THE BROWNS           Back to Miller Family Page




See below  ▼ excerpts from biographical sketches originally printed in : History of Butler County Pennsylvania, Published in 1883 and republished with additions and corrections in in 1895. Both these books can be found published on the internet and are wonderful sources of information if you have ancestors from Butler County, PA. or if you just like history.

ADAM BROWN, SR., a native of Germany, was a son of Adam BROWN, who immigrated to America prior to the Revolution, and served as a packhorse driver in the Continental army. His father located at Big Spring, Cumberland county, Pennsylvania, after the war, where he resided until his death. Adam, came to Butler county in the last decade of the Eighteen century, and located in what is now Middlesex township. He subsequently settled upon a 400-acre tract of land near the site of Brownsdale, which he cleared and improved. the first BROWN's Mill originated in the horse mill started by Adam BROWN on his farm early in the century. Later he became the owner of the mill on Glade Run erected by Maj. Reese EVANS, which has since been known as BROWN's Mill.

He married Agnes HOLMES, a native of Ireland, and resident of Cumberland county. Both died early in the present century. Their children were as follows: John, who died upon a portion of the original farm; Adam; Joseph, who also died upon a part of the old homestead; Thomas R., who died in Pittsburg; Elizabeth, who married James MCCANDLASS, and died in Butler county; Martha, who became the wife of Johnson WHITE, and also died in this county, and Margaret, who married William WHITE, and died in Ohio. Adam BROWN Sr., was one of the early constables of the county, and in politics, he was an adherent of the Whig party. He was a Presbyterian, in religion, a man of fair education, in both English and German, and wielded considerable influence among the pioneers. He was interred in the old Presbyterian cemetery in Middlesex township.

ADAM BROWN, JR., was born in Cumberland county, Pennsylvania, and grew to manhood upon the "homestead farm" in Butler county. He was the second son of Adam BROWN, Sr., and at the death of his father he was appointed executor of the latter's estate. He received the homestead as his share of the estate, and lived upon it until 1833, when he purchased the mill and farm where his son Robert H. now resides. The mill was an old frame structure, but he tore it down, and rebuilt a new frame grist mill, and added a saw mill. Sometime in the fifties this gave place to a better one, which was destroyed by fire in November,1859. It was rebuilt and conducted by Mr. BROWN Jr. until 1861.  In that year he retired from active business and settled upon a farm he then owned, but now the property of Walter C. Boggs, in Forward township.

He married Sarah Brown, daughter of "Squire" Robert BROWN, to whom were born thirteen children, those that grew to maturity are as follows: Nancy, who married James HAMMEL; Robert H.; Adam; Ruth, who married C. E. [p. 1129] ANDERSON; Sarah, deceased wife of Asa LEASON; Margaret, deceased wife of Wesley HENDERSON; John, and William C., both deceased; Joseph, who married a daughter of Thomas GRAY, and is now residing in Penn township, and Nathan, who married a daughter of Mr. EMERY, and who now resides in Harrisville, Butler county. Thomas R., Betsey and Nelson, died in infancy. His second wife was Mrs. Elizabeth JOHNSON, who survives him. Politically, he was first a Whig and afterwards a Republican.

ROBERT H. BROWN, eldest son of Adam and Sarah BROWN, was born September 12, 1824, in Middlesex township, Butler county. He was reared on the "homestead farm", and received his education in the district schools. He learned the milling business with his father, and purchased the mill and farm from the latter, which he conducted until 1880  when Philip GELBACH became owner. In that year Robert H. bought a farm in Cranberry township, resided upon it until 1891, and then returned to his original homestead, where he engaged in farming and resumed ownership of his flour and saw mill.  His farm contains some five producing oil wells, and is thus quite profitable.

In 1850 he married Margaret E., daughter of George WILSON. His second wife was Cynthia F. Miller, daughter of Jesse E. MILLER, of Forward township, to which union have been born six children, four of whom are living, as follows: Sarah E.; Mary L.; Robert L., and Nora B. Politically, Mr. BROWN is a Republican, and in religious faith, he is an adherent of the Methodist Episcopal church.

The following is my narrative: Below is a 1874 Map of Forward Township. It has changed some since the 1858 Map (seen here).  I have highlighted the points of interest in yellow.  Is Evansburg named after Major Reese Evans mentioned in the narrative above?  The Methodist Episcopal Church (Brownsdale Church) and Cemetery are on the left. A location of the home for R.H. Brown and a location for Adam Brown Jr.'s home are in the middle and the Mill locations are also in the center next to Glade Run. The highlighted location of a W. Brown home, at the left center of the larger map is not the "homestead farm".  I cannot identify as to which branch of the Brown family this W. Brown belongs.  The "homestead farm" at that time was the residence of William M. Brown, Robert H. Brown's 1st cousin. This residence sits directly on the township line between Forward Twp. and Penn Twp. to the east.  A small excerpt from the Penn Twp. map below shows the location of the "homestead farm".  This farm lies on the same road as does Brownsdale ME Church going northeast towards Brownsdale. A illustration, drawn sometime before 1883, of this home can be seen below the Forward Township map.   I believe this farm to be the original homestead location of Adam Brown Sr.  Jacob Miller's home ( the son of Jesse E. Miller) is in the lower left corner of the map.