ORSON PRATT GALBRAITH BROWN (NEE PRATT ORSON BROWN) 1905-1960
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|Fourth child of Orson Pratt Brown
& His Second Wife, Jane Bodily Galbraith Brown:
Orson Pratt Brown and his twin, William Galbraith Brown, were born on Jan. 17, 1905 in Colonia Morelos, Chihuahua, Mexico. His mother, Jane Bodily Galbraith Brown, was born in Kaysville, Utah on April 2, 1879 and his father , was born in Ogden, Utah on May 22, 1863. Colonia Morelos was a Mormon colony of polygamists that had migrated from the United State when polygamy became illegal in the United States.
Jane had wanted to name her twin Orson Pratt, and petitioned to Martha Romney, the first wife, for permission to do so. A resounding no was heard from that quarter, so Jane named him Pratt Orson, but everyone always called him Orson.
His father Orson moved his families to various colonies, depending on his callings in the church, so the family did not stay in one place too long.
He was a rancher, and had large land holdings. In 1912, The Latter-day Saints were given 24 hours notice by Pancho Villa's General Blanco to leave Mexico or fight. Jane and her children were living on the Petacachi Ranch, which is between Morelos and Douglas, Arizona. She packed up what goods she could on a horse driven wagon, loaded her children on top, and began the trek back to the United State. A wagon wheel hit a chuckhole, and 7 year old William Galbraith fell and was crushed by the hub of the wheel. Ronald, the eldest, unhitched a horse and rode back for help. Grief stricken, Jane returned to Morelos to bury her son, then resumed her journey.
The whole family was traumatized by this event, but Orson Pratt especially, as he and William were inseparable. It might be fair to say that it affected his later life.
They made their journey through Douglas, Arizona, and spent the winter in El Paso, Texas. They then journeyed to Salt Lake City, moved to Kaysville, Utah, then back to Salt Lake City, Utah, where they lived in a succession of rented homes, carrying Grandma Jane Galbraith with them.
As Pratt Orson and Porfirio grew older, they were "farmed out" to farmers and their families, to live and help work the farm. Orson Pratt was fortunate, because he was placed with a loving family in Kaysville, Utah that was kind to him. Pratt Orson bloomed under their care, and grew to a height of 6 feet, with blue eyes, a handsome, bright, gregarious young man. Records indicate that he was still living with the farmer's family when he was 15. He missed being with his family, though, as they were all together with the exception of "Porfie" and him.
Mother Jane gathered her children Martha (Mattie), Pratt Orson, Porfirio (Thomas), and Emma and moved to San Jose, Calif. to be with Grant, who was working there, approximately in 1921. The children attended school and worked a variety of odd jobs. Mother Jane continued working as a nurse, earned a bit more than in Utah.
Pratt Orson graduated from high school, and worked at various jobs.
His son Arnold Grant Brown remembers, "Somehow he changed his name to Orson Pratt Brown, date unknown, because this was on his driver's license, marriage certificate and death certificate. I only knew my father by that name. He married (my mother), Georgia Kathleen Bottles, born Dec. 7, 1912, from Emerson, Indiana. He had two sons, Orson Galbraith Brown, born on March 7, 1934 in Yakima Washington and Arnold Grant Brown born February 18, 1939."
"He was a top salesman, because of his intelligence and personality. This was both a blessing and a curse. He was such a good salesman that he could walk into any location and shortly become the best salesman in the area. Because of this ability, we often moved and he was able to provide a secure living wherever we lived. He often claimed that after he left the farm, that he traveled to every state in the union (then 48). We often traveled and visited sites he claimed to have visited and if we challenged him, he could go to the newspaper and produce articles in support of his claim, which happened several times. With his background, he had a natural wanderlust and we spent my childhood not only moving to different locations, but extensive vacations around the West Coast."
"When his brother Grant moved to Yakima, Wash., Orson went to work at the same Sears Roebuck store, managing the plumbing dept., while Grant managed the appliance dept. This lasted about 3 years, and then he left Sears, while Grant stayed the rest of his working career."
"Orson Pratt loved to hunt and fish and often with family or without, he would spend every opportunity to get outdoors. He taught my older brother Orson Galbraith ("Gibby" in the family) Brown to hunt and fish as well, and they spent many times in the woods around Washington State together. Orson Pratt then moved (his family) to Ventura, California in the early 1950's. We lived there for 2 years, and again he became the the top salesman and sales manager in a large furniture store, and again we wandered the byways on weekends from Tijuana, Mexico to middle California. As I recall we always stopped at national parks, and had wonderful vacations together. We did have some troubles, but he always had an even disposition while traveling, as the time the cat got sick in the car, he thought it was funny, and my mother got very mad for a while. "
"We moved back to Yakima, in the mid l950's to Union Gap, where we had a small 5 acre farm in the suburbs. He had a horse so that he could go hunting, a cow for milk, that my brother milked and maintained. We also had chickens, ducks, a dog and a cat. He was again working at Sears, but soon developed wanderlust and began to leave home on trips."
"He did have a problem drinking, and would often leave the family and go on "binges" requiring my mother to often have to retrieve him from various scrapes, often with the local authorities in a surrounding areas."
"Finally, in 1956, he divorced Georgia, at her request. He married Jennifer (Jenny Brown) the following year. I was age 12, and from that time on I saw my father only on two more occasions, prior to his death."
"He moved to California, where he lived in Long Beach. He worked at various sales positions throughout California. He reported that due to his childhood wanderings, he had a hard time staying in one place very long.
Thanks to all of our family members who shared their memories, especially Arnold Grant Brown.
PAF - Archer Files = Orson Pratt Brown + Jane Bodily Galbraith > Orson Pratt (Pratt Orson) Brown
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