Thursday, August 25, 2022

Columbia County Historical Society Library

Do not overlook your local resources. As I have posted I am in the final section of my book, Our Brown Roots. This section is about my paternal grandparents and their children, my father and his siblings. I am learning new things about the lives of those closest to me. 


When Roy Jessie and Ivy (Mark) Brown left Ohio circa 1940 they moved to rural Columbia County, New York with their six children. (A seventh child would be born in NY.) Roy had worked in mills in Ohio and did the same in New York. They settled on Kinderhook Creek in Stockport. They lived there about 15 years, c 1940 – c 1955. That is a small window to work with but I have found a few things.


I have become a member of Columbia County Historical Society and last weekend I took a short drive to use the library there. The friendly environment led to discovering a couple helpful resources.


Book: Looking for Work: Industrial Archeology in Columbia 

County, New York: The Emergence and Growth of Local 

Industry as Revealed in Surviving Sites and Structures 

by Peter H. Stott


This book includes several towns in Columbia Cunty and the employment opportunities that once existed in those towns. The town of Stockport in included and details are given about the mills where my grandfather worked. The information helped me to write this and more:


The Eureka Paper Mill on County Route 25 along the Claverack Creek. The mill had been constructed in 1862. In 1878 the mill had the largest daily production of any mill in the county.[i]


The mill had a capacity of three to four tons of paper every 24 hours and was equipped with three 400 – lb. engines and 62 – inch and 68 – inch cylinder machines.[ii]


The Eureka Mill was initially owned by Henry S. Van De Carr and later by Vincent Muesaman of Queens who formed the Stockport Paper Company.[iii] Roy Brown was a master mechanic in charge of repairs for the entire paper mill with a staff of eight men. Leo Brown said his father “did some blacksmithing things working at the mills.” He was the operational manager.[iv] Roy continued to work at that mill until it was destroyed by fire.


Website: Fulton History,

This website looks like it is all about historic postcards but look at the search box on the left. You can search over 51 million newspapers in USA & Canada.

I cannot find these newspapers on This website includes newspapers that are local for my family. I found several items that help to fill out our history. For example, a local newspaper listed those drafted during World War II. Roy J Brown was listed and classified as “4H” which means he did not serve because his family needed his support. With seven children at home he was certainly needed. 


Do not overlook your local resources.




[i] Stott, Peter H. Looking for Work (Kinderhook, NY: Columbia County Historical Society, 2007) 291.

[ii] Stott, Peter H. Looking for Work (Kinderhook, NY: Columbia County Historical Society, 2007) 291.

[iii] Stott, Peter H. Looking for Work (Kinderhook, NY: Columbia County Historical Society, 2007) 291.

[iv] “Interview with Leo D. Brown,” August 2004; audio recording and transcript held by author.

Sunday, August 21, 2022

Military Service: Brumfield Brothers, Spanish - American War

Brothers served together. I knew it happened during the Civil War but I had not realized how often it occurred in other wars. The more I delve into the military service of our family, the more I find brothers who all stepped up to protect our land, our rights, our country. 

Private Dudley Atkinson Brumfield

4 October 1879 Pike, MS – 21 May 1971 Pike, MS


Private Henry Sims Brumfield, Jr.

1 April 1877 MS - 12 Jan 1959 MS


Sons of Henry Sims Brumfield & Martha Bickham


Private Willis Brumfield

1876 – 1953


Son of Jesse Marion Brumfield & Mary E. Kelly

 The Spanish-American War was an 1898 conflict between the United States and Spain that ended Spanish colonial rule in the Americas and resulted in U.S. acquisition of territories in the western Pacific and Latin America.


Dudley and Henry served in the US Army during the Spanish American War. They were in Company H, 1stRegiment of the Mississippi Infantry. Their second cousin, Willis Brumfield, served in the same company.[ii]


Dudley’s obituary mentioned his service:


Mr. Brumfield was a Spanish – American War veteran, having joined the First Mississippi Volunteer Infantry in April 1898[iii].


Henry also served in World War I:

Entering the Army as the Spanish-American War developed, he served throughout that conflict. Some two decades later he was again a member of the infantry, in World War I.[iv]


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[i] Spanish – American War; digital information, History ( accessed May 2022).

[ii] General Index to Compiled Service Records of Volunteer Organizations During the Spanish – American War; digital image, Fold3 accessed May 2022).

[iii] Dudley Brumfield Dies Here (McComb, MS: Enterprise – Journal, 21 May 1971) 1; digital image, accessed May 2022.

[iv][iv] Brumfield Rites Held Here Today. (McComb, MS, Enterprise – Journal, 13 January 1959) 8; digital image, accessed June 2020).


Wednesday, August 17, 2022

Forget Me Not: Aaron R. Brown, 1919 IA


Aaron Reese Brown

 16 March 1857 MI – 24 February 1919 IA

Son of Moses Brown Jr. & Elizabeth Monroe

Husband of Frances J. Colburn


Brown. Aaron Reese Brow died at 7:30 o’clock last evening at the home of his daughter, Mrs. Maud Kennedy, 1417 Marquette street, Davenport, after a six months’ illness. Mr. Brown came here from Cherokee, Ia., about three months ago.


He was born in Mitchellville, Ia., March 16,, 1857, and received his education in that vicinity. He was married in Des Moines in 1880 to Miss Frances Colburn and since until coming to Davenport three months ago.


The deceased was a member of the A. F. & A. M. of Mitchellville and the Brotherhood of Railway Trainmen.


The survivors besides his wife are a daughter, Mrs. Maud Kennedy of Davenport; a grandson, L. S. Gramenz, three brothers and a sister.


The body will be sent tomorrow morning at 6 o’clock from the O. C. Hill funeral parlors to Mitchellville where the A. F. & A. M. will have charge of the services.

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Friday, August 12, 2022

Timeline: The Dillon Family

Here's another fun timeline from my book in progress, 'Our Brown Roots.' Timelines are useful tools when trying to understand the lives & movements of a family. They are also very useful for understanding a family in relation to local and world events. I am currently writing a book, 'Our Brown Roots.' At the beginning of each surname section I have included a timeline like the one below. 

Click on the links to learn more about the people in this timeline.

Timeline of the Dillon Family

c 1719             Birth of James Theopilous Dillon, Ireland

1732                Dec. Benjamin Franklin began publishing Poor Richard’s Almanac

1745                7 Oct. Birth of Richard Dillon, son of James Theopilous, in Norfolk, VA

1752                15 June. Benjamin Franklin invented the lightning rod

1764               Sugar Act, 1st tax on the American Colonies imposed by Great Britain

1764                Richard Dillon lived in Bertie Co., NC; apprentice to Christopher Harrison

c 1776             Marriage of Richard Dillon & Anne (Lawrence) Dillon 

1776 - 1783     American Revolutionary War; Richard Dillon served

1778                22 Aug. Birth of Joanna (Dillon) Smith, daughter of Richard, NC

c 1790             Richard Dillon family moved to SC

1798                16 Dec. Marriage of Joanna Dillon & Jeremiah George Smith, SC

1782                20 June. The Bald Eagle was adopted as our National Bird by Congress 

1799                14 Dec. Death of George Washington, first President of the United States

1802                2 March. Birth of Martha P. (Smith) Alford, daughter of Joanna (Dillon) Smith in SC

1809                31 Aug. Birth of Wyatt Smith, son of Joanna (Dillon) Smith in LA

1810                Richard Dillon family lived in MS

1812 - 1814     War of 1812; Clarkston, Theopilous & Willis Dillon, sons of Richard, served

1816                The Treaty of Fort Stephens with the Choctaws opened for settlement the area around the Tombigbee Prairie.

1820                Richard Dillon & family living in Pike County, MS

1821                Death of Joanna (Dillon) Smith, age 42, Pike, MS

1833                7 Oct. Death of Richard Dillon, age 88, in MS

1836                Feb. – March. Battle of the Alamo waged in TX

1841                Population: Great Britain, 18.5 million; USA 17 million; Ireland 8 million

1845 – 1852    Potato Famine in Ireland

1861 – 1865    Civil War; Labon W., Rimson S. & Willis R. Dillon served in Confederate units

1868                Little Women written by Louisa May Alcott

This Chart shows the double connection between the Dillon family & my paternal grandfather.

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Sunday, August 7, 2022

Military Service: Percy W. Ott, World War I

A three page report on the service of Percy can be found on Fold3. It is a detailed report of his service overseas during World War I. Best of all, the report was written and signed by Percy. 



 Captain Percy Wright Ott

24 September 1889 Mt. Hermon, LA – 19 April 1977 Baton Rouge, LA

Son of Elbert Weston Ott & Martha E. Leggett


My 2nd cousin, 3 x removed 


Percy W. Ott served a Captain during World War I with the American Expeditionary Forces as chief engineer. He enlisted 15 August 1917. On 1 September 1918 he sailed for duty as an Adjutant, 1st Battalion, 603rd Engineers. On 13 September the transport ship Ortega cast anchor in the Firth of Clyde, Scotland. Percy, “was willing to admit, with everyone else onboard, that this part of Scotland was the most beautiful bit of land he had ever seen.” The regiment disembarked the next day in Glasgow and took a train to Camp Winnall Downs at Winchester, England.


Percy’s account of this time includes details of the regiment’s movements from the training in England to France. He served as regimental adjutant. He assigned men to their “billets.” He wrote that: “The regiment never went into action as a whole, but every man got his chance to do his bit.” They maintained the bridges in the vicinity of Verdun. “On the afternoon of Nov. 6 Captain Ott was at Brieulles, where the detachment 603rd Engineers had just joined the 7th Engineers, and got his first taste of real warfare and learned the gentle art of dodging bullets.”


“After the armistice the regiment continued to work in scattered detachments, and Captain Ott made immemorable trips up and down the Mause and over the old battle areas.”


This document was dated 16 December 1918.


Source: WWI American Expenditionary Forces, Officer Experience Reports; digital image; Fold3 ( accessed March 2022) Percy W Ott.

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Wednesday, August 3, 2022

Forget Me Not: S. Rayleen (Brown) Hall, 2006 MS

It wasn’t until the early 1990s that I learned my paternal grandfather, Roy Jessie Brown, had been married before he married my grandmother, Ivy R. (Mark) Brown. My father, Delbert K. Brown, told me he had a half-sister in Mississippi. He visited Rayleen in 1993. After his visit Rayleen & I began a correspondence. In May 1994 Rayleen and her daughter, Bonnie, came to stay at our house in NY. It was wonderful to meet them; to introduce them to the rest of the local Brown family; and to begin a relationship with them. In the summer of 1997 my husband and I and our children visited Rayleen and family in Mississippi. They showed us the famous southern hospitality and introduced us to many family members there. Rayleen and I continued to correspond. We exchanged Christmas cards, birthday cards and letters for many years. We discovered that we both liked to quilt. She was a gracious, funny and loving lady.  

Sylvia Rayleen (Brown) Hall

5 Mar 1924 MS - 15 June 2006 MS

Daughter of Roy Jessie Brown & Mary Thelma Ellzey

Wife of Jessie Miles Hall


Sylvia Rayleen Brown Hall, 82, of the Silver Creek community, died June 15, 2006, at Beecham Memorial Hospital in Magnolia. Visitation is 5 to 9 tonight at Silver Creek Baptist Church. Services will be at 10 a. m. Saturday at the church, with the Rev. Jimmy Smith officiating. Burial will be in Silver Creek Cemetery. Capps Funeral Home in Tylertown is in charge of arrangements. Mrs. Hall was born March 5, 1924, in Slidell, La. She was the daughter of Roy Brown and Mary Ellzey Goings. She was retired and was the first woman to serve on the Pike County Board of Supervisors, elected in 1983. She also owned and operated a country store and was a homemaker. For most of her life, she was an active member of Silver Creek Baptist Church, where she served as a Sunday school teacher, vacation Bible school teacher, church hostess and church clerk for many years. Mrs. Hall was preceded in death by her parents; her husband, Jesse Miles Hall, a former Pike County supervisor; and a brother. Survivors include a sister and brother-in-law, Jackie and Paul Boatner of Clinton; five children, Sylvia Alford of Abilene, Texas, Billy Hall, Cecil Hall and his wife Barbara, the Rev. Wayne Hall and his wife Jeanette, all of Magnolia and Bonnie Hall of McComb; several grandchildren, Duane and Wade Alford, Deanna Laciura, Diane Welch, Angela McNabb, James Hall and Dr. Stephanie Hall; 12 great – grandchildren and many other relatives and friends. Pallbearers are George Garner, James Hall, Brandon Meyers, Wayne Meyers, Jesse Stitman and Austin Tolar. Honorary pallbearers are deacons of Silver Creek Baptist Church.


SourceRayleen Brown Hall. (McComb, MS: Enterprise – Journal, 16 June 2006) A003; digital image, accessed October 2020.

Sylvia Rayleen (Brown) Hall, as a child

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