IIWILLIS BROWN 1834-1886
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Orson Pratt Brown's Second Cousin
Willis Brown Sr.
Willis was born 8 September 1834, at Versailles, Brown County, Illinois. He was the fourth son and the sixth child of and Elizabeth Stephens Brown. When he was twelve years old his parents joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Two years later Willis was also baptized on 7 April 1848.
In 1846, his parents moved to Winter Quarters. At this place his father had a disagreement with Brigham Young and left the main group of Latter-day Saints and settled in Harrison County, Iowa, at a place now called Calhoun. It was all part of Pottawattamie County at first.
Willis spent the next several years here on the frontier with his family. They had a farm, a hotel called "Castle Thunder", a stage coach stop, and a local saloon, with all of these various business enterprises going on, it is not unreasonable to assume there was plenty of work to keep a young man busy. Hunting was very good in this country at the time. His father was an excellent marksman and had taught each of his sons the skill of handling the old Kentucky rifle. Willis undoubtedly brought in his share of deer, wild turkey and whatever other game presented itself. Being skillful with a gun, Willis no doubt, took part in some of the Indian skirmishes when open hostilities broke out in 1853 in Harrison County.
In October 1858 Willis' brother, , now 30 years of age, returned home for a visit. He had been away from the family for eleven years. He had been called on a mission to Western Iowa. He stayed over the winter months and preached around the countryside. Willis accompanied him on most of his travels. He also renewed his covenants by being re-baptized along with his mother. There was probably no organized branch of the church in this part of the country and the family had fallen into inactivity. It bothered James that the rest of the family showed so little interest in the church.
Willis decided to accompany his brother back to Utah when he finished his mission. In the following spring James had to go down to Missouri to help organize an emigration company. He returned to his parent's home and on the 27th of May 1859, James and Willis bade farewell to the family and went back to Omaha to catch the emigrant train. Daniel gave both of his sons a good outfit for the journey as well as the provisions that they would need for the journey. James S. Brown was chosen captain of this large company traveling west.
On 13 June 1859, the James Stephens Brown Company set out for Salt Lake City, Utah from Omaha, Nebraska. There were nine different nationalities represented among the people, namely: English, Irish, Scotch, Welsh, Danish, Swedish, Norwegians, and Icelanders, also some Americans from the Eastern, Middle States and Southern States, all mixed together.
Many of the people had never driven an ox one-mile in their lives, and according to the report submitted by James S. Brown, it was almost like herding a train on the plains. Said he: " If it had not been for G.L. Farrell, James Nickson, Samuel Garnet and Willis Brown, all excellent ox teamsters, we would have had most destructive stampedes." The train ended up with 390 souls and 69 wagons.
After arriving in Utah, Willis went to Ogden, Utah to live with his brother, James S. He didn't live with him very long as the journal of James S. has this interesting note on page 17: "On the 29th of December (1859) my brother got married to a young lady named Jane Williams, then moved to be by themselves, although we continued to work together."
Jane Williams was born the 20th or 27th of August 1837, at Blanavon, Monmouthshire, England, a daughter of Richard Williams and Rachel Davis. They were sealed in the endowment house 13 September 1861, after the birth of their first son.
Willis and Jane resided at Ogden, Weber County, Utah the rest of their married life. Here their eleven children were born. Willis died at Ogden, Utah 1 August 1886, from blood poisoning. After his death his widow remarried (2) Abiel Abbott. She died 8 April 1927, at Homes Garden Los Angeles, California, at the age of 89 years, 7 months, and 19 days. She died of cancer of the pancreas. She was buried in the Ogden City Cemetery, lot 38, block 5, plot C.
PAF - Archer files = James Brown Sr.+ Mary Polly Williams > Daniel Brown + Elizabeth Stephens > Willis Brown Sr..
http://mygenerations.org/brown/willisbrown.html Courtesy of Paul V. Brown mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org
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