy-three years. His widow
died at the home of his son Samuel in Bridgewater,
New Hampshire, May 23, 1851.

(VI) Joseph, third son and fourth child of Sam-
uel Thurston and Anna (Davis) Brown, was born
March 3, 1796, at Bristol, New Hampshire. He was
a lumber dealer and manufacturer. He built the
first saw mill the largest establishment of the kind
in that neighborhood, at Moore's Mills on the Pemi-
gewasset river, five miles above Bristol village. For
fourteen years he did a large business at this place,
turning out masts, spars, factory beams and the like,
which were rafted to Newburyport and Boston by
river and canal. He would have acquired a hand-
some property, but the location of his business was
unfortunate, and freshets persistently carried away
his dams. He and his wife surrendered everything
to their creditors, giving up all they had, according

to the old fashioned ideas of honor and justice. In
1843 he moved to Campton, put up a sawmill, and
for forty years was engaged in lumbering and farm-
ing, living on a fine farm in Thornton during the
years of this period. Mr. Brown was an early
Abolitionist, a man of high principles, firm convic-
tions and advanced ideas. He predicted the inven-
tion of the telephone more than half a century be-
fore it came into use. He was brought up a rigid
Sabbatarian, according to strict Quaker rule; and
he never diverged from the habits of that sect; but
in early life he became a Universalist, and later a
Spiritualist. In 1825 Joseph Brown married Relief
Ordway, daughter of Stephen and Mary (Brown)
Ordway, of Salisbury, Massachusetts. She was
born in 1803, and her mother belonged to a promin-
ent family in Bow, New Hampshire. Mr. and Mrs.
Brown had nine children : Alson Landon, whose
sketch follows; Stephen, who served in the Fortieth
Massachusetts X^olunteers, and died in the army at
Folly Island, South Carolina, in November, 1863,
aged thirty-four. Mary Ann, who married Hanson
S. Chase, and lived in Plymouth, New Hampshire ;
Amos, who marriel Annie M. Peebles, and was a
prospcKOus lumber merchant at Seattle, Washing-
ton ; Warren G., whose sketch follows ; Relief, who
married Elijah Averill, Jr.; John O., born and died
in 1841 ; Joseph, who served in the Fifteenth Regi-
ment New Hampshire Volunteers, and died August
II, 1863, aged twenty-one; Laura Augusta who mar-
ried George W. Merrill of Campton, New Hamp-
shire. Of these nine children, all lived to adult
life except John O. who died in babyhood, and the
two soldiers, Stephen and Joseph, who were sacri-
ficed on the altar of their country in 1863. Joseph
Brown died at Whitefield, New Hampshire, March
26, 1884. having attained the goodly age of eighty-
eight years. His wife died at Campton, May, 1867,
aged sixty-four years.

(VII) Alson Landon, eldest child of Joseph and
Relief (Ordway) Brown, was born at Bristol, New
Hampshire, April 9, 1827. At an early age he
acquired a practical knowledge of lumbering from
his father with whom he served a long apprentice-
ship in hard work and exposure to the elements.
WheH twenty-two years of age he received two
hundred dollars as capital with \vhich to begin busi-
ness for himself. He married that year and bought
his father's place in Campton, and a half interest
in the mill, becoming manager of the latter. He
continued in this work for twelve years, or until
1861, when he resold his share to his father who re-
turned to Campton and put up a fine set of build-
ings. Alson Brown then moved to a large interval
farm across the river where he engaged in argicul-
ture till 1872. Meanwhile he carried on lumbering
in company with his father till 1864, when Warren
G. Brown bought the interest of the latter. From
that time the two brothers were associated in busi-
ness, which eventually became the great Brown
Lumber Company, of Northern New Hampshire.
This business is mentioned more fully in the sketch
of Warren G. Brown. In 1872, Alson Brown
moved to Whitefield, which was his home during
the last twenty years of his life. He was a Repub-
lican in politics, and represented Whitefield in the
legislatures of 1881-2. He was a member of the
constitutional convention of 1876, and a delegate
to the Republican national convention at Chicago
in 1880, which nominated James A. Garfield. He
was a delegate to nearly all state conventions after
the age of thirty. He became a Free Mason in
i860, and belonged to White Mountain Lodge,
Whitefield; to North Star Chapter and North Star




Commandery, Lancaster ; and to Omega Council,
Plymouth. He was also a member of St. John's
Lodge, No. 58, Independent ^rder of Odd Fellows,
of Whitefield. Mr. Brown was a man of integrity
and remarkable business ability kind of heart quick
to act and faithful in the performance of every
duty. He was held in high esteem by his workmen,
who presented him with a beautiful gold watch and
chain on the occasion of his silver wedding. On Sep-
tember II, 1849, Alson Landon Brown married
Mary A. Currier, daughter of William and Sophia
Currier, who was born in Ashland, New Hamp-
shire, June 27, 1832. They had eight children, of
whom five lived to maturity : A daughter, born
and died November 11, 1850; William Wallace,
born February 22. 1852, married (first), Louisa
\'>asey; (second). Belle Follansbce, and lives in
Wentworth, New Hampshire ; Oscar Alson, born
January 21, 1854, married Ada Page, and lives in
Whiteficld ; Charles Fremont, born September 7,

1856, died August 22, 1863 ; George Landon, born
May 5. i860, died September 5, i860; Alice Sophia,
born November 14, 1861, married Edward Ray, and
lives in Whitefield ; Joseph Walter, born May 3,
1864, married (first), Katie Howland, and (sec-
ond), .A.nnie Martin, and lives in Whitefield; Etta
Condclle. born May 17, 1869. married Emery Apple-
ton Sanborn, now deceased, and lives in Jamaica
Plain, Massachusetts; married (second). Professor
Fred L. Thompson. Alson Landon Brown died at
Whitefield, January 28, 1892, at the comparatively
early age of sixty-four years. His widow survives
him (1907) at the age of seventy-five years.

(VH) Warren G., fourth son and fifth child of
Joseph and Relief (Ordway) Brown, was born at
Bristol, New Hampshire, July 27, 1834. He was
educated in the common schools, and at sixteen he
was a rugged lad with great physical strength and
a determination to assist his father in caring for the
family. He helped to lift the mortgage from the
farm by cutting timber, working in the mills and
driving logs. From 1855 to 1857 he was employed
in various ways in the lumber business, going "on
the drive, to Lowell, and working for his father and
brother Alson at their mill at West Campton. In

1857, inspired lay dreams of the Golden West, he
went as steerage passenger to California, arid in
December of that year arrived at Puget Sound,
Washington territory, and began cutting logs for
the Puget Mill Company at one dollar per thou-
sand. Tn i860, after three j-ears' continuous labor,
lie had saved between five and six thousand dol-
lars. Coming back to his native state on July i,
i860, he bought his father's farm of four hundred
acres at Thornton. In 1864 he sold his place in
Thornton, and in connection with his brother Alson
L.. formed the firm of A. L. and W. G. Brown, the
nucleus of the great Brown Lumber Company. In
1864 the Brown brothers built mills at Rumney,
which they operated till 1870, when they moved
their plant to Wentworth, constructed large mills
at the foot of Orford and Wentworth ponds, and
did business there for many years. In 1867 they
bought a large tract of timber near Bellows Falls,
Vermont, and Walpole, this state, and did a rushing
business for two years, or until they had exhausted
the supply, when they moved to Littleton. In
1869, Warren G. Brown went to Whitefield to su-
perintend affairs. They took the luiilding of the
defunct White Mountain Lumber Company, and at
once put in machinery for cutting eight millions feet
of lumber yearly, and in 1872 enlarged their plant so
they could cut fifteen millions feet yearly. In 1869
there was no railroad nearer than Littleton, and the

firm gave Mr. Lyon, president of the White Moun-
tain railroad, four thousand dollars to use in ex-
tending the tracks from Wing Road to Whitefield.
In June, 1870, the firm began the construction of a
private railway to transport timber from their land
in Carroll, where they owned between eight and
nine thousand acres, to their mills in Whitefield.
This was called the John's River railroad and was
extended from time to time as their business re-
quired. In 1878 they obtained a charter for the
Wliitefield and Jefferson railroad, which was opened
to Jefferson Meadows in July, 1879, and has since
been extended to Berlin.

On September i, 1874, Brown's Lumber Com-
pany was organized with a capital of half a million
dollars. The Browns, Alson L. and Warren G.,
have always owned a controlling interest, but asso-
ciated with them at different times have been
Nathan R. Perkins, of Jefferson; Dr. Aaron Ord-
way, of Lawrence, Massachusetts ; Ossian Ray, of
Lancaster ; Charles W. King, of Lunenburg, Ver-
mont ; and A. G. Folsom. Their plant is the largest
and most complete of the kind in New England.
In 1882 a complete system of electric lighting was
introduced, enal)ling them to run at full time the
entire year. They put up their own telephone sys-
tem in 1881, and they have owned big stores at
Whitefield and Jefferson Meadows since 1879.
They have factories for the manufacture of mould-
ings, floorings and finishings of all kinds, and for
the making of fine furniture from birch, ash and
bird's eye maple. They own enormous tracts of
pme and spruce timber lands, and their annual
sales have sometimes reached half a million dollars.
To Warren G. Brown must be given the credit of
first suggesting the use of the yellow fir of the Pa-
cific coast for spars and masts in the Atlantic ship-
yards. This fir soon established a reputation, and
the Brown firm has furnished masts for the Eng-
lish, French and Chinese navies. In 1875 the Brown
brothers built a ship of fifteen hundred tons at
Newburyport. Massachusetts, which cost one hun-
dred and twenty thousand dollars when readv for
sea. The next year this ship, the "Brown Broth-
ers," brought the first cargo of Pacific spars to At-
lantic ports. Six other cargoes were afterwards
brought at a cost of over a quarter million. Warren
G. Brown has had special charge of this work, and
he has been several times to the Pacific coast. He
sees great changes in the state of Washington,
which, when he first went there in 1857, had seven
thousand white inhabitants and twenty-one thou-
sand Indians.

Mr. Brown began political life by voting for
John C. Fremont, and was connected with the Re-
publicans until he became interested in the Green-
back party, which made him its candidate for gover-
nor in 1878 and 1880. He represented Whitefield
m the state legislature of 1872-3, was a delegate to
the National Greenback convention in 1880 and was
a delegate to the convention that organized the
Union Labor party in February, 1887. Mr. Brown
is active in temperance work, a strong believer in
Spiritualism, and is a Master Mason of tlie local
lodge. Mr. Brown is a man of democratic plain-
ness, honesty of purpose, strict integrity and orig-
inality of mind. He is now retired from active busi-
ness. Warren G. Brown has been twice married,
but his first wife lived but two years and a half,
and his children are all by the second marriage. In
March, 1861, Warren G. Brown married Ruth B.
Avery, daughter of Stephen and Hannah (Mitchell)
Avery, who was born in Campton, New Hampshire,
and died in Thornton in September, 1863. On



November 2, 1S65, ^^ married Charlotte, daughter
of Ephraim and Eliza (Broad) Elliott, who was
born in Brownfield, Maine, January 11, 1848. Amos
Broad, Mrs. Brown's maternal grandfather, was an
Englishman, who became quite noted as a hotel
keeper and man of affairs in Westbrook, Maine.
Her father, Ephraim Elliott, a native of Thornton,
New Hampshire, for many jears conducted the
hotel at Waterville, New Hampshire, one of the
choicest spots in the White Mountains. Mrs.
Brown is a woman of practical ability, and an able
help-meet in every way. Warren G. and Eliza (El-
liott) Brown had four children : Josephine Ruth,
born at Campton, June 22, 1867; Dasie A., born at
Whitefield, September 22, 1870; Carl Eliott. born
at Whitefield, September 10, 1878; Kenneth Warren,
born at Whitefield, September 8, 1883 ; Josephine R.
Brown married Milford M. Libby, and lives in
Whitefield. Carl E. Brown is located in Idaho. The
other children live in Whitefield.
(Sixth Family.)

There are many families of Browns in
BROWN this country, and the name is especially

numerous in Connecticut, where the
little town of Torrington gave to the world the most
famous of the family, John Brown, "whose soul is
still marching on." The present line has an ancient
and honorable record, but it Jias not been traced to
the earliest American ancestor, because of the im-
possibility of finding the parentage of Deacon Isaiah
Brown, of Stratford, Connecticut, with whom the
record begins.

(I) Deacon and Captain Isaiah Brown was burn
in 1713, and lived at Stratford, Connecticut, where
he took the freeman's oath in 1736. He must have
been a man of prominence, for titles meant some-
thing in those days. He was one of the original
proprietors of Stratford, New Hampshire, which
was named for the Connecticut town, but Deacon
Brown never settled there, leaving the pioneer work
for his eldest son to carry out. Many of the river
towns in New Hampshire and Vermont owe their
beginning to Connecticut enterprise, because it was
an easy matter for the inhabitants of the Nutmeg
state to push up the river. In January, 1735-36,
Deacon Isaiah Brown married Ann Brinsmade,
daughter of Zachariah Brinsmade, of Stratford,
Connecticut, and their children were : Hannah,
Ann, Sarah, James, whose sketch follows; Betty,
Samuel, Rhoda, Nathan, who died young ; and
Isaac, born JNIarch 19, 1755. Deacon Isaiah Brown
died in 1793, at the age of eighty, and his widow
died in 1788, at the age of seventy-two.

(II) James, eldest son and fourth child of Dea-
con Isaiah and Ann (Brinsmade) Brown, was born
in February, 1744, probably at Stratford, Connecti-
cut. With seven other men he began the settle-
ment of Stratford, New Hampshire, in 1772, and at
the meeting of the proprietors in December of that
year, each of these men was awarded the sum of
three pounds in payment for his pioneer work dur-
ing the preceding summer. James Brown called the
first town meeting in Stratford, and was one of the
leading men in the new community. Being the son
of a Congregational deacon, he brought religious
books in his saddle-bags, and the early Sunday serv-
ices were held at his house. In 1800, when the first
church was organized, which happened to be the
Methodist, he became a member, and was ever an
active worker for the cause of religion. James
Brown was a commissary general during the Revol-
ution, and had charge of the fort at Stratford, which
stood on the land wdnere his great-grandson, Wil-
liam Riley Brown, now lives. This fort was built

of logs fourteen inches square, and was situated on
the Connecticut, commanding an extended view up
and down the river. The early settlers were greatly
harassed by the Indians, who came down from the
North, and received a bounty of twenty dollars a
head for every able-bodied man they captured. This
fort had an underground tunnel to the cellar of
Mr. Brown's house. Looking out of the door of
his home he saw a moose crossing the Connecticut
river, and taking his flint lock gun pointed it and
shot the moose, killing him with the first shot ; when
dressed it weighed seven hundred pounds. On an-
other occasion, while fishing in the river where the
water was about twenty feet deep, seeing a salmon
too large for his hook and line, he attached a man-
ure fork (three tines) to the end of the fishing
pole and speared the fish, which weighed forty
pounds. In 1775 James Brown married Hannah,
the sixteen-year-old daughter of Joshua Lamkin,
another Stratford pioneer, and they had a family of
nine children. This was the first marriage to
occur in the new settlement, and their eldest child
Anna, born March 17, 1776, was the first baby born
in the new settled town. James Brown died in 1813,
aged sixty-four, and his widow died in 1836, aged

(III) Samuel F., son of James and Hannah
(Lamkin) Brown, was born at Stratford, New
Hampshire, about 1790. He was a man of promi-
nence, was selectman in 181 8- 19-35, and probably at
other times, but the town records between 1820 and
1835 have been lost. He was representative in 1835,
and also served as sheriff of Coos county. His
early death at the age of forty-six cut him off in his
prime, and at a period when he was in high favor
with his townspeople. Samuel F. Brown married
(first) Judith Smith, and they had three children:
Samuel C, James B. (mentioned with descendants
below), and William R. He married (second), Caro-
line Bishop. Children : Helen, Rollin, John H.,
Loyal, Henry and Alonzo.

(IV) Samuel C, son of Samuel F. and Judith
(Smith) Brown, was born at Stratford, New
Hampshire, February 18, 181 1, on the farm which the
family have owned for generations. He was edu-
cated in the common schools, and became a pros-
perous farmer. He was a Democrat in politics, and
held all the town offices, and represented Stratford
in the legislature of 1877-78. He attended the
Methodist Episcopal Church. Samuel C. Brown
married Sophia, daughter of Thomas Curtis, of
Stratford. They had seven children. The three
now living are Samuel F., who is a farmer in Strat-
ford, New^ Hampshire; Cora B., married Dewer
Rich, of Woodsford, Maine ; and William Riley,
whose sketch follows. Samuel C. Brown died June

8, 1871.

(V) William Riley, son of Samuel C. and
Sophia (Curtis) Brown, was born in Stratford, New
Hampshire, in the same house as his father, April
2, 1844. He was educated in the common schools,
at the academy at Lancaster, New Hampshire, and
at Newbury Seminary, Newbury, Vermont. For
eleven year's he taught school during the winters
and farmed summers. For fifteen years he was^ a
drover, taking cattle to the Boston market. For
several years he was in trade at Stratford Hollow,
but he now devotes his entire attention to farming.
He has been justice of the peace since the age of
twenty-one. He is a Democrat in politics, and was

Online LibraryEzra S StearnsGenealogical and family history of the state of New Hampshire : a record of the achievements of her people in the making of a commonwealth and the founding of a nation (Volume 4) → online text (page 6 of 149)