William Allen Brown
Biographical sketch written by E. Scott Brown dated 14 Nov. 1897

This is a hand written biographical sketch obtained while visiting the Simpson County Historical Society.  It was transcribed exactly as written by Anna Brown Hunt.

William Allen Brown was born was born in Allen Co. Ky. on 22nd day of April 1820 at the Old Orchard on part of a 400 acre survey owned at our times by                          on head waters of Dry Creek about 5 miles southeast of Scottsville near the Old Willis Center Place- afterwards owned by s'd Wm. A. B. & the house when he was born he afterwards moved about 1/4 mile S.E. to where & is which his son the writer of this sketch was born.  In a log house, brick chimney, shingle roof, the roof was nailed on with shop nails made at a blacksmiths shop & cost about 25 cts. a pound.  The spring where water was obtained for this family was about 150 yds. S.E. of the house & still furnishes plenty water.  Dr. Robert Paris of Scottsville was the family physician.  Said Wm. A.'s father was Allsey Brown who was born in (space) Co. North Carolina on (blank) day of (blank) 179_.  And died on East Fork of Bays Fork in Allen Co. Ky. on (blank) day of Oct. 1864, was a youth say about 16 years of age when he moved for N. C. to Ky. with his father Drury Brown who settled near & on adjoining farm to where Wm. A. was born.  Said Drury was born in N.C. & died on this said farm where he settled in Allen Co. Ky. aged about 70 years- died about 1832 & buried under a walnut tree on said farm.  He was a man of rather small stature, black eyes, black hair & was a constable & school teacher - good motivator & a good citizen.  Said Drury’s wife, Allsey’s mother was Lizzy Jent & was a sister to Margaret (Peggy) Jent Brown wife of Wiley Brown who was a brother to said Drury & was sister to Winnie (Jent) Cook-wife of Syon Cook-father of Calvin Cook & Amos Cook & Syon Cook.  Said Drury’s father never came to this state Ky. & Wm. A does not know his name, does not know the extraction or nationality of said Drury’s ancestry—Said  Drury had brothers as follows   Wiley, Ruben and Charles.  Wiley lived on Long Creek in Allen Co. Ky. Where Oliver Brown his grandson afterwards lived—Wiley had children to wit: Willis Brown, who lived near & east of s’d Oliver Brown, who moved to Missouri at say 50 or 60 years of age and died there.  He was a very nervous fidgety man.  His, Willis’ wife was Jincy Kelsey & sister to Burton Brown’s wife and Henry, who lived and died on Long Creek in Allen Co. Ky., was a soldier in the War of 1812.  He married Ailcey Austin sister of Willis and Wilson and Williamson Austin.   His children were Harrison, Oliver, Robertson, Adaline & William H.

Said Drury’s brother Ruben moved from North Carolina to Sequatchie Valley Tennessee between Cumberland Mt. & Walden’s Ridge-in Bledsoe County – Pikesville the county seat- while a youth.  Said Ruben Married Miss Sallie Worthington and had children to wit: Jesse, James & two daughters Minerva and________.  Said Ruben lived about 6 miles east of Pikesville owned a large tract of very rich land on Bledsoe Creek in Bledsoe County Tenn.  Owned 30 black slaves & was wealth- lived in a brick house.  Said Wm A. made a visit to his said great uncle Ruben Brown in fall of 1842 or about said year & remained 10 days was cordially received & entertained.  Said Ruben was a man of good size broad shouldered, weight about 175 lbs.  Got his start by breeding cattle in the mountains in east Tennessee.  Jesse & James lived on land given to them their father Ruben and had families.  Said Ruben’s brother Charles moved westward to the “Yellow Banks” at or near Owensboro Ky.-had a family but never returned or visited his relatives here & Wm. A. knows nothing further of his history.

Said Allsey Brown, father of the subject of this sketch, was married on      day of      18     to Miss Nancy Terrell Childress who was born in South Carolina on the     day of       17   and who was living  with old Harry Collins in Allen Co. Ky. then Warren Co Ky. till near the time when she and Allsey married.  She was a sister to Willis Center’s wife, Elizabeth & came to Ky. on foot, leading a horse which carried such goods as they brought.  She had a brother Bartholmew Childress who lived in Mobile Ala & was at our time Sheriff of his County.  Said Nancy came from Georgia here.

Said Allsey Brown was a large land owner- owning 800 acres or more which he for the most part divided among his children before he died.  Said Allsey Brown owned six Negro slaves, to wit; Dinah, Jo, & Kit & her 3 children- Bruce, Geo. & Bob.  He was a great deer hunter & killed more venison & wild turkey than the family could use.  Had a deer park as field & a number of tamed deer to which the wild deer made visits & thus after came in range of Allsey rifle.

He was married only the one time & had children to wit:

1.     Henry Jackson born

2.     John Harrison born

3.     William Allen born

4.     Celia Garner born

5.     Drury Burton born

6.     Thomas Jent born

7.     Willis Denton who died as infant

8.     Samuel Bartholomew born

9.     Sarah Elizabeth born

10.  Gillah Ann Melinda born

 Said Wm. A was married on 26th day of February 1846 to Miss Sarah Holliday Alexander daughter of Amzi  Chapens Alexander at said Amzi’s by Rev. Hartwell Burge a Methodist Minister then in charge of the circuit where they lived.  The mother of said Sarah H. was Elizabeth Watkins Holliday of Rev. Charles Holliday & his wife Sarah Holliday.

To said Wm. A. and Sarah H. were born the following children

1.     Eugene Scott born 3 Dec. 1846 died 21 Oct. 1898 

2.     Elizabeth Luella born 13 Oct. 1848 died 26 Nov 1869      

3.     George Lee born 26 April 1851 died 27 May 1885

4.     infant son unnamed born 4 June 1853 died the same day

5.     Nannie Celia born 11 June 1854 died 15 Dec. 1858 

6.     Sarah Allie born 6 April 1857 died 26 Jan. 1890     

7.     Ann Rebecca born 11 July 1859

 Said Wm. A. attended the schools of his vicinity beginning at about 7 years of age-first went to school to his Grand Father- the said Drury- who taught in a small cabin schoolhouse on Dry Creek in the woods near Lafayette Tenn. Road.  Eliza Alexander, afterward Bailey afterwards Shelly, was attended at said school.  Then at “Old Liberty” to Urial Grace from Sumner Co. Tenn.  Then to his Uncle Burton Brown a number of schools at Old Liberty.  Then at said place to James H. Long 2 schools, was about 14 years old when at these schools.  Then Wm. A. moved with his parents to the farm on East Fork of Bays Fork-head waters there of- where his said parents died as stated above.  Then again attended said James H. Long’s school near said place in his Uncle Allen Brown’s old house then the property of his Uncle Denton Brown.  Then at Pleasant Hill to his said Uncle Burton Brown which ended his educational course.  Said Burton Brown greatly enjoyed giving his scholars a treat at Christmas after a great romp of being turned out of the schoolhouse by his pupils or rather being barred out till he would agree to treat and give 2 weeks holiday-once he got in by disguising himself as a negro woman, after decoying the larger pupils away by this strategy having another man to ride up near the schoolhouse in his clothes so that the larger pupils pursued the wrong man while the smarter pupils let the negro woman in to warm.  But on the return of these larger pupils he was caught & bound & carried toward a pond, but the imminent danger of a dunking brought him to terms and a very liberal treat and two weeks holiday were given.  But at the regular hours & days for study he (Burton) was a rather a strict teacher and highly respected and much loved by his pupils. 

He, Wm. A. studied Noah Webster’s American Standard Spelling Book- penmanship- Pike’s Arithmetic.  Said Wm. A.’s wife attended the same schools with him except to Drury Brown’s to James Hunt who taught on Bays Fork about 1 mi. below her fathers place & she afterwards in 1838 went to school to her Uncle Prof. Nelson G. Alexander in Wilson Co. Tenn. near Cherry Valley P.O. studied Arithmetic (Pike’s), Geography, Grammar.  At about 14 went to school to Jared P. Willis near  John Whitney’s farm & boarded at James Cowden Sr’s on Barren River.  She afterwards read a great deal of History & general Literature and devoted much time to classical literature- Read, Shakspeare, Byran, Burns, Campbell, Camper, Thompson, etc. etc.

She and said Wm. A. lived on adjoining farms from his 14th year till they married.

Wm. A. was elected Justice of the Peace for Scottsville District in 186_- at about close of the war.  Was appointed County School Commissioner, then elected  J.P. of his Magisterial Dist. (Scottsville) but resigned as J.P. after a year or so because an Act of Legislature made the offices of School Commissioner and J.P. incompatible.  Was elected School Commissioner by the magistrates of this county and held the office till 186_ was Deputy Sheriff under J.H. Gilliam in 187_ made two races for Representative- one against John J. Gatewood, Democrat but was defeated 45 votes in 1865.  Then against Thomas J. Morehead-Democrat- 1873 but was defeated.  Took Census as U. S.  Enumerator for Scottsville in 1890 & Raleigh in 1880.  Was Land Processioner for Allen Co. Ky. for 15 years – 1882 to 1897-being still in said position.  Personal description-height 6 feet; complexion medium; hair black; eyes dark blue; born in Allen Co. Ky.,occupation farmer.  Member of M.E. Church & of  Graham Masonic Lodge No. 208 & of the Republican party – was a decided Republican from the organization of that party- Was a whig or a Nonothing.  His father was a Whig.  His wife’s father was a whig or a nonothing.  His grandfather Drury was a whig.


At the end of the sketch he wrote:


Said Allsey Brown’s brothers and sisters were as follows:

1. Allen Brown born in N.C.        17

     Married Peggy Miller in Allen Co.,       18

     & they had children to wit: Wm.; Mary Ann; Martha Ann; Dow;           Hector; Newton; Bradford; & Rebecca.


2. Burton Brown born          18

     Married Annie Kelsey on           18

     & they had children to wit : Sam H.; Hugh K.; Hester; Ginnetta;

     Robert L.; Virgil; Rinnie ( De Funiac Springs, Fla.) married L. I.          Smith.


3. Drury Denton Brown born              18 

     Married Sarah Brown (sister to Oliver Brown’s wife) & they had

     Children to wit: Sketton, John E., Mary Elizabeth, Wm. C.; Mattie.


4. Tilitha born

     And died without marrying.


5. Gillah born

     Married Thomas Jent

     & they had children viz: Hiram



6. Polly born

     Married Jesse Jent

     & they had children to wit:Allsey



7. Betsey born

     Married Eli Pitchford


8.     Margaret (Peggy)

     Married Levi Center

     & they had children, viz: Mandy, Cornelius Denton; then Levi died &  

     She married John Russell & they had children to wit: Wm.