Saturday, July 11, 2009

What I Remember of the Benjamin Brown Family

By George H. Crosby, Jr., Evanston , Wyoming, 1933
For some ten years I have felt that I ought to record what I know about the Benjamin Brown Family, but I haven't gat at it. Since a Brown family reunion is to be held at Eagar on the fifteenth of August, 1933, I am writing this sketch; am making eight copies and sending on e copy to the Church Historian's Office in Salt Lake City, one to the Stake Clerk of the St. John's Stake for filing, one to the H. Manley Brown Family, father of President Hugh B. Brown of the Granite Stake , am keeping one myself, and the other four I am sending on for you to distribute there.

Benjamin Brown, my great grandfather, was living near the town of Portlande, in Chautauqua County in the western part of the state of New York, along in the 1830s. He records that his father was named Asa Brown and we know that Asa Brown's father was also named Asa, but that is a sfar as we have been able to treace our genealogy. Benjamin Brown married Sarah Mumford. Along in the late 20s he records that one night after he had got his clothing damp, he was sitting with his back to the fireplace drying his clothes and thinking about religious matters when an angel appeared to him and told him to join none of the churches because the true church was not on the earth but would be in the near future. Some time later he heard Mormonism preached and recognized it as the true gospel. It was through him that the Browns, the Crosbys, and the Mumfords joined the church.
After they joined the Church, they waited for some time hoping that the father of the Crosbys, Joshua by name, and the wife of Benjamin Brown would also join the church, but they didn't. Joshua Crosby stayed on his farm near Portland, now a town of about five hundred people, and his wife Hannah Cann Crosby, [and the six Crosby children] , the Mumfords, and the Browns in the late summer of 1838 went west to join the Mormon people in Far West they got word that the Latter-day Saint people had been driven out of Missouri and so the company turned and went northwesterly and joined the Latter-day Saint people at Quincy. In the spring of 1839 all three families located at Nauvoo and helped to settle that place.
In Nauvoo Benjamin Brown was made Bishop of the Fourth Ward and remained such as long as Nauvoo was in existance. When the Saints had been driven out of Nauvoo and located at Winter Quarters, he was Bishop of the Fifteenth-Sixteenth Ward, and when Salt Lake City was settled he was the first Bishop of the Fourth Ward and remained as such for something like sixteen years, as I remember it.
Benjamin Brown and his wife, Sarahb Mumford Brown, had some other children but the only ones that grew to maturity, as far as I know, were Lorenzo Brown and Homer Brown. Homer located at Taylorsville and many of his descendants are there yet.
Let me pause here to tell of an interesting incident in my own life. In 1890 I took Aunt Maude Johnson Crosby and her children to Navajo Springs to go by railroad to their new home in Salt Lake City. I hauled back some cattle buyers with cowboys who were buying steers at the Long-H Ranch-- one was an old gentleman with a gray beard. When we got on top of the ridge south of Navajo we could see the White Mountains and the old gentlman said: "Look at those mountains yonder, do people live up there by them?" I told him they did.

"What do they do? What kind of people are they?"
I answered, "There are the non-Mormon Americans who raise cattle, Mexicans who raise sheep, and Mormons who farm land."
"The Mormons! I used to live among the Mormons once."
"Where was that?" I queried.
"In York State when Smith started preaching and some of our neighbors joined the."
"Who were they?" I asked.
"There were the Browns, the Crosbys, and the Mumfords."
"Those are my people," I said.
"You are a Mormon, are you?" asked he.
"Yes, and my name is Crosby. My mother was a Brown and my great grandmother was a Mumford."
"What relation are you?" was the next question, "to Jesse Wentworth Crosby?"
"He is my grandfather."
His arms went around me, tears came to his eyes, and as he hugged me he said, "I have found Jesse's grandson."
The next question was, "Where is Fannie?"
I showed him the Esquadilla Moutain and said, "Fannie lives just to the west of that big blue mountain."
"I should have married Fannie," said the old gentleman, "but when she joined the Mormons it broke us up and she married Lorenzo."
What a visit he and I did have on to the Long-H Ranch, all that evening and the next morning. The Browns, Crosbys, Mumfords and the Richardsons had lived near Portland in practically a little community by themselves.
The Seventh Ward was really home ward of the Crosbys in Salt Lake and Benjamin Brown lived right in the edge of the Seventh Ward all the time he was Bishop of the Fourh Ward. He and his wife, Sarah Mumford Brown, died after I can remember and I think in 1880, both of them dying closely together.
Lorenzo Brown and his wife, Frances Crosby, lived there in the Seventh Ward and in 1861 they were called to go and help settle St.George. Up to that time the most interesting thing in the life of Lorenzo Brown had been a trip he had made to Las Vegas, now in Nevada and once in Arizona and when he was there in 1856 in New Mexico. He has kept a day-by-day account of that womderful trip and I will have copies of his journal made and sent out to various branches of the family a little later on.

Lorenzo Brown was of a mechanical turn and he helped to build the Salt Lake Theatre and many of the early day buildings of St.George. However, right after he went to St.George he went into the sawmill business and he and his sons had sawmills in Pine Valley. It was at their sawmill that a great deal of the lumber that was used to build the big organ in the Salt Lake Tabernacle was sawed. The timber of northern Utah wasn't very good but that of the Pine Valley mountains was more like the timber of the Kaibab Plateau and of the central Arizona, and Grandpa Brown saved every [clear piece] pole of his lumber for a long time and sent it by ox team to Salt Lake City. The organ has since been remodled but a great deal of the lumber that he sawed at his sawmill is still in that wonderful instrument.
As we all know, the children of Lorenzo Brown and his wife, Frances Crosby Brown, were: Benjamin Brown, Edward Mumford Brown, Sarah Hannah Brown Crosby Brown, and Lorenzo John Brown. Edward Mumford Brown died childless but the others have left large families.
Grandpa and Granma Brown settled in St. George and Pine Valley and Grandpa worked a great deal on the St. George Temple. His son Edward had four mules and is said to to have hauled mote rock with his four mules than any other rock hauler for Utah's first temple. When tha temple was completed, Grandpa and Grandma were given a life's mission to work in the temple.

IN January 1878 our grandfather, Lorenzo Brown, was selected to be Bishop of the Leeds Ward, but Erastus Snow didn't want to take him away from temple work and so my father was sent there in his stead. However, in 1880 when Arizona was being colonized, they needed people with a sawmill and cattle so they called Grandpa Brown and his three boys to go to Arizona. The three sons left in the fall of 1880 and after a short stay at Snowflake located in Nutrioso. Grandpa and Granma stayed in St. George until the fall of 1883 and then they too went to Nutrioso and in the spring of 1886 my father and mother went there. Uncle Ed's family returned to St. George in 1890, ten years after he moved to Arizona, and in St. George he spent the rest of his life. However, Uncle Ben, Uncle John and Mother stayed in Arizona.
My father was called to be Bishop of Round Valley in June 1886 being installed on the fourth day of July and he and mother moved to Round Valley later that fall. Uncle Ben and Uncle John moved down there abour twelve ot thirteen years later, so Edgar is really the great home of the descendants of Lorenzo Brown and his wife, Frances Crosby Brown.

This article is getting long but I want to tell a few interesting stories. First of all, about Hugh B. Brown now President of the Granite Stake. Hugh was taken to Canada when a small boy and he showed wonderful ability as a leader got a good deal of military training in Canada. He distinguished himself with the Canadians in the World War battle when Vimy Ridge was taken away from the Germans. Hugh was badly wounded and taken to England to a hospital. He was wined and dined by the English aristocracy and when he had sufficiently recovered went to Canada where he received wonderful declarations from the Canadian government and wonderful attention. He came back to England and a sick boy in the hospital sent for him. Hugh thought the boy wanted some help with compensation matters perhaps. The boy wasn't doing well and when Hugh came to his bedside, he said: "Aren't you a Latter-day Saint Elder?" Hugh said he was and the boy asked him to administer to him. Hugh got oil, consecrated it and administered to the boy and the boy began picking up right then and got well. Hugh got to contemplating that although he paid little attention to church and being an Elder, that he had a power that was greater and worth more than the King of England had. When he returned home he went, with that wonderful leadership of his, into church work. When the Lethbridge Stake was created in Canada, he was made its first president and about six or seven years ago was released and came to Salt Lake. Within eighteen months he has built himself up to the presidency of the Granite Stake, one of the largest in the church with a population of thirteen thousand. I consider him one of the ablest church men and one of the best speakers in the church today. He is a son of H. Manley Brown and a grandson of Homer Brown, his father being first cousin to Uncle Ben, Uncle John and my mother.
I would like to say something about the career of Charles S. Brown, also known as "Farmer Brown" but he is close to home to you folks and you can get that for yourselves.
Some interesting things regarding our branch of the family in Arizona: An unfortunate thing was that when the St.John's Stake was organized on July 23, 1887, Lorenzo Brown, who was one of the best educated men in the new stake and who had done so much for the people, was not recognized in the stake organization. He never got over the affront and it was a very great misfortune in the life of a very exttaordinary man. I talked so hard to Grandpa to get him to forget it, but he never did. He was splendidly educated and filled a good mission to England in the late 70s and was an outstanding worker in the St. George Temple.
Benjamin Brown was one of the greatest hustlers that eastern Arizona ever had and in 1887 was made Bishop of the Nutrioso Ward. He resigned expecting to go to Mexico on account of ill health, but a short stya in southern Arizona and Mexico cured him and he went back, lived, and died in Apache County.

Lorenzo John Brown was one of the best members of the County Board that Apache County ever had. He was left alone as a county boarf member when the county was divided and Navajo County created. He largely selected the other two members of the board and on his shoulders fell the greatest task that any county board member ever had, in the dividing of the assets of the two counties. He did it well, and is counted by the solidest men of the county of the best supervisors the county ever had. He was also Bishop of Nutrioso for a good many years.

My mother married her cousin, George H. Crosby, so we Crosby children are the only ones of the three families that have Brown, Crosby, and Mumford blood in them. I am proud of belonging to all three of those families. My father was Bishop of four wards--the only man in the history of the church to Bishop of so many--and during all of that time my mother made a wonderfulBishop's wife. She was an early day school teacher in St. George, serving for about seven years as Stake President of the Primary Association in the St.John's stake; and may I add that she is the only Arizona woman that ever had two sons as Judges in the history of Arizona.

This article has grown longer than I intended it. The Browns, Crosbys, and the Mumfords were all hustlers, they were sent out on the frontier and helped settle Nauvoo, Salt Lake City, Utah Dixie, eastern Arizona, Canada, and southern Idaho. They had good horses, they worked hard, they built good homes, they were leaders in the church life, the civic life, the business life and the social life of any community in which they lived. Up to the last that I knew, the family of George H. Crosby and Sarah Brown Crosby, in sending five missionaries into the field, had the record of furnishing more missionaries than any other family in the St. John's Stake, while my brother Jesse and I were the first two Mormon lawyers, the first two Mormon County Attorneys, and the first two Mormon judges in the history of Arizona.