Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Colonel Henry Brown’s Grave

After devoting more than a week on the blog to Colonel (or Judge, if you prefer) Henry Brown’s house, it seemed appropriate to pay a visit to Brownhelm Cemetery, and take some photographs of his grave to wrap up the series.

So on this past beautiful Sunday morning, I took a short drive out to Brownhelm Cemetery on North Ridge Road.

I was disappointed to find the row of his family's tombstones still in bad shape.

Several years ago – when I first began researching this story – I noticed that either a storm or vandals had created a mess of the Brown family’s stones. Broken monuments were lying on the ground, or unceremoniously stacked like TV dinners in the freezer.

They were pretty much in the same position on Sunday.

Henry Brown’s stone was still standing, but that’s more than we can say for his wife’s monument.
According to this article that ran in the Chronicle back in October 2016, care of the graves is left up to the families of the deceased.

In that case, it looks like the Judge is out of luck.

According to an article in the Elyria Independent Democrat of October 9, 1872 about the death of Mrs. Abby Long, "the deceased was daughter of Judge Brown, who first settled in, and gave name to the township of Brownhelm, and was the last surviving member of that honored family."

The History of Lorain County, Ohio published by Williams Brothers, Philadelphia (1879) includes a biography of Judge Brown and notes that "the family is now extinct in the township."

Nevertheless, it doesn’t seem right that the family plot of a man so important to the founding of Brownhelm should be so neglected, especially during the township's bicentennial year celebration.


Loraine Ritchey said...

Maybe the township could step up and take care of the monuments -

Col. Matt Nahorn said...

Thanks for this follow-up article, Dan. As a trustee of the Brownhelm Historical Association, I am aware that there is a cemetery committee recently formed to work on a plan and efforts to restore and maintain some of these early stones. Hopefully we can get many volunteers to aid in this project...