Brown Family [RG3678.AM]

HISTORY NEBRASKA MANUSCRIPT FINDING AID

RG3678.AM:  Brown Family

Papers: 1874-1940s
Crete, Saline County, Nebraska
Size:  9.0 cu.ft.; 9 boxes

BACKGROUND NOTE

John Sewall Brown was born on November 20, 1844 in Bridgewater, Grafton County, New Hampshire. His education would lead him to Lyndon Center, Vermont where he would be the principal for the Lyndon Literary and Biblical Institute for a few years. He married Emily Davis in Auburn, Maine on November 30, 1876. In fair health, his doctors suggested a move west, so the Browns packed up and moved to Avoca, Iowa during the 1881-1882 school year. They arrived in Crete, Nebraska in August of 1882.  John would be a professor at Doane College and Academy, eventually rising to the position of principal of the school.  John Brown spent his entire professional career at Doane College. He died on August 4, 1917.

Born on June 20, 1852 in Auburn, Androscoggin County, Maine was Emily A. Davis. She was educated at the public schools for Auburn, eventually graduating from the Lewiston Falls Academy in Lewiston, Maine. Emily continued her studies at the Kents Hill Female Seminary in Kents Hill, Maine.  She would teach for a few years before her marriage to John Sewall Brown on November 30, 1876 in Auburn, Maine. She traveled with her husband John when his doctor advised a move west for his health. She was kept occupied by their three children, Ralph Davis, Gertrude and Emily Elizabeth. Emily worked when the children were in school in the community at Doane College and the Congregational Church. She was also a founding member for the Crete Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution. Emily passed away on June 18, 1924.

A son, Ralph Davis, was born to John and Emily on November 7, 1877. Ralph excelled in school, receiving high grades at Crete Public School, attending Doane College for his undergraduate studies, continuing on to receive a Law Degree from the College of Law at the University of Nebraska in 1901. During 1898-1899 Ralph was a superintendent for the Hemingford Public Schools in Box Butte County, Nebraska. He joined up with Fayette Foss in 1901 and they created their law practice after receiving his degree.  The practice ended in 1907 after Mr. Foss’ death.  Ralph was also the city attorney for Crete from 1904-1905, becoming the Saline County attorney in 1906 and ending in 1911. It was during this time in his life that he became partners with Glenn Venrick and married Mildred Vance in August of 1910.  Ralph and Mildred had three children: Robert, Sewell and Barbara.

In 1916 Ralph ran for the 7th District Court Judgeship and won.  He was re-elected in 1920 and retired from office in 1925.  In 1922 he ran for the 4th Supreme Court District Judge and lost.  He also served as vice president of City National Bank in Crete. After his retirement, Ralph packed up his family and moved to Los Angeles, California. Here he set up a new law practice and the family settled into a new lifestyle. They stayed in Los Angeles for five years, and then moved to San Marino, California. Ralph and his wife spent the rest of their time in San Marino. Mildred passed away on October 16, 1965, and Ralph on April 25, 1967.

Gertrude Brown was born November 22, 1887.  She graduated from Crete Public Schools in 1905. Gertrude assisted with Ralph’s political ambitions by being his campaign manager. She remained in Crete, making some of her living off of the family farm and working for Doane College as the secretary for the alumni association from 1947 to 1958. Gertrude passed away on January 13, 1974.

Emily Elizabeth Brown was born on November 1, 1889.  The majority of her young life was spent dealing with diabetes.  She eventually died on October 14, 1897.

SCOPE AND CONTENT NOTE

This collection consists of nine boxes arranged into six series: 1) John Sewall Brown, 2) Emily (Davis) Brown, 3) Ralph Davis Brown, 4) Gertrude Brown, 5) Emily Brown and 6) General Brown Family Information.

Series 1 contains the documents for John Sewall Brown.  Included in the series are financial documents, general correspondence along with letters from his son Ralph while he was away from home.  Additionally, there are various programs from his tenure at Doane College.  Of specific interest are the estate papers and the resolution made after his death.  Series 2 contains the papers for Emily (Davis) Brown.  As a founding member for the Crete Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution the series contains a lot of genealogical documents along with general correspondence and letters from son Ralph while away from home.

Series 3 contains the documents for Ralph Davis Brown. The series is split into two subseries, one for personal and one for his professional career. The personal section contains personal history, financial and general correspondence.  The professional portion of the series contains legal documents and correspondence.  Of interest are the campaign documents for his run for District and Supreme Judge.  Series 4 contains the documents for Gertrude Brown. Included in the series are her notebooks from school, financial records and correspondence.  Among the correspondence are the letters from Ralph which contains a variety of items of him and the family.  Of special note of these letters are the ones which contain the ailments of his children. Also of note is the campaign correspondence.

Series 5 contains documents for Emily Elizabeth Brown.  Of special note in this series is the obituary for the young girl.  Series 6 contains general papers for the Brown family.  The series includes the vast amount of wedding announcements and invitations received by the family.  Of special note are the documents for John Sewell’s father, John Brown. Among the items the file contains a receipt from 1823.  Also of note are the house bills.  There are bills for building the home in 1904.

Note:  See the photo component [RG3678.PH] for various Brown family photographs.

INVENTORY

Series 1 - John Sewall Brown
Box 1
Folder

  1. Bank Account Books, 1878-1917
  2. Promissory Notes, 1882-1892, 1910
  3. General Correspondence, 1878-1881
  4. General Correspondence, 1882-1890
  5. General Correspondence, 1895-1917
  6. Doane College Parent Update for Ralph Brown, 1894-1897
  7. College Graduation Announcements and Programs for Ralph Brown, 1893, 1901
  8. Correspondence from Ralph Brown, 1909-1912
  9. Real Estate Holdings Correspondence, 1905-1912
  10. Layman Association, 1905-1910
  11. Doane College Papers, 1911-1914
  12. Estate Papers, 1917-1918
  13. In Honor of Correspondence/Resolutions, 1917
  14. Holiday Cards, undated
  15. Doane College Programs, 1883-1899
  16. Doane College Programs, 1900-1907
  17. Doane College Programs, 1910-1916

Series 2 - Emily (Davis) Brown
Box 2
Folder

  1. Financial Record, 1892-1925
  2. Genealogy
  3. Works Used in Compiling History of Greenhalghes of Bury-Lancaster Co. England and Rev. Thomas Greenhalgh of Maine
  4. Works Used in Compiling History of Greenhalghes of Bury-Lancaster Co. England and Rev. Thomas Greenhalgh of Maine
  5. Daughters of the American Revolution Certificate, Sept. 8, 1919 (see oversize)
  6. Scholarly Papers, ca. 1910
  7. Religious Papers, undated
  8. Condolence Letters-John Sewall Brown, 1917-1920
  9. Medical Correspondence, 1911-1923
  10. Funeral Papers, 1924, June
  11. General Correspondence, 1874-1881
  12. General Correspondence, 1882-1900
  13. General Correspondence, 1901-1909
  14. General Correspondence, 1910-1911
  15. General Correspondence, 1912-1913

Box 3
Folder

  1. General Correspondence, 1914-1916
  2. General Correspondence, 1917-1918
  3. General Correspondence, 1919-1924
  4. General Correspondence, undated)
  5. Ralph D. Brown Correspondence, 1918-1922

Series 3 - Ralph Davis Brown

  1. Personal History, 1877-1917
  2. Crete High School, 1890-1892
  3. Doane College, 1894-1919, undated
  4. University of Nebraska, 1899-1900
  5. Correspondence to Miss Norah Conkling, 1898-1900
  6. Correspondence from Miss Norah Conkling, 1898-1900
  7. General Correspondence, 1886-1900
  8. General Correspondence, 1903-1906

Box 4
Folder

  1. General Correspondence, 1907
  2. General Correspondence, 1908
  3. General Correspondence, 1909
  4. General Correspondence, 1910
  5. General Correspondence, 1912, 1917, 1918, 1921, 1929
  6. General Correspondence, undated
  7. Doane College, University of Nebraska Alumni Associations, 1907, 1909
  8. Condolence Correspondence – John Sewell Brown, 1917
  9. Condolence Correspondence – Emily (Davis) Brown, 1924
  10. Real Estate Correspondence, 1907-1910
  11. Investments, 1907-1909-1910
  12. Investments – Hawthorne Silver and Iron Mines, LTD, 1909
  13. General Political Correspondence, 1902, 1907, 1914
  14. School Documents for sons Robert and Sewall, 1919, 1929, undated
  15. Teaching Documents, 1898
  16. County Attorney Elections, 1908
  17. Legal Documents, 1902, 1906-1910
  18. Legal Documents, 1913, 1914, Jan. - June
  19. Legal Documents, 1914, July-Dec.
  20. Legal Documents, 1915
  21. Legal Documents, 1917, 1919, 1922

Box 5
Folder

  1. City National Bank of Crete, 1910, 1933
  2. James Jackson Estate Case, 1914-1918
  3. 7th District Court Judge Campaign Correspondence, A-F, 1916
  4. 7th District Court Judge Campaign Correspondence, G-L, 1916
  5. 7th District Court Judge Campaign Correspondence, M-W, 1916
  6. 7th District Court Judge Campaign Posters, 1916 (see oversize)
  7. 7th District Court Judge Certificate of Election, 1916, November 27 (see oversize)
  8. 7th District Court Judge Re-Election Campaign, 1920
  9. 7th District Court Judge Campaign Correspondence, A-L, 1920
  10. 7th District Court Judge Campaign Correspondence, M-W, 1920
  11. Naturalizations, 1922
  12. 4th Supreme Court Judicial District Primary Election, 1922
  13. 4th Supreme Court Judicial Campaign Workers, 1922
  14. 4th Supreme Court Judicial Campaign Endorsements, 1922
  15. 4th Supreme Court Judicial Campaign Lists, 1922
  16. 4th Supreme Court Judicial Campaign Correspondence, 1922
  17. 4th Supreme Court Judicial Campaign Correspondence, A-G, 1922
  18. 4th Supreme Court Judicial Campaign Correspondence, H-P, 1922
  19. 4th Supreme Court Judicial Campaign Posters, 1922 (see oversize)

Box 6
Folder

  1. 4th Supreme Court Judicial Campaign Correspondence, R-Y, 1922
  2. 4th Supreme Court Judicial Campaign Candidacy Correspondence, 1922
  3. 4th Supreme Court Judicial Campaign Club Women and Post Cards, 1922
  4. 4th Supreme Court Judicial Campaign Opposition, 1922
  5. 4th Supreme Court Judicial District Elections Results, 1922
  6. 4th Supreme Court Judicial District Elections News Clippings, 1922
  7. Retirement from the 7th District Court, 1925
  8. Court Notes, 1917, Jan.-1918, July
  9. Court Notes, 1919-1920
  10. Court Notes, 1921-1922
  11. Court Notes, 1923
  12. Court Notes, 1924
  13. Legal Notes, undated
  14. The Friend Fire Testimonies, undated

Series 4 - Gertrude Brown

  1. Educational Document, 1899-1910
  2. Educational Notebooks, 1903
  3. Educational Notebooks, 1904, 1907-1908
  4. Educational Notebooks, 1909-1910

Box 7
Folder

  1. The Tulloss School of Typewriting, 1916-1919
  2. Taylor Training School - Hostess, 1938
  3. Taylor Training School-Apartment-Hotel Management, 1938
  4. Account Books, 1915-1931
  5. Financial Records, 1926-1937
  6. Daughters of the American Revolution Certificate, 1919, September 8 (see oversize)
  7. United States Fire Insurance Company Agent Certificate, 1926 (see oversize)
  8. Condolence Correspondence - John Sewell Brown, 1917
  9. Condolence Correspondence - Emily (Davis) Brown, 1924
  10. Post Card Correspondence, 1900s-1930s

Box 8
Folder

  1. General Correspondence, 1897-1901
  2. General Correspondence, 1902-1094, 1906
  3. General Correspondence, 1908-1909
  4. General Correspondence, 1910
  5. General Correspondence, 1911-1912
  6. General Correspondence, 1913-1915
  7. General Correspondence, 1916-1917, 1924, 1935
  8. General Correspondence, undated
  9. Letters from Brother Ralph and Family, 1913, 1925-1926
  10. Letters from Brother Ralph and Family, 1927-1928
  11. Letters from Brother Ralph and Family, 1929-1930
  12. Letters from Brother Ralph and Family, 1931-1932
  13. Letters from Brother Ralph and Family, 1933
  14. Letters from Brother Ralph and Family, 1934
  15. Letters from Brother Ralph and Family, 1935
  16. Letters from Brother Ralph and Family, 1936
  17. Good Housekeeping Institute, 1940s

Series 5 - Emily Brown
Box 9
Folder

  1. General Correspondence, 1896-1897

Series 6 - General Brown Family Information

  1. John Brown, 1823-1857
  2. Genealogy, 1768-1914
  3. House Bills, undated
  4. House Bills, 1904-1932
  5. Drawings of House, undated (see oversize)
  6. Farm Papers, 1900s
  7. Wedding Invitations and Announcements, 1874-1899
  8. Wedding Invitations and Announcements, 1901-1910
  9. Wedding Invitations and Announcements, 1911-1918, undated
  10. General Announcements, 1895-1923, undated
  11. First Congregational Church, 1916, 1921-1922
  12. State Seal information

 

Subject headings:

Brown family
Brown, Emily (Davis), 1852-1924
Brown, Emily Elizabeth, 1889-1897
Brown, Gertrude, 1887-1974
Brown, John Sewall, 1844-1917
Brown, Ralph Davis, 1877-1967
Doane College (Crete, Nebraska)
Greenhalgh family
Judges -- Nebraska
Saline County (Nebraska) -- History

 

NH                       08-05-2015
Revised TMM      10-05-2018

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