Nov 052019
 

“Am I not a Man and a Brother — Am I not a Woman and a Sister”
                               Anti-Slavery meeting poster 1863

Background – I have spent the last several years seeking information on my GGG-Grandfather Ellwood Brown and his involvement in the Underground Railroad, after reading his biography and discovering my GGG-Grandmother’s obituary, which mentioned them helping to run the movement, my interest was piqued and the research began.  After reaching out to historians and scavenging the Internet, I have been able to piece together, via old newspapers and books, his life’s story.  Ellwood is mentioned, on page 77,  of the book “History of the Underground Railroad in Chester and the Neighboring Counties of Pennsylvania.”

John Russell, Micah Whitson, Henry Carter, and Ellwood Brown are also mentioned as friends of the fugitive, whose assistance was always freely given.

Please keep in mind, the bulk of this information was published in the mid to late 19th  century and the language and nomenclatures are of that time.  (Note:  He apparently spelled his name both as Ellwood and Elwood) Following is his story:

Ellwood Brown was born December 27, 1808, in Harford County, Maryland to Josiah and Margaret Brown.  He was either the fourth, or fifth son born to them. His father died in 1812, leaving his widow Margaret and six children.  Josiah Brown’s accounts were entered into probate on June 9, 1812.   The probate documents state that Margaret, was a Quaker.  Margaret’s last appearance in probate court, concerning Josiah’s estate occurred on June 27, 1820.  The death of Josiah caused great hardship to his family, as this excerpt from Maryland Chancery Court shows:

S512-387

342: Thomas W. Bond vs. Margaret Brown, Joseph Brown, John Brown, Absalom Brown, Josiah Brown, Ellwood Brown, and Rachel Brown, HA.  Mortgage foreclosure on Knaves Misfortune, Harris Trust, Gibsons Ridge, Prestons Chance, Abotts Lot. Recorded (Chancery Record) 114, p. 705. (Note: The description in another Chancery record reads Abell’s Lot, not Abotts.)

It is assumed Margaret passed shortly after her last appearance in probate court.  However, she did instill within her children the beliefs of her faith and social justice, as the biography of Elwood’s older brother shows:

ABSALOM BROWN (deceased), died at his residence in Springvale, Columbia Co., Wis., March 23, 1880, 77 years old. He was born in Cecil Co., Md., Nov. 5, 1803, being the third son of Josiah and Margaret BROWN; six years after this, his father and finally crossed the Susquehanna River into Harford Co., Md., where he bought a large tract of land lying between Bellair and Abingdon, on the Baltimore road; his father sickened and died in a few days after he went there, leaving his mother and six children in a part of the country poisoned with slavery; care and hard work soon wore on his mother, and seven years after his father’s death, his mother died; Absalom was then put to the hatter’s trade, and being misused, he left there and went to Brown Co., Ohio, where he had relatives…(Source–The History of Columbia County Wisconsin, 1880)

The relatives in Ohio are not known and no information has been found on Josiah Jr., Joseph, or John Brown and there are some discrepancies in dates.  According to the obituaries of their sister Rachel, she was born in Cecil County, not Harford and she was born in 1811, which would mean Absalom was approximately eight years old and Ellwood would have been about three, when they arrived in Harford County.

According the his biography Ellwood was schooled at the Bel Air Academy, in Harford County but his time there was cut short, most likely due to the family financial problems, following the death of his father.  It appears that the family was forced to split and the children were sent to various relatives.  Ellwood was sent to live with an uncle, it is likely his sister Rachel was sent to the same family, in Little Britain, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. Continue reading »

May 282018
 

Since I began this website, a couple of years ago, I have done a Memorial Day post to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice.  The first post covered the Civil War, last year I covered WWI and this year will be WWII.  Because this website focuses on the Cavendish-Teakean area, this post will cover those most closely connected with this area. Following are brief biographies of five young men who made the ultimate sacrifice, for their country, in WWII:

Lieutenant Russell Alanson Betts
February 17, 1911 – April 29, 1942
Sergeant Henry Oscar Wittman
August 5, 1915 – August 29, 1943
Lieutenant Bernard Francis Armstrong
December 13, 1920 – May 5, 1944
Private Oscar Wayne Lind
March 3, 1922 – November 14, 1944
Sergeant Earl Chester McIver
August 24, 1924 – April 30, 1945

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May 292017
 

Postcard – World War I

The six names listed below are the young men from, or with connections to,  the Clearwater Valley.  These men made the ultimate sacrifice for their country in “The Great War.” I hope you will take a moment to reflect on the lives lived and sacrificed, for God and Country, as we honor the fallen this weekend.

Private Charles Swinton Hunt Rennison
November 30, 1878 – September 18, 1917
Lieutenant Harold Everett Kinne
February 28, 1896 – July 19, 1918
Private Alton Bellomy
June 1, 1892 – July 26, 1918
Private Charles Augustus Bobbitt
October 11, 1893 – October 6, 1918
Private Glenn Royal Dieterle
February 17, 1891 – October 11, 1918
Private Bernard Smith Armstrong
October 17, 1893 – November 6, 1918

While researching the Cavendish Cemetery and putting together the community ties and relationships of those buried there, I came across the stone of Bernard S. Armstrong.  In researching Bernard, I discovered he was a casualty of WWI and thought it appropriate to write something about his life and the lives of the five men, with ties to Clearwater County, as we honor the memories of the fallen, this Memorial Day. Continue reading »

Sep 172016
 

Patriotism is one of the noblest and loftiest emotions of the heart, it should be along with our religion and our homes the first best thought.  Where would be today our happy homes, if it was not for this strong government, whose beneficent laws, like the all pervading sunlight, are above and around us everywhere?  Go where we will, all over this land, the same flag protects us.  Laws not made by tyrant hands, “but by the people, of the people, and for the people.”  Laws that if they ever perish, woe be to us in that day and hour…  We are not yet out of the breakers.  The astute leaders.. and the people they control; love the memory of their fallen institutions.  They believe they were born to rule, they care nothing for the semblance of a ruler, so they in reality rale, and will never rest until they have gained by the ballot what they have lost by the sword.

Emma Webster (Brown) Harlan, July 2, 1886

Emma Webster Brown

Emma Webster (Brown) Harlan - (ca. 1900) (Chester County Historical Society - Photo Archives)

Emma Webster (Brown) Harlan – (ca. 1900) (Chester County Historical Society – Photo Archives)

Emma Webster Brown was the first child and only daughter born to Elwood and Hannah (Webster) Brown, in Cecil County, Maryland, on April 8, 1832.  Emma’s mother, Hannah Webster, was a descendant of some of the earliest settlers in America, arriving in the 1600s.  There are documents indicating Emma’s mother was a direct descendant of William Webster, who came to America, from Scotland in 1685 and settled in Woodbridge, New Jersey.

The Webster family left New Jersey, due to the religious persecution of Quakers and first settled in Abington, Montgomery County, PA  prior to them eventually settling in Chester and Lancaster Counties, Pennsylvania.

Shortly after Emma’s birth, Elwood and Hannah returned to Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, where Emma’s seven brothers were born.  The family would remain in Pennsylvania until the late 1850s.

Marriage

On April 26, 1849, Emma married George Washington Harlan.  George was the 2nd child and son born to Jonathan and Elizabeth (Thompson) Harlan.  George was a 3x great-grandson of Michael Harland, one of Harland brothers who arrived at William Penn’s Colony at New Castle, Delaware in 1687.  The brothers, were Quakers who emigrated from England and Ireland to seek freedom from persecution for their religious beliefs.

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Jul 142016
 

During his lifetime John Paxon “Jack” Harlan’s career involved being a miner, merchant, farmer, trapper, teacher, soldier, historian, public servant, civic leader, timber cruiser, coroner et al.  Following is a brief synopsis of his life:

John Paxon Harlan

John P. Harlan with children l-r: Stila Myrtle, Eda Belle and George Washington (ca. 1913) on the boardwalk at Pierce City, Idaho

John P. Harlan with his children l-r: Stila Myrtle, Eda Belle and George Washington (ca. 1913) on the boardwalk at Pierce City, Idaho

John “Jack” Paxon Harlan was born on February 9, 1866 in Guthrie County, Iowa to George Washington and Emma Webster (Brown) Harlan, the seventh of ten children.  His father was a descendant of Michael Harland, who came to America in 1687, with William Penn and settled in Chester County, Pennsylvania.   Jack’s parents were married in 1849 at Lancaster County, Pennsylvania and remained there until the 1857.  In the Spring of  1857 Jack’s parents, along with his maternal grandparents relocated to Guthrie County, Iowa.  The family would remain in Guthrie County until 1879, when they moved to Lake County Colorado.

Wild Times in Leadville ‘The Silver City’

Leadville Colorado was incorporated in January of 1878 and soon Leadville had the reputation as one of the most lawless towns in the West.   In 1879 a large vein of silver was discovered at Leadville and the boom started in earnest, which would last until 1893.

It is unknown if George and Emma were aware of the town’s reputation when they decided to pack up their large family and head West.  I cannot imagine what a culture shock it must have been for Jack’s mother, Emma.  Emma was a deeply religious woman, who adhered to her Quaker beliefs and was actively involved in the Temperance Movement.  However, this experience must have been a great adventure for young Jack, who was just coming into his own.  The Harlan family quickly became a prominent family in the region, Jack’s father George would become a Justice of the Peace, in Leadville. Jack completed his studies at Central School and then attended college at the University of Colorado, where he studied law.  He returned to the area and was taught the skill of assaying, under the guidance of Clarence Hersey and would eventually become the assayer of the Montezuma mine, in Pitkin County.  Jack left Colorado in 1889 and according to his biography, published in 1914, he traveled for many years:

“He was a resident of Leadville until 1889 when he began to travel, following mining operations for many years in Arizona, New Mexico, California, Western Washington and British Columbia.–(Source) History of Idaho, A Narrative Account of Its Historical Progress, Its People and Its Principal Interests (Vol. 2) – Hiram T. French, M. S.

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