EMMA JEAN GALBRAITH BROWN HAMILTON EVANS 1909-1980
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|Seventh child of Orson Pratt Brown
& His Second Wife, Jane Bodily Galbraith Brown:
Emma was the seventh and last child of Orson Pratt Brown and Jane Bodily Galbraith. She was born on December 10, 1909 in Colonia Morelos, Chihuahua, Mexico, a Mormon colony of polygamists that had migrated from the United States when polygamy became illegal in the 1890's. Her mother Jane was born in Kaysville, Utah on April 2, 1879 and her father Orson was born in Ogden City, Utah on May 22, 1863.
In 1912, the Latter-day Saints were given 24 hours notice to leave the colonies, and head back to the United States. Mother Jane packed up a horse-driven wagon, and loaded her children on top and proceeded on the long trip. The wagon tipped and her son William fell and was crushed to death by a wheel, so she returned to Colonia Morelos to bury him next to Bessie Graham MacDonald Webb Brown, Orson's third wife who had died in Colonia Morelos [d. Oct. 23, 1904]. They rested in El Paso, Texas, then preceded to Kaysville, Utah and stayed with Jane's mother for a while, then relocated to Salt Lake City, Utah, where she could find work as a nurse. She petitioned the church elders for financial assistance, but there were no funds available, as there were so many in the same situation. She kept the oldest children with her, and placed the youngest boys in a work farm. Emma would have been 3 at this time. Her two elder brothers, Pratt (Orson) and Porfirio (Thomas) were later farmed out also, living with farmer and their families, and working for their subsistence.
They lived in rented houses, as Mother Jane could not afford to buy a house. She rented a house near the University of Utah and let rooms to girls who attended the University in order to supplement their income.
Mother Jane moved her remaining children to San Jose, California sometime before 1922, to be closer to her oldest children, Ronald and Grant. Emma attended school in San Jose, California.
Emma grew up to be a lovely tall, slender, fair skinned woman, with sparkling green eyes and dark hair.
Emma married Jack Hamilton from Gilroy, Ca. when she was 19 in 1928. Jack was the love of her life, he worked for a large national publishing company and was a good provider. Although he was too old for the draft, Jack volunteered and served in the Army throughout WWII in the Corps of Engineers. Emma lived with her sister Mattie's family during this period and worked at the Marine shipyard in Sausalito as the only female inspector of the "Liberty ships" and made a good living. She was frugal and saved much of what she earned, so Jack and Emma had a nest egg when he finally returned. They purchased a lovely home, which was known as Sausalito's steamboat gothic. It had been built by a pioneer named Schiller. It had been built in Germany, then shipped around the Horn.
In 1946, they moved to Butte, Montana, where Jack was regional manager for a magazine selling company. In 1948, they moved to Houston, Texas. In 1953 or 1954, they moved again to Denver, Colorado. Emma had wanted to adopt children, as they had no children of their own, but Jack refused unless it was a blood relation. While in Denver, Emma became an alcoholic and in 1961, they divorced, having been married for 31 years. Jack had found a younger woman to be with. Following Jack's death in 1963 or 1964, she received treatment and never drank again. While in Denver, Emma became a very successful realtor and was active in the beautification of the city.
According to an El Paso Herald-Post clipping dated Oct. 29, 1962: "An interesting and charming newcomer to the city is Emma Hamilton who hails from Paonia, Colo. She is making her home at 1009 No. Stanton St. and will be spending her days on the sixth floor of the Popular, where she is in charge of the lamp department. This friendly newcomer will certainly add a lot to our city, with her many wonderful ideas and her unending energy. While living in Paonia, she realized the need for a city park, and saw a vacant lot as an eye-sore, so set to work to convert the eye-sore into a wonderful park. Through her untiring efforts, the City of Paonia received the National Kellogg Award for civic improvement. Emma has been an avid gardener, but she says she can only plan and dream of gardening now that she is in the business world."
In the late 60's, Emma married Vaughn O. Evans, a retired army major and they traveled throughout Europe. She worked as a librarian. According to the El Paso Times; "For Emma Evans, art is a way of life. A delightful and rewarding way that she is opening up to share with those whom the pseudo-intellectuals, trying to make an exclusive cult of it, would call a highly unlikely group of art lovers, the general public. Ms. Evans has begun successfully with a program, now four months along, of lending framed, print reproductions of masterpieces on the same basis as books are lent and at the same location: El Paso Public Library."
"Slim and tall, her black hair worn in close cap cut, she speaks naturally and directly about art. She is herself an artist, a painter and sculptor. She and her husband, Maj. Vaughn O. Evans, returned to the border after living for many years in San Francisco and she has been with El Paso Public Library for six years. She is a member of the Steering Committee of the newly formed Arts Council and firm believer that, "We have a terrific community here. And culturally, I don't think it is so much a matter of developing as it is of finding out what a tremendous amount of art in all fields that we already have."
Emma and Vaughn had a full life, with many friends and she seemed content. Emma suffered a great shock and embarrassment when Vaughn ran afoul of the law. The situation was intolerable to Emma, and they were divorced. In 1973, Emma moved to Troy, Montana. While in Montana in 1974, she was appointed to the Governor's Council on Alcoholism. In the mid 1970's she moved to El Paso, Texas, to be close to her brother Thomas whom she doted on and her half-brother Pauly and half-sister Mary. Thomas and she had been very close as children, and Emma was kind to his children, became close to Tom, Jr. He became her surrogate son, taking her shopping, to the Doctor's appointments, home for family dinners, etc. Emma lived with her half sister Mary Gabaldón Brown, before buying a home in El Paso. She was very creative and would purchase a home to live in, knock down a wall here, place a window there, paint it and would sell it at a huge profit. Her homes were showplaces, with beautiful antiques. She painted oils and decorated her home with art. Emma was very intelligent and well read.
As she got older, Emma felt the need to downsize, so she purchased a small one bedroom condominium at 1800 N. Stanton #406-A in El Paso, Texas. It was a secure home, with a doorman. She rid herself of most of her antiques and lived very simply, her home furnished with small rattan furniture.
She died on May 19, 1980, in El Paso, El Paso, Texas, was cremated and her ashes were scattered in Montana.
Thanks to all of our family members for their memories, especially Kent Brown and Mary Jane Guidichi for their invaluable contributions
PAF - Archer Files = Orson Pratt Brown + Jane Bodily Galbraith > Emma Jean Brown
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