Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Owen Brown Descendant Looks at John Brown's Hudson

Marty Ann Brown and Tom Vince in the WRA Archives
photo by Betsy Barry
It was a pleasure for your WRA Archivist & Historian to welcome Marty Ann Brown to Hudson this past week and show her something of her ancestor’s home town, a tour of John Brown’s Hudson. Marty Ann Brown, who lives in Portland, Oregon and is with the Oregon State University Press, was attending a conference in Columbus when she came to Hudson to explore the place that her ancestors called home. Marty is a direct descendant of Owen Brown, who came to Hudson in 1805, of his son John Brown, known as the abolitionist leader who led the raid on Harpers Ferry in 1859, and of Jason Brown, John’s son who was born in 1823 at Old Tannery Farm on the road now called Hines Hill Road.

Allyn Marzulla, photographer, Marty Brown, and
Tom Vince inside the historic house at Old Tannery Farm
photo by Carol Smith
It was in 1818 that John Brown and his step-brother, Levi Blakeslee, came up to the hill on what was then called Chapman Road to start a tannery on the creek. John married Hudson girl Dianthe Lusk in 1820 and almost immediately began to build the house that still stands on that historic property. Their son, Jason Brown, who would live longer than any of John’s 20 children, was born there in 1823. Owner Carole Smith was gracious enough to host Marty Brown and I and photographer Allyn Marzulla on a tour of that house, then we walked around the expansive property to look at Brandywine Creek, the likely location of the old tannery, and the outbuildings that date from the early 20th century.

The garden house in foreground with the main house
at Old Tannery Farm. House John Brown built dates from 1823
photo by Allyn Marzulla
We also took our visitor to Chapel Street Cemetery, where Owen Brown and his wife, Ruth Mills Brown, both ancestors of Marty Brown, are buried. In that cemetery can be found the grave of War of 1812 veteran, Captain Amos Lusk, father of Dianthe Lusk Brown, another of our visitor’s ancestors. It was surprising to our visitor to learn that Owen Brown was a founding trustee of our school in 1826 and that he was one of three trustees who were responsible for erecting some of the buildings that we use today.

Descendant Marty Brown and Archivist Tom Vince
at the grave of Owen Brown at Hudson's Chapel Street Cemetery
photo by Allyn Marzulla

We also discussed Charles Storrs Adair of Kansas, a nephew of John Brown who had known him during the fight for a free Kansas. Adair came to Hudson to attend the old Preparatory School in 1860 and stayed for two years before going back home to enlist in the Second Kansas Cavalry, where he distinguished himself. Another stop was at the home and barn of Jeremiah Brown, the brother of John, located on Route 303 near Fox Trace. His house dates to the 1850’s, and it is said that the rifles used at Harpers Ferry were stored in the barn behind the house. Jeremiah later acted as agent for the estate of his brother after 1859. His nephew, Charles Storrs Adair of Kansas Territory, stayed with Jeremiah’s family while he was a student.

Marty Brown and Tom Vince at Jeremiah Brown's barn in
Hudson where the rifles for Harpers Ferry may have been stored
photo by Allyn Marzulla
Our visitor also had a chance to visit the grave of her direct ancestor, Jason Brown (1823-1912) who died in Akron a month before his 90th birthday and is buried at Glendale Cemetery. Like his famous father, Jason traveled much and lived for years in southern California. His son in Akron persuaded Jason to come home to Summit County. Some additional the photos of our recent tour around town are posted below.

Marty Brown signs the guest book at Old Tannery
Farm while owner Carole Smith and Tom Vince look on
photo by Allyn Marzulla

Tom Vince at tombstone of WRA founder
David Hudson at Chapel Street Cemetery
photo by Allyn Marzulla

Marty Brown and Tom Vince at the
Jeremiah Brown House in Hudson
photo by Allyn Marzulla