Descendants of Rev. Chad Brown through Eight generations
Brown Family Tombstones at the North Burial Ground
The History of the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations: Biographical, Volume 6, by the American Historical Society, Inc., 1920.
John Nicholas Brown
The Brown family has played too conspicuous and important a part in the life of Rhode Island from the very founding of the colony to the present day to require introduction to the readers of the history of the State. The late John Nicholas Brown, for several decades one of the foremost figures in financial and official circles in Rhode Island, was a descendant in the eighth American generation of the Rev. Chad Brown.
(I) Rev. Chad Brown, immigrant ancestor and founder of the family, came from England in the ship “Martin,” which arrived in Boston, in the Massachusetts Colony, in July, 1638. He brought with him his wife Elizabeth, son John, then eight years old, and perhaps younger children. A fellow passenger died on the voyage, and Chad Brown witnessed the will soon after his arrival. He did not remain long in the Massachusetts Colony, probably because of his religious views, but soon removed to Providence, where he became at once a leader and one of the most valued citizens of the colony.
That same year, 1638, he and twelve others signed a compact relative to the government of the town. His work in settling the serious difficulties which had arisen between the original thirteen proprietors of Providence, and the later settlers, is thus referred to by Roger Williams: “The truth is, Chad Browne, that wise and godly soul (now with God), with myself brought the remaining aftercomers and the first twelve to a oneness by arbitration.” Chad Brown was soon afterward appointed in the capacity of surveyor on a committee to compile a list of the home lots of the first settlers of the “Towne Street,” and the meadows allotted to them. His own home lot fronted on “Towne Streete,” now South Main street and Market Square, with the southern boundary to the southward of College and South Main streets. The college grounds of Brown University now comprise a large portion of this lot.
In 1640 Chad Brown served as member of a committee with others in regard to the disputed boundary between Providence and Pawtuxet. In the same year he, with Robert Cole, William Harris and John Warner, formed the committee of Providence Colony to report their first written form of government, which wad adopted and continued in force until 1644, in which year Roger Williams returned from England with the first charter. Chad Brown was the first of the thirty-nine signers of this agreement. In 1642 Mr. Brown was formally ordained as the first settled pastor of the Baptist church of Providence. At this time, and for more than a half century afterward, the church had no meeting house, but met for worship in a grove or orchard, and in unpleasant weather in the houses of its members. Rev. Chad Brown remained at the head of his church until his death, which occurred about the year 1665.
He seems to have been the first pastor of the First Baptist Church in Providence, the connection of Roger Williams having been of so brief duration, and of so informal a character, as to forbid that he should be recognized as its firs pastor. The venerable John Howland says: “On the question among the founders of Rhode Island College on what lot to place the building--University Hall--they decided on the present site because it was the home lot of Chad Brown, the first minister of the Baptist Church.” Throughout his life in Rhode Island he was classed among those men of culture an ability who were chosen to represent the colony on official business. He was a saintly character, and his influence went far toward establishing and keeping peace among the early settlers. His remains, which were originally interred in a lot not far from where the court house, on the corner of College and Benefit streets, now stands, were removed in 1792 to the North Burying Ground.
(II) John Brown, eldest son of Rev. Chad and Elizabeth Brown, was born in England, in 1630. Of his life and character very little had been handed down through the intervening centuries. It is evident from the offices of trust in the colony which he held that he was respected and honored in early Providence. We find him one of the commissioners from Providence to meet commissioners chosen to represent other towns in the colony of Warwick, August 31, 1654, the purpose of the meeting being to adjust certain difficulties which threatened to disturb the peace and harmony of the colony. He served as surveyor of highways in 1659; was a freeman in 1655; was subsequently a moderator, and deputy to the Rhode Island General Assembly, and assistant for Providence. He was appointed in 1662, an associate with Roger Williams and Thomas Harris, Jr., the three constituting the Town Council of Providence. In 1672 he sold the home lot of his father to his brother, James, of Newport, who resold it the same day to Daniel Abbott. Nearly one hundred years later a part of it was repurchased by his great-grandsons, John and Moses Brown, and by them presented to the College of Rhode Island, at the time of its removal from Warren to Providence. The cornerstone of University Hall, for may years the only building, was laid by John Brown, May 31, 1770. John Brown married Mary, daughter of Rev. Obadiah and Catherine Holmes, of Newport.
(III) James Brown, son of John and Mary (Holmes) Brown, was born in Providence, R. I., in the year 1666. He served as a member of the Town Council almost continuously from 1705 to 1725, and from 1714 to 1718 as town treasurer. He was for several years pastor of the Baptist church of Providence, first as colleague with Rev. Pardon Tillinghast, at whose death he associated himself in the pastorate with Rev. Ebenezer Jenckes, whom he succeeded as pastor in 1726, filling the ministerial office until his death. James Brown represented the more liberal and tolerant school of the Baptists of the day. Little is known of his life, outside the simple but eloquent statement that he was “an example of piety and meekness worthy of all admiration.” He married, December 17, 1691, Mary Harris, daughter of Andrew and Mary (Tew) Harris, granddaughter of William and Susanna Harris, and of Richard and Mary (Clarke) Tew. She was born December 17, 1671, and died August 18, 1736. They were the parents of ten children who intermarried with the foremost families of the colony. James brown died October 28, 1732.
(IV) James (2) Brown, son of James (1) and Mary (Harris) Brown, was born in Providence, R. I., March 22, 1698. His tastes and abilities fitted him admirably for mercantile pursuits, and he laid the foundation of the wealth and prosperity of the Brown family of today. James Brown was engaged in business with his younger brother, Obadiah Brown. At his own expense Mr. Brown built the first meeting house occupied by the First Baptist Church in Providence. A deed of the church edifice and the lot on which it stood was executed to the church and their successors in the year 1711. He married Hope, daughter of Nicholas and Mercy (Tillinghast) Power, and granddaughter of Elder Pardon and Lydia (Tabor) Tillinghast, born January 4, 1702, died June 8, 1792, at the age of ninety years. James (2) and Hope (Power) Brown were the parents of six children, five of them sons, James, Nicholas, Joseph, John and Moses. The last four are known in the annals of Providence as the “Four Brothers.” James died April 27, 1739.
(V) Nicholas Brown, son of James (2) and Hope (Power) Brown, was born in Providence, R. I., July 28, 1729. He engaged I mercantile pursuits all his life, entering the business which his father and uncle had established at an early age. Nicholas Brown was for many decades on of the foremost figures in mercantile and public life in Providence, Immensely successful in all his ventures; he was honored and respected for the integrity of his life and all his dealings. He was a notable churchman, a true Christian, professing the Baptist faith. His funeral oration, delivered by the Rev. Dr. Stillman, of Boston, gives an insight into the character and life of Nicholas Brown:
(VI) Hon. Nicholas (2) Brown, son of Nicholas (1) and Rhoda (Jenckes) Brown, was born in Providence, R. I., April 4, 1769. He was graduated at Brown University, in the class of 1786, and at the death of his father, in 1791, came into possession of a large estate. He had previously entered into partnership with Thomas Poynton Ives, the husband of his only sister, and the firm at once embarked in commercial ventures on a large scale. For more than forty years Brown & Ives ranked among the foremost firms of the kind in the country, and the name was known in every quarter of the globe to which American commerce penetrated. Mr. Brown was a Federalist of the old school, and displayed an interest in political and public life.
For many years he was a member of the General Assembly, in both Branches. As one of the Rhode Island electors he cast the vote of the State for General Harrison as president. Throughout his lifetime he took the deep and intelligent interest in the institutions of Providence, religious, educational, and public, which his ancestors had displayed. He was one of the original founders of the Athenaeum, and a liberal donor to Rhode Island College, and institution of learning fostered by the Baptists. The institution, however, for which he cherished a regard which never faltered, was the University which bears his name. He was elected one of its trustees in 1791, and for twenty-nine years was treasurer of the corporation. In 1825 he was chosen a member of the board of fellows, and continued in office until his death, in 1841.
He commenced his gifts to the college in 1792, by presenting to the corporation the sum of five hundred dollars, to be used for the purchase of law books for the library. In the letter which accompanied the donation he says that he makes the gift “under a deep impression of the generous intentions of my honored father, deceased, towards the college in this town, as well as from my own personal feelings toward the institution in which I received my education, and from a desire to promote literature in general, and in particular the laws of our country, under the influence whereof not only our property, but our lives and dearest privileges are protected.” In 1804 he made a gift to the University of five thousand dollars as a foundation for the establishment of a professorship of oratory and belles lettres. This gift, added to others which his ancestors and himself had presented to the University on different occasions, led the corporation of Rhode Island College to change the name to that of Brown University, in honor of the family whose benefactions to it had been so generous. In 1822, at his own expense, Mr. Brown erected a college hall, to which the corporation, at his suggestion, gave the name of “Hope College,” in honor of his sister, Mrs. Hope Ives. In 1835 he erected another building, which at his request was called “Manning Hall,” in honor of the first president of the college. Toward the erection of Rhode Island Hall and the president’s house in 1840, he contributed ten thousand dollars. It is estimated that the entire sum of his recorded benefactions and bequests to the University amounted to one hundred and sixty thousand dollars, assigning to the donations of lands and buildings the valuation put on them at the time.
“He lived,” say Professor Goddard, “to rejoice in the conviction that what he had done in this instance had not been don in vain. He lived to behold the University placed, mainly by his instrumentality, on stable foundations, supplied with means of instruction largely increased; endowed with impulses which insure her continued progress.” In the same strain Professor Gammell remarks: “the monuments of his wise and pious benefactions are all around us,--in the University with which his name is associated; in the Butler Hospital for the Insane, and the Providence Athenaeum, to whose founding he so largely contributed; and in the churches and colleges and institutions of philanthropy over the whole land to which he so often lent his liberal and most timely aid. So long as learning and religion shall have a place in the affections of men, these enduring memorials will proclaim his character and speak his eulogy. Hi sanctissimi testes, hi maximi laudatores.” It was Mr. Brown’s bequest of thirty thousand dollars for the founding of a “Retreat or Asylum for the Insane,” that led to the establishment of the Butler Hospital for the Insane in Providence. He was a Baptist, a member of the First Baptist Church of Providence, of which he was a devout attendant all the years of his life. He was a generous benefactor of the church, and presented to it one of the finest organs in the country at the time. Mr. Brown was also a liberal supporter of the American Tract Society from the time of its founding, and contributed to the expense of stereotyping several of its most important volumes.
Hon. Nicholas Brown married (first) Anne Carter, daughter of John and Amy (Crawford) Carter, November 3, 1791. She died June 16, 1798. He married (second) Mary Bowen, daughter of Benjamin and Huldah (Crawford) Steele, whom he married, July 22, 1801, and who died, December 12, 1836. His death occurred September 27, 1841, in the seventy-third year of his age.
(VII) Hon. John Carter Brown, son of Hon. Nicholas (2) and Anne (Carter) Brown, was born in Providence, R. I., August 28, 1797, and was a graduate of the class of 1816, Brown University. On completing his collegiate education, he entered business life, and in 1832 became a partner in the house of Brown & Ives. In 1841, on the death of his father, he came into possession of an ample estate, and was able to indulge his tastes, which were not mercantile, but rather of a literary, scholarly nature. Shortly after 1841 he went abroad, and spent several years in the continental capitals.
Early in life he began to develop a love for rare and curious books, and with unwearied pains and at great expense, he collected one of the best, if not the best library, of American History in this country. He procured nearly all the publications found in different languages relating to this subject, beginning with the Columbus letters of 1493, and ending with the political pamphlets of 1800. The catalogue of this truly incomparable collection of works on American history, which with explanatory notes, was prepared by Hon. J. R. Barlett, contained, at the time of its publication, 5925 letters, in a large number of instances representing two or more volumes. The number was considerably increased, however, during Mr. Brown’s lifetime, after the printing of the catalogue.
The collection forms a perfect thesaurus of the best books on the history of the entire continent of America, and, as a taste for historical investigation grows stronger, assumes inestimable value as a reference library. Indeed, it has always been “accessible,” remarks Professor Gammell, “to scholars and authors who were studying the subjects to which it relates. Eminent men from other States, and even from Europe, have visited Providence on purpose to consult or to study some work which they could find nowhere else than in Mr. Brown’s library. So great, indeed, has been his readiness to make this collection useful to historians in other countries, that in at least three instances he has sent across the Atlantic books which, if they had been lost, could never have been replaced. In one instance this was done to meet the wishes of Sir Arthur Phelps, the historian of ‘The Spanish Conquest in America,’ who in one of the volumes of that work makes a graceful acknowledgment of the unexampled courtesy which he had thus experienced.”
Mr. Brown was chosen a trustee of Brown University, in 1828, and a fellow in 1842. His gifts to various departments of the college were liberal in the extreme. The library of the college was especially benefited by his support, in the departments of English and Continental literature. His contributions gave most timely aid to the philosophical department, and were largely the means of erecting some of its buildings and extending its real estate. His gifts in this direction amounted to upward of $70,000. the library, since named in his honor, with the land on which it stands, the whole valued at the time at not far from $100,000, was his gift. The total of his benefactions to Brown is not less than $175,000, and his name stands far in the front rank of the benefactions to Brown University, his father’s name only taking precedence of his. His interest in educational affairs was not confined to the institutions of Providence. His aid went to colleges and seats of learning all over the country.
He was also deeply interested in the benevolent institutions of the city and State, and was one of the original corporators of the Butler Hospital for the Insane, and throughout his life contributed generously to its support. At the time of his death he was president of the Corporation. The Rhode Island Hospital was also an object of continued generosity, and he gave to it all different times what in the aggregate amounted to over $84,000. For more than a year he was president of the New England Emigrant Aid Society, which was founded for the purpose of encouraging emigration to Kansas in the effort to make the territory a free state. During the Rebellion he upheld the cause of the Union ardently, and placed all his resources at the call of the nation. While upholding to the fullest his duty as a citizen, he eschewed public life and, unlike his father, remained outside the field of public affairs all his life. He was essentially the scholar and student, when removed from business activity, a man of culture, refinement, and high ideals, whose influence on the life of the city of Providence of his day cannot be overestimated. Mr. Brown died in Providence, June 10, 1874, in the seventy-seventy year of his age.
In May, 1859, Mr. Brown married Sophia Augusta Browne, daughter of Hon. Patrick Browne, of the British Island of North Providence, who was descended maternally from Roger Williams. They were the parents of three children: 1. John Nicholas, mention below. 2. Harold, mentioned below. 3. Sophia Augusta, who became the wife of the late William Watts Sherman, of New York.
(VIII) John Nicholas Brown, son of John Carter and Sophia Augusta (Browne) Brown, was born in Providence, R. I., December 17, 1861. He was given excellent educational advantages, and prepared for college in the finest schools of Providence. He entered Brown University with the class of 1885, but was forced to quit his studies at the end of the sophomore year by ill health. He continued his course privately, however, and in 1895 the university, by special vote of faculty, conferred upon him the degree of Master of Arts. For several years he traveled extensively at home and abroad, and on his return to Rhode Island entered upon a public career of great promise which was terminated by his untimely death, at the age of thirty-eight years. In 1887 he was chairman of the Republican State Convention, and in the following year was chosen Republican presidential elector, casting his vote for Harrison and Morton.
He was an earnest student of political and social questions, and was also an able business man, devoting much time to the management of his large financial interest. Mr. Brown followed the custom of the family, and was liberal in his gifts to charities and benevolence. He was especially interested in movements for the bettering of educational conditions. In 1897 he gave $200,000 to the Providence Public Library, at a later date increasing his gift by 68,595. He died on May 1, 1900, in the midst of a full and useful career. John Nicholas Brown was a man of quiet, unassuming manner, scholarly in his tastes and habits, a lover of all that is good in art and literature, and a keen student and observer. John Nicholas Brown was well know in social and club life in Providence and New York. He was a member of the Hope, Art, and University clubs of providence, and of the Metropolitan, Grolier and New York Yacht clubs, of New York. He was at one time president of the Churchman’s Club of Providence. At Newport, where he made his home several months of the year, he was a member of the Newport Reading Room, the Casino, the Golf Club, and the Business Men’s Club.
Mr. Brown married, in 1897, Natalie Bayard Dresser, of New York, daughter of Major George Warren and Susan Fish (LeRoy) Dresser, and a member of one of the foremost of the old families of New York. They were the parents of one son, John Nicholas, Jr., born February 21, 1900, who is now a student at Harvard and a member of the United States Naval Reserve Forces.
(VIII) The late Harold Brown, financier, philanthropist, and one of the foremost laymen of the Protestant Episcopal church in New England, was born at the old Brown mansion on Benefit street, Providence, R. I., December 4, 1863, son of John Carter and Sophia Augusta (Browne) Brown. He was prepared for college under private tutors, and entered Brown University, which was named in honor of his family, in the class of 1885. A year later he left Brown to continue his studies privately at home and abroad. Returning from Europe he entered upon the quiet life of a gentleman of leisure, devoting his time largely to the pursuit of scholarly and religious interests.
Business held no attraction to him, and he remained aloof from the business world except as he was drawn into it in the management of his large estate. He was a member of the Metropolitan Club, Knickerbocker Club, New York Coaching Club, the Grolier Club, the Newport Reading Room Club, the Newport Gold Club, the Newport Casino, the Hope Club of Providence, and the Rhode Island Society of Colonial Wars. In Newport, he took a deep interest in local organizations and was for many years active in the Business Men’s Association. From early manhood Mr. Brown displayed a deep interest in Protestant Episcopal charities, and in the affairs of the church. He was a prominent figure in Emanuel Church in Newport, and for many years represented it at the diocesan conventions and at the sessions of the Newport Conventions. He was most liberal in his gifts to the church in Rhode Island, and one of his largest benefactions was the sum of $100,000 to the Diocesan Mission of the Episcopal Church. Of a retiring nature, unattracted by the glamour of public life, he remained totally outside this field. Widely traveled both in Europe and America, he was a true cosmopolitan, a brilliant conversationalist, a finished gentleman. His interest in church work was not of a purely perfunctory character. He gave not only of his wealth, but of himself, for he rendered a most valuable personal service to Emanuel Church of Newport.
On October 4, 1892, Mr. Brown married Georgette Sherman, daughter of the late William Watts and Annie Derby Rogers (Wetmore) Sherman, the latter named a sister of United States Senator George Peabody Wetmore. Mrs. Brown traces her descent on both the paternal and maternal lines from several of the foremost of American colonial families. She is well known in social circles in Newport, where she now makes her home.
Harold Brown died on May 10, 1900, in New York, on his return from Europe
in April, suffering from an illness which proved fatal. His death in the
prime of life, within so short a period of the death of his brother, the
late John Nicholas Brown, was deeply mourned. A man of magnetic personality,
sincere in his friendships, easily approachable, courteous, kindly, he
was well loved. [see also - Brown Family
Tombstones at the North Burial Ground.]
CHARLES STONE BROWN--Until thirty-two years of age, Mr. Brown was engaged as a mill worker, becoming an overseer, but then he turned to agriculture, and is the owner of a fine estate of 700 acres in the town of West Greenwich, the nucleus of that estate being the Waite farm at West Greenwich Center. To that original purchase he has added by purchase and improvement until, in extent, equipment and utility it is unsurpassed in that district. One of the farms bought was owned by Dr. Wilcox, which had formerly been the homestead of the parents. One special feature of the Brown farm is its large pond, so situated that it can be used to irrigate every part of the estate. To its other natural beauties and advantages, a tract of several acres of timber land must be added, a feature likely to be of unusual benefit, should present conditions long continue. On his beautiful estate, Mr. Brown has now spent thirty-six years, 1884-1920, and to its upbuilding, improvement, and management these years have been devoted. He has created a wonderful home, and to him every acre is doubly dear from the fact that it is the product of his own ambitious effort, and represents his life work as a business man.
Through a maternal line, Charles S. Brown descends from William Bailey, who became a resident of Newport, R. I., soon after the settlement of the town. The earliest record of him, however, is of June 14, 1655 when he bought land of Gabriel Hicks. His parentage, place of nativity, date of birth and death, are alike unknown. It is known that he died previous to July 20, 1670. He married Grace Parsons, daughter of Hugh and Elizabeth Parsons, of Portsmouth, R. I. William and Grace (Parsons) Bailey were the parents of five sons, the fourth being Hugh bailey, who was made a freeman of the Rhode Island Colony at Newport, May 21, 1702. He removed from Newport to East Greenwich, R. I., some time prior to 1703, and there died in 1724, soon after his second marriage. He married (first) Anna -----, who died in February, 1720. They were the parents of eight children, the eldest being a son, William, of further mention.
William Bailey was born in the town of Newport R. I., April 29, 1696, and was admitted a freeman of East Greenwich, May 2, 1721. He married Rebecca Straight, born January 27, 1700, daughter of Henry and Hannah Straight, her father a blacksmith of East Greenwich, son of Henry and Mary (Long) Straight, who lived in a house at East Greenwich built by Henry Straight, the elder, as early as 1679. William and Rebecca Bailey were the parents of seven children, Caleb being the first born.
Caleb Bailey was born in East Greenwich, September 7, 1720, and there resided until 1754. He then moved to Coventry, and there resided until about July, 1756, and is next heard from in 1764, when he bought a tract of land in West Greenwich. He occupied a dwelling which stood on the farm, then built another nearby into which he moved about October 1, 1765. There he resided until his death in 1803, the old homestead yet remaining in the Bailey family, and is known as the Gideon Bailey house. He married (first) Mary Godfrey, daughter of John and Catherine (Davis) Godfrey, of East Greenwich. They were the parents of nine children, the sixth being a son, Joseph Bailey.
Joseph Bailey was born September 1, 1756, and died March 29, 1841. He owned and occupied the farm in West Greenwich, adjoining his father's on the south, and was a devoted member of the Noose Neck Hill Baptist Church, and a leader of the singing. He was a man of deep piety and upright life, and very fond of his family. When in advanced years it was not an uncommon sight to see him supporting himself with a cane, walking beside his equally aged brother Caleb, who required the aid of two canes. He married Elizabeth Hall, born September 24, 1759, died December 13, 1839, daughter of Robert and Sarah (Matteson) Hall. They were the parents of five sons and eight daughters, all of whom married except the eighth, a son Joseph, who died in infancy, and the youngest daughter Amey, who died at the age of eighty-eight years, in 1894. During the Revolution, Joseph Bailey served as a soldier in the Rhode Island Militia stationed to guard the shores of the bay. He contracted a lameness from exposure while on that duty, and was granted a pension by the Government.
Waity Bailey, second child of Joseph and Elizabeth (Hall) Bailey, was born at the farm in West Greenwich, R. I., March 22, 1781, and died January 2, 1848. She married Seth Brown, born April 7, 1778, died October 22, 1866, son of Josiah and Amy (Stone) Brown. Seth Brown was a probate judge of his native town, a man of influence and high standing. He married (second) January 31, 1850, Lois (Waite) Carpenter, widow of Christopher Carpenter. Seth and Waity (Bailey) Brown were the parents of nine children: Lydia, married Potter S. Wilcox, of Connecticut; Nathaniel, a farmer, married (first) Dorcas Tabitha Tillinghast, (second) Phebe Matteson, and resided near Jewett City, Conn.; Allen, married (first) Unice Greene, of West Greenwich, (second) Hannah Elliott; Ambrose, of further mention; John Anthony, born Oct. 15, 1809; Set (2), married Polly Matteson; Josiah Enos, born May 15, 1815; Alfred Nelson, a farmer of West Greenwich, married Betsey Palmer; Betsey Ann, born Sept. 13, 1820.
Ambrose Brown, fourth child of Seth and Waity (Bailey) Brown, was born July 4, 1806. He married (first) December 12, 1824, Phebe Rathbun, who died January 24, 1841, leaving four children: Abel R., born Dec. 12, 1825, died September 25, 1847; Dorcas Catherine, married, at Sterling, Conn., William Henry Butler, a manufacturer of safes; Seth Anthony, of further mention; John A., born Dec. 27, 1835, died June 8, 1841. Ambrose Brown married (second) Lydia, daughter of Amos and Elsa (Ellis) Greene, and they had one child Horatio A., born Jan. 3, 1847, married Emily Smith, now deceased; one daughter was born to them, Minda, now deceased. He married (third) Lydia, daughter of Thomas and Lucy (Greene) Lewis. He married (fourth) June 4, 1869, Rhoda, daughter of Caleb and Elizabeth (Tillinghast) Hall.
Seth Anthony Brown, son and third child of Ambrose Brown, and his first wife, Phebe (Rathbun) Brown, was born December 13, 1828, and died September 23, 1907. He was a farmer of West Greenwich, Kent county, R. I. He married Lucinda Cory, born August 11, 1830, died October 19, 1909, daughter of John and Hannah (Douglas) Cory. Seth A. and Lucinda (Cory) Brown were the parents of nine children: John A., born April 20, 1848, died in early boyhood; Phebe H., born April 28, 1851, married, Dec. 3, 1871, Rev. John H. Edwards, pastor of the Baptist church in Exeter, R. I., son of John and Lucinda (King) Edwards, and she is the mother of a son, William Henry Edwards, who married Jennie Brown; Charles Stone, of further mention; Emma E., born Nov. 2, 1856, married Erastus A. Straight, a farmer of Exeter, R. I., and has children: Oliver C., Lucy A., and Charles Straight; William H., born Jan. 19, 1859, married, Nov. 21, 1885, Ella F. Young; Randall, born Oct. 23, 1860, died aged two years; Ella L., born April 28, 1862, married George A. Rose, and has children: Walter L., Ambrose H., Jennie, Lewis Anthony; Lucy L., born April 24, 1867; Waity, born Jan. 23, 1876, married Lewis N. Palmer.
Charles S. Brown, of the ancient Rhode Island family, was born at Escoheag Hill, R. I., September 8, 1853, son of Seth Anthony and Lucinda (Cory) Brown. When four years of age he was sent to the public school at Escoheag Hill, but soon afterward the family moved to a farm at Davisville, North Kingston, and there he attended public school until nine years of age, when he began working in an Exeter cotton mill. He continued as a cotton mill worker for twenty-three years, advancing through the positions open to the boys. Very rapidly and long before his hears justified, he was filling a man's position, being superintendent of a spinning room at the age of sixteen, when the Hallville Exeter mill burned. Mr. Brown then went to a Massachusetts mill, but six months later returned to Rhode Island, entering the Wyoming mill at Richmond, there remaining overseer of the spinning department until 1884. This closed his career as a mill man, he purchasing the Waite farm at West Greenwich Center in 1883, and around that purchase has added different tracts until his present seven hundred acres is the result.
He moved to his purchase soon after acquiring title, and has since made agriculture in general and the upbuilding of a valuable estate in particular his life work. He has been very successful, and is one of the substantial, influential men of his community. He has long been an active member of the West Greenwich Baptist Church, was superintendent of its Sunday school for several years, and has filled a number o its offices, as needed. When requested to allow his election to the office of deacon, he declined in favor of another, but he was ever ready to serve the interests of the church in a private capacity. He is an active temperance worker, in its political aspect, and may always be depended upon for efficient service in any good cause. He was selected to take the West Greenwich farm census, but he had taken little part in the political life of his town except as a public-spirited citizen and a property owner desirous of good government, local, state and national. In political faith he is an Independent.
Mr. Brown married (first) September 24, 1871, Harriet F. Weeden, of Exeter, R. I., who died October 18, 1875, leaving three children: Stephen E., born Sept. 17, 1872, a farmer of South Kingstown, R. I.; Lillie May, born March 13, 1874, married Lewis C. Grinnell, of Exeter, R. I., a member of the Rhode Island House of Representatives; Fred Ambrose, born July 8, 1875, married Mildred Brown; now a merchant of Greene, R. I. Mr. Brown married (second) Penelope Bates, who died December 15, 1917, daughter of Pardon T. and Olive (Peck) Bates, and a woman of rare religious experience, her life reflecting the virtues of her New England ancestry, and the strength of the religion she professed. She was the mother of two children: Pardon Tillinghast, born March 18, 1880, now a farmer of West Greenwich Center; Clifford A., born Dec. 11, 1881, died March 7, 1900.
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