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THE BROWN LEGENDS

(These "legends" were written down by Ralph Preston Brown as they were related to him by his father.)

I.  From the Record of Ralph Preston Brown, son of James Preston Brown, grandson of Robert Preston Brown.

Robert Preston Brown's father had a plantation in the Brown's Bend of the Osage River in Missouri (probably named for the Brown Family), and during the Civil War took his slaves to Paris, Texas to try to save them, but lost them anyway.  After the war he started a sawmill and became rich from it.  Brown's Bend in in the Bend of the Osage River near Climax Springs, MO.  There's a town near there named Preston, probably from the Prestons in the Brown Family.  The Carpetbatgers then came in and raised the taxes maybe 100 times as much as before, so much so, that they lost the Plantation, as well as the sawmill.

Robert Brown and Mary Elizabeth Brown (Phillips) left Climax Springs, MO and came to a farm north of Van Buren, AR in 1902.  Later, because of hard times, he and the older boys cut ties for the railroad from Van Buren on into Ok.  One of the places they stayed for some times was Red Oak, OK.  Later they traveled from near Van Buren to Red Oak to visit her sister.  Her sister's house had burned, so they walled in a cave and were living in it.  Some of the children got Scarlet Fever and they had to stay two months.  When asked if it were terrible, she answered, "Yes, but we had such a nice visit."

II.  From conversation with Robert William Brown, son of James Preston Brown, Grandson of Robert Preston Brown, in Sept. 1993.

My father, James Preston Brown, was born in Sagrada, MO on Jan. 13, 1890.  We visited the Climax Springs Farm in about 1929.  The farm was on a road outside town on a branch.  There was a cold spring and a hot spring on opposite sides of the house.  The school was near a cave.  School water was drawn from a sink hole 50 yards from the school which ocnnected to a nearby cave by an under ground river.  My father talked of him and other children going into the cave on the way to school and losing track of time and not coming out until late afternoon.

Robert Preston and Mary Elizabeth Brown moved to Crawford County, AR in 1902.  The farm was about 5 miles North and 3 miles West of Van Buren near the Oklahoma line.  School was at Figure Five.  Farm was at "End of Road".  Brown and his sons cut cross ties and had spent some time at Red Oak, OK cutting ties.

III.  From memories of conversations and letter from Roscoe Charles Brown, son of Robert Preston Brown.

Roscoe said many times that he was the seventh son of a seventh son.  (Reminded by Edward Watson, his son-in-law, who was told while fishing with Roscoe).  Roscoe came to Arkansas in a covered wagon drawn by oxen in 1902 while a small baby.  He went to Figure Five School to the sixth grade.  His father, Robert Preston Brown, died in 1914 when he was 12 years old, so he had to quit school to work to help support the family.

Roscoe said he rode the rails to California to visit his sister, Walta Ramer, in Stockton and his brother, Jessie Brown, in Marysville.  He said Jessie was a recluse who lived in the mountains with his two sons.  He educated them very well himself.  (I, Joseph Paul Brown, Roscoe's son, visited Walta in 1956 and she said that Jessie's boys, John William and Earl had been admitted to and graduated from Engineering School.)  Walta had a farm in Stockton.

Roscoe wrote a letter to Joseph Brown in 1951, after Mary Elizabeth was buried.  He said she was buried in Dripping Springs Cemetery beside her father who had died 45 years before.  Roscoe said he remembered that funeral from 45 years ago. At Mary's service were her half sisters, Polly and Edith, (Polly Lockhart, was she Pauline Lockhart?).  Polly had a son 21 years old.  Don Ray Brown, Rolla Brown's son, had a son 4 years old.  Bill Brown was in the Veteran's Hospital in St. Louis with cancer of the jaw.

This information was submitted by Joe Brown      jpb@datasync.com