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.
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.