IIEBENEZER BROWN 1802-1878
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Ebenezer Brown is the son of William Brown of Kirkcudbright,Scotland and Hannah Sweet of West Greenwich, Kent, Rhode Island. Ebenezer's grandparents, James Brown (1718-?) and Margaret McKitrich (1720-?) were both from Colvend, Kirkcudbright, Scotland.
Ebenezer was married to Ann Weaver Brown on July 20, 1823 at Dryden, Tompkins, New York. Ann is the daughter of John Weaver (1776-1847) and Catherine Reasoner (1772-1854), both from New York.
Ebenezer joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in May 1835 in Crawford County, Pennsylvania at the same time as his sister, . He moved his family to Kirtland, Ohio to be with the Mormons. The family then moved to Far West, Missouri, the back to Pleasantville, Illinois.
Ebenezer Brown's first wife, Ann Weaver Brown, died 26 Jun 1842 at Quincy, Adams County Illinois, while giving birth to their fifth and last child Ann Brown, who died with her mother. This left him with four little ones to care for.
Ebenezer then married the good widow on August 26, 1842 at Pleasantville, Illinois. Phebe and her deceased husband had eight children. As troubles continued for their Church they moved to Nauvoo, Hancock, Illinois.
Their combined twelve children were left with Ebenezer's oldest daughter, 21 year old Harriet Brown Stratton and her husband Oliver Stratton, while Ebenezer and Phebe went with the . Ebenezer was a 2nd Sergeant with Company A while Phebe was chosen as one of the laundresses. She was a kind-hearted woman and throughout the entire journey many of the burdens of the soldiers were lightened by her sympathy. She was one of the women selected to make the trip to San Diego, California. Ebenezer was not mustered out of service until March 14, 1848. Phebe, with her husband, traveled north where they participated in the search for gold in and around Sacramento, California. She helped wash gold to aid them on their journey to join the Saints who had gathered in Utah. She rode a mule (whose name was Ginny), all the way from California to Utah. They were reunited with their children in the fall of 1849.
In 1849, Ebenezer settled in South Willow Creek, now known as Draper. The first home built in Draper was erected by Ebenezer Brown, the first settler. One story handed down from that time has Ebenezer pulling his log cabin with oxen team from Salt Lake City to Draper. No written record of this can be found. In his son Norman Brown’s history, the following statement is found, "Norman helped bring logs from Salt Lake City and built the first house in Willow Creek."
Ebenezer Brown, with three sons, Norman Brown, Joseph Guernsey Brown, and John Weaver Brown, set out to see this part of the "promised land." The Browns discovered the cove unoccupied, with five mountain streams flowing west: Corner Canyon, Cherry Creek, Bear Canyon, Little Willow, and Big Willow, the latter three converging among willows and bogs before flowing into the Jordan River. Later they brought their cattle and horses, making many trips on horseback before bringing the family in 1849 to become the first settlers. Camping by a stream, they set up housekeeping in their wagon box. Desiring a more permanent dwelling, Ebenezer built a log cabin on the southwest corner of 12650 South and Fort Street. The following spring he returned to Salt Lake City and brought his wife Phebe and children to their new home, becoming the first family to settle in Draper.
In the winter of 1850, Ebenezer and his wife Phoebe welcomed Phoebe’s brother as they settled in South Willow Creek (Draper). By 1852 twenty families had settled in South Willow Creek, making food rather scarce. Many settlers were forced to live on sego lily bulbs, chokecherries and other wild fruits and plants found in the canyons and foothills of the settlement. These foods didn’t always supply the needed nourishment. A majority of the pioneers had emigrated from parts of the world where 30 to 40 inches of rain fell annually. Until coming to the desert in Utah Territory with its insufficient rainfall, no one had taken time to think about irrigation. Snow captured in the mountains made irrigation water plentiful in the spring and early summer, but it diminished by mid-July and into the fall months as mountain snow melted to give up the cold, clear water to canyon streams rushing to the valley floor. The reduced streams caused irrigation problems, so that thirsty, wilting gardens and lost harvests forced the pioneers to develop ditch systems and flood-irrigation methods still used in parts of Draper to this day.
In the spring of 1850, lack of food caused Norman Brown, Ebenezer’s son, to plow the first furrow in the settlement. He continued plowing until a ten acre field was prepared for planting the first known crop of corn in South Willow Creek.
Pioneer families at that time agreed to allow Norman Brown the use of all the irrigation water for the field of corn, then all shared in the harvest. Meager food supplies were mentioned in 1850 diaries. Much of the food supply was consumed by immigrants coming through Utah Territory on their way to California. Flour, costing $25 per hundredweight, was scarce.
[In the latter part of 1850 Ebenezer was called, together with many others, to form a settlement in Iron county, and thus became one of the founders of Parowan in January 1851.]
It is possible that common schools began before 1852 in the South Willow Creek settlement, but no documentary evidence has been established. Tradition indicates that "Phoebe Brown, wife of Ebenezer Brown, kept school ‘for the little ones in summer time’ but we are not told when or where her school was held." (One Hundredth Anniversary of the Draper Ward, p. 12). Her teaching could have been between 1849 and 1852 when the school/meetinghouse was finished.
On May 19, 1853, Ebenezer married Elsie Samantha Pulsipher, and on October 29, 1854, he married Mary Elizabeth Wright. In 1870, Mary died, leaving a family of small children, which Phebe took care of, making three families she had reared; her own and two of her husband's. Ebenezer and Phebe have no known children.
On 6 October 1853 the people of South Willow Creek, applying for a post office, registered their settlement as Brownsville in honor of Ebenezer Brown, the first settler, only to be rejected. Another Brownsville, honoring Captain James Brown, which later became Ogden, had already been registered in the territory. Draper continued its evolution of its name: first it was Sivogah, then Willow Creek, then South Willow Creek, then Brownsville, then Draperville, and finally Draper. South Willow Creek was renamed Draperville in honor of William Draper Jr., the first presiding elder and bishop in Draper, with Ebenezer Brown and Zemira Draper as his counselors.
Ebenezer Brown, although illiterate, was appointed the first postmaster in1854. His wife Phoebe did all the postal work in an office located in their home in the Draperville fort. On 14 March 1855, David James was appointed the next postmaster, followed by George Spilsbury on 26 November 1860. Later Ebenezer was called to fill a mission to Carson Valley where he remained until 1858. When the Carson Valley missionaries were relesed on account of the Johnstonn army troubles, Brother Brown returned to his former home in Draper, where he spent the remainder of his days.
Mountain water was used for irrigation purposes, ox-drawn and horse-drawn vehicles could not cross the deep and well-established marshlands in central South Willow Creek. Ebenezer Brown discovered marshes could be crossed by corduroying a willow road. As pioneers irrigated more land, downstream marshes diminished in size. The mountain stream along the main east and west road (12500 South) into South Willow Creek was a sea of mud most of each year. When the main road was moved two blocks north (12300 South) to avoid the poor travel conditions, the pioneers built their homes along the new road, leaving the old homes in the field.
Because of the threat of Indian uprisings, Ebenezer Brown donated land in the area of 12650 South and east of 900 East for a fort, with dimensions of 35 rods (577.5 feet) north to south and 23 rods (379.5 feet) east to west. The fort walls of adobe bricks were started in 1853, then during 1857 when Johnston's Army was a threat, the pioneers began to widen the wall and extend its height to nine feet. The threats ended before construction was completed, so the fort was never finished or enclosed. Remains of the walls are nonexistent, but the general location of the fort is well-known since the Draper Historical Park is being developed on part of the fort site at this time (1999).
Ebenezer Brown became a man of substance and was able to help many of the unmarried women in the church, eventually marrying two of them. He remained active in the Church and raised a good family.
Ebenezer Brown died on January 25, 1878 at Draper, Salt Lake, Utah, and is buried in the Draper City Cemetery.
PAF - Archer files = Orson Pratt Brown + Angela Gabaldon > Bertha Brown + Everardo Navas > Ana Lucia Brown + Michael Murphy > Ila May Draper + Glenn Eugene Murphy < Erastus Almon Draper + Linna Adell Seguine < Almon Draper + Amy Hansen < William Draper Jr. + Martha Raymer < William Draper Sr. + Lydia Lathrop.> Phoebe Draper + Ebenezer Brown.
Phoebe (Phebe) Draper is Michael Leo Murphy's great-great aunt.
"Ebenezer Brown and Descendants" by Jennie B. Hollist and Imogene Brown.
"Conquerors of the West: Stalwart Mormon Pioneers, Vol. 1" The National Society for the Sons of Utah Pioneers, Page 379-380.
"Tales of a Triumphant People - A History of Salt Lake County, Utah 1847-1900" DUP 1947. History of Draper, Utah on pages 226-232.
"Latter-day Saint Biographical Encyclopedia: Compilation of Biographical Sketches of Prominent Men and Women in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints - Volume III" by Andrew Jenson, Assistant Church Historian. Published by the Andrew Jenson History Company, and Printed by the Arrow Press in 1920 Salt Lake City, Utah. Page 608.
http://www.lds.org/churchhistory/library/pioneercompany/0,15797,4017-1-401,00.html Lists the 1848 Pioneer Company he led to SLC.
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