Lou Ramey Webb was born on April 9, 1863 along with her twin sister, Sarah
Lou Genie Webb. They were the ninth and tenth children of Billy and
Nettie. She was the only child of Billy's that moved away from Itawamba
County and the surrounding area.
She grew up in Itawamba County,
but on January 9, 1887, she married William John Henry Owen Brown in Fulton,
Itawamba County. Bill was a farmer who was from Itawamba County also.
He was born on March 2, 1867 there, actually three years younger than
Mary! He has another connection to Mary, though they weren't kin: Bill's
mother was a sister to Richard Henry Bowen, who had married Mary's older
sister, Martha Adeline Webb. So Mary's sister was Bill's aunt by marriage!
Martha was almost twenty years older than Mary though, and had married
when Mary was not even two years old.
While they were still in Itawamba
County, they had their first child, Garvin Offela. They had three other
children in Itawamba County, but between 1893 and 1896, the family moved to St. Francis County (not
too far west of West Memphis), Arkansas. At some point in her life, she
decided she did not like the middle name "Lou Ramey" and began using the
middle name "Loraine".
When in Arkansas, they had three more children, but two of them did not live very long. In
1927, on December 17, while taking corn in a sack on his arm to the mill
to have it ground, he fell out in his son's yard. They think he had
a heart attack. He was only 60 years old. He was a lodge member
and the funeral had lots of lodge members who brought a medal and put around
him before he was buried. He was buried in the Hughes Cemetery.
In 1930, the census found Mary and her youngest child, Raymond:
1930 St. Francis County, Arkansas Census
Telico Township; Page 16A
Brown, Mary L. Head F W 67 MS
Brown, Raymond R. Son M W 30
She must have stayed in fairly
close contact with the relatives back in Mississippi. They probably
sent pictures fairly often. Joch Webb's daughter had photos of some
of the grown Brown children (her first cousins), so they probably mailed
each other letters and photos and such regularly as other Mississippi relatives
have a few Brown photos. In 1945, a short entry was found in the newspaper
that showed they still visited each other:
Fulton News Beacon
January 25, 1945
Clay News: Mr. and Mrs. Ellie Smith are visiting relatives in Memphis and Hughes, Arkansas this week. (The latter must be Mary Lou Webb Brown)
In 1951 her twin
sister died back in Itawamba County. Margaret Dabbs Williams (a granddaughter
of Mary's) remembers going back to visit her Itawamba cousins before Sarah
Lou Genie died. She did not go back in person very often though. Mary
Lou's grandchildren remember her as a very hard worker. The family
lived on a 150 acre farm and she and Bill raised cattle, their own fruits,
and a natural spring near their house. One granddaughter remembers
that Mary had to get onto the grandkids to keep them from playing in the
spring! But she always had little gifts for them when they would come
Mary was hard of hearing and
pretty stubborn too! In her older days she had beautiful white curly
hair even up to her extreme old age. She always kept in good health
and when she was 80 years old she walked five miles one day to visit her
granddaughter when they came to town to visit.
When she was in her eighties, she stepped on a rusty nail in her garden when she was wearing slippers one day. She just pulled it out and sat it on a post, but the wound got metal poisoning and got worse. She wouldn't go to the doctor until it was bad and they had to amputate part of her leg. It had gotten gangrene at that point. But when she got home, she still wouldn't take a wheelchair. Instead, she had them make her a cane chair with some wheels on it. She lived a few more years after that. She didn't die of anything in particular, she just got tired and gave out. She passed away on May 2, 1953 in St. Francis County. She was buried in Hughes Cemetery next to Bill.
Garvin Offela Brown
(md. Bertie Lee Russell)
Garvin was born on November 23, 1887. He married Bertie Lee Russell in St. Francis County, Arkansas, but she was from Lee County, Mississippi. He owned a small general store in St. Francis County and they had two boys together. Bertie Lee died in 1958, at the age of 70, and Garvin passed away from a heart attack in October of 1962, at age 74. They were buried at the Hughes Cemetery in St. Francis County.
Arch Grafton Brown
(md. Maude Deese)
Arch was born on December 7, 1888. He married in 1913 to Maude Deese. Arch was a farmer who raised cotton and he raised children too! He and Maude had 15 in all, and all of them reached adolescence, though two of the boys died when they were about 15. Arch passed away in 1967 at age 78. Maude died a few years later, in 1972.
Lucius G. "Loosh" Brown
(md. Mittie Jane Lamb)
Lucius was born in January of 1891. He married Mittie Jane Lamb, who was four years younger than him. Loosh and Mittie Jean lived in Caldwell in St. Francis County, and both lived long lives, though they never had any children. Loosh died in 1980 at the age of 89. Mittie Jane passed away within the year, at age 85.
Edna Ethel Brown
(md. Arthur Pierce Dabbs)
Edna was born on April 23, of 1893. She married Arthur and had three children. They moved up to Jonesboro, in Craighead County, Arkansas. Edna passed away at a young age, age 32, in 1926. Her father died a year later. She was buried at the Strawfloor Cemetery in Jonesboro.
George P. Brown
(md. died young)
George was born February 3, 1896 in St. Francis County, Arkansas. He died just after his second birthday, on February 5, 1898.
Raymond R. Brown
(md. Verna Lee Holman)
Raymond was born on February 21, 1900, in Arkansas. He married Verna Lee on May 19, 1930. They had seven children together and lived in Colt, St. Francis County. He passed away at age 66 in Colt, and was buried in Hughes Cemetery. Verna Lee passed away in 1971.
Mary R. Brown
Mary was born on September 23, 1902, in Colt, St. Francis County, Arkansas. She died shortly after that, on October 13 of that same year. She was buried in the Hughes Cemetery in St. Francis County, Arkansas.