Arthur Durwood Brown (1869-1928)

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks – Week 41 – Arthur Durwood Brown (1869-1928)

By – Don Taylor

52 Ancestors 52 Weeks - Week 41
No Story Too Small

Sometime you have an ancestor for whom you know there are a lot more stories about them. Arthur Durwood Brown was such a man. There are several of Arthur’s grand children still alive. I hope that some of them contact me with additional stories and information about Arthur and his life. He was a remarkable man, a pioneer who settled in some of the most isolated places in the North Dakota and Minnesota.

Bio – Arthur Durwood Brown (1869-1928)


Arthur Durwood Brown was born on 5 December 1869 in Saline, Washtenaw County, Michigan. He was the second child of eleven children born to Henry and Marion Sanford Brown. There are many conflicting records regarding Arthur’s birth year. The 1920 Census indicates he was 56 years old and thus born in 1863. On the other end of the spectrum, the 1900 Census says he was born in December of 1870.[1] His death certificate and his grave marker both indicate he was born in 1868. I am quite certain that he was born in December of 1869 because of the 1870 Census that clearly indicates that he was seven months old when the census was taken on 2 August of 1870.[2]

Arthur Durwood Brown

He grew up in Saline, which is a small community about ten miles south of Ann Arbor. It was on the Detroit-Hillsdale-&-Indiana Railroad line that came to Saline in 1970. About 1883, when Arthur was 14 years old, the entire family migrated west to Jamestown, North Dakota. Arthur’s youngest brother, Edward, was born in North Dakota in January 1884.[3]

Jamestown was an up and coming new town. It was founded in 1872 and incorporated as a city in 1883.[4] It is not clear to me how or where he and Mary Elizabeth Manning met nor where they were married, but all records indicate they married on 19 Oct 1892. Arthur would have been 22 years old and Mary just 16.

Arthur Durwood Brown

Either before he moved to Minnesota or shortly after the marriage they moved to Minnesota. In either event, they established residence in Sylvan Township, Cass County, Minnesota and had their first child, Clyde Leroy, in February 1884. By June 1896, they had moved back to North Dakota where Victoria was born. Moreover, by 1897, when Clarence was born, they returned to Minnesota. The 1900 Census reports that young couple lost a child[5]. Based upon the four-year gap in children, the child probably was born and died between 1899 and 1900 in Minnesota. We do not know the child’s name or sex.

Based upon the birthplaces of the children, the family seemed to move back and forth between North Dakota and Minnesota many times.

Name
Year
Location
Clyde
1894
Minnesota
Victoria
1896
North Dakota
Clarence
1897
Minnesota
Cora
1901
Minnesota
Clifford/Richard
1903
North Dakota
Edward
1908
North Dakota
Arthur
1909
North Dakota
Charles
1914
North Dakota
Delores
1917
Minnesota
Nettie
1921
Minnesota

Children
whose birthplace is unknown were omitted.

Clifford, my grandfather, was born in 1903 in Kidder County, North Dakota. Martin was born sometime between 1904 and 1906 and Dorothy was born between 1905 and 1907. Sadly, Arthur’s two youngest children at that time, Martin and Dorothy, died from measles sometime before 1910.

In 1909, Arthur received a Land Patent for 120 acres in Merkel, Kidder County, North Dakota. It was for the N1/2-NW1/4 and the SW1/4-NW1/4 – Section 34, Township 144 North Range 72. It is interesting to note that Arthur’s brother Edward married Dertha Merkel. Today, Merkel township has a population of 39 people scattered over nearly 60 square miles of land.[6]

In 1917, the returned to Minnesota where Arthur received a land patent for 160 acres in Township 138 N, Range 029W, Section 7, NE1/4-Nw1/4, N1/2-NE1/4, SE1/4-NE1/4. (Modern GPS 46.7911918, -94.4073918 is NW Corner of L shaped property.) Today this is a very rural area of Backus in Cass County.

Arthur’s two oldest boys served in World War 1. Clyde went into the Army, went to France, where he met his wife Yvonne, and returned from the Great War with is new bride. Clarence went into the Navy and served aboard the USS Shawmut, a mine layer that operated in the North Sea during much of World War I.[7] The 47 year old Arthur didn’t serve in The Great War staying in Minnesota; his daughter, Delores was born in 1917. His last child, Nettie, was born in 1921[8] a year after his first grandchild, Marie (Clyde’s daughter), was born.[9]

Marker:  ARTHUR D. BROWN
1868 FATHER 1928
Photo by Mark Matson

Arthur died on 27 August 1928, at the Walker Hospital, Walker, Cass Co., Minnesota of carcinoma of the liver.[10] He was 58 years old. He was buried at Gull River Cemetery, in Pillager, Cass County, Minnesota.[11]

Further Actions:
· Coordinate with relatives what I have for accuracy.

· Find out if there are any stories regarding how and where Arthur and Mary met.

List of Greats

Arthur Durwood Brown
Henry Brown
Benjamin Brown

– – – – – – – – – – – – – Disclaimer – – – – – – – – – – – –
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Footnotes
[1] 1900 Census, Ancestry.com, http://www.Ancestry.com, 1900; Census Place: Township 136, Crow Wing, Minnesota; Roll: 761; Page: 2A; Enumeration District: 0069; FHL microfilm: 1240761.

[2] 1870 Census, Ancestry.com, http://www.Ancestry.com, 1870; Census Place: Saline, Washtenaw, Michigan; Roll: M593_708; Page: 316A; Image: 86; Family History Library Film: 552207. http://search.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/sse.dll?db=1870usfedcen&h=27532996&indiv=try.

[3] 1885 Census – Dakota Territory, NDSU Archives, Page 44-018. Brown, W. H., et al. http://library.ndsu.edu/db/census/family?ed=44-018-10.

[4] Wikipedia — http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jamestown,_North_Dakota

[5] 1900 Census, Ancestry.com, http://www.Ancestry.com, 1900; Census Place: Township 136, Crow Wing, Minnesota; Roll: 761; Page: 2A; Enumeration District: 0069; FHL microfilm: 1240761.

[6] City-Data.Com — http://www.city-data.com/township/Merkel-Kidder-ND.html

[7] Wikipedia — http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_Oglala_(CM-4)

[8] E-Mail from Les Crider – 2001-01-13, Art & Mary Brown & Children & parents info.

[9] Find a Grave, digital images (http://www.findagrave.com), Marie F Brown – Memorial 79865796.

[10] Minnesota, Division of Vital Statistics, Certificate of Death, Arthur D Brown.; Minnesota Historical Society.

[11] Find a Grave, digital images (http://www.findagrave.com), Arthur D Brown – Memorial # 87334615.

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