BROWN, David and Ann Sweetman Brown
“Mr. and Mrs. David Brown, he of United Empire Loyalist stock and she of Irish descent immigrated to Canada from the United States and resided for a short time on what is known as the Dunn farm one mile north of the Village of Westmeath. Sometime later he purchased 600 acres of land from the Crown in another section of the township and took up residence two miles west of Beachburg on Lots 11 and 12, Concession 3. E.M.L.” – this passage from the Brown Family History exemplifies the stamina and resourcefulness of settler David Brown:
“To David Brown went the distinction of being the first settler in that section of the township. He blazed the first trail between Beachburg and Pembroke following the line of least resistance travelling along the higher ground with a fine disregard for a straight direct trail to Pembroke.”
Anyone who has driven the distance from Beachburg to Pembroke can’t begin to imagine one man “blazing the trail”. The full article was written by Evelyn Moore Price in 1956 for the Pembroke Observer, entitled “D. Brown was Pioneer Settler of S.S. No. 2 Westmeath…” Brown, David Pioneer Settler.
David Brown (1805-1871) was born in Massachusetts, U.S.A. in 1805 and married Ann Sweetman (1802-1860), who was born in Clone, County Monaghan, Ireland. They settled west of Beachburg on the Beachburg Road to Pembroke. In the Westmeath Township section of the 1888 Directory of Renfrew County members are shown living on this homestead.
David and Ann Brown raised their five children:
- Mary Polly Brown (1837-1906) m. Thomas White (1834-1895) and they lived and raised their children on the 8th Concession of Westmeath Township. See WHITE entry.
- John Brown (1839-1881) m.
- Esther Ann Brown (1842-1928) m. William Dobson (1838-1900) from Merrickville, Leeds, ON. and they settled in Stafford Township of Renfrew County. E B. Dobson Death Reg., Esther Brown Dobson, According to her death record, she was born in Westmeath Township on February 17, 1840 and died June 5 1928 in Stafford Township. On the record, her son Robert Dobson is identified as the informant living in Pembroke.
- Ann Brown (1843- )
- Augustus Caesar Brown (1845-1932) would stay on and farm his parent’s family homestead on the Beachburg Road. In the 1896 Voters’ List of the Municipality of the Township of Westmeath, Augustus is listed as the landowner of Lot S part 11, 12, 13, Concession 3 EML.
Augustus would marry a young Beachburg Road woman from a neighbouring farm (1) Caroline E. McClelland in 1869. See MCCLELLAND entry. They had 2 children: Robert Stephan Brown (1870-1870- infant death) and Elizabeth Caroline Lillian Dorthea Brown (1873-1934).
Augustus, sometimes known as “Yankee” Brown married for a second time to (2) Frances “Fanny” Lebeau (1856-1942), who was a local Westmeath Township girl. See LEBEAU entry. They married in 1875 and settled down to raise their children:
i. Darius Brown (1876-1877) – infant death.
ii. Harris Stevens Brown (1878-1963) m. Ethel May Lyttle (1885-1973) in June 17th 1908. See LYTTLE entry. Their sons are: Basil Harris Brown (1913-2002); Earl Kitchener Brown (1916-1996); Vennard Kemmel Brown (1918-2005); Keith Brown (1920-1920) infant death.
On Virtual Museum.ca, is an exhibit curated by Ross Museum which documents the history of plows. It focuses on one plow in particular, the “Fleury #53 Scotch Thistle” walking plow, which was donated to the Ross Museum in 1999. Also told is the story of a young man, Harris S. Brown, from Westmeath Township, Ontario, Canada, who in 1896 and 1900, used this plow with his team of horses to win prizes at two major plowing matches. Enter Plowing a Furrow to Victory to see the 103 photos and pages in the exhibit. In 1896 the Plowing Match was held at the farm of Augustus Brown and 18-year-old Harris won first prize – a trip to Ottawa to the 1900 Provincial Plow Match held at the farm of J.R. Booth, (located next to present day Experimental Farm). Harris boarded the train in Beachburg with his horses and plow to make the trip to Ottawa. – taken from information submitted by Graham Lyttle.
iii. Minerva Brown (1880-1963) – infant death.
iv. Hattie C. Brown (1881-1891) – 10 yrs.
v. Ethel Adelia Brown (1882-1973) married Robert Henry Lyttle. This was the second Brown to Lyttle marriage; as Adelia’s sister Ethel had married Harris.
vi. John Augustus Brown (1884-1961) m. Fanny Dell Dougherty (1888-1956) in 1905. They are buried at Beachburg Union Cemetery. Their children were:
a. Dorothy Brown (1908 -1998) married Joe Bromley (1903-1986) on February 25 1927 – They are buried in the Westmeath Catholic Cemetery .
b. Ellard John Brown (1909- 1950) married Loretta Agnus McDermott. They are buried in the Beachburg Union Cemetery with John A. and Fanny Dell
vii. Roxie Jane Brown (1885-1971) m. John Edgar Cameron and lived in Dinsmore, Saskatchewan.
viii. Kathleen Frances Cassia Brown (1889-1957)
ix. Sanford Wagner Brown (1893-1962) m. Rose Emma Lusignan (1902-1993) from Ottawa and they would live in Kirkland Lake, ON.
Augustus Brown would single-handedly undertake a project in Fort Coulonge, PQ, requiring that same level of stamina and resourcefulness as his father David Brown had shown. 1898 Building of Coulonge Covered Bridge from Cobden Sun May 1998.
The Marchand Bridge. is still a well-known landmark in the area and in daily use.
Well-known for his building prowess, he would also build the exhibition hall in the Beachburg Fair Ground. Unfortunately this building burned in the 1931 fire which destroyed several of the larger structures of the North Renfrew Agricultural Society.
Brown Family History
Source: On the occasion of the 175 Anniversary of Beachburg an excellent book was produced: “Beachburg – A Rich Heritage, 1835-2010” The BROWN family’s submission of text and photographs to this commemorative book is used here. Information provided by Barbara Hare. Numbers indicate generations.
A United Empire Loyalist who immigrated to Canada and settled just outside Beachburg was David Brown, born in the United States in 1805.
1 David married Ann, an Irish immigrant, in 1834, moving then to what is known as the Dunn farm, one mile north of the village of Westmeath. Sometime later he purchased 600 acres of land from the Crown and took up residence two miles west of Beachburg. He was the first settler in that part of the township and is credited with being the man responsible for blazing the trail from Beachburg to Pembroke.
He built a large dwelling (15 rooms plus) and operated a “Stopping Place” complete with horse stables and meals. Farmers travelling north with grain and hay for lumber camps were his main customers. Six children were born to David and Ann between 1835 and 1846; Patty, David, John, Ester, Ann and Augustus. In 1867 David Brown divided his land between his two sons John and Augustus.
“Stopping Places;” a term for a hotel or tavern, were essential to the huge transportation industry making the opening of the country possible. Such places were needed every twenty miles or so in the era of horse-power. These establishments offered rooms, whiskey and meals and often had large stabling yards, – needed for watering and feeding the teams of oxen or horses hauling the provisions to the lumbering firms working up the river valleys; the tributaries of the Ottawa (then called Grand) River; such as the Madawaska, Bonnechere, Muskrat, Petawawa and points north. Often blacksmith and cobblers set up shop in close proximity to these stopping places, to serve the teamsters’ needs.
2 Augustus Brown, born 1846, married (1) Caroline McLelland. She died in the birth of their second child. His second wife was (2) Francis Lebeau and they had nine children; Darius, Harris, Minerva, Hattie, Delhia, John, Roxie, Kathleen, Sanford.
Augustus carried on with the stopping place, farmed and went lumbering. He is famous for the great accomplishment of building the Marchand Bridge in Fort Coulonge, having cut the timbers for the bridge from the Glen near Beachburg, just below the Brown farm. Augustus also built the Exhibition Hall at the Beachburg Fair grounds in 1897. It was destroyed by fire in 1931, but rebuilt by his son Harris, who was president of the Agricultural Society at the time. Augustus was president of the North Renfrew Agricultural Society in 1904 when Beachburg won the $1,000 prize of a new office building for the best fair in Eastern Ontario.
Harris Brown at age 18 won the distinction of winning first place and thus a trip to Ottawa to the Provincial Ploughing Match in 1900 at the JR Booth farm, next to the Experimental Farm. Harris shipped his horses to Ottawa by boxcar on the train for the Ploughing Match; quite a challenge for 1900! He came 5th in the Ontario championship and won best matched team in the junior division. The plough used for the event is now displayed in the Ross Museum.
3 In 1908 Harris married Ethyl Lyttle. Harris worked hard for community causes. In 1911 the first rural telephone was installed at the Brown farm, and in 1938 he became the first subscriber in the neighbourhood for hydro. He was president of the North Renfrew Agricultural Society for 5 years , during which time he led the campaign to rebuild the Exhibition Hall after the fire. The building erected is still in use today. He was a talented carpenter and worked at Barr’s Sash and Door Shop after retiring from farming. Their children were Vernard, Basil and Earl.
4 Vernard married Lepha Young in 1946, children being Barbara, Lance and Garry. Vernard farmed the family homestead and later worked off the farm at Camp Petawawa as a licensed electrician for many years. Lepha still resides in the house they built on part of the original homestead.
5 Barbara married Bob Hare and lives in Woodlawn having raised Jeffrey, and twins Trudy and Melissa.
5 Lance married Faye Corah, lives in Vauxhall, Alberta, children are Devin and Riley.
5 Garry married Gwen Rathwell, children are Karla and Cory.
4 Basil married Anna Warren: Basil was a licensed electrician and also was General Manager of North Renfrew Telephone for many years. Anna taught for some years at Beachburg Public School. They lived at the corner of Main and Smith St, raising their family of three; Warren, Katherine, and Ida.
5 Catherine married Carl Walker; children are Christie, Rhonda and Lanny.
5 Ida married Edward Gardiner; children are Anne and James.
4 Earl married Verlie Conners; children were Keith and Bob. Earl was also a licensed electrician who operated his own shop on the corner of Main and Smith Street and lived in the former Sandy McLean home. He owned one of the first televisions in Beachburg and it was not uncommon to see a gathering in his shop on Friday night to watch boxing.
“Basil Brown, an electrician, built a house on the corner of Main and Smith Street around1949. He also built a shop beside the house (connected to the house by an underground passage). Electrical stoves, washers and supplies were sold in the shop. His brother Earl, also an electrician, renovated the house beside the shop (the former McLean house) after the fire in 1948. Basil became a hydro inspector and Earl carried on the electrical business until his death.”
The shop is now a gallery featured art and crafts by local artists.
5 Keith married Elizabeth Berey. They live in Beachburg and Keith in true family tradition is a licensed electrician. Their children are Nicole and Danielle.
5 Bob married Jennie Foster, daughter of Ed and Jean Foster who at one time owned Foster’s grocery store in Beachburg. Children are Curtis and Stephen and they reside in Ottawa.