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Genealogical and personal history of Fayette county, Pennsylvania (Volume 2) online

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Charles Brownfield, the emigrant, was born.
They settled in Ireland and were members of
the Scotch Presbyterian church. The Scotch
family trace to George Brownfield, a native
of England, who was a soldier under Crom-
well, and after the revolution fled to Scotland.
(I) Charles Brownfield was born in Ire-
land, where he grew to manhood. Prior to
the American revolution he emigrated to
America with other members of the family,
settling near Winchester, Virginia, finally
coming to Fayette county, Pennsylvania, be-
ing persuaded to this latter step by Colonel
Burd (his sister's husband), the builder of
Burd's Fort and Burd's Road in Western

Pennsylvania, the fort being built at the
mouth of Redstone creek. Charles Brown-
field built his cabin on his own land, where
stands Brownfield station on the Southwest
Pennsylvania railroad; was several times dis-
lodged and driven off by the Indians, but at
last fixed his abode in peace and safety. The
first title in fee simple given for land in Fay-
ette county is that of Charles Brownfield to
George Troutman, dated November 21, 1783.
He married and had sons, Robert, of whom
further, and Thomas (q. v.). Another account
of the origin of the family was written by
Joseph Brownfield, a son of Basil and great-
grandson of Robert (i) Brownfield. He
says: "The origin of the Brownsfields is:
One Brownsfield, an Irishman, went to Scot-
land and married a Scotch lady by name of
Grier, and had a son, Robert, who came to
America with a wife and family. He came to
Fayette county and camped under a large
white oak tree east of Smithfield, about one-
half mile east of where grandfather and
grandmother Robert and Mary Brownfield
are buried. He was my great-grandfather,
and had a son named Robert, who was my
grandfather. This same Robert married
Alary Bowel', whose mother's maiden name
was Jane Lamont."

(II) Robert, son of Charles Brownfield,
was the settler in Fayette county alluded to
as camping and making his first home under
the spreading branches of a white oak tree
in Georges township, near Smithfield. He
married and had a son Robert.

(III) Robert (2), son of Robert (i) Brown-
field, was born in Fayette county, Pennsyl-
vania, where he spent his life engaged in
farming. He married Mary, daughter of
Thomas and Ann Bowell, whose parents emi-
grated from Wales to America at an early
date. Among the children of Robert and
Mary Brownfield was a son, Basil.

(IV) Basil, son of Robert (2) Brownfield,
wa,> born on the homestead farm near Smith-
field, Fayette county, Pennsylvania, March 2,
1796, died at his farm in South Union town-
ship, August 21, 1881. He received a lim-
ited education in the early subscription
schools, but the absence of book learning was
more than compensated for by a quick, active
brain and an unusually retentive memory.
He worked on the home farm until about
twenty years of age, then began an unusually




active and successful life. By industry and
rare business tact he won his way to fortune
until at the age of thirty-five years he was
accounted wealthy in a local sense. At about
the age of forty he became involved, through
much endorsing and bail giving for others, in
extensive litigation, which financially em-
barrassed him and caused him to mortgage
much of his real estate. Finally, however, he
managed to lift his burdens. During this
period of financial difficulty his business com-
plications became numerous and vexatious,
and a career of litigation in his history was
inaugurated which won for him a remarkable
distinction in the courts, and till the day of
his death a career in which he was for the
most part the victor by one means or an-
other. Litigation became a recreation to
him, obviously a necessity to his happiness ;
strong willed, aggressive and of a strong in-
tellect, he used these weapons to fight the
battle of life, making, as all strong characters
do, hosts of enemies, but also an army of
friends, and many, neither enemies nor
friends, who admired his pluck and diplomacy,
iiowever much they may have questioned
the propriety of some of the weapons with
which he fought. His great experience as a
litigant made him familiar with the legal prin-
ciples and knowledge of common law, and
his quick mind was not slow to take the
measure of the lawyers who frequented Fay-
ette county court house. He held most of
them in royal contempt; one of his expres-
sions concerning them was that they were
"not fit to feed stock." He had at one time
owned thousands of acres of land on the
mountains, and here and there made clear-
ings, put up cabins and got tenants to occupy
them. Almost invariably these "savages" of
tne mountains would quarrel with him and
launch suits at law to avoid payment. These
very people would stop at his fireside, turn
their horses into his pasture and eat at his
table on their trips to and from the court
house. Some of his bitterest legal fights were
with men who thus took advantage of his
well-known hospitality and good nature. Yet
he at times became so wrought up by the
vileness of men and methods employed
against him that he forgot his great virtues
of benevolence, social virtue and rigid sense
of justice, and that he stooped to the -same
questionable methods and used the weapons of

his enemies delighted in. But he was always
better than his surroundings, and at his death
the Genius of Liberty said four days after his
death: "His neighbors bear testimony that
he was a man of good impulses and was al-
ways ready to forgive an injury when ap-
proached in the right way. * * * He
was a pleasant, agreeable gentleman, and his
home was always open for the reception of
his friends and neighbors."

He was a great reader, especially of the
Bible, which he could quote at length, and
at eighty-six years was as full of vigor and
aggressiveness as many a man of forty. He
was publicly known as "Black Hawk," a
name which associated with his will and brawn
bore terror to evil doers. He was a member
of the Baptist church, and exceedingly liberal
to the poor. He married, March 2, 1820,
Sarah Collins, died October i, 1870, aged
sixty-eight years, daughter of Joseph pnd
Margaret (Allen) Collins, of Union township.
Joseph was a son of John Collins, who came
from Ireland when a boy. Margaret Allen
was a daughter of Major Isaac and Margaret
Allen, of English descent. Isar^c Allen was
a major in command of American troops at
the battle of Saratoga, an event he survived
only a few years. Margaret Allen was a girl
of twelve at the time of Burgoyne's surrender,
and pfter the death of her father. Major Isaac
Allen, she came with her mother and an old
aunt, Whitesides falso mother's maiden
name), to Uniontown, then Beesontown. Jo-
seph and r^Iargaret Allen Collins lived at what
was then known as Gaddis Fort. Children of
Basil Brownfield: i. Joseph Collins, born No-
vember 2Q. 1821, died May 2, 1905; married
Martha Chipps ; he became a large land owner
of Fort Worth, Texas. 2. Robert, born Oc-
tober 28, 1822; married Phoebe, daughter of
Isaac Brown, of Georges township. 3. Mar-
garet C, born February 2, 1825; married
Jehu, son of Colonel Benjamin Brownfield.
4. Mary, born April 19, 1827, died February
3. 1857; married Isaac Hutchinson, born at
Trenton, New Jersey. 5. Eliz-', born Novem-
ber 4. 1829. died unmarried, July 20, 1853. 6.
S.arah N., born March 9, 1832, died July 4,
1883: married William F. Core, :'nd moved
to Texas. 7. Ruth, born October 23, 1834,
died January 10. 1884; married Joseph, son
William Barton. 8. William N., of whom



further. 9. Isaac Allen, born April 27, 1839,
died December 29, 1897; a veteran of the civil
war; married Sarah J. Burchfield, of Alle-
gheny county, Pennsylvania. 10. Lydia Car-
oline, born November 15, 1842; married
Thomas McClelland. 11. Harriet Helen, born
April 30, 1845, died March 22, 1879, unmar-

(V) William Nixon, son of Basil Brown-
lield, was born March 26, 1836, died January
II, 1889. He was educated in the public
schools and grew to manhood on the home
farm. After his marriage he purchased a
farm of one hundred and thirty acres (to
which he afterward added) one mile south of
Uniontown, on the Morgantown road in
South Union township. He enlisted, August
28, 1862, in Company F (Captain Springer's)
Fourteenth Regiment, Pennsylv.inia Volun-
teer Cavalry, and served until the close of the
war. He was wounded at the battle of While
Sulphur Springs, South Carolina, but being
only a flesh wound he soon recovered, al-
though his health was seriously impaired by
ills army life and he was never again physi-
cally stroaig. After the close of the war and
the grand review in Washington, he was hon-
orably discharged and returned to his home.
He resumed the cultivation of his farm, but
his energy and habits of industry caused him
to frequently overwork himself and for many
years prior to his death, January 11, 1889,
lie was an invalid.

He was a Republican in politics, and a
member of the Baptist church. He married,
March 3, 1859, Elizabeth Caroline Sackett,
who survives him. (See Sackett-Brownfield
\TI.) Children: i. Sarah, residing at home.
2. Jane, residing at home. 3. Mary E., mar-
ried Levi Brown, a retired farmer of Union-
town. 4. Dona B., died in 1880, aged four-
teen years. 5. Basil B., a sketch of whom
follows. 6. Harriet Helen, married Harry
Cans, a civil engineer of Uniontown. 7. Lu-
cinda C, married John Jeffries and resides in
Uniontown. 8. Joan, married John Gr-^nt
Pullman, an electrical engineer and contractor
of Pittsburgh. 9. Margaret C, residing at
home. 10. Edward, died in infancy. 11. Sam-
uel Sackett, a civil engineer and superintend-
ent of the Port Palmer Coal Company nt
Ligonier, Pennsylvania: he married Lou
Blank, of Greensburg, Westmoreland county,
Pennsvlvania; one child, Willinm N.

(\ I) Basil B., son of William Nixon and
Elizabeth Caroline (Sackett) Brownfield, was
born in South Union township, Fayette coun-
ty, Penn'iylvania, March 12, 1870. He at-
tended the Hatfield district school in South
Union, obtaining a limited education only.
He grew up on the home farm, and when
but a young boy began learning the carpen-
ter's trade, becoming an expert workman. He
was but fourteen years of age when he ob-
tained his first contract, which was the erec-
tion of a large double house for William
O'Connell, v\ho believed in the boy and in his
mechanicjl ability. The contract was faith-
fully performed, and this act of Mr. O'Con-
nell's so wen the boy's heart that they were
always the closest of friends until Mr. O'Con-
nell's death. This contract was the founda-
tion of his fortune, and from that start he has,
as a boy of fourteen, gone forward to a most
successful c;reer as a contractor and builder.
He has been continuously engaged as a con-
tractor, save two years, when he was engaged
as building carpenter by the H. C. Frick Coke
Company. In 1895 he moved to Uniontown,
where he had erected a handsome home at
No. 318 South Morgantown street. He has
inherited a goodly portion of the shrewdness
:ind business capacity of his grandsire Basil,
and has acquired a competency through his
own industry and ability. He has dealt large-
ly in unimproved real estate, building suitable
houses thereon and selling them to desirable
owners. He is a Republican in politics, but
never sought or desired oflfice. Fie served for
nine years in the Tenth Regiment, Pennsyl-
vania National Guard, and was called out with
his regiment at the great Homestead strike.
Both Mr. Brownfield and wife are members
of the First Methodist Episcopal church of

Mr. Brownfield has devoted a great deal of
time to travel in the United States and has
a valuable collection of curios collected by
him; rJso a fine and valuable collection of
coins and antiques, and is well considered as
вЦ†in authority on the latter. He is a man of
warm, sympathetic nature, and has been a
benefactor to many of small means in various
instances, aiding them to the acquisition of
a home.

He married. April 16, 1895, Ada C. Clark,
born in South Union, township, Fayette coun-



ty, daughter of John and Hannah (I""arr)
Clark. John Clark is a farmer of South Union
lownship and a veteran of the civil war. Mrs.
Brownheld was educated in the pubjic schools
and Madison Academy, of Uniontown, Penn-
sylvania, then taug-ht school in South Union
township for several years before her mar-
riage. Children of Basil B. Brownfield: Ruth,
born January i6, 1S96. died April 7, 1900;
VViiiiam, born February 27, 1902, died Sep-
tember I, 1903.

(II) Thomas Brownfield, son of Charles
Browiifield (q. v.), was born near Winchester,
Virginia, and after his marriage came in 1805
to Fayette county, Pennsylvania. He at first
rented and afterward bought the White Swju
Tavern in Uniontown, of which he was pro-
prietor until his death in 1829. The land on
which he settled was bought from the sons of
William Penn, and part of it is yet owned by
his great-grandson, Isaac H. Brownfield. He
married Miss McCoy, and had sons Ewing,
John, Isa^c and others.

(III) Isaac, youngest son of Thomas
Brownfield, was born at the Brownfield home-
stead, in South Union township, Fayette
county, Pennsylvania, April 15, 1782, died at
the homestead April 25, 1859. He was a
farmer all his active years. By a first mar-
riage he had a daughter. Pie married (sec-
ond) a widow, Mrs. Jane (Reynolds) Gaddis,
born December 12. 1780, died August 15,
1862. Children: i. Isaac (2), of whom fur-
ther. 2. Jane, born July g, 1821 ; married
Thornton Fisher, both deceased. 3. William,
born January 2, 1825, died unmarried, aged
twenty-four years.

(IV) Isaac (2), son of Isaac (i) Brownfield,
was born at the homestead in South Union
township, Fayette county, May 10, 1818, died
there September 11, 1890. He was educated
not after the manner of the farmer boy of that
early period, but in a private school. He grew
up p farmer and inherited the home farm,
which was always his home. He was a Whig,
later a Republican, and an attendant of both
the Baptist and Presbyterian churches, his
wife being a member of the latter. He mar-
ried Elizabeth Bentty. born in Virginia, died
at the home farm, September 19, 1888. daugh-
ter of William and Mary Tarr Beatty. Wil-
liam Beatty was a carpenter, living in Vir-
ginia, later came to Fayette county, where he
died at Hopwood, while yet a young man; his

children: Mary Ann, married Jesse Sackett;
Elizabeth, of previous mention; Harriet, mar-
ried Mr. Crayton; Hannah, married Aaron
Hutchinson; Lucinda, married Alfred Gorley;
Nancy, married Andrew Lenox; Lydia, mar-
ried James Fr-izier; William, died in child-
hood. Children of Isaac (2) and Elizabeth
(Beatty) Brownfield: i. Jane, died unmar-
ried. 2. Mary Ann, died young. 3. Malinda,
resides at New Florence, Westmoreland
county, Pennsylvania. 4. William, now a
farmer of South Union township; married
Mary Derrick. 5. Elizabeth, resides in South
Union township. 6. Isaac, died young. 7.
Isaac H., of whom further. 8. Anna, married
Newton Crossland, now a coal dealer of New
Florence, Pennsylvania. 9. Harry L., died
aged three years.

(\') Isaac Hopwood, son of Is^ac (2)
Brownfield, w;is born at the old Brownfield
homestead, in South Union township, Fayette
county, Pennsylvania, January 17, 1861. He
was educated in the public schools, later en-
tering JMourit Union College, Alliance, Ohio,
whence he was graduated, class of 1887. After
leaving college he taught school one year in
Ohio and two years in South Un'on township,
then returned to his boyhood occupition,
farming. He soon, however, became actively
engaged in coal operations and coal land
dealing. He was for fifteen years sole owner
and manager of the Brownfield Coal & Coke
Company: part owner of the Lafnyette Coke
Company, which he sold to the Atlas Coke
Company, and also owned the River View
Coal & Coke Company, sold to the Southern
Consolidated. He is president of the Cameron
Coal & Coke Company, which corporation is
not at present active. He has retained the
m.Mnagement of his farm through all these
years of active business life, and resides in a
beautiful modern home erected by himself.
He is a man of wealth and influence, highly
esteemed byi all. He is a Republican in pol-
itics, served as school director seven years,
and now serves in the same office after re-
election for a six years' term. He is a mem-
ber of the Masonic order and of the Metho-
dist Episcopal church. He married. May 8,
1886, Marv A. McClean, born in Mount
Union, Ohio (now sixth ward of the citv of
Alliance), daughter of Edwin and Maria (Mil-
ler) McClean. Edwin McClean was a firmer
who late in life moved to Alliance, where he



died aged seventy years. Maria Miller was
born near Benton, Ohio, and died aged sev-
enty years. Their children: Jesse, married
Rhoda Hopkins, both deceased; John, a prac-
ticing D.D. S. of Washington, D. C. ; Samuel,
a blacksmith of Alliance, Ohio; Hugh, mar-
ried Etta Heiserman, and resides in Alliance;
Mary A., of previous mention; Frank, a fruit
farmer of Cuba; married Clara Oyster.

Children of Isaac H. and Alary A. (Mc-
Clean) Brownfield: i. Frank W. born October
1 8, 1886: now a farmer; married (first) Maude
Fell; child: Donald, died in infancy; married
(second) Mary Kramer; child: Gladys, died in
infancy. 2. William Watson, born June il,
1888; graduate of Ohio State University, class
of 1912. 3. Samuel M., born November 25,
1889; graduate 1912, New York School of
Electricity. 4. John A., born September 26,
189 1, died in mfancy. 5. Isaac Hopwood (2),
born May 21, 1893. 6. Marie, born January

10, 1895. 7. Charles E., born March 30, 1897.
8. Paul, born February 28, 1900, died in in-
fancy. 9. Martha, twin of Paul. 10. Mary
Ruth, born April 8, 1902, died in infancy.

11. Arthur McKinley, born July 22, 1905. 12.
Mary Frances, born April 5, 1911.

(IV^) Isaac Allen Brown-
BROWNFIELD field, ninth child of Basil
Brownfield (q. v.) and
Sarah B. (Collins) Brownfield, was born April
27. 1839, died December 29, 1897. He grew to
manhood on the old Brownfield farm, and re-
ceived his education in the public schools. He
was barely of age when the war between the
states broke out and called the patriots of the
north to the field of battle. He enlisted in
Company A. First Regiment, West A^irginia
Cavalry, fought three years, when he was pro-
moted to the rank of lieutenant. He was then
ordered to Tennessee, where he was in charge
of wagon transportation. He served until the
close of the war, receiving honorable dis-
charge. He fought at Antietam and in many
other battles :\nd skirmishes, proving a brave
soldier and an efficient officer. After the war
he returned to his farm of two hundred and
thirty-six acres in South Union township,
continumg there until his death. He was a
Republican in politics, served twelve years as
school director, and was a member of the
Baptist church, his wife a Presbyterian. He

married Sarah B., daughter of Levi Berch-
field, a blacksmith and farmer of Allegheny
county, Pennsylvania, who died aged seventy
years. He married Eliza Lusk. Their chil-
dren: Thomas; Phineas; Sarah B., wife of
Isaac Allen Brownfield and the only living
member of the family of children ; Mary, Kate
and Edward. Children of Mr. and Mrs.
Brownfield: i. Levi (better known as Lee),
of whom further. 2. Basil Allen, of
whom further. 3. Frederick, died aged twelce
years. 4. Wade, died in infancy. Mrs. Sarah
B. (Berchfield) Brownfield, aged sixty-three
years, resides at her old home, the Brownfield
homestead in South Union township.

(Y) Levi (Lee), eldest son of Isaac Allen
and Sarah B. (Berchfield) Brownfield, was
born at the home farm in South Union town-
ship, Fayette county, Pennsylvania, July i,
1870, where he has lived all his life. He was
educated in the public schools, and has al-
ways been an agriculturist. He is a success-
ful farmer, owning one hundred and two acres.
He is an upright, highly respected citizen of
the community in which he is well known as
"Lee" Brownfield. He is a Republican in
politics, but is strictly a private citizen, never
having sought or held public office. He
served four years in the Pennsylvania Na-
tional Guard. He married Jessie Dolores
Forsythe, born at Morris Cross Roads,
Springhill township, Fayette county, Penn-
sylvania, April 7, 1887, daughter of John Ells-
worth and Eliza M (White) Forsvthe. Eliza
M. White was born in Kingwood, West Vir-
ginia, June 29, 1863, died August 27, 1910.
Children: i. Jessie D., wife of Levi Brown-
field. 2. Luna, born April 10, 1889. 3. Alice,
September 15, 1890. 4. Florence, June 6,
1892, died March 19, 1894. 5. May, J-nuary
6. 1894. 6. Edna, September 15, 1896. 7.
John, April 24, 1902. These children are all
residing in Uniontown except Mrs. Brown-
field. Child of Levi and Jessie D. Brown-
field: Joseph, born August 27, 1910.

( A') Basil Allen, second son of Isaac Allen
and Sarah B. (Berchfield) Brownfield, was
born in South Union township, Fayette coun-
ty, Pennsylvania, July 26, 1872. He was edu-
cated in the public schools, and after finishing
his school years cultivated the home farm for
twenty years. He then contracted a severe
attack of "gold fever," which was not cured




until after a year spent in Alaska in search
of the elusive yellow metal. He returned home
minus about four thousand dollars, but with
an experience well worth the cost, and well
contented to follow the less roniantic, but
nmch more profitable calling of a Fayette
county farmer. He returned to the home
farm, has dealt extensively in timber land and
conducting a general contracting business.
He owns a good farm of one hundred acres,
which he protitably cultivates in connection
with his other activities. He is a Republican
in politics, but has never sought pubHc office.
He served in the Pennsylvania National Guard
for ten years; mustered out as first sergeant.
He married, May 31, 1901, Anna Myrtle
Endsley. born in Luzerne township, Fayette
county, Pennsylvania, August 19, 1880,
daughter of John W. Endsley, now a farmer
and threshing machine operator of Georges
township, aged fifty-eight years. He married
Mary Jane Balsinger, born in Luzerne town-
ship, Fayette county, Pennsylvania, died aged
fifty-six years, being killed by a horse. Their
children: i. Laura, married Charles Barbour,
now a clerk in Toledo, Ohio. 2., James, now
a farmer of North Union township, Fayette
county ; married Minnie Daniels. 3. Margery,
deceased; married Ewing Walters, now living
in Masontown, Pennsylvania. 4. Anna M.,
wife of Basil Allen Brownfield. 5. Frank,
now m charge of the air shaft at Redstone
I\]ines; married Bessie Ryan, and lives in
Uniontown. 6. Noah, foreman in a laundry
at Uniontown, unmarried. .7. Russell, a car-
penter of Georges township. 8. Lola, married
Thomas Collier, an engineer; lives in Georges
township. Child of Basil A. Brow^nfield :
Sarah Jane, born March 17, 1902.

(H) John W., son of Michael Kelly, was
born at Mount Savage, Maryland, 1861. He
attended the public schools and learned the
trade of brickmaker, later learning the car-
penter's trade. He came to Pennsylvania
when a young man and was, in addition to his
trade of carpenter, a stationary engineer em-
ployed by the Bessemer Coke Company. He
is a member of the Catholic church. He mar-
ried, in Uniontown, Pennsylvania, Alice Am-
brose, born in Fayette county, Pennsylvania,
1 861, a member of the Episcopal church,
daughter of James and Mary Jane (Shaw)
Ambrose. Mary Jane Shaw's father built the
tavern at Sea Wright, which he kept for
many years; also was a toll taker on the "old
pike." James Ambrose was a stage driver in
the early days, running between Cumberland.
Maryland, and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania;
later a farmer. He was born in Scotland and
came to the LTnited States about 1840. He
died at Vanderbilt, Pennsylvania. Children
of John W. and Alice Kelly: William Ed-
ward, of whom further ; Katherine, a teacher.
(HI) William Edward, son of John W.
Kelly, was born in Fayette county, Pennsyl-
vania, March 11, 1887. He was educated in
the New Haven (now Connellsville) high
school, and after finishing his studies became
general ironworker, employed in various
Connellsville shops. On September i, 1910,
he was appointed manager of the Connells-
ville Iron Works, a position he still most
capably fills. He is a Republican in politics

Online LibraryJohn Woolf JordanGenealogical and personal history of Fayette county, Pennsylvania (Volume 2) → online text (page 8 of 57)